Category Archives: Traditional Advertising

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.

Why Brand Personality Matters

Brand Personality SocksEvery brand, whether big or small, has the opportunity to create a brand personality. A companies personality is much different from the personality of the CEO or people who work for the company. It is a tone of character and values that allows consumers to connect more strongly with the brand. 

Establishing and maintaining a brand personality can deliver many significant benefits. Here are a few of the main reasons why every company should put thought and effort into developing and maintaining its unique brand personality. 

It Helps to Form Emotional Attachments In Consumers
When it comes to shopping for any product, the deciding factor, for most people, is emotions – whether they know it or not. Many people might think that the qualities and reviews of the product would be the most important aspect of the purchasing process. However, studies have shown that as much as 95% of all purchasing decisions are decided through subconscious aspects. That means there are feelings that even the consumer themselves are not aware of that have an overwhelming influence on which products they buy and which ones they do not. 

A big part of helping to form emotional attachments is injecting specific values and beliefs into the brand personality. Since a human personality requires certain morals and beliefs to flush it out fully, a brand personality requires the same thing. However, it is not quite the same thing. Companies, especially large ones, are often seen as being more of an idea than an actual person. Therefore, they must be careful about how they express their opinions on sensitive topics. Thus, the values that a brand has are usually much more general, such as valuing family, low prices, and excellent customer service. 

Repeatedly reinforcing these values establishes the brand’s personality. These values will have a massive impact on how consumers view the company. After all, 64% of all consumers form relationships with specific brands due to having shared values with one another. Once this emotional attachment is created, it becomes much easier for a business to connect with its customer base. 

It Allows Brands to Stand Out In a Crowd
One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is trying to stand out from their competitors. With so many companies emerging in recent years that offer similar lines of products and services, it can be challenging to devise ways of distinguishing themselves from one another.

For example, one shoe company could develop a brand personality centered around being casual and carefree, which may appeal to younger consumers. A similar shoe company may develop a personality of elegant fashion, which will appeal to a completely different set of consumers. Contrasting approaches, such as these, results in far less direct competition and can help each company find success much easier. 

Contrasting personalities become extremely important when there’s a vast number of companies promoting similar types of products or services. When this happens, the businesses that set themselves apart with their personality will help themselves stand out.

Standing out with personality will help consumers take notice of the brand and be aware of it, and ultimately help create sales with their products. In today’s world of consumerism, name recognition is truly half the battle, with 89% of marketers reporting brand awareness as their biggest goal.

It Allows Brands to Portray Their Marketing Message Easily
Every company should have a specific message that they are Paper Cutoutscontinually portraying to their consumers. These messages usually consist of the unique benefits of their products or the type of consumer that they want using their products. For example, Crayola has a consistent message that their products are meant to fulfill childhood wonderment and that they value family togetherness over everything else. 

Having this consistent marketing message is important since it takes five to seven impressions before a consumer develops any brand awareness. By having a consistent brand personality and a unique marketing message, you can more easily connect with new consumers. Constant repetition and exposure with both marketing materials, as well as the general brand personality, will be twice as effective at making people aware of a brand’s existence and values. 

How to Pick the Perfect Brand Personality
There are many different types of personalities that brands can adopt. Which one they choose depends entirely on their leadership. However, this mustn’t be a decision that is made lightly since a brand personality is incredibly hard to change once it has been established. 

One of the most significant determinants that should affect the type of personality that a brand goes for is the type of product that they are offering. For example, a company that sells high-end and expensive jewelry should probably not have a casual and laid back personality. There are roughly five personality categories that brands tend to fall in.

The first one is a personality of kindness and trustworthiness. By having this type of brand personality, a company can portray an aura of sincerity, which is something that many people find appealing. Moreover, 94% of all consumers are more likely to develop a close relationship with a brand if they feel they are transparent and honest.

The next category of brand personality is one of excitement that involves feelings of youthfulness and being carefree. The third type is more of a rugged character, which commonly reflects athletic and outdoorsy traits. Some brands can also choose to have a confident personality, which promotes a feeling of success, leadership, and being influential. The final type of brand personality is one of sophistication and desirability. Brands achieve this by involving elegance, exclusivity, and high prices into their personality. 

A big part of developing and promoting a brand personality comes from the types of advertising that a company creates. To get help building the best advertisements for your business, contact Glint Advertising today at agency@glintadv.com or call 817-616-0320. 

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.

How to Create an Employee Spotlight for Your Marketing

When it comes to advertising, one of the most common complaints customers have is that marketing campaigns and materials aren’t personal enough. The ultimate goal of marketing is to entice a customer to make a purchase or some other form of conversion. However, no customer wants to feel like they are being treated like a statistic rather than a human being, which can happen with poor marketing campaigns.

Even if we remove the emotional aspect, there is a potent argument for implementing a human element in marketing. Different demographics of potential customers all have different needs and concerns when it comes to what business they choose to patronize. Successful marketing shows that you are thinking of the people and also thinking about the issues. This approach adds a layer of authority to your product or service.

With all of this said, there are a lot of different elements that you can employ to build a personal connection. Perhaps one of the strongest, though, is using a person.

An employee profile or spotlight is a compelling piece of marketing that uses a single person’s accomplishments, personality, or background to help establish credibility for the business. However, there are some best practices you need to implement to use this effectively. Here are some that you need to consider.

Who Should Consider an Employee Spotlight for Marketing
You’ve probably seen some examples of employee marketing, although chances are it’s not about a typical employee. Major companies use CEO branding in one way, shape, or form, whether it’s traditional marketing, like a commercial that tells the story of how their CEO got to their position, or a digital tactic, like using social media to share an article relevant to their audience.

Some companies even take this to the next level by writing an interview article with a CEO as a form of thought marketing. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking this is the only option you have out there.

Let’s start with the example of a medical group. The group may have several different doctors on board, with a clear business goal of serving as many patients as possible. However, if you were to flip things to the patient’s perspective, the goal becomes to find a practice with traits like:

  • Experience in the field;
  • A caring bedside manner;
  • An efficiently run office;
  • Compliance with all medical standards;
  • Coverage by their insurance.

In a way, the doctor (and their skills) is the product, which makes a medical group the perfect fit for an employee profile. By focusing on a specific doctor at the practice in their marketing and branding, the practice can take their experiences and accomplishments and co-brand it with the practice itself. In addition, marketing can answer some of the critical questions that any prospective patient might have, like how experienced the doctors are, and so on.

Medical groups are far from the only business models that benefit from this type of marketing. To illustrate this point, take a look at an advertisement for real estate in your area when you get a chance. The most prominent things you will see in the ads are the for-sale properties and the agents. Again, this is because consumers place a premium on trustworthy and skilled agents when deciding whom to partner with when selling their home or buying one. Other business fields also operate under the same principle, some of which include:

  • Law firms;
  • Wealth management firms;
  • Tax professionals;
  • Sports management.

In general, the profiled employee is someone prominent. However, there are other options here. For example, some companies in niches with bad press may want to project a positive image of themselves through marketing. By profiling an employee who may be lower on the chain of command, they have the chance to portray their company as a good place to work and buy from.

A company specializing in making furniture may share a profile of someone working in their factory, showing things like the fact they are well-paid, have a future with the company, and are happy with their job. Every employee has an impact on your company’s brand identity Crafting a spotlight lets you take control of it.

Crafting an Effective Employee Spotlight
At this point, we can move on from the theory behind employee spotlights to the mechanics of creating one. There are four main steps that your marketing team will need to consider, and they are as follows.

Choosing a Purpose
We’ve been talking about the different reasons why a company may opt to market themselves with an employee spotlight, but which of those reasons applies to your situation? For example, is your goal to grow credibility with your audience because you are new, or are you a larger company that wants to maintain a positive connection with long-time customers? Knowing this will affect the tone and format of your spotlight.

Choosing an Employee
In some instances, like in law firms, selecting the employee to feature is a no-brainer. In other cases, though, you may need to choose from a pool of handpicked employees, and you want to select wisely.

While you can’t possibly forecast the future, ideally, you want someone committed to the company for the long haul and has an established social media presence they are willing to maintain. The reason for the latter is that if people see your marketing materials, want to look up the person, and have difficulty finding them, it can cast a negative image on the business.

Crafting a Narrative
Creating a narrative is essentially the culmination of everything we’ve talked about until this point. What is the customer dilemma you are trying to solve? How does your product or service solve it? What are your company’s brand values?

The narrative is how you weave all this together in your advertising. Going back to our doctor example, you may provide a bulleted list showing how long the doctor has been practicing medicine, as well as a list of relevant awards. This approach instantly solves the customer’s concern of finding a doctor who is credible in their field.

Creating the Materials
One final thing you need to decide on is the method you will use to present your employee spotlight. For example, a digital ad can be relatively inexpensive and may attract a decent amount of traffic, but communicating your narrative in a limited space may prove difficult unless you plan with this in mind.

Whether using traditional marketing like a commercial or radio ad or content marketing through an article or podcast, you want to know the formats your audience is likely to use to ensure your spotlight has the maximum relevant reach.

Getting Outside Help With Your Employee Spotlight
By taking the time to use an employee or employees as part of your marketing campaign, it may be tempting to try and put other elements of said campaign in-house as well. For example, maybe you think that you can have someone in your company write up the copy or design the visual materials for your marketing as opposed to using outside help. On paper, some companies do this to save money, but that’s not always worth it.
All the tips we mentioned that go into crafting a strong employee spotlight are best accomplished when working with a skilled set of marketing professionals. Depending on the size of your business, you may not have the expertise or means to reach that level with your existing staff. The good news is that you can still make this happen with the knowledge of a skilled marketing agency. Experience and knowledge is what makes Glint Advertising a perfect match for your marketing. We can help you create an employee profile that mirrors your business objectives while establishing a personal connection. Reach out to us for a strategy session today.