What’s most important to an advertiser choosing an agency?
It’s not the cost. Nor is it the dazzling display of ad samples. According to Advertiser Perceptions, a research firm providing advertiser insights to media companies, an agency’s ability to develop and execute a strategy is the top consideration in its selection.
This doesn’t mean that creativity doesn’t matter. Not at all. But it does mean that the strategy part, sometimes perceived as less exciting or even non-essential, is actually a vital part of any marketing solution or ad campaign development. While it may not be the most “glamorous” part of the process, a solid strategy ends in results-producing work—no matter what format or media channel it takes to get there.
So what’s your brand’s strategy? Is it gaining the needed attention of your audience in an increasingly busy world? Is it proving your brand’s relevancy to the desired target audience? Is it differentiating your brand from your competition—not in your mind, but in the minds of your customers and desired prospects? Or, do you even know how customers and prospects actually feel about your brand versus other options?
Difficult questions like these require an investment of time and money. After all, they’re essential to building a strong brand. Of course, some may consider this kind of strategic thinking a luxury reserved only for large brands, not small ones. But they would be dead wrong. Unless, of course, they want their brand to remain small.
With so many marketing tools and media channels available in today’s digital world, you may be overwhelmed by the options. So, we’d like to shed some light on one underdog of a choice that we’ve found extremely useful.
Let’s face it, sometimes considered “spam” or “junk mail,” email marketing started out of the gate with a bad rap. However, if strategically planned and executed following the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act policies enforced by the Federal Trade Commission…email marketing can provide an efficient and cost-effective way for you, no matter your company’s size, to make genuine and helpful connections with your audience of customers and prospects. It can also help boost your company’s SEO.
The icing on the cake is how response results are easily and quickly generated and how automation can play a key role in testing messages. Response data provides incredible insight about your audience including how individuals and groups respond to your messaging and how they relate to your brand.
To request the full White Paper, click here.
Most marketers think they know their brand. To help you find out whether you know yours, we’ve developed something we call the MAT. It’s short for Marketing Aptitude Test. In the spirit of making your marketing stronger, see how well you score on questions like these:
- What do you know about the perceptions of your customers toward your product or service and the category in which it operates?
- Who is your primary target audience and why?
- Are there trends indicating shifts in the target audience definition?
- What is your brand’s essential point of difference?
a. Why is it a compelling difference?
b. Is it truly different from competitive positioning?
- What are the reasons for anyone to believe your stated point of difference?
- What are your marketing strategies (not tactics) to drive growth?
- What is the most efficient way to reach your audience?
Now, for the most important question of all, “Is your ad agency partner asking you these questions?” If not, perhaps you should be asking yourself whether or not you have the right agency. After all, you can’t provide the right answers unless you’re asked the appropriate questions. To find out more email Glen Peak at email@example.com or call (813) 227-8006.
While all advertisers want advertising that sells, few are willing to take the time to achieve creative excellence. Too often, it comes down to, “We need to shake things up. Let’s get out there with something fast.”
The creative process takes time to execute properly. The plethora of expected, and just plain bad advertising stands as testimony that most advertisers aren’t willing to spend this time. Audiences have become increasingly cynical of ads as a result.
The process we employ at PeakBiety isn’t rocket science. There’s nothing particularly mystical about it. But it is hard work. And it does take time.
The first action required is deep homework—reading, researching and digging to thoroughly understand the product or service and its benefits. The goal of this homework is threefold:
- To gain insights into competitive offerings and positioning
- To understand the target audience’s perceptions about the category and the specific brand
- To study past advertising strategies or executions
Armed with this information, we then create a single-sentence, main idea that will express the “inherent drama.” This single sentence must resonate with the target audience, while differentiating the product or service. It will become the central idea that provides strategic direction for the creative team, supported by reasons for the audience to believe it.
From here, the mystical part begins. Good creative teams look for unexpected ways to express the inherent drama from the strategy, often associating what might appear to be disparate things.
Consider that great VW vintage ad headline:
“How does the man who drives the snowplow drive to the snowplow?”
You can almost imagine the strategic main idea that led to such imaginative work. It was probably something like: VWs are incredibly reliable in all weather conditions.
The creative team took a single benefit and found a brilliant way to execute it. And while it may seem simple, the route to get there was likely more complicated than that drive to the snowplow.
Like all great creative advertising, it took hard work, intensive labor and quite a bit of thinking. Thankfully, the imaginative ads that result from doing things right are loaded with potential benefits–making all that effort well worth the extra time.