Are TV Commercials Still Effective?

TV ads. I have a love/hate relationship here. Sure, they can be hilarious as well as emotional, but they can also be interrupting and annoying at times. With that said, I feel I have a pretty unique perspective about this beast. You see, I grew up around advertising. No, I don’t mean growing up watching TV spots like “where’s the beef” or “time to make the donuts” – I mean I grew up in an ad agency. My parents ran a successful Advertising & Public Relations firm in Atlanta for almost 30 years. I can remember the excitement as a kid running around the crazy environment of their office. Print ads being pieced together. Storyboards being drawn. Ideas all over the walls. And of course, funny, quirky people that all gave me different nicknames. It was pretty cool thing to witness at a young age – especially since my folks were the bosses. 🙂

Nowadays, I also work in “the biz” – so to speak. I don’t own a typical or traditional ad agency, but since we write and produce TV spots (and other forms of video content), I figured I’d talk about commercials for a second.

Commercials are expensive. As you know, commercials not only take a ton of time and money to produce, they can take a huge amount of dollars to air on TV. So, with companies spending anywhere from $100k to over a million to advertise their product, my question is, “Is it working?” I mean, are TV spots still effective like they used to be in the world we live in today? My answer is…maybe.

With YouTube still holding the #2 spot for web searches, there’s no doubt that people are watching online videos more and more every day, which would make me believe that TV is almost out the door. But believe it or not according to MarketingCharts.com, the best way for advertisers to reach Baby Boomers is still TELEVISION. In fact TV ranks at 59% of total media platforms like; social, print, digital, etc. for the Boomers. I believe that my generation, Gen X, is probably still influenced by TV as well, as the average adult ages 35 and up watches an average of 33 hours of television a week.

Now, for sheer entertainment, maybe TV commercials are effective to the newer generations, but I think advertisers need to realize that if they’re going to make the most out of their television advertising bucks, they need to rethink the market that they are targeting and really consider the data out there. And from what I’ve seen, most commercials these days are not speaking to their most valuable demographic. Just saying.

If you’re a brand seeking to build awareness that creates action through video content, we’d love the opportunity to talk with you.

What’s Under the Hood?

I watched/listened to a video blog this morning that had such a great and simple analogy, I just had to write about it. The guy that does the vlog is in the same business as us and I enjoy listening to his subject matters and experiences because mine are so similar. Anyway, just to setup the scene, he did his vlog while he was working or I should say restoring a vintage car. He said that he had been restoring that old car for quite a while and has been so focused on things like the grill and the chrome around the headlights, but he hasn’t put much time or effort into the engine. That’s kinda funny right? I mean you can make the car look pretty and sparkle, but if it doesn’t run, what good is it?

Which leads me to my next point (his next point). In business, or as a business owner, we all want our stuff to look really, good right? I mean our brand, collateral pieces, website, videos, social media, etc. But what’s driving your business? Sure, your website may get you some business, but let’s be honest without SALES your dead in the water or in this case sitting in the garage. If we’re not putting forth most of our efforts into what’s under the hood and keep this thing moving, we’re out of business! So why do we do this? What makes us want to spend so much time on the stuff that doesn’t matter that much? Here’s a quick list of perhaps the reasons:

  1. It’s Fun(ner). It’s more fun to work on stuff for yourself than spending time trying to find business. With every hour you spend on yourself you can be reaching out to a handful of folks via email, LinkedIn, or…that’s right…phone call. Don’t let fear or laziness keep you from success!
  2. It’s Easier. It’s easier, when you think it’s fun. But hey, being in business ain’t easy! Again, don’t be lazy and don’t fall into this trap.
  3. You feel productive. Sure, you have to have a website. I know. And of course when you’re working on some that you have to have you feel productive and satisfied at the end of a days labor. But try this – Try just getting something up and out there and know that you can tweak it along the way. Or dedicate 10-20% of your day to your stuff and the other 80% to reaching out or meeting people.

Look, we’ve all been there. Even my dad would make fun of me because we changed our website at least 3 times in the first year in a half of being in business! He would say, “It’s just fun to work on your own stuff.” He was right! But I’m telling you, I’m telling you…you MUST have sales if you’re going to keep your business running and moving forward. So, take a moment today, look how pretty everything looks or could look, and then start working on your engine!

 

Back to School

Unfortunately, I’m not going to talk today about the 1980’s comedy classic with Rodney Dangerfield. I know, I know… you’re disappointed. (The Triple Lindy!) BUT can you believe that it’s that time of year again?! If you’re like me and have little ones, then you know this can be a happy/sad time. Happy to get them out of the house (haha) but sad because Summer is winding down and it just means they’re (we’re) getting older.

For me, knowing that Fall is coming is always exciting! I feel like it’s my 2nd New Years in some respects. A time to start over. A time to evaluate my business. It’s also a great time to talk to businesses about helping their business because many companies start their planning for the following year around this time.

Just like going back to school, we all need to prepare and have everything in place for the upcoming year. Whether you’re planning for January or you’re hoping to be in someone’s plan come January. So how do you as a service provider become apart of that plan?

Well, we’ve heard timing is everything. I think typically when we here that  expression we think about being at the right place, at the right time. But it’s so much more than that. Timing is patience, but timing is also not waiting. It’s a strange thing this “time.” For example, we just finished a major video campaign that took almost a year to get started on. You say “a year? That’s seems like forever.” Maybe, but here again it wouldn’t of happened if we hadn’t gone ahead and reached out at the right time, and also if we hadn’t been patient with the company as they put their internal pieces into place. You see our initial “cold email” (I hate this term) or let’s say “reach out” was in September. Then our Discovery call was in December. After that our first face to face meeting was in mid February. After that more emails and phone calls as the client continued to work out their plan for the upcoming year. Then finally in May we were asked to bring something to the table. This gave us a month and in June we pitched the video campaign to the client and was well received! Yay! After this there was more time involved with figuring out which major brand (that they sold) was going to be involved with the campaign. After this decision was made, we had to pitch the campaign to that major brand. Needless to say they loved the idea and we started the pre-production process that coming December…A year after our first Discovery Call! Yep a Year.

Was it worth the wait? Well, without getting into too much detail, the commercial spot we produced that kicked off the campaign won us an award and gave us an opening into an industry we hadn’t worked in before. For me, anytime I’m involved with something I love, something I’m good at, and something that’s bigger than me (or us) is worth the wait. When you can impact others lives and well as help someone’s business grow, that’s always worth the wait.

So, what will you be doing in this back to school season? Reaching out to potentials with expectations? Preparing for the wait? I hope both.

 

Why Newness Creates Momentum

Years ago I was at a conference where Andy Stanley was speaking. Most people in my neck of the woods know who Andy is, but in case you don’t, he’s the lead pastor of North Point Community Church and speaks a ton on leadership. His whole message, in this particular session, was about how NEWNESS spawns MOMENTUM. At the time, I thought it was a pretty good talk and all. I mean I enjoyed how he communicated and I left with feeling like I learned something that could be applied at our church plant. Now years later, I came across the same talk on YouTube and let me tell you… it kind of blew my mind. First off, I’m a business owner of 5 years now. So, this message, although he was speaking mainly to church leaders, had a ton of validity and was very applicable to my own business.

MOMENTUM has many synonyms. Energy, Force, Power, Strength, Thrust, Speed, Velocity just to name a few. Not only are most of these positive words, but Andy gives momentum this  definition: “Forward motion fueled by a series of wins.” I really love that.

So, how do we get started into this “series of wins?” In the area of business, it may sound simple but create something NEW. Andy goes on to say, “Momentum is never triggered by tweaking something old, it’s triggered by introducing something new. New, Improved, Improving (He states throughout his message) BUT It must be a noticeable improvement over the old.” He states, “New does not guarantee sustained momentum but it is essential to trigger it.”

Have you ever noticed why so many brands create new products and packaging with “New Formula” or “New and improved ___” on it. It’s great marketing that gets the consumer to try their new product(s). They want you to know “We’ve been working on it to make it better!” or “We’re so committed to making sure that you will keep coming back to buy our products, we are every once in a while going to add products or change it up and make it better.”

So what’s the point? The point is, if your organization is lacking momentum and you can’t figure out why, do something NEW and DRASTICALLY different. Even if it’s you going away for a while and being a little silent and then reintroducing yourself to the world as better or newer…do it! What do you have to lose?….except your momentum!

Budget Busting

Do you have a hard time getting a budget from potential clients? It just might be the most frustrating part of business no matter what industry you work in. Let me give you an example of a typical “prospect” phone call:

Caller: “Hi! We’ve got a brand new product we want to bring to the market place and we need all sorts of marketing to get this thing off the ground!”

You: “Great! What are your needs?”

Caller: “Well, first we need to get some branding done with a logo. Then we need to create the packaging for the product. We’ll definitely need to get some product photography taken for the website and collateral pieces. OH! And we’d love to shoot a video for the launch of the product! Can you help?!”

You: “ Of course we can! What kind of budget do you have?”

Silence for a few seconds.

Caller: “Well…We’re not sure at this point. We don’t want to break the bank because we’re just starting out, but we have some funding. Can you send us a quote?”

You: “Sure thing. I’ll get you one by the end of the day.”

Caller: “Great thanks! I look forward to it!”

You send quote as promised and 5 days go by and you haven’t heard back. So you email or call the Prospect. 

You: “Hey there Mr. Prospect, I just wanted to reach out because I haven’t heard from you since I sent you the quote.”

Caller: “Yeah, that was a lot more than we wanted to spend, but thanks anyways!”

Click…

Ouch. You’ve just spent probably a couple of hours of time, that you’ll never get back – talking on the phone doing “discovery”, and then budgeting… for nothing. Why? All because the prospect wouldn’t give you a number they were comfortable being in. Let me just say, IT SHOULDN’T BE THIS WAY. Time is way too precious! So let me offer a quick piece of advice that someone once gave me that they called “Budget Busting.”

Let’s have a “redo” of the previous fake call. 🙂

Caller: “Hi! We’ve got a brand new product we want to bring to the market place and we need all sorts of marketing to get this thing off the ground!”

You: “Great! What are your needs?”

Caller: “Well, first we need to get some branding with a logo. Then create the packaging for the product. We’ll definitely need to get some product photography taken for the website and collateral. OH! And we’d love to shoot a video for the launch of the product! Can you help?!”

You: “ Of course we can! What kind of budget did you have in mind? Because there’s all sorts of very cool things we can do to get you to your goals.”

Caller: “Oh really? Well, we’re really not sure, but we have some financial backing.”

You: “Ok, so are you thinking like a couple of hundred thousand dollars, because we could really go BIG with a budget like that.”

Caller: “Oh gosh no!”

You: “Haha…Just kidding! No, seriously is it around $100,000, because we’ve done some pretty outstanding product launches for this budget range.”

Caller: “No that’s way too much”

You: “Oh ok, are you more around $50-75,000 range? This is still a very good budget for a project like yours…

Caller: (interrupts) “We’re thinking around $30,000 for the whole thing.

Ding, Ding!

You: “Ok, great! Now let me tell you what amazing things we can do for you with that budget.”

Do you get it? Everyone has a budget in mind. No matter what they say. 

*Also, if there’s a particular service you sell like web design for example, tell them right off the bat “Our website’s start at $_____.00” That way you can filter out anyone that can’t afford your service(s). You don’t waste their time nor yours.

So, next time you’re trying to size up a potential client, follow this simple formula called “Budget Busting.” It may take some practice, but once you get it….you’ll get them!

Content Marketing

Content Marketing
Content Marketing

The Content Marketing Institute defines Content marketing as the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. This greatly differs from conventional “interruption marketing” where advertising interrupts the audiences viewing or reading experience.

Atlanta Idea Studio can work with you on a content marketing strategy and plan, as well as assist with carrying out the content creation. Get in touch with us to find out more. But have no worries, we’re very gentle when we bite.

Ready for a new look?

We all grew up being told “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But let’s be honest…everybody does. I’ll be the first to tell you whether I’m looking at a book cover, wine label, or protein shake bottle, my eye tends to go towards the things that are original and exciting which then makes my brain say “Why don’t you give that a try!” Nothing could be truer when it comes to your company’s brand. If you think I’m wrong, stop yourself next time you’re buying something new and ask yourself, “Why am I going with this brand and not that one?” You may be surprised.

When it comes to your company’s identity, your brand (or in this case I should say your “Mark”) should have the same effect on people. The logo/mark might just be a part of the brand BUT it’s a HUGE part. Maybe you’re saying to yourself “That kind of thing doesn’t matter, because we get the job done and our clients are happy!” This could be true, however think about all the new customers or clients you could be missing out on because as soon as they go to your website they think “Did I just travel back to 1995?” People want to work with people they like, but also people that seem current with the trends. Co-founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Whoa. So, how do you feel about your brand now? If your brand is strong, then great! Stick with your guns – especially with the customer experience part of the brand. But as we all get older…we age whether we like it or not. Same goes with your logo.

So, is the face of your brand old and outdated? Do you think it’s time for a facelift? If you’re interested in knowing how to get started with giving your logo a new look, connect with me via email at todd@atlantaideastudio.com and I’ll be glad to show you our process of renewing your brand with a fresh new face. Remember newness spawns momentum, and that might be just the right ingredient to get those people in the room excited about working with you!

Always Be Testing

split testing

A component of your business that is often overlooked is optimization. Just what is optimization? I think of it as part marketing, part design and part science. Typically, we use our first best guess to create. This goes for webpages, infographics, videos, product packaging – the list goes on. Our first best guess is based upon the due diligence that is conducted during the preproduction period of our projects. This may involve elements from a situational awareness profile, client surveys, cold hard data as well as our gumption.

Once a project has been launched we immediately begin compiling data. This can be measured through various analytics software, customer comments, and of course performance. A mistake that is made all too often is stopping here. We work to educate our clients about this being the beginning, not the end.

By testing various elements and monitoring performance, then making appropriate modifications based upon data, we are successfully split testing. Split testing can be a powerful mechanism to increase leads,sales and the overall effectiveness of your communication.

If you’d be interested in learning more about improving any of your digital assets, we’d be glad to discuss. Operators are standing by…unless they’re sleeping.

Selling through Social Media

Selling on social media
Video can be an incredible delivery mechanism for selling on social media

You know you need to be visible on social media. You know you need video content. What you don’t know is how does all this help you sell your product or service?

Reaching your demographic has never been easier. The different social networks give you the ability to key in on gender, age range, interests, location, etc. Educating through social media has proven a powerful sales tool. Creating a compelling video to communicate this message has shown to be the preferred choice by social media audiences. But just how do you go about putting all of this together?

Ooh, ooh, I know this one…

We’re able to offer social sales video marketing packages. This is a turn-key marketing solution revolving around a production that is targeted directly to your demographic and produced to be delivered through social media. To discuss your project, just give us a ping, ring or ding.

Where to Begin with Internet Marketing

where to begin with internet marketing

Are you hoping to start some internet marketing initiatives but unsure where to start? You’re not alone. Frequently, we receive inquiries from companies expressing an interest in online marketing but have no idea where to begin. I jokingly advise to start from the beginning. Ha ha.

Sometimes you’re too close to your business. You are unable to see your company or brand the way others may. Working with a marketing consultant can help you see through other perspectives. We like to start by identifying your strengths. What does your company do really well? It’s easiest to build some momentum by playing up your strengths. Next we like to identify a demographic to target. Gender, age range, geographic location, hobbies, etc. are all excellent demographics to notate. Next we discuss the media. This is determined by considering your media budget, type of people we are targeting and your product or service. Video can be great at explaining your product or service as well as allowing viewers to “feel” your brand, however, you may only have a budget for a 1-page website and custom graphics to use on social media for boosting and promoting.

Finally we determine the outreach channels. With social media, it’s never been easier to reach your exact target audience. Also what’s great about paid advertising on social media is with many packages you only pay for the advertising when someone clicks on your ad to learn more!

By starting small and working to build momentum you can get with the times and use the internet to get new business. Contact Atlanta Idea Studio if you’re stuck or would like to discuss media production or advertising options.