3 Different Examples of Marketing ROI

For many Houston businesses, the purpose and goal of any successful marketing endeavor is to have measurable ROI. But, there’s another side to marketing that often gets ignored in this great push for everything to be about dollar and cents – creating lasting impressions, getting people through the door, getting the phone to ring, driving traffic to your company blog, or making sure people know your brand’s name and message.

A powerful marketing message can give lasting impressions, staying in people’s psyche for months (or even years) to come. Below are some examples we can learn from:

1. Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches Campaign

A really great example of the type of impression a marketing campaign can leave is the Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign, which had a recent ad in 2013 via a series of YouTube videos. The video consisted of several women being asked to describe themselves while an FBI forensic artist used these descriptors to draw them (individually) from behind a divider. These women were also paired with eachother and asked to get acquainted. They were then asked to describe their other woman for the artist – and another drawing was created for each person. Finally, each woman took a look at the images – one image based on their own description, and the other image based on another woman’s perception. The women were taken aback by the differences in how they described themselves versus how others perceived them.

The goal of this campaign wasn’t to sell Dove, or even to promote Dove’s numerous products – it was simply to address an issue that Dove saw in its own demographic while focusing on its core message: beauty and women.

2. The Walking Dead Promotion in South Africa

While lesser known, another great example took place in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2011. It was a marketing attempt to get more people interested in watching the second season of the wildly popular The Walking Dead. During the trailer for a romantic comedy, an actor dressed up in zombie make-up was sent into the theater as the trailer played. Then toward the end, the lead actress pulled out her gun, effectively “killing” the zombie (from the movie screen!) before rolling a promo for the next season.

3. Nonprofit Builds Awareness

Another interactive campaign took place in Vancouver in 2008, when Rethink Communications created an ad for Offsetters, a nonprofit group that encourages people to reduce their carbon emissions. Its ad consisted of hanging life rafts throughout the city alongside office buildings with the words “Stop Global Warming” underneath. Additionally, lifeguards were positioned around the city and park benches equipped with life jackets to further illustrate what would happen if people didn’t work harder to prevent global warming.

Understanding How to Measure Your Marketing ROI

Each of these marketing campaigns are extraordinarily different – from nonprofits to television shows – but they each had a core concept: getting their message out, getting people to interact with their message in a very non-traditional way. Each also used a different medium that you wouldn’t normally expect in a way that is extremely memorable.

Successful marketing doesn’t have to be – and isn’t always – about a direct sale; not right away at least. In fact, marketing ROI comes in many forms. Your first goal should be to get your audience engaged. Get them inspired by a unique approach to advertising and messaging that breaks through the clutter. Show them that you’re keen on what matters to them. Build that bond. Create a lasting impression and be patient for what’s to come as a result: revenue.

Know the Importance of Online Directories for Your Houston Business

ask_for_large_orders._meaningful_solutions_require_sizeable_investments._In our increasingly digital world, we continue to see shifts in consumer behavior.Long gone are the days when we pull out the Yellow Pages to find the address of a business. Instead, the Internet makes this process much more automatic. After typing in a few keywords such as “Houston auto repair shop,” we are shown thousands of search results all customized to our query and geographic location.

Search engines are just the starting point for information on your business’s services. As consumers move away from search results, many of them end up on local directory sites such as Yelp, Bing, Google+ and Yahoo Local. Not to mention these types of sites are highly optimized and oftentimes populate the top spots in organic search results.

These directories play a critical role in your business’s online presence. It’s not just important to have your business listed on these sites, but also to have your business listedconsistently across each site.

Read below to find out how submission to online local directories can benefit your Houston business.

1. Increase organic rankings in local search.

According to Moz.com in January 2014, consistent business information across local directory sites made up approximately 15% of the local search algorithm. With all these new back links to your website, Google will deem your website more authoritative and in turn your page rankings will increase.

2. Keep business information updated and accurate.

We’ve all had this happen before…. You look up an address online, put it in your GPS, and spend 15 minutes driving three miles in Houston traffic only to find out that the business has moved. As a consumer, you know how frustrating this is. More times than not, you will find another business (your competitor?) with accurate directory listings that satisfies what you’re looking for. Don’t lose customers due to incorrect business information. That is a loss easily avoided.

3. Increase online visibility.

Your current and prospective customers are relying on these platforms to find your business information. Today’s consumers do not have the patience or time to scour the Internet to find your address or phone number. If your business is not easily found, it is likely they will turn to your competition.

4. Monitor your online reputation.

The Internet is the new first impression. Most directory sites have a place where consumers can write a review. Customers take advantage of this opportunity to share their experiences – both positive and negative. Also, today’s consumers do their homework before making purchase decisions and rely on these reviews to be informed. These directories are a great way to keep a pulse on what your customer’s are saying about you so that you can respond appropriately.

Despite all of these benefits, submission to online directories won’t break your budget. It’s one of the most cost-efficient ways to protect your business from your competition. Your business can afford these directories, but it can’t afford losing the business and trust of your prospective and current customers.

Bottom line is that today’s consumers expect everything to be convenient and automatic. If they can’t easily find your business information, they will lose patience and give their business to your competition. Help your current and prospective customers find you by claiming your business on online directories.

7 Ways to Ruin Your Next Radio Advertising Campaign

istock_000013168301_smallA great radio advertising campaign could quickly become ineffective if you don’t have a solid creative strategy and marketing message. Read below the seven things that could ruin a radio ad and make sure you’re not making these mistakes here in Houston!

1. Bells, Whistles and 5,000 Words

We’ve all heard that ads that employ fast-talkers to burn through pharmaceutical disclaimers in as little time as possible. We know it’s a legal requirement for some products, but all other radio marketing campaigns should not bear any resemblance to the super-fast talker.

Not only are they burning through so much material that it’s impossible to keep track of what’s going on, but it’s disjointed from the rest of the radio spot. You want a concise ad, without too many words or distractions, and a single, clear message for your audience.

2. I’m Interested, Now What?

You have a concise, clear ad that has piqued the interest of your potential clients, but do they know what to do next? If there’s no call to action, they will be left with a warm fuzzy feeling about your company, or aggravated that they have to figure out what their next steps should be. Spoon feed it to them, clearly.
Selling a new breakfast sandwich? Tell them exactly where, when and for how much.
Do you have the hottest new car off the line for sale? Tell your customers to stop by for a test drive, or to call and book an appointment.

3. Monotone Delivery

Monotone delivery falls flat over the radio, especially when all you have is sound to convey your message. Aim for some pep in your step and an engaging, dynamic voice. The voice on the radio is the driver of the message, so make sure that it’s stepping up to the task and selling your brand.
Keep it even more simple by asking (or paying) professional voice talent at the radio station to do the reads for you. They know how to do it and they do it well.

4. Bad Timing

It’s important to know when your target audience actually listens to the radio. Different radio stations have different demographics throughout the day. Here are some considerations:

  • If you want commuters, make sure the commuters that you want are hearing your advertisements and consider am or pm drive times.

  • If your audience is teenagers, radio spots during school hours are going to be money down the drain.

  • If you want to sell your lunch time takeout business with an immediate call to action, you need to be planting the seeds as people are getting hungry, mid to late morning and through to late lunch times.

  • For weekend activities, most of your bookings will come earlier in the week, so hit your target client during the week.

But also remember not to spread your message too thin. If you can find reasons to run during all dayparts, that’s great, but your budget might not allow for that. So, choose the best possible daypart(s) for your campaign and work on getting that frequency up.

5. The One and Done

When it comes to having a strong call to action, make sure you repeat tricky ones more than once. If you’re working to drive traffic to a website or to get a phone to ring… give the listener a chance to record and/or remember where they need to go.

6. Say the Exact Same Thing Over and Over

No matter how great your radio advertising creative is, after running the same commerical month after month, it can start to blend into the background. This is why freshening up your creative can be really beneficial even if you are pushing the same promotion, product, or service.

Also, depending on how high of a frequency you have in your campaign, it might even make sense to start with a couple different spots and rotate them evenly throughout your schedule.

7. Uh, Wait, How do I Spell That?

Proper spelling can be tricky to catch over the air and it gets even harder if words can be confused with other words or are hard to spell.

If you find yourself in a situation where your business name or website might be tricky to spell, consider getting a new URL to go with your campaign. You can do a redirect, a landing page, or even build a separate site that links back to your main site.

For instance, if you’re an interior design firm with a website address of mcleanandobriendesign.com, your listeners might find that hard to remember if your brand isn’t very recognizable. An option for this might be houtsonhomes.com or houstondesign.com and simply redirect that url to your actual website.

In Conclusion…

To make sure that your next Houston radio advertising campaign will be effective, follow these guidelines and don’t make these mistakes, and you’ll be much more likely to see a true return on your radio advertising investment.