Category Archives: Integrated Marketing

Highest ROI Marketing Platforms for Q1 2020

Many people assume that you need to have an annual marketing plan ready before the year even starts to see any success. This philosophy is great in theory (being prepared), but it is often rare that a marketing plan doesn’t alter based on business conditions and opportunities. However, for those who are still trying to put something together, keep in mind ROI (return on investment) should be the overarching focus with the plan. Here are some of the top platforms to consider in 2020.

How Does ROI In Marketing Work?
Before getting into the platforms themselves, let’s briefly talk about the importance of marketing ROI. Many marketers get lost in all the KPIs out there and lose sight of what’s most important. As an example, say that you put together a social media campaign utilizing a popular influencer, who isn’t necessarily related to your niche. The influencer does their job, leveraging their fanbase to try and visit your sites, but you don’t necessarily get many conversions. Conversion drop is probably happening because the fanbase the influencer reaches is less likely to buy your product or service. 

If the marketing team was focusing the tactic on web traffic, they might see this as a success. However, in terms of ROI, this is probably not an ideal tactic. With low conversions vs. paying for the influencer, you may even end up losing money when all is said and done. However, if this is a branding play and you’re looking to create the first touchpoint with this audience, then this could be very powerful, long-term.

So, how can you tell if a given platform has a successful ROI? The best way to measure this is by taking your sales growth from the venture, removing the marketing costs, then dividing by the marketing costs. If you saw a sales growth of $2,000 from a campaign that cost $200, you received a 900% ROI from it. There are other measurements worth looking out for, like branded queries or referrals, but that’s the base calculation you want to have in mind. Now, we can start getting into specific platforms.

Video Marketing
For many marketers, a successful video campaign is the crown jewel of their overall strategy. From increasing your traffic to growing revenue, a single successful set of videos can deliver a variety of different benefits. On top of this, when looking at ROI, this is one of the strongest options possible. Some marketers may be wary of video due to cost perception, but new technology has made it easier than ever to break in. In fact, some professional-grade videos can be created utilizing newer smartphones, smart lighting, and a little planning. Along with this, video tends to draw people in for longer periods than many other digital and traditional tactics. Thus it can allow you to tell a better story.

So, with that said, how do you guarantee video marketing success? As video marketing continues to grow, bad editing or poor audio isn’t going to cut it, so first, video quality matters. Another thing you want to make sure you’re doing is taking full advantage of the platform hosting your video. A video series about your services provides the opportunity to define facts while crafting a narrative. It may be worth working with outside help to create a true video script if you’re struggling in this area. 

CRM/Marketing Automation
Depending on whom you ask, these are two separate categories of software, and both play a vital role in marketing ROI. For example, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool is generally associated more with the sales world, helping to chart all interactions with clients and prospects. Marketing automation is more about helping companies streamline some of their existing marketing tasks utilizing automated responses and drip campaigns. Since sales are uniquely tied to marketing and marketing typically needs a sales converter to close, Glint believes these categories should be combined and provides this type of blended platform for their clients. Learn more about the Glint platform here.

Most people assume ROI is mainly financial, and while that is true, it can also be evaluated through time involvement cost. Using the previous influencer example, it takes time to find the right influencer, negotiating, rolling out the campaign, and running the calculations to determine if the campaign was successful. Marketing Automation platforms help cut down on your time costs by automating and personalizing basic, but necessary tasks.

Social Advertising
Successful advertising is all about being where your audience is, and that means having a social media plan in place. These are great platforms to build marketing ROI because the cost of entry is relatively affordable, and there is an extensive audience available that can be segmented. With this in mind, let’s do a quick run-through of some actionable advice for marketing success on three of 2020’s most popular platforms.

Facebook

  • Have concrete goals in mind (driving traffic, conversions, adding value)
  • Use all of Facebook’s features to help determine who your ads/marketing target
  • Be proactive when it comes to creating engagement opportunities
  • Schedule content ahead for optimized timing

 

Instagram

  • Optimize your biography for a strong first impression
  • Ensure your visual content stays at a high quality
  • Optimize through smart use of hashtags
  • Maintain a regular pace of content

 

Linkedin

  • Remember you are targeting a business audience
  • Analyze competitor pages for advice
  • Use commenting and engagement to drive your content
  • Be sure to understand why people use Linkedin (connections, business development) when drafting content

 

Creating An Overarching Campaign Strategy
It’s also important to remember that you need an overall marketing strategy in place, not just a concept. Using only video marketing, or Marketing Automation, or social advertising isn’t likely to yield success. One major trend that we’re seeing is finding ways to link traditional and digital marketing together and ensuring you have at least three points of integration. An approach like this also allows companies using legacy approaches to leverage their expertise while competing in the digital age. 

An example of this in practice is vanity URLs. These are essentially URLs that make it easier for people to remember a web address, while also redirecting to a longer URL with tracking info. On one end, you’re increasing your brand presence by making it easier for people to remember your site/pages. On the other hand, you’re able to grab some vital tracking info to power your decision making. This is a great type of measurement to start tracking marketing ROI.

Call tracking operates on a similar principle. Many companies underestimate precisely how much of a role calls can play in lead generation, whether it’s cold calling or following up on other marketing efforts via a phone call. Call tracking allows you to tie campaigns to a single business number helping you determine which marketing tactics are delivering. It’s also important to note that the calls are recorded to help you better train your sales team on the way’s to handle and close inbound calls. Like other marketing tracking, this makes it easier to determine which methods are successful, and which need to be improved. 

2020 may be rolling along, but that doesn’t mean you have missed the boat in terms of your marketing strategy. Making some key adjustments throughout the year can contribute to better ROI and the impact of marketing. However, when you’re making shifts, a good starting point is to consider working with a veteran marketing agency, like Glint Advertising. By taking a look at your current goals and marketing plans, we can help you find the ideal platforms to grow your business.

Narrow Vs. Broad Marketing

Broad_Narrow_Marketing_HeaderOne of the fundamental things that every marketing professional learns early on is the importance of targeting an audience with your content. In addition, trying to be everything to all people rarely leads to results due to competition increases and individual expectations. After all, it’s hard to justify a brand if it doesn’t connect with you. 

However, something that doesn’t get talked about nearly as much is when the opposite situation happens, and you get too specific. For example, if you target a very distinct niche of customers, you may grab their attention, but you also may be building your company on a flimsy foundation. If something happens to lower that pool of customers or competition appears, suddenly, you may not have enough conversions to sustain your business.

Figuring out how to manage this is a tough balancing act for many marketers, but it’s also time well spent. Here are some of the elements you need to consider when deciding on a narrow or broad marketing focus.

Narrow Marketing: Pros and Cons
Narrow marketing primarily uses the idea of “being the best to a certain audience” and takes it to the next level. Essentially, all of your marketing content is going to be tailored to a particular niche. For example, if you are an educational software provider, you’re going to try and choose a subset of education to try and reach out. Do you expect your target audience to be mainly teachers? Administrators? Students? Parents? A narrow marketing focus would generally take 1 or 2 of these options and focus on those. If people from other niches get on board, that’s great, but more of a bonus.

The main pro of a narrow marketing focus is that you’re much more likely to get qualified leads and results this way. By putting out more specific content/marketing material, the people who end up reacting to it likely already have either deeper ties or a greater understanding of the niche you want to service. Following up on our previous example, if you were trying to market educational software to teachers and focus a lot of your messaging on teaching-related issues, that audience knows you understand their needs. A focus like this builds authority for your company and increases your opportunity for conversions.

An additional benefit of going narrow that may not be widely known is that, in some ways, it can be easier to put together materials. By comparison, working on broad marketing requires you to draw on information for a variety of different customer segments, which can be difficult if you don’t have the experience. 

With narrow marketing, you can focus all of your data collection and research on one particular customer niche. Know them inside-and-out, and you’ll be able to put together the marketing materials that interest them.

The major drawback of using narrow marketing, though, is that you’re going to see fewer results overall. Fewer results make sense, considering that your targeted marketing, by nature, isn’t going to be addressing some of these other niches and customer segments. The major issue here, though, is that if your marketing misses the mark with that segment, you have nothing to fall back on. The margin for error is far smaller with narrow marketing. 

Broad Marketing: Pros and Cons
Alternatively, broad marketing casts a wide net when it comes to putting together materials. As mentioned before, you can’t be all things to all people. However, you can market a product or service on traits that have as broad an appeal as possible. Good examples of this include competitive pricing and ease of use. 

Let’s revisit that educational software example. The niches of administrators, teachers, students, and parents may all want different things out of their software. Therefore, a broad marketing approach might focus on things like pricing or the number of options within the software suite. These are traits all four categories will find appealing.

The major benefit of using a broad marketing focus is its ability to provide an abundance of results. Giving something for multiple customer segments to latch on to means that even if you don’t reach everyone in that segment, you’re likely to have more interest and impressions overall. Multiple impressions are important for companies in the starting stage that need to build a large customer base at first. In time, that base will likely whittle down to a few major customers, but you’ll want to have as large a pool as possible to start your foundation for selling.

Another advantage of the broad strategy is that it may provide insight into new marketing demographics for your business that you don’t currently know. This approach is often common for pieces of hardware, where you may be targeting one customer segment, but an entirely unrelated one finds it useful for a purpose. The ability to unintentionally stumble on a new audience is an appealing draw for any marketer.

The major issue with broad marketing, though, is that no matter how powerful your message is, you’re only going to get a fraction of those interested customers to convert. As they go through the sales funnel, customers might be interested in your competition or realize that your product/service isn’t exactly what they need. With a narrower campaign, customers that enter the funnel are more likely to convert.

Focus On Viability And Need
So, with all of this said, how should you approach deciding whether to go narrow or broad? In some cases, it may be a case of using both. Many marketing strategies for new campaigns will intentionally go broader at first. An approach like this Marketing_Focus_Sideview_Mirroris often used when launching a new product because it can provide pivotal information to gauge interest in your campaign. In some cases, going broad and then very narrow may be able to provide interest from customers outside of your primary audience. For example, an initial email blast can be a great way to apply this approach. 

If you need to get customer attention and continue to work on persuasion, a more detailed and tailored message to drive that persuasion will be required. For example, if you plan on using content marketing to drive conversions, you want to focus on material that’s tailored to a more specific niche. Trying to go broader here will lead to weaker results because your topics have likely already been covered.

It’s important to make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of “winner vs. loser” when it comes to making a decision on a narrow or broad marketing focus. Also, based on your budget and resources, one may be more viable than the other. The best way to decide on your focus is to have a well-thought-out plan when it comes to your desired objectives and how to reach them.

If you find that your marketing plan, broad or narrow, isn’t giving the results you want, you may want to consider outside help with a skilled marketing agency, like Glint Advertising. By taking a look at your current goals and marketing plans, we can help you determine if a narrow or broad focus is best for your needs. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or, better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320 to get some additional insights.

Mesquite Convention and Visitors Bureau earns five state awards.

Mesquite, TX – September 4, 2019 – The Mesquite Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) received five awards at the recent Texas Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (TACVB) Annual Conference for excellence in destination marketing.

 

The Mesquite CVB received the People’s Choice Awards, selected by tourism industry peers, for its budget size in the categories of Advertising, Website, Mobile Site, and Video. “We had a record 116 entries this year,” said Kim Phillips, TACVB Chief Operating Officer. “The winners faced stiff competition, and these awards are well-deserved.”  

 

Glint Advertising created a new logo identifier and brand vision for the Mesquite CVB in late 2018. After the brand strategy was approved, the agency played an integral role in ensuring it was represented correctly across all new marketing assets. Also, Glint created an advertising campaign that targeted different audience segments within multiple media outlets that resulted in a second-place award for budgets under $350,000.

 

“Rolling out any brand slowly over time has its challenges. But not doing so would have hurt the Mesquite CVB tourism and revenues goals for the year, and that was not something we were going to get wrong,” said Craig Lloyd, Glint President/CEO. “We are honored the Mesquite CVB trusted us to help create and push their new brand forward.”

 

About the Mesquite CVB: The Mesquite CVB will continue to balance its award-winning marketing efforts with strong sales partnerships with local hotel properties as well as collaborative programs with restaurants, retail, and area attractions. Digital outreach and printed materials will contribute to a blend of promotional campaigns to sustain Mesquite’s relevancy as a destination of choice for conferences and day travelers. For more information, go to www.visitmesquitetx.com

 

About Glint Advertising: Founded in 2000 and located in the heart of the DFW Metroplex, Glint specializes in branding and integrated marketing campaigns. With a focus on strategy and collaboration, Glint provides its clients with branding, advertising, and marketing solutions that are tracked and measured, and brand-focused for superior ROI. For more information, visit www.glintadv.com

 

###

Establishing a Company Voice

Speak Your Company VoiceThere are about 1.7 billion websites on the internet. That is about 1.7 billion businesses that are constantly talking online. However, only about 200 million of those websites are active and many of them are saying the same thing in the same way. That’s why it is so important that companies establish a unique voice and utilize every resource that they can to shout it from the rooftops.

One of the best resources for companies to gain an advantage over the competition is the use of a company voice. This is a term that seems to get thrown around a lot, yet many companies do not fully understand what it means, how to identify one, or how to build their own.

More Than Just Words
A company voice obviously involves the words that are said, but it is so much more than that. The tone of what is said is arguably just as important as the words themselves. Although the words are what delivers the message, the tone is what is used to establish intent and set a company apart from its competitors.

In fact, it was first established by Albert Mehrabian in 1967 that the words that are being said are actually a significantly small portion of communication. He proposed that the act of communication was comprised of three distinct parts: the words being spoken, the tone of the words, and the body language accompanying it. In his system, the words spoken accounted for only 7 percent of meaning, while tone accounted for 30 percent, and the remaining 55 percent was body language.

While this is not a perfect comparison for business today, considering the internet did not exist in 1967, it is still a relatively accurate model of communication. Taking this model into account, trying to base a company voice strictly off of words is not going to get you anywhere. It takes so much more than that, which is why so many companies fail to develop a signature voice.

Identifying a Company Voice
There are many professionals who are likely reading this right now and thinking that it does not apply to them. That might be entirely true, but there is a better chance that your company does not have the voice that you think it does. Here is a great test to figure out whether your company has its own distinct voice or not.

If you go on to your website or social media accounts and cover up the logo of the page and posts, you should be able to show these to someone familiar with the company, and they should immediately be able to tell what company these belong to based on the voice of the content. If they struggle to figure it out or are not able to identify it at all, then there is a good chance that your company is lacking the voice that you thought it had.

Almost just as bad as not having a company voice is having multiple, often conflicting, company voices. This can occur when the company voice is being portrayed by various employees and takes on their own voice rather than the overall company’s. For example, if the tone of the content that can be found on the company website dramatically varies from the tone of content that can be found on its social pages, there is a good chance that the company voice is really just the voices of various employees. This will once again make it hard for people to identify your company based on the voice of the content since there will be no consistency throughout the company’s various online channels.

Finding Yourself
There is a common cliche that you have to learn to love yourself before you can learn to let others love you. Well, a similar thing can be said for the world of business and finding a company voice. There is no way that a company can share a voice with the public if they do not first sit down amongst themselves, and figure out exactly what their voice is.

This process starts with an internal reflection of what makes your company unique and embracing that fact to establish a company voice. This goes far beyond how your company’s products are different from your competitor’s products. It should include things like what is different about the office culture that you have created at your company, how your employees are unique, and how your business practices set you apart. All of these things are part of who your company is and should, therefore, be an integral part of your company’s voice.

When completing this evaluation of your company, it is important to come away with things that are not cliche. After all, this is not someone interviewing for a job, it is a company attempting to establish its unique voice. So it is wise to try and stay away from typical descriptors such as honest, dependable, cutting edge, and revolutionary. Ironically, using these words is anything but cutting edge, since a large portion of businesses will integrate this as part of their voice.

Once your company has completed this exercise and has come away with several important indicators of what makes you unique, it is essential that you write these down and keep them handy for future use. After all, in most companies, the communications will be handled by a designated communications worker, which is likely to see some turnover throughout the years.

As new employees or multiple employees become tasked with handling certain sections of corporate communication, they need to have the tools necessary to be able to display a consistent voice across all platforms. So by having a physical, or rather digital, copy of this voice style guide, these employees can work to make sure that what they are writing up falls in line with the company voice.

Shout It From the RooftopsShare Your Company Voice Everywhere
Once a company has a concrete idea of what they want their voice to be, it is time to start shouting it from the rooftops so that the public can be introduced to their new voice. Companies should then begin including this voice in everything — the about page on their website, product descriptions, email subscription confirmation messages, voicemail greetings, face to face communication, and more.

Nothing is too small to fall in line with the company voice, since anything that does not match up with this established voice can be confusing to customers. If you need help establishing your voice and aligning it with your brand, Glint is here to help. For more information, email us at agency@glintadv.com or give us a call at 817-616-0320.

The Evolution of Consumer Purchase Behavior

Shopping_Behaviors

Way back in the year 2010, smartphones had only just started gaining popularity, and the first tablets were being unveiled. The stores that were scattered all across the country were regularly filled with motivated shoppers looking to spend some of their hard earned money. Nowadays, this is a sight that is usually only seen during special events like Black Friday with more and more purchases being made without ever stepping foot inside of a retail store.

While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is worth taking a look at how consumer purchase behavior has shifted over the last decade.

How Consumers Found Companies a Decade Ago
There were a couple of valuable marketing insights known as the first moment of truth and the second moment of truth. These terms were first coined by P&G almost 15 years ago and were groundbreaking concepts when they first emerged. They referred to the process in which a consumer forms opinions regarding which companies they will develop loyalty towards.

In the world of business, brand loyalty is everything and accounts for an average of 65% of the business that a company gets. Therefore, if a company is not able to develop a close enough link to its customers, then its amount of repeat business will sharply decline.

This first moment of truth occurred when a consumer first encounters a product on a store shelf. They would use their senses to analyze the product and then decide whether or not to purchase it. Once they purchased it and brought it home, they would arrive at the second moment of truth which was determined when the consumer used the product and evaluated its effectiveness.

These two moments of truth would combine to form an opinion of the product, and therefore the brand, in the mind of the consumer. They would then use this opinion to judge whether or not they would continue to use the company’s products or not. With the rise of digital technology, these moments of truth no longer exist in this order.

How Consumers Find Companies Today
Although the first and second moments of truth are still more or less relevant, there is now a moment that occurs before either of those begins. It is what Google deemed the zero moment of truth. Instead of the first experience that a consumer has with a product being when they engage with it in a store, it now starts by looking at a screen.

Mobile Shopping on Phone

It is estimated that about 81% of all purchases begin with the consumer doing an online search, which is the zero moment of truth. This means that consumers are researching a product before the retailer even knows they are in the market for it, and they have to evaluate it on a picture and information alone. However, convincing a consumer to consider a product based off of only a picture and some basic information is only a small part of the challenge. The bigger struggle is getting the consumer to engage further with the product your company is offering.

When a consumer does an online search, they are using keywords to try and come up with the results that best relate to what they are interested in. The search engine results page is then presented to them with a list of different companies. If someone’s company is near the bottom of that first page of results, or on another page entirely, then it is very unlikely that it will be considered by the consumer. So even before a company has to worry about winning over the loyalty of a consumer, they have to worry about getting in front of a consumer.

How Consumers Decide Which Company to Choose
As previously mentioned, the end goal of a company is to get the consumer to form loyalty to their brand. A significant component of developing loyalty is being able to trust the company. If a consumer feels like they cannot trust a company in any way, then chances are that they will never have loyalty towards them.

Trust is something that exists on a multitude of levels, so much so that even most consumers do not fully understand how they decide whether or not to trust a company. When it comes to doing anything that is at all risky, such as deciding which company to give their business to, consumers tend to rely more on their intuition than anything else. This can make it tricky for companies to figure out how to best display their website, products, and overall company image.

That does not mean that all hope is lost when it comes to knowing how to develop trust between the company and its consumers. It just means that it will likely require a bit of trial and error. Companies should be putting effort into the obvious factors, such as website security certification and detailed return policies, but they should also be paying attention to less obvious factors as well.

While we have all been told as kids not to judge a book by its cover, that is exactly what many consumers are doing. They took a look at a company’s website for a few seconds and might read a couple of lines of text but are mostly just taking in the aesthetics of it before clicking away. So while having descriptive company and product information is important, the font type, background color, and images used tend to be even more critical.

The Consumerism Power Shift
A decade ago, companies had a much stronger influence over whether or not consumers bought their products and services. Simply plastering their name and image everywhere was usually enough to get a lot of sales. However, in the age of digital technology, that power dynamic has shifted, and it is now in the hands of consumers. Showing up with a decent product is no longer enough to win over the hearts of consumers.

Companies now have to be active about engaging with consumers and finding out what it is that they want to see in a company and product. They should then do their best to reflect those desires in their operations. Consumers are also becoming more able to assess whether or not a company cares about its customers or what it is doing. Therefore, a company cannot be trying to fake passion because consumers will see right through that.

Overcoming this may require making changes to a company’s staff, culture, and brand that can be reinforced by the majority of employees portraying passion around what they do. When an employee is miserable at their job, then it is bound to show up in the work they do. Once that work is put out into a product for consumers to see, they will be able to sense that lack of passion, and it will hurt a company’s chances of getting the sale. So in many ways, earning the business of consumers starts with developing a healthy workplace where employees are happy and have a passion for what they do.

The world of consumerism is an ever-changing one, and just like it has changed over the last decade, it will continue to do so in years to come. If you have questions or need help positioning your product or business, please contact Glint by emailing us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.