The Secret to Brand Placement? Location, Location, Location.

It’s imperative to place your brand in the proper locations to reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time through a media buying agency.

What does selling real estate and using media to sell your brand have in common? It’s all about one thing: Location, location, location. You don’t have to work for a top media buying agency to understand that context is critical when it comes to brand placement.
If you need evidence of the importance of location, look no further than this year’s Super Bowl — where one global beverage giant is preparing to go all in to maximize the effects of its advertising campaign.

Anheuser Busch’s massive Super Bowl bet

The Super Bowl is the most significant betting event of the year. It’s estimated that Americans bet nearly $5 billion on the game annually. Global beer giant Anheuser-Busch is making its own massive wager on this year’s Super Bowl, planning one of the largest ever media buys.

The brewer announced it has purchased five-and-one-half minutes’ worth of airtime, during which it will show commercials for five of its brands and seven of its products. That’s an impressive outlay, given that the average cost of a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl has risen to roughly $5 million. The Super Bowl, in fact, is so important to brands and the advertising industry that it represents 2.5% of all network broadcast advertising for an entire year.

Anheuser-Busch’s Super Bowl advertising expenditure will be roughly 30% higher in 2019 than in previous years. The company believes the increase is justified due to the extraordinary nature of the event; the Super Bowl regularly draws more than 100 million viewers in the United States.

The Super Bowl…of ads

For advertisers, however, huge viewership is only part of the equation. The Super Bowl, in recent years, has become more than a football championship; it’s also a showcase for the ad industry’s very best work. Super Bowl commercials have become near-compulsory viewing for many Americans, as brands save their most compelling and engaging creative work for Super Bowl Sunday. The high quality of Super Bowl ads has made the event perhaps the only occasion where people are actually eager to watch advertising.

Anheuser-Busch knows this. The company’s U.S. CMO, Marcel Marcondes, recently told Adweek that  “attention is the new currency and (the) Super Bowl is such a unique moment in culture when people are paying attention, watching TV and more than that, they are willing and looking forward to watching TV commercials. So for that reason, we decided to bet big.”

In other words, it’s all about location strategy: Reaching the right people, in the right place, at the right time, and when they are in the right frame of mind — all accomplished through utilizing a smart media buying agency.

Why location is critical for brands

Anheuser-Busch is wisely betting that the benefits of Super Bowl advertising — and the singular nature of the event — will justify their $50 million ad spend. Yet few businesses, of course, have the resources to buy even the shortest Super Bowl ad.

That doesn’t matter, however, as virtually any enterprise can reap the advantages of brand placement in the proper media locations. Even if you scale down from the Super Bowl to advertising on a local network affiliate, the principle remains the same: Find the location, time, and context where viewers or listeners overlap with your customers or audience.

If you don’t have media buying experience, that might seem like a tall order. However, a high-quality media buying agency can partner with businesses to precisely identify and plan the best possible media locations for ad spending.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we specialize in helping businesses connect with audiences through compelling campaigns and finely targeted media buying. If you’d like to derive maximum value from your next media campaign, we urge you to reach out to us today.

Tis the season… Or is it? How does seasonality impact your brand

Depending on the type of industry you’re in, market seasonality can feel like a blessing or a curse. For hotel owners and hospitality leaders, seasonal winter slumps can force hotels to deeply discount their room rates and lead customers to expect lower prices year round. On the flip side, many consumer packaged goods and retail giants rely on the annual influx of sales around Black Friday and look forward to the revenue they’ll drive during holiday discounts.
The reality is: market seasonality exists in almost every industry as people tend to shop and engage with service provides based on their own life cycles. Children’s school calendars, vacation schedules, and holidays all dictate how business flows across almost every industry. To help you unlock the potential of market seasonality, we’ve unpacked a few basics to get you started.

What is market seasonality?

If you aren’t familiar with market seasonality, you may simply be so accustomed to seeing it in action that you don’t even realize it’s there. When you review your bottom line revenue or other KPIs, chances are that you consider both month-over-month and year-over-year metrics. The reason being is that certain months are expected to perform better than others. That monthly – or seasonal – variation is, you guessed it, market seasonality. If you were a ski resort, you would naturally expect to see a dip in bookings moving from February into March and April. However, if you saw a dramatic decline when comparing this February to last February, that may be cause for concern. Understanding market seasonality starts with understanding your target audience and when they are most likely to need (or want) your products. Market seasonality is simply a reflection of when your customers are most willing to buy your product or engage with your services based on external factors that have nothing to do with your brand, such as travel or weather.

Can market seasonality be a good thing?

Of course market seasonality can be a good thing! In fact, it can be a great thing when you partner with a savvy local marketing agency or leverage a few creative promotions during your on and off seasons. While it would be great if sales were consistent year round, they never will be. You can’t change the game, but you can play to win. Consider where you see natural peaks and valleys in sales and revenue and consider what you could do to use these dips to your advantage. For example, many clothing companies offer discounts on winter clothing at the start of spring, around the same time they introduce their warm weather lines. Talk about a win-win situation. These brands get a boost in purchases thanks to their promos, without compromising sales from their new product releases. In these instances, market seasonality can actually drive more sales than a company might have expected otherwise. Similarly, service providers also use slower summer months or harsh winter “hibernation periods” to host new customer events and participate in speaking engagements to build their brand and increase exposure.

Planning for market seasonality:

The trick is to plan for market seasonality in advance. If you wait until a slump hits to kickstart a promotion and make up lost revenue, your brand may not be able to close the gap as effectively as you’d like. Instead, consider your natural sales cycle and front load a few opportunities into your marketing calendar throughout the year. For example, if you’re a subscription-based educational software company, your most important revenue generating months are at the beginning of the fiscal year (so your accounts have a chance to mature and generate revenue throughout the entire year). Knowing this, you’d want to load a few promotions into Q1 and Q2 to set yourself up for success moving through the middle of the year and into the slower summer months when potential customers may be traveling and less inclined to buy. Sounds simple, right?

 

There’s where we come in. Our team is here to help you map out your calendar and take advantage of market seasonality like a pro.

How to spend your Q3 and Q4 retail marketing dollars

Whether making a last minute push to meet year-end numbers or simply subscribing to the reality of “use it or lose it,” most retailers pick up the pace when it comes to their Q3 and Q4 marketing methods. Wondering how to aim for and achieve the best possible results? Consider these seven proven ways to maximize your retail marketing allocations.

1. Better your blog

Unfortunately, many retail business blogs miss the mark when it comes to achieving their full potential. Why? Because they exist out of a sense of obligation, as opposed to as an extension of a company’s overall business strategy.

Blogs are cost-efficient, highly effective marketing tools….unless they’re left to languish, in which case they offer value to neither you nor your consumers. Conversely, a well-executed blog can help you build engagement and foster consumer loyalty while also enhancing SEO rankings and search results. Stop thinking of your blog as your website’s “ugly stepsister,” and start thinking of it as more of a fairy godmother of sorts — with the magical potential to generate sales leads.

2. Look harder at search engine marketing

Odds are, you promote your website via Search Engine Marketing (SEM) throughout the year. However, did you know that Q3 and Q4 offer the enhanced opportunity to take a closer look at your conversion rates? Are your average costs per lead and conversions meeting your expectations?  If not, consider where your efforts may be failing.

For many organizations, the critical element is poorly-designed landing pages which fail to generate search marketing ROI. After all, different campaigns have varying search optimization parameters. Taking the time to customize each campaign can yield powerful results right when you need them.

Also, keep in mind that while starting new campaigns may not yield realizable ROI by year’s end, maximizing your existing processes and programs has the potential to improve outcomes.

3. Focus on Facebook

While social media in general presents valuable opportunities for marketers, Facebook takes second place only to Google when it comes to worldwide net digital ad revenues. When was the last time you evaluated your Facebook advertising approach? Whether you’re looking to cast a wider net or increase sales, Facebook offers a captive audience to savvy advertisers.

Not only that, but Facebook’s robust analytics allow you to target your audience, choose from different ad formats, and understand your results through reporting, tracking and measuring capabilities. If your marketing efforts are going awry, these metrics can help you take swift, corrective actions.

4. Go for growth

While dwindling resources may compel you to trim expenses, it’s also important to keep an eye on the prize: building value. This doesn’t necessarily mean cutting costs, but instead amping up accountability. Execution-driven strategies position you to demonstrate the effectiveness of your retail marketing campaigns, and information management is a critical part of the process.

Today’s retail marketers have access to more actionable data than ever before. Demonstrable results are not only essential to assessing ROI, but also to making any last minute adjustments to move forward in the most productive way during retail’s busiest season.

5. Optimize email efforts

On that note, heading into the holiday season, it’s particularly important to deliver content to consumers via the most appealing and accessible means. While social media gets the lion’s share of attention, email remains a preference for many in your target market.

But not just any emails. From delivering coupon codes to informing recipients about upcoming in-store and online flash sales, emails can drive both traffic and conversions.

And don’t forget about the importance of mobile. Responsive, aesthetically pleasing email messages can also further optimize Q3 and Q4 outcomes.

6. Count on content

The typical 21st century consumer doesn’t want a hard sell; he/she wants value. As consumers prepare to open their pocketbooks during the season of giving, give them a gift of your own: meaningful content that either answers a question or enriches their lives in some essential way.

Content should be consistent, relevant, unique, and focused on making the entire shopping process more accessible and user-friendly. When designing your content strategies during Q3 and Q4, keep in mind that the best content is not about completing a sale, but about telling a story that engages consumers and bolsters your brand.

7. Cultivate the consumer experience

We can agree by now that contemporary customers are all about value over hype. With consumer confidence harder to come by than ever before, retail marketers can position themselves for success by earmarking Q3 and Q4 funds for enhancing efforts to understand what motivates their customers and deliver on these insights.

Don’t overlook the power of omni-channel marketing. Relevant real-time content delivered via a consumer’s preferred mode of communication has the potential to increase both sales and consumer engagement.

Finally, Q3 and Q4 also offer an ideal opportunity to nurture your leads. Are you doing everything you can do — in the most direct, targeted way — to get better ROI out of your lead generation?

As the calendar year draws to a close, retail marketers are greeted with unprecedented opportunities to put their end-of-year retail marketing dollars to optimal use. These seven techniques are sure to help you focus your marketing efforts where they’re least likely to overdraw your resources — and most likely to generate ROI.

Our team of retail marketing experts understands the challenges of doing more with less – and we’re poised to assist you in doing just that! Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

It’s all about Marketing brand culture: Ain’t that a kick!

You can dance if you want to. And if you’re a football player – make that fùtbol (better known as soccer in America), Spanish magazine, Libero, will actually make you get up and tap your toes in your cleats.
In an effort to better emphasize marketing the brand’s “Culture” section of their sports magazine, the publication creatively turned soccer players’ casual warm-ups, feints, passes, and other tricks into dance moves by looping video footage of these practice hijinks to music. While no one needs (or wants) to hear the “Can-Can” ever again, we have to say, watching those boys “dance” is worth the earworm that you risk inheriting by viewing the associated ad. (And you have to admit, we’re all too familiar with those musical earworms that you just can’t seem to shake – “Shake It Off”, anyone?). But in any case, as if you needed another excuse to watch these gifted athletes put their impressive skills to work, we encourage you to check out all of the #footballdancing videos here.

Speaking of magazines, while the argument that print media is “dying” may be up for debate, it is true that magazine sales are, indeed, slipping a bit. In 2015, newsstand magazine sales dropped 15.8%, while there was a 13% drop in revenue. Convincing folks to pay for subscriptions or purchase a single copy is getting far trickier than in years’ past. So, how does a medium combat this potentially weakening sales and maintain relevancy? Although Libero has only been in circulation since 2012, and despite being relatively new to the print media game, the ultra-modern sports mag has made quite a name for itself thanks, in part, to these intriguing, cheeky videos used effectively to market brand culture to readers – and viewers – alike. For instance, the publication’s first set of ads from January 2014, featured women explaining how to best tackle day-to-day tasks such as taking out the trash, dating, relationships, and the first instance of meeting the father-in-law – and even rounded things out by leaning on breakthrough fùtbol examples and lingo. The ad’s slogan was pretty inventive: “If you explain it with fùtbol, it makes sense.” You have to admit, it’s sassy, light-hearted, and pokes fun at the “meathead” sports fan stereotype – all the while successfully promoting the magazine.

This time around, and in order to further highlight the soccer mag’s same “Culture” section, Libero uses the #footballdancing idea to prove that even the most athletic men can still dance – well, at least, with the help of some film editing and alongside perfectly fitting background music. A football gal myself (particularly of the collegiate variety), I found myself intrigued by these brand culture ads, and was compelled to visit the magazine’s website. While I’m not fluent in the Spanish language, the ads still resonated, crossing international language barriers – and leaning on the notion that our appreciation of talented athletes is universal, and doesn’t require a translation.

While print publications may be experiencing a downturn in sales, there is no shortage of soccer fans here in the United States. The sport is gaining undeniable popularity among the masses – and perhaps, even an increase in American readership of Libero. For Orlando City Soccer, which just kicked-off its 2014 season, more than 62,000 fans packed into the team’s current venue, the Citrus Bowl, for the inaugural match. Due to such high demand, Orlando City president Phil Rawlins recently indicated that the team is open to the possibility of constructing its new stadium – slated for completion in time for the first game of the 2016 season – with a higher capacity than the currently planned maximum of 25,500. If you ask our team at BIGEYE, its an exciting time – and an interesting soccer ball spin – on scoring a branding goal that has resonated with a fan base receptive to creative, unique brand culture marketing efforts.

We couldn’t be more excited about the new stadium and the early success of Orlando City Soccer – even for a college football gal like me. GOOOAAAAL!!

Are you looking for innovative ways for your brand to reach your target audience – channeling the perfect media mix, with lasting impact to increase your company’s ROI? Contact us today to develop your game plan!

The science of retail visual merchandising and consumer behavior

Consumer spending habits – what truly drives behavior? We’re not talking about simply coercing prospective shoppers into your store, we all know (as does your bottom line) that at the end of the day, it involves so much more than the simple volume of foot traffic. Truth be told, we ALL want to compel consumers to actually transact business, which comes down to exploring the science behind those all-important strategies and proven effective retail visual merchandising techniques that will generate an uptick in sales. Here’s the million dollar mystery: how do we captivate customers and capture their attention in a fast-paced, competitive retail landscape? At BIGEYE, a retail visual merchandising agency, our goal is to transform businesses by helping them better understand these buyer behaviors and purchasing decisions –  and to design messages that reach, resonate, and compel customers to take action. This could be why I have more throw pillows than I’ll ever need – honestly, one more accent blanket and my living room could look just like the Pottery Barn display. Gets me every time.
[quote]Oftentimes, when playing “psychologist” and conducting focus groups and other exploratory research, we uncover a disconnect between a brand’s ideal essence, and the in-store presence that is being communicated via visual merchandising displays – unbeknownst to the client. [/quote] When engaging with a skilled retail visual merchandising agency, our approach starts with a gap analysis to determine a company’s strengths and weaknesses inherent in its existing retail strategy. This process affords us with the opportunity to make changes that have a lasting impact on a potential customer’s decisions to purchase specific products, drilling down by factors such as color preference, price point, and a number of other characteristics. While this gap analysis serves as the initial brand “discovery,” it always leads us to the identification of  areas of improvement and easy, high-impact wins (talk about two birds, one stone!). Taking this information, we then work with our clients to redefine their retail strategy. In some cases, this may mean updating the business’s brand strategy, or even embarking upon an overall rebranding process.

Then, we look to actual retail visual merchandising services, and identify tactics we can use in order to drive success. Here’s one way to break down our approach: identifying tangible and intangible techniques that we may use to better implement and stimulate customer interest in the specific products being sold.

With tangible techniques, we’re focused on how customers are influenced by aspects such as window displays, brands, signage, sight-lines and other clear, visible aspects of the design – elements that as a retail visual merchandising agency – we’re able to control. The intended results of our efforts include altering these techniques, and making ongoing revisions to continue to both compel, and to draw in more customers. I’m an uber-savvy consumer, too, and as a result of a number of these strategies being implemented in-store, I find that one minute I’m just looking, and next thing I know, the sales associates are offering to help me carry my overfilled shopping bags. It’s okay to admit it – you know you’ve been there, too, right? Proof positive that using tangible techniques simply works, albeit when implemented correctly, of course. For the tangible, we emphasize those tactile aspects of building displays that will capture our customers’ attention.

To highlight the winter campaign for London-based men’s clothier, Ben Sherman, images of London at night were used as large format backdrops in the store’s windows, featuring twinkling LED lights, capturing the Christmas spirit in a dreamy and luxurious way. Additionally, Hostem, another London clothing store featuring progressive Japanese brands, accentuates their avante-garde fashion through the use of visual merchandising. The impressive (and award-winning) displays are always unique, yet fitting to their aesthetic; using items like vintage church pews, ladders, old beer kegs and cases – even a Chesterfield sofa from the 19th century. It is this use of visual merchandising that truly allows shoppers to experience complete immersion of the brand when walking through the store.

On the other hand, when it comes to intangible techniques, we’re looking into the deeper psychology of how people react to certain stimuli – all of which are impossible to touch. For instance, we may look at customer influence via the senses (sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing), reactions to combinations of color and light to create visual effects, and the use of furniture to create social familiarization. For instance, many stores employ specific scents, think warm cookies fresh out of the oven – all in an effort to elicit a sensual consumer response, where shoppers are “hungry” to spend more. In addition, offering samples of products – food, perfume, or even makeup – may entice a customer to purchase the specific goods and products being promoted. Through the exploration of intangible techniques, we take a more theoretical approach to consumer behavior, based upon plenty of inferences, and supported by detailed, qualitative data. This is why I’ve yet to enter a Target and leave with only the items I planned to purchase – see, once again, the power of psychology is at play.

The benefits of partnering with a retail visual merchandising agency are tenfold, and through our exploratory research and based upon client implementation and testing, we’ve uncovered that both of these types of tactics have the potential to have significant positive impact on your bottom line. In research done by IJESIT on the effect of visual merchandising, 85% of the study’s participants agreed that color, lighting, ambience and attractive visuals (and we mustn’t forget welcoming scents, as in the prior home-baked cookie example) make them spend more time in store. In applying both tangible and intangible tactics, we are able to create cohesive retail displays that generate an emotional association with a brand’s target customers. Be it the individuals who prefer the heavy discounting of “sale” goods, or the power of a stunning display that seemingly – and rather inexplicably –  compels a person to buy, BIGEYE‘s skilled team members understand each company’s need to master such practices in order to ensure that shoppers are drawn into a store, and that they remain interested in its inventory throughout the customer experience.

Finally, we take our learnings and incorporate them into a business’ media mix, identifying ways to create brand alignment in all channels, including both interactive and traditional media. The goal of this portion of the process is to retain customers and encourage them to become brand advocates, serving as active members of our brands’ communities.

If you’re in search of a customer-centric retail visual merchandising agency that possesses the know-how to drive success for your brand, contact BIGEYE for a consultation at 407.839.8599, and discover how we can assist in taking your company – and your products and service offerings – to the next level!

Three Personal Branding Tips To Inspire Your Branding

It hits all of us at some point – the latent feeling that we’re missing something, lacking inspiration in the work that we’re doing. Maybe it’s because we spent all night up with our sick children, or it might be because we’re burned out on the day-to-day minutia of running a successful business. Even though these moments are unavoidable, there are numerous things people can do to help boost inspiration in moments when it might not seem so easy.

The ideas I’m about to share not only apply to finding inspiration in business, but also to finding inspiration in everyday life. The goal should be to put your mind at ease, because as you will learn, the most creative, logical solutions often come when we’re relaxed, at ease and inspired. If you’re feeling a bit bogged down in your work or life, follow these personal branding tips from our Orlando marketing agency to help add a bit of extra positivity and inspiration to your world.

1. Create a Mood Board

A mood board is your own personal art project, and it’s really easy to create one. I typically use corkboard, but some people may find that using tape and a piece of cardboard works better. Use this as a guide, and post only things that speak to you and inspire you. If you’re designing one for your business, use it to add images, textures and articles that speak to the brand you aspire your business to become. If you’re designing it for yourself, find things you love and add them to the mood board to help develop a sense of who you are as a person.[quote]There’s no right way to create a mood board — it’s all about how you feel in the moment.[/quote]

Creating a mood board can be cathartic, and going forward, it can offer you a moment of zen when hurrying through an otherwise busy world. Keep it by your desk, and look at it each time you find yourself drifting off. Simply adding an image of a beautiful sunset can remind you of your inspiration to work long hours so you can enjoy that upcoming vacation you’ve planned.

2. Explore Your Surroundings

You’ve probably heard this advice before, but it’s always worth repeating. By taking a stroll to explore your surroundings, ideally though a setting in which you are in touch with nature, you have time to clear your mind and focus on the present, a practice called mindfulness. Rather than thinking about that next deadline or project, instead take time to focus on your breathing and enjoy the aromas of the world around you. This type of relaxation can be a great way to stimulate creative thinking.

3. Have a Healthy Snack

If you haven’t been eating right, then you’re certain to crash at some point. [quote]This can lead to a lack of inspiration or, even worse, severe headaches or crankiness.[/quote] Rather than going for the candy bar, coffee or energy drink, instead try munching on nuts or fresh fruit. It’s all the good stuff with a lot less of the bad, which can help you feel better, have more energy, and help you sort out your thoughts as well. Try to make this a daily, lifelong habit, as people who eat and live healthy tend to be more relaxed, calm and focused, which can do wonders for your both your personal life and your business life.

Following these tips from our Florida ad agency can help you relax, allowing you to unleash maximum potential for your business and your life. Contact us today for more personal branding expertise!