Simple Marketing Tips and Tidbits You Need To Know

As the saying goes, you learn something new every day. That’s especially true in marketing, where sometimes even the smallest steps can lead to the largest payoff.

The items below are simple marketing tidbits we’ve learned after endless trial and error, and that we’re passing along to you because we think you can benefit from our Florida marketing agency’s blood, sweat and tears.

1. Putting a site wide search box can offer you great insight as to what people are trying to find when they come to your site, as you can track these searches through Google Analytics. If you run a blog, capitalize on this by producing content in accordance with what you find.

2. Only 9% of U.S. small and medium-sized businesses are optimized for mobile. This is true even though 34% of Americans admit that their cell phones are the primary device they use for going online, and smartphones and tablets accounted for more than 15% of all ecommerce sales in 2013. That number also fails to take into account the large number of people who browsed ecommerce sites from their phones or tablets but waited until they were at a computer or retail location to make purchases. Some experts estimate failure to optimize for mobile may cost these businesses, on average, $40,000 to $60,000 per year.

3. There are dozens of tools to use to determine how well your site functions and to identify problem areas. Try keying your site domain name into http://nibbler.silktide.com/ to see how it stacks up.

4. Maintaining an active Google+ site makes it more likely that your brand page will stand out on search engines. Moz reports that a URL’s number of +1s is highly correlated with its ranking in search. While Google claims +1s aren’t directly tied to search rankings, each +1 creates a link back to the post, which increases a site’s number of inbound links. These inbound links are one of the factors search engine algorithms use to determine the credibility of a site.

5. According to Experian (via Salesforce), $44.25 is the ROI for every $1 spent on email marketing. Even in spite of this, only 11% of emails are optimized for mobile. [quote]Many ecommerce sites don’t even collect emails.[/quote] To get the most out of collecting emails, implement a highly visible, yet non-intrusive email submission form front and center on your homepage.

6. More Facebook page likes doesn’t necessary mean better business for your company. What’s most important is the quality of the follower. Having lots of low-quality followers could actually be detrimental to your brand. Don’t believe it? Check out this article and pay special attention to the video from Veritasim. We’ve actually seen significant success for some brands with Facebook Ads, so take the experiments with a grain of salt.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to start the conversation!

Resort Marketing Tips That Turn Small Budgets Into Big Results

In the hospitality business, it’s sometimes necessary to slash budgets, and unfortunately, sometimes the people who suffer that the most are the people in the marketing department. Hotel and resort managers may be hesitant to invest money in projects unless they can see a clear return on investment, which is sometimes not easy to prove in the world of marketing, and in social media marketing in particular.

However, companies that are struggling with small marketing budgets should look at this as a competitive advantage. At the outset, it seems counterintuitive: with large budgets, shouldn’t the businesses be able to spend more money to get the things they need?

Smaller budgets push hospitality marketers to work more creatively. It allows them to focus more closely on one facet of marketing that is often overlooked by larger corporations: the people.

That’s right. Sometimes, hotel chains or mega resorts become so big that it seems as though they somehow forget about the community that got them there in the first place. By thinking small and using it as an advantage, these smaller businesses are able to facilitate more direct relationships with their customers, something that larger businesses try unsuccessfully to do all the time.

For tourism and resort marketers and others in the hospitality industry, here are a few tips from our Florida ad agency that will help guide your resort marketing efforts, even if you’re working on a shoestring budget.

1. Be Genuine

There’s something humbling about receiving an email from a mom and pop, independently owned businesses that take pride in offering visitors impeccable service. People in these types of businesses are there because they want to be there; unlike at some major chains where people are simply there because they need the job.[quote]By putting the emphasis on the relationship with the customer, the smaller shop has an advantage in that it can tailor its service to the needs of the individual.[/quote]

2. Use Social Media as a Way to Engage the Community

When dealing in social media, the only budgetary restriction is time. But, the platform itself is free, and by investing in a good social media manager, a company can reap the rewards of someone who is skilled at interacting with people, who is also a customer service master and a pro brand advocate.

Since some of the best marketers a brand can have are influencers within an engaged community, allocating some investment in social media can help the company grow its social media presence, thereby helping it stay connected to its audience. For resort marketers, this is especially valid, as your audience may be comprised of people from all over the world.

3. Show That You’re Reliable and Trustworthy

Another advantage that smaller resorts have over big chains is that they have a more intimate connection to their customers. Who hasn’t tried to contact a large hotel chain and ended up feeling like more of a robot than a human being? Resorts that offer a hands-on approach to marketing and customer service can prove they have their customers’ best interests at heart. And, at its core, real resort marketing is about being authentic, and going above and beyond customers’ expectations.

4. Keep It Simple

So, you don’t have it in your budget to run a big TV ad takeover or a massive billboard campaign. That doesn’t matter, because working with a smaller budget allows resort marketers to tailor their marketing efforts to the people who are most likely to offer a return on that investment. Rather than trying to copy the pros, try instead to simplify marketing efforts to see how members of the community react. Chances are, they will appreciate the attention to detail that goes into these types of marketing efforts, and will reward your business by thinking of your resort first when it comes to making travel plans.

In these days of high-tech services and constant distraction, sometimes people just want to make a connection with another human being. People are hungry for this social connection that seems to be lost in the digital age. For large businesses, that connection can seem impossible, but for smaller resorts, it seems like a natural way to allow employees and staff to be truly authentic in their communication and marketing efforts.

The team here at our Florida marketing agency can help your resort marketing team to grow the brand on any budget. For more ideas and suggestions as to how to establish authenticity in your brand, contact us for a consultation.

Unlock The Power of Using Babies to Market Your Brand

Babies are adorable! There’s nothing in the world as beautiful as a smiling newborn. For years, marketers have caught on to this, providing uplifting content that features babies in the forefront. One example is an Evian campaign that features babies on roller skates, dancing to “The Rapper’s Delight.” The video has over 18 million views on YouTube. Another example is the famous E*Trade baby commercials that we look forward to while watching the Superbowl every year.

But beyond just babies, the team at our Orlando marketing agency thinks the fanfare around using babies to market your brand offers opportunities to make emotional connections to their target consumers. By being able to identify with their users, marketers can target the emergence of celebrity baby stories, and can often leverage these no matter what their relationship to baby products.

Through Twitter and Facebook, companies attach to celebrity baby stories that seem to fall in line with their brand stories and brand visions. Motherhood and maternity-oriented businesses seem to be especially in line with welcoming newborns, though it seems that broader companies like Target and Wal-Mart could stand to benefit just the same.

When the royal baby was born merely months ago, Twitter was on fire with tweets from marketers around the globe. Pampers used the birth of Baby George to promote a video under the pretense of the fact that every baby is a prince or princess, which it had obviously been waiting to push until the moment the Royal Baby arrived.

Marketers also catch on the tabloid celebrity baby fads. When Kim Kardashian and hotheaded celebrity Kanye West, recently gave birth to their daughter North West, marketers flocked to the notion that the baby could epitomize what it means to be a luxury baby brand. Additionally, there are rumors that Kim herself is planning to launch a clothing line for babies, attesting to the marketing power of celebrity status and the Kardashian family’s ability to capitalize on it.

[quote]The luxury baby market is expected to be a $10.4 billion industry in 2014, with strollers going for as much as $3,000 for an Aston Martin brand leather stroller.[/quote]

By latching on to uplifting baby stories, marketers can identify with the emotions behind the brand’s mission. In joining the conversation, these marketers prove they are in tune with things that are happening in the world, and that they are appreciative of the uplifting nature of a good celeb baby story.

Be it Alec Baldwin, Fergie or Simon Cowell, fans love and support stars on their mission to start or continue growing their families. By offering comforting tweets about celebrity babies, marketers can seize the opportunity to join the conversation, while also pushing their products incidentally.

Brand are solidified based on their relationships with potential customers, so encouraging chatter about celebrity babies and being early informers of such breaking news helps drive a brand’s social media.

The best thing about all this is that people aren’t going to stop having babies anytime soon, and as long as there are babies, there will be opportunities for people to love seeing them. The team at our Florida marketing agency thinks celebrity #babies can help brands see #success! Contact us today to learn more!

Hot trends in hotel advertising: Subtlety works best

“I want a feast
I want a bean feast

Cream buns and doughnuts and fruitcake with no nuts so good you could go nuts.

No, now!

I want a ball

I want a party

Pink macaroons and a million balloons and performing baboons and

Give it to me now.

I want the world,

I want the whole world.

I want to lock it all up in my pocket

It’s my bar of chocolate

Give it to me now!

I want today

I want tomorrow

I want to wear them like braids in my hair and I don’t want to share them

I want a party with roomfuls of laughter

Ten thousand ton of ice cream

And if I don’t get the things I am after

I’m going to scream!

I want the works,

I want the whole works!

Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises in all shapes and sizes,

And now!

Don’t care how I want it now!

Don’t care how I want it now!”

The above song may be a harmonious tantrum performed by one Veruca Salt in the 1971 film adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but the lyrics speak to the way a hotel should perceive its guests. That’s not to say that all guests are sniveling, snotty-nosed adolescents, but for an industry that deals in comfort and convenience, it doesn’t hurt to operate under that assumption. The average overnighter takes for granted the luxuries a hotel provides. So when something does go awry, no matter how miniscule, the concierge often takes an ear-licking.

Guests expect their stay to go off without a hitch. They don’t want to see an establishment’s seams, so to speak. So, a hotel must present itself as competent, discreet and ahead of the curve. There are numerous approaches that can be taken to this end. Here, we discuss four:

1. Street propaganda:

Guerrilla marketing, a low budget, avant-garde approach to self-promotion can be highly effective in portraying an out of the box, curatorial image to a potential client; it also falls into the discreet category. A good propaganda campaign should promote with clever subtlety. Our Florida advertising agency knows the value of this technique lies in its ties to social media marketing. A really creative guerrilla strategy can take on a life of its own by inspiring observers to document their reactions through Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and countless other social media sites. The following link demonstrates several examples of unique street propaganda:

http://www.boredpanda.com/cool-and-creative-street-ads/

2. Easy online accessibility:

Hotel’s must make their website accessible and up-to-date. The site should leave no question unanswered. A customer should be able to book a room, dinner reservation or spa appointment with the touch of a mouse. They should be able to speak to a hotel representative via online chat. Basically, a hotel’s website should act as an interactive reception desk. Daily updates and notices regarding not just the hotel, but also the surrounding area can be helpful as well. It pays to work with a good developer who is aware of the latest advents and limitations of the Internet.

3. Go green image:

Environmentally conscious business practices are key. More so than a hotel making sure it’s operating with the tiniest footprint it can muster, it should also promote these efforts to its guests. If the restaurant in the hotel only uses organic, farm-to-table ingredients, this should be made known. If the lobby motif is made from recycled materials, shout it from the rooftops. After all, green is definitely the new black. Guests will respect any effort to that end.

4. Respond to online comments:

Yet another cheap and fruitful way to make a positive impression with an audience is to keep up with what that audience is saying. This is sort of a no brainer, but to be truly effective, don’t just keep track of sites like Trip Advisor or Travelocity. Instead, reply to comments, be those comments good or bad, with useful information. If a past guest complained about an obstructed room view, apologize and offer them a room with a better view during their next stay. If another applauds the tuna tartar at your dining establishment, thank them kindly and tell them they’re a real mensch for saying so. This practice makes a hotel seem more human; less like a machine on autopilot.

In search of a hotel advertising strategy to ensure that your visitors will also become your biggest fans? Contact our team of marketing experts today!

Marketing Is Now Smarter with Business Intelligence

Business intelligence sounds like something out of a spy movie.  Throw in a few fancy gadgets and an alpha male protagonist, and it could be the premise for the next James Bond flick.  In actuality, the practices associated with business intelligence may not, at least on the surface level, be as glamorous as the plot of Skyfall.  But, with effective business intelligence practices, companies can make strategic decisions that result in savings of thousands or even millions of dollars over time… and THAT sounds pretty glamorous, now doesn’t it?  The folks at our Florida advertising agency think so!

First of all, let’s talk about what business intelligence actually means.  According to Wikipedia, business intelligence is “a set of theories, methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes.”  Put in plain English, that means using data to make factually based business decisions.

It often surprises me how many business owners neglect to put business intelligence at the core of otherwise sophisticated marketing strategies.  They’ll hire marketers to spend thousands of dollars on campaigns, only to find themselves on the losing end of a major marketing push because the marketing team didn’t take the time to assess the ways in which people interact with their brands.

Successful companies analyze business intelligence at both micro and macro levels.  On a micro level, analysts can pinpoint exactly what steps an individual used to make a purchase, from that person’s first impression to what drove his or her impulse to make a purchase.

On a larger level, business intelligence analysts can explain trends across time.  Why do sales suddenly spike at a particular department store during the fall?  What will the financial standing of the company be in a decade?  This kind of information helps businesses executives make smart choices about where to allocate resources, and where to pull the plug.

Of course, business intelligence practices almost always hinge on the quality of the data.  How can business owners be sure they’re capturing the correct data about the correct consumers and practices?  In some cases, this comprises an entire subfield of business intelligence.  After all, it’s worthless for a company to have a lot of information about the wrong type of consumer.

So how can a team of executives gain business intelligence insights?  Typically, marketers collect and store this information through a mix of spreadsheets, reporting software, digital dashboards and other systems.  These tools range from simple to complex, and offer insights into a range of information about user behavior.  Sometimes this extends into internal practices as well.

The business intelligence field is vast, and there’s always a new way to approach the data.  But, a strong team of strategists on your side can help you sift through the junk, in order to find the information you need.

Sophisticated business intelligence practices can help a marketing team design a digital strategy that helps the business reach out directly to a target group, in ways that emphasize the ways in which those individuals consume. However, it takes significant skill to be able to effectively gauge and predict the outcome of campaigns based on business intelligence data.  If you’re struggling with how to help boost your bottom line using business intelligence insights, the team at our Florida advertising agency has a few ideas to help your organization thrive!  We do this for companies and organizations all over the country, let us help yours.

How to Reach the Female Sports Fan In Your Market

In popular culture, it’s common to see television shows where a man sits around watching football, while his wife stands around complaining.  These images that are ingrained in our cultural behavior show men drinking beer and watching the big game, with the women in the corner, cleaning up the mess.

Because of the often masculine appeal of most sports, it’s common to confuse their primary audiences with people of the same gender.  But the reality is that this is not so.

In fact, more than one half of tennis fans are female, a fact that tennis marketers appear to recognize.  Many female tennis spectators are also players (certainly plenty of our Florida advertising agency team members love to get outside for a good match!), and as such, companies continue to invest money in creating fashionable products and apparel for the female tennis enthusiast.

Others are not quite as obvious.

For example, NFL games are dominated by male-leaning television commercials and sports coverage.  However, more than a third of the people who identify themselves as football fans are female.  As such, there seems to be a disconnect between the methods of sports advertising and this demographic.

[quote]It’s important to remember that, from an ROI perspective, women account for 85% of all purchases in all categories, including automotive purchases, apparel, household goods, and food purchases.[/quote]  Being able to hone in on the potential female customer can greatly increase the opportunity for successful commercial advertising during primetime sports slots, increased awareness through sponsorship activities and for cultivating ongoing relationships with the female sports enthusiast.

A common misconception is that women who are sports fans are also somehow tomboys, and that, if given the choice, they would choose hoodies bearing their teams’ logos instead of cute sundresses that show the same logo.  There aren’t many companies that have successfully tested this theory, but a sports apparel company catering to creating high fashion lines for females might actually do quite well!  But, leaning too much in this direction can also be polarizing;… working off the assumption that every ladies’ night at the ball game should be about pink bows and jewelry raffles can be just as belittling.

As with most categorizations, classifying a group as “women” is just one categorization of a number of broader subsets of personalities and interests.  It’s important for sports franchise marketers and sports brands to think creatively when trying to reach the female target consumer.

Perhaps the number one marketing sin is forgetting that she exists.  Alienating the female sports fan by creating ads that are masculine-learning or blatantly sexist effectively costs sports marketers revenue and goodwill in the eyes of the female consumer.

Instead, sports marketers should take heed of some useful advice to help market to the female sports fan.

Develop Audience Insights: Using social media listening tools, sports marketers can garner significant data about their female consumers.  Are they using Pinterest, or are they more Twitter-friendly?  These insights can help sports marketers craft campaigns that offer maximum exposure.

Develop Products Designed for the Female Sports Fan: Thinking outside the box to create products such as colorful iPhone sleeves bearing a team’s logo can help the female sports fan to express herself, while also giving her something that offers practicality and functionality.

Encourage Engagement: An article published on The Next Web last year noted that women are “more likely” to make your social media campaign go viral.  Make the most of your female fans by encouraging them to share.

For more ideas on how to reach women in sports, contact our Florida marketing agency for a consultation, and learn how we’ve helped numerous entertainment businesses grow through integrated marketing efforts.