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.

How Great Ideas Are Born

HorseCamelThere’s an old saying that goes, “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” This saying has been used for years in the advertising and marketing world. It holds a lot of truth though. I know, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve designed logos or been involved with the creation of a brand and the deciding factor on what the image is going to be is left up to a committee. You know how it goes, one person shows it to his wife or another to her husband for their opinion and then it starts the “let’s booger it” up syndrome. In the end more time, money, and an ugly horse is born!

Pride is a terrible thing. It ruins the best of everyone and everything. When someones pride gets in the way, it can suck the life completely out of something creative. Don’t get me wrong, you’re always going to need someone to be the decision maker, but the best leaders know that the way to be great is to put great people in charge of what they’re the best at. I hate to see leaders that just want to have their thumbprint on a project and end up making a poor decision. Remember it’s about what’s best.

When it comes to creating a great idea, whether that’s a logo, video, marketing campaign, or whatever, it has to start with a great team. So maybe I’m against a committee deciding the fate of how their brand will come to life, but I’m not against people working together to create the best “whatever” out there.

Sure, many great ideas have been given birth by one person, BUT I strongly believe we were designed as humans to work better together. This is why when you’re building a creative team, you put people together that are like-minded, ones that can work well together. The kind that will push each other to think deeper, and that will be honest and transparent with each another. Ones that enjoy being with one another and build off each others strengths.

I think we were pretty fortunate to find a good blend of creative thinkers and doers here at AIS. Sometimes my favorite part of the job is seeing where a script goes. You always need a starting point. You can talk about ideas all day, but to get anything done, someone has to put “the pen to paper” so to speak. In our case the magic happens once the initial idea is formulated into a script. We gather as a team to brainstorm and you’d be amazed at how putting the right people in a room together can cause such an amazing energy that one good idea turns into many great ones!

So how good is your idea? It could be just a few right moves away from being great!

Why Are Diamonds So Expensive? (hint: marketing)

marketing solutions
why are diamonds so expensive?

Did you know that contrary to popular belief, diamonds are not rare? Nor do they possess very much intrinsic value and aren’t considered a sound investment? Why then have men been spending 1-2 months salary on an engagement ring for nearly the last half dozen decades? One word: marketing.

In 1938 the company that would later be known as De Beers had to come up with a solution to a problem it was facing. The amount of people buying diamonds for engagements were diminishing. This was due in part to the Great Depression but also simply because many smart and prosperous women wanted to be different and preferred a different stone.

De Beers launched a campaign that would “forever” change our perception of a relatively worthless rock. Until the mid 1900’s, diamond engagement rings were a small and dying industry in America. The European market was in a similar downward trend, however, engagement rings consisted of about 75% of De Beers sales. The retailer hired a Madison Avenue advertising agency, N.W. Ayer, led by Gerold Lauck. After market research, it was determined that since over 90% of engagement rings were purchased by young men it would be crucial to inculcate in them the idea that diamonds were a gift of love: the larger and finer the diamond, the greater the expression of love. Similarly, young women had to be encouraged to view diamonds as an integral part of any romantic courtship.

So what did Lauck advise? He suggested that De Beers market diamonds as a status symbol:

”The substantial diamond gift can be made a more widely sought symbol of personal and family success — an expression of socio-economic achievement.”

“Promote the diamond as one material object which can reflect, in a very personal way, a man’s … success in life.”

After seeing success from the shift in how diamonds were being marketed, De Beers went on to suggest  a man should spend one month’s salary on a diamond ring. This worked so well they arbitrarily decided to increase to two month’s salary. Sound familiar?

Now that we see how a successful marketing campaign can pay dividends for a company even decades after its creation, isn’t it time to give your marketing efforts a closer look?

Note: Excerpts were taken from Rohin Dhar’s article “Diamonds are Bullshit“, have a read if you’d like to see more on diamond price fixing and such.

 

Cost versus Value

Video production cost and value
Video production cost and value can greatly vary depending on your goals

Often times when shopping, we place too much emphasis on cost and not enough on value. A friend once said “you never save money by saving money”. That phrase has always stuck with me.

When looking for professional services, the same rules apply. Many of our eventual clients reach out inquiring about a particular service and have a budget in mind. Once we discuss and identify the scope of the project, they are able to understand what all is involved to pull off a signature production or a brilliant marketing strategy. More times than not, the actual cost to pull meet the expectation is greater then originally anticipated. The reason is simple. Most of the time that goes in, occurs on the front end. For video work, this is in preproduction or discovery phase for marketing strategy. We like to pretend we’re the client and get a full understanding of what obstacles we’re up against.

When price shopping, always be sure to compare apples to apples. Make sure you set clear expectations and understand the process that is involved to deliver the solutions you desire. We have on more than one occasion been called in to clean up anthers mess.