Category : Advertising

outbound-v-inbound

Rocks – Paper – Scissors…Hammer – Magnet

Comparing inbound marketing to outbound marketing is like playing a game of rock-paper-scissors.  The age-old dilemma always begs: if rock crushes scissors, scissors cuts paper, and paper covers rock, then which is the strongest?

pickyourpoison

Our answer: none of them.  We prefer to use more advanced tools for marketing.

For much of the 20th century, outbound marketing practices have been the standard—cold calls, direct mail, print advertising, and email blasts.  Unfortunately, consumers have more ways of avoiding marketing messages than ever before, drastically changing outbound marketing trends.  Do you like watching TV ads? Do you enjoy receiving junk mail? While the answer might be no, we firmly believe that outbound marketing will never die.  Video didn’t kill the radio star, after all.

With outbound marketing methods already intact, a solid inbound marketing plan can offer any campaign a shoulder to lean on and create warmer leads.  Like a magnet, inbound methods take advantage of digital mediums such as blogs, YouTube videos, Search Engine Optimization, websites, email blasts and social media pages to attract a focused group of consumers based on their interests and internet consumption habits.  Such methods allow consumers to interact, ask questions, comment, like (or dislike), share and learn more about the product or service.  More importantly, digital marketing success can be quantified and measured, allowing marketers to understand what works, what doesn’t, and why.  Inbound marketing tactics foster relationships between a consumer and a brand, and according to the Corporate Executive Board, via inbound marketing, buyers come 57%-70% through the sales funnel before they contact the seller.

  executive board - inbound marketing

So, if inbound marketing is like a magnet, luring people in with the unstoppable force that is dynamic, relevant content; and outbound is like a hammer whose repetitive knocks might distract you at first, but are only the first part of something bigger; then Strategis has a clear advantage in the game.  Unlike a game of rock-paper-scissors where only one tactic wins, Strategis prefers to join forces, combining the hammer and the magnet, inbound and outbound, to create brands that are founded on trust, cooperation and integration.

 outboundinboundleaf1

advice for millennials

Dodge’s 100th Year Ad Offers Appropriate Advice for All Ages

In a world where Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest converge to share perfectly Photoshopped squares of beaches, sunsets and open fields with inspirational quotes superimposed on top; Dodge’s 2015 Challenger commercial comes as a refreshing change of pace.

The debut of the 2015 Dodge Charge, 2015 Dodge Challenger and the latest SRT Viper Package coincide with the brand’s 100th year, and the commercial definitely makes a case for the popular saying, “with age comes wisdom.”

To make its point, the commercial features a group of Centenarians (which shouldn’t be confused with Millennials—the number references can be a bit much), giving some solid advice they picked up during their 100 or so years on planet Earth: “live for now,” “there are miracles all around you,” “always tell the truth…” when, after a bout of devious (or was it pitying?) laughter, they start giving us the same type of advice that perhaps a high school football coach might give to his slacking players.  And solid advice it was, indeed.

Besides motivating us to “buck up” a bit, this ad got us thinking: who is the target audience of this advice, and more curiously, who is the target customer Dodge is trying to reach with this advertisement?

While the second portion of advice seemed all too reflective of what many feel about the Millennial generation, important statistics about car purchasing demographics remain.  In an article titled, Car buying demographics shift as baby boomers age, studies show that “the 55-to-64-year-old age group, the oldest of the boomers, has become the cohort most likely to buy a new car,” and that 79% of Millennials aged 20-24 had a driver’s license.

Senior adult on the beach with a restored 1967 convertible GTO

It is more than likely that this commercial was produced for the top car buyers in America, the oldest of the baby boomers, striking a solid balance between target marketing and mass marketing.  Finding a way to market to a large quantity of people of high quality consumers requires a solid understanding of both general and specific purchasing tendencies of your groups.  Strictly target marketing made for this particular demographic—the elder baby boomers—had the potential of pigeon-holing the entire campaign; and mass-marketing may have left much to be desired in terms of messaging, content and entertainment. However, a savvy advertising call resulted in a marketing message that can resonate across all age groups: be bold, be bad – it’s cool.

Mobile Marketing

2014: The Year of Mobile

Seeing how the mobile explosion will affect your marketing campaign and your business is not simply a matter of building a mobile-friendly website.  Rather, it is a question of understanding how this shift towards mobile communications ultimately affects every corner of business, marketing and consumption.   Marshall McLuhan once suggested that “the medium is the message,” that the characteristics of the medium used are just as important as the content delivered by the media.  When taking the characteristics of mobile devices—cell phones, tablets and the like—into consideration, we are faced with questions of “who?” “how?” and “where?”

cell phone marketingImagine a young twenty-something year old commuting to work in the morning.  She reads her e-mail while waiting for a coffee at Starbucks, which prompts her to click on a link indicating a sale for winter coats.  Her coffee comes; she stuffs her cell phone in her pocket and heads to work. During her lunch break, she logs on to her e-mail on her desktop computer where she then revisits the winter coat sale.  She clicks around, maybe even “favorites” a few items and logs off.  Later that night she logs back onto the site on her tablet, shares the link with her friend for approval and purchases a winter coat.

Thanks to mobile-optimized websites and responsive design, consumers are able to enjoy the convenience of their mobile devices without feeling hindered.  To the extent that an integrated marketing campaign aims to be consistent across all platforms, a mobile strategy as part of this plan should without a doubt be considered.  Both responsive design and mobile applications are ways to boost e-commerce for small businesses by allowing consumers to move seamlessly between devices and match and meet conversion goals.

local search by device

The growth of mobile users also has significant implications for search engines and local search results.  While on the go, the likelihood that a search inquiry for a local service or business will be on a smart phone or a tablet is high. Local businesses, small or not, looking for ways to incorporate an SEO strategy or a pay-per-click campaign into their marketing plan should undoubtedly infuse their ads with local name-dropping and data.

Unlike my father, who refers to Internet Explorer as the “internet folder” on his “screensaver”, Millennials—the generation of people born between the 1980s and early 2000s and on the verge of ruling the world—use mobiles to do more than search.  For Millennials, mobile platforms are a source of social interaction, a way to engage brands and boost sales.

MTV millennials

The growing popularity of mobile applications such as SnapChat and Instagram imply that image-based mobile experiences are thriving.  Pay attention to the way this consumer demographic behaves, for it will provide a light into the way images, words and products are shared, perceived and used.

Lastly, less is more.

“Excuse me?” you must be thinking, “they’re talking Integrated marketing plans, responsive designs, interactive mobile applications, local search content and mobile optimized and trying to tell me that less is more?”

We sure are.  Life is chaotic – why clutter it any more with flashy design and hard-to-use and inconsistent features?  Consumers are much more likely to return to a website, blog or even a store when the experience was positive.  Distracting visuals and over-wordy copy has no place on a mobile site and is more likely to leave a consumer frustrated.  Mobile optimization should offer easy to read and even easier to use experience that is only enhanced by a simple design.

Your mobile optimization speaks about your brand – if you don’t provide mobile access/support/optimization, what does it say about your brand?  If you are interested in mobile marketing and optimization services, contact Strategis today!

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad, Twitter Spoilers & What It Means For Advertisers

Are Breaking Bad fans really paying attention to those TV ads? Well the companies fighting for that spot sure hope so! Some of the largest brands in the US are seeking a 30 second spot on Breaking Bad; and that may cost them up to $300,000. The advertisement cost is almost double that of ABC’s Revenge where a 30 second slot only costs $155,501. Last year, AMC asked for $375,000 for a 30 second slot on Walking Dead. With only the season finale left of the season, will the last minute spot price beat out the Walking Dead?

While companies are focused on fighting for these commercial advertising spots on primetime television; what are viewers really up to during this time? Twitter has already entered the television world through hashtags tracking trends. Have you ever seen them on season finales and premieres? Well this new trend is good news for TV broadcasters and advertisers. Tweets are increasing viewership and program ratings. There is an inherent pressure to watch in real time – if you don’t, you’ll know the outcome before you get a chance to watch your show. This was recently confirmed in a study from Nielsen. The study showed that more than half of viewers are involved in social media during program time and about one fifth of those viewers were actively reading or discussing the program online.

Twitter & TV

Tweeting about your favorite shows gives the viewer the chance to interact with others discussing the talent on reality shows like Dancing with the Stars, spoiler alerts and all those unexpected twists! Some companies are being threatened with the pressure to keep up as spoilers are released and fans are tweeting while the show is airing. The benefits of forming a partnership could help these broadcast companies in the long run.

Twitter is stepping deeper into the television industry with its advertisement product Amplify. A new partnership with CBS brands has recently formed. Twitter users will now have instant replays of 42 different CBS shows with 5 to 10 second ads. Twitter fans can retweet summaries and videos hopefully reaching out to bring in other viewers.

Twitter is changing the way viewers respond to television every day. While the broadcast companies are benefiting, they must better use it to their advantage.