A Comprehensive Guide to Marketing Services

If you’re a small to mid-sized business owner, you almost certainly don’t have enough time in the day to get everything finished to your satisfaction. Often, the day-to-day operational demands that come with running a business make it difficult to focus on the broader strategic picture — something that is essential for growth.

In order to create a truly high-performance enterprise, it’s sometimes necessary to contract with outside agencies for help with key creative and technical tasks. By working with a trusted agency, business owners don’t have to work outside the limits of their own expertise and have more time to focus on their own high-value tasks.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most important services offered by today’s top creative agencies.

Marketing research

In order to validate their hypotheses, marketers need to collect hard data, and this comes in form of data collected by a marketing research agency. This research may occur through focus groups and brand awareness studies.

Many brands partner with a marketing research agency to help complete these tasks and conduct primary market research. By working with a consumer insight agency or focus group research company, brands can gather the kind of data that helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of their products and services, while also better understanding their target market.

Additionally, a usability testing company can help a company determine how an intended audience interfaces with a product or service, while Florida research companies specializing in market data can assist with consumer profile services and qualitative research services. This gives their clients a broader picture of who their audience is, and how those audiences are responding to products, services and marketing campaigns.

Creative services

Creative work is the heart of effective marketing and branding. Whether it’s print advertising, sales materials design, collateral design or annual report design, creative work is the conduit through which audiences and brands connect.

Most small to mid-sized businesses don’t have the budget or expertise to deploy an in-house creative team. That’s not an insurmountable hurdle, however; by contracting with a copywriting company, outdoor marketing agency, tradeshow display company or packaging design agency, brands can realize their creative vision and better connect with their customers.

Digital marketing

We’ve reached a point where the terms “marketing” and “digital marketing” are almost interchangeable. Most of us live, work, communicate and play online — which means that businesses need to do their utmost to connect with people in the digital realm.

This is accomplished by the following techniques such as email and content marketing and various forms of pay-per-click marketing services or display advertising services. By working with a digital marketing consultant, a content marketing agency or an email marketing agency, brands can help ensure that they reap the rewards of a digital approach.

A new and critically important trend is voice technology. Given the staggering adoption numbers for smart speakers and digital assistants, forward-thinking brands should also consider pursuing voice development services from an Alexa app company or a top Florida digital marketing company.

Strategy

Great marketing campaigns all begin with a smart, overarching strategy. This strategy should encompass everything a business does in terms of marketing creation and distribution, including various content types and channels.

Marketing data analysis conducted by a marketing strategy agency can play a key role in this process, as it provides a sound foundation on which to build campaigns and test assumptions. Businesses may also wish to focus on more niche areas by employing an audience segmentation consultant or social media strategy company, both of which can play an integral role in helping brands identify and engage with ideal audiences for their products and services.

Today, a comprehensive marketing strategy must cover a wide variety of channels, reflecting the nature of how audiences live, work and consume content today. This means that working with a multi-channel marketing company that specializes in this kind of approach is often a smart idea.

Media buying

When it comes to good marketing, distribution is just as important as creation. You can have the most compelling campaign in the world, but if nobody sees it, what good does it do?

That’s where media buying enters the equation. The right media strategy services or media planning agency can help ensure that your marketing content gains maximum exposure through every relevant channel, including print and TV.

Digital, too, is an important piece of the media puzzle. A digital media buying agency that specializes in this channel can help ensure your campaign gains traction, while an attribution modeling company can provide you with measurable data that confirms whether or not particular marketing or advertising approach is effective.

In today’s changing world, it’s also important to ensure that your media campaigns reflect the viewpoints of all consumers, which means that it makes sense to work with a multicultural marketing agency that has the perspective to connect with all audiences.

Web development services

Maintaining fully-functional websites with smooth and intuitive user experiences should be a key priority for just about any business. Websites serve as the public face of a business and also often play an important role in generating revenue. If a business can’t be trusted to offer the public a professional and reliable website, prospective customers may wonder about the quality of the products and services they will receive.

However, not every business is equipped to maintain a reliable, user-friendly digital presence. In such cases, it makes sense to partner with a web design company or website development company that can handle every aspect of creating and maintaining digital properties. Additionally, a good content management company can help ensure that businesses place high in organic search rankings by following the principles of search engine optimization and content marketing.

Continuity is also critically important, as downtime can result in lost revenue and angry customers. An Orlando web development firm offering website maintenance services can help local businesses ensure that their digital properties suffer from minimal technical interruptions.

By partnering with top Florida web design consultants, local businesses can ensure that their online presence serves the needs of their customers, while also attracting new business thanks to the compelling design and reliable functionality.

Branding

In order to be successful in a highly competitive landscape, businesses need a way to differentiate their products and services — and that’s where the art of branding comes into the picture. Branding agency services and brand naming services help companies establish compelling brands by developing product names, packaging, and other key design elements. For example, a business may choose to hire a logo design company as part of its overall branding strategy.

A brand story agency can also help businesses create a compelling brand narrative, one that communicates the values and vision of an enterprise to its audience. Brand messaging services can also help a company convey their value proposition to consumers while communicating a message that inspires, intrigues and motivates potential customers.

Branding, when done properly, should inform how a business communicates on every level. Hiring a brand strategy firm, or devising a brand style guide, can help brands ensure that their public-facing content maintains a consistent brand voice. Meanwhile, the practice of brand positioning defines precisely how the products and services a business sells differ from that of its competitors.

When looking at creating a new branding approach from the ground up, companies will often seek out the help of a brand strategy firm. These are full-service agencies that can help with all aspects of a new branding program, or the rebrand of an existing company, product or service.

Video production and marketing

Roughly a decade ago, businesses were in scramble mode to accommodate society’s shift to mobile devices. Within a very short period of time, the smartphone and tablet transformed with the way people live, work and consume content. Today, we’re experiencing another major shift, this time centered around video.

Because people (particularly younger demographics) prefer consuming video over other formats, the creation of marketing and promotional videos has become an essential marketing service.  By partnering with a video production company or video editing company, brands can reach new audiences and deliver the type of compelling content that leads to successful marketing campaigns.

Social media platforms, of course, are a powerful distribution channel for video content. By working with a social media video company, brands can leverage the expertise of these agencies and greatly increase the reach and engagement of their video-focused social campaigns.

For businesses seeking top video production, Florida is an ideal place to be located. Along with sunny weather and beautiful scenery, Florida is home to some of the world’s best creative agencies. This means that brands in the market for a corporate video production company to lead their latest campaign are perfectly situated.

Social marketing

Social media marketing services are one of the fastest-growing agency marketing offerings. That’s for good reason: The reach and power of social media are greater than ever, and social media advertising services are subsequently in high demand.

Yet while the right social strategy can pay enormous dividends, many businesses simply lack the experience and expertise to execute a high-level social media marketing campaign. In such cases, these businesses should strongly consider working with a social content agency or social media management company.

These agencies have the specialist skill to create high-performance social marketing campaigns that gain serious engagement among users. Social media can be a powerful (and cost-effective) amplifier for a brand. Yet without the right strategy, even the best content will be ignored.

To ensure that all company social media services are on point, businesses without an internal team of experts should strongly consider working with an agency, one well-versed in search optimization and audience-building techniques.

Influencer marketing

One only has to glance at Instagram today to see the power of influencer marketing in action. Social media influencers and brands have formed a symbiotic and mutually profitable relationship, as popular platform users use their followings and personal brands to highlight sponsored brand products.

Yet cracking the code of this emerging world of influencers isn’t always easy for established brands, many of which lack social media expertise. An influencer marketing agency (sometimes called an “influencer management agency” can help fill this shortcoming by pairing brands with the right influencers.

Most brands find influencer marketing to be highly effective, as it connects their products and services with people who have dedicated and highly motivated online followings. This is one reason why working with an influencer marketing strategy agency has become so popular in recent years.

Public relations

The work of a public relations agency is primarily centered on two objectives: Ensuring positive press and public perception, and getting a brand’s message out into the public sphere. A company may choose to do this by scheduling interviews, sending out press releases and other such services.

Because public relations is vitally important work, it often makes sense for businesses to use an outside agency with specialist skills. A media relations agency can help ensure harmonious interaction with the press, while a crisis communications company can step into the breach and manage public perceptions during a period of turbulence.

Press release services and media training services are two other functions often filled by a public relations agency. Businesses seeking help with such tasks can reach out to a Florida PR agency, or an Orlando PR company, for assistance.

The takeaway

The range of services offered by creative agencies has grown significantly. Today, a full-service Florida marketing agency can help businesses with all of the services listed above, allowing its owners to free up much-needed time — and benefit from the deep experience and specialist skill offered by modern marketing experts.

Want to Win Over Consumers? Try Humble Brand Packaging Design

Have you ever received a large package from Amazon — only to discover a much smaller package inside? It’s kind of like the retail version of a Russian nesting doll.
There’s a word for this phenomenon: Overboxing. In a world where the global environment is under rising stress, overboxing has emerged as a real issue for businesses and online retailers. Customers, especially younger ones, are demanding sustainable solutions — which means brand packaging design has become more important than ever.

The perils of “overboxing”

Online retail giants such as Amazon and Alibaba ship billions of products each year and these numbers are expected to grow significantly in the coming decades. That translates into an enormous amount of cardboard, styrofoam and bubble wrap.

Given the hefty amount of debris that comes with modern packaging – and isn’t typically recycled – that’s a serious burden on the environment. Amazon is attempting to limit the damage by asking its vendors to follow new standards under its “Frustration-Free Packaging” program. The ultimate goal is to limit overboxing by having vendors send their products to Amazon in boxes that are ready to ship.

This is an approach that aligns with changing public sentiment. The numbers are stark: 94% of Generation Z members say businesses should work to solve environmental and social issues, while 89% say such efforts are a factor in their buying decisions. No other demographic group places this of an emphasis on corporate sustainability.

Sidestepping “wrap rage” and delivering agile design  

In the early days of e-commerce, businesses took the same retail products meant for the shelves, placed them in a box, and shipped them to online retailers or customers. Today, that kind of practice often leads to extraordinary waste — and “wrap rage”-induced social media call outs.

In order to stay on the right side of sustainability, today’s businesses are moving away from a product design aesthetic that made shelf appeal paramount. Instead, these businesses are merging this objective with the practicalities of sustainable packaging.

Hasbro’s “Baby Alive” doll is one such example: By following Amazon’s stricter guidelines, the company was able to reduce the total amount of packaging used by 50%. Other popular products that have been redesigned for sustainable shipping include Play-Doh and Mr. Potato Head.

While choosing this path may require additional research and development money, smart brands can recoup part of this through the use of clever marketing. Sustainability is a major priority for many buyers and can serve as a critical differentiator for brands seeking a competitive edge.

Brand package design that pops

Our creative team has an eye for design that jumps off the shelf (or in this case box) — and a desire to help companies grow sustainably. If you think your product can benefit from better brand package design, we urge you to contact us today.

A Brand Positioning Agency Changed How America Eats Burritos

For years, Taco Bell had something close to a monopoly on fast Tex-Mex food. The menu certainly wasn’t gourmet — or even particularly good for you — but the company was resoundingly successful.
And then Chipotle came along.

Though it began as a small operation in Denver in the 1990s, Chipotle expanded fast, thanks in part to its pioneering “fast casual” approach. That was merely the prelude for one of the most extraordinary growth stories in the archives of the food business — a success story that was driven by just one partnership.

A brand positioning agency.

How brilliant brand positioning helped “Burrito David” challenge “Taco Goliath”

In a little more than a decade, Chipotle grew from a modest local Colorado burrito shop to a billion-dollar enterprise with 500 locations. Not only was the company continuously listed among the fastest-growing businesses in the United States, but it was also applauded for the quality and flavor of its products.

The truth, however, is that Chipotle didn’t invent its famous overstuffed “mission-style” burrito, a delicacy Californians have enjoyed since the 1960s. They did, however, build one of the restaurant industry’s most effective brand campaigns around their fast-casual offerings.

Taco Bell, which owned virtually all of the national fast-food Tex-Mex market, didn’t focus its marketing on food quality, eating experience or health. Instead, Taco Bell ran a multi-year ad campaign detailing the madcap adventures of a taco-crazed Chihuahua.

While “Yo queiro Taco Bell” was certainly clever and cute, it also wasn’t in tune with the ever-evolving consumer attitudes and preferences. Cheap, fast food of dubious quality was out — and cleaner, healthier, better-tasting dishes served in brighter and sleeker settings was in.

Chipotle’s marketing capitalized on this trend by printing clever jokes on its cups and cultivating a hip environment in its restaurant locations. Their marketing campaigns ruthlessly highlighted the differences between Chipotle’s approach and that of Taco Bell. They made the case that not only was Chipotle higher quality it was also operating on a higher ethical plane.

One example: Chipotle commissioned a stop-motion short film that promoted organic, sustainable farming (and their own superior ingredients), set to a soundtrack of Willie Nelson covering Coldplay.

Later, in advance of Halloween, they released a Tim Burton-style short film that starred a scarecrow in moral conflict about the (very tangential) role he was playing in factory farming. The video, which was set to Fiona Apple covering a song from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” was also tied into a mobile gaming app with an anti-factory farming message.

These clever creative gambits helped position Chipotle as a fast-casual cuisine that you could feel good about eating. Not only was it elevated above the déclassé level of fast food, but it was also smart, ethical and in tune with changing tastes.

Though the company eventually had to deal with some turbulence caused by food-borne illnesses, sales are up, and Chipotle’s future is looking brighter than ever.

This is the kind of powerful brand positioning that can shake up an industry. In Chipotle’s case, it helped the company become a global juggernaut and the first serious rival to Taco Bell’s Tex-Mex hegemony.

What the right brand positioning agency can do for you

Even though the company has had some recent, queso-related missteps, Chipotle has always been a favorite at the BIGEYE offices, and it’s not just the bowls and burritos. We’ve loved their story, and you should too.

The right brand positioning agency can take a company to the next level — and we’d be happy to show you how. Reach out to our branding team today!

A Star is Rebranded: What Your Business Can Learn from Lady Gaga

Rebranding…it’s not just for businesses.
Look no further than the example of Stefani Germanotta, better known as “Lady Gaga.” Fans know that Gaga has reinvented herself numerous times in a musical context: She began as a neo-burlesque club act and New York cult sensation, before exploding onto the scene as a world-conquering, meat suit wearing, dance music pop star.

After pushing the conceptual art boundary as far as it could go, Gaga shapeshifted into a rootsier, rock-heavy persona that saw her minimize the glam and artifice in favor of a more personal approach to her craft and her presentation.

None of those transformations hold a candle to Gaga’s latest rebranding, however: Full-fledged, Oscar-caliber A-list actress.

Rebranding on the big screen

Gaga isn’t completely new to acting. Her credits, in fact, stretch back 15 years, all the way to a bit part in an early episode of “The Soprano’s.” She’s also taken a starring role in the popular “American Horror Story” TV series.

All told, she has 40 credits to her name on TV and film. However, there is a major caveat: Almost all of those appearances were tied into her musical persona, and none of them featured a performance quite like her leading role in “A Star is Born.”

Gaga has drawn rave reviews (and likely Oscar notices) for her role as Ally, a diamond-in-the-rough singing waitress who eventually climbs to the top of the record industry after being discovered by co-star Bradley Cooper’s famous yet troubled troubadour.

Though she’s drawn critical raves for a performance that marries powerful acting with showstopping singing, landing this role was only the first step in Gaga’s most recent — and most impressive — rebranding.  She isn’t content to merely arrive on the scene as an Oscar-contending actor.

As a recent New York Times Magazine profile makes clear, Gaga is playing a much bigger role — that of a screen siren from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Marilyn-inspired look featuring platinum blond hair and stilettos? Check.

Arriving at the 2018 Venice Film Festival on a sailboat with one red rose in hand? Check.

Buying a mansion in the Hollywood Hills? Check.

Given that it’s grounded in a remarkably powerful performance, Gaga doesn’t so much play this role as inhabit it. It’s also fair to say that — even for a master of transformations and reinventions — this represents her boldest and most successful rebrand yet.

Taking a page from Lady Gaga’s branding story

Lady Gaga has a special genius for fusing styles, identities, and dexterously remixing the ideas and images of other famous artists (Madonna, David Bowie and David Byrne to name just a few).

Brands don’t have access to Gaga’s creative brilliance, but they can still learn important lessons about audience building, rebranding, and utilizing resources, such as a branding agency.

One example: Gaga’s connection with her fans is amazingly deep and powerful. In an era where fame is often fleeting and fickle, Gaga has built a global fan base numbering in the tens of millions. Her art isn’t solely responsible for this connection; Gaga is a master of using social media and other digital forms to interact and communicate with her fan base.

Gaga’s most ardent followers, whom she christened “Little Monsters,” are among the most passionate and devoted fans in the world. In every corner of the digital world, you’ll find them evangelizing on her behalf, defending her from critics and reveling in all things Gaga. In return, Lady Gaga showers them with affection, interacts with them personally across social platforms, and gives them exclusive access to songs and information.

Why is there such a fierce bond between this superstar and her fans? It’s the same reason why her rebranding efforts have been successful: Authenticity. Anyone (or any brand) can pivot on a dime; yet if this transformation isn’t grounded in something deep, real and true, fans (or consumers) aren’t going to respond.

Lady Gaga’s rebrand as Hollywood screen siren is rooted in her Oscar-worthy performance.  Her previous transformations and incarnations were all rooted in her deep understanding of the musical and artistic traditions she was mining for inspiration.

For brands seeking to replicate that success, it’s a smart idea to follow the same framework: Build a meaningful connection with your audience, and ensure your rebrand is rooted in something authentic.

Finding the right branding agency

At BIGEYE, we’re big fans of Lady Gaga — but we’re even more entranced by the idea of helping businesses develop their own genius for branding. With some assistance from the right branding agency, we believe almost any business can build the audience it deserves.

Contact our branding team today to build your own following of little monsters and advance your brand!

5 Secrets to Authentic Branding in an Era of Declining Trust

A generation ago, authenticity perhaps wasn’t a key strategic goal for your typical marketing firm or brand story agency. That’s not because it isn’t important; it’s simply because yesterday’s audience was less wary and more trusting.

Survey after survey shows that Millennials and Generation Z are more skeptical of ads than older demographics. This development is occurring against a backdrop of declining trust in business — the Edelman Trust Barometer reports that 48% of U.S. citizens report having trust in corporations. That’s a relatively steep decline of 10 points since 2017.

Not only are modern audiences more skeptical and less likely to automatically trust, but they are also more sophisticated and discerning. In an age where data is currency, people are beginning to take a closer look at how advertising and marketing work — and who truly benefits. 

The environment makes authenticity essential. Brands and any brand story agency that can connect in a meaningful way have a serious competitive advantage.

With that in mind, let’s review five ways you can authentically brand your company and improve your marketing strategy.

Fearless candor

Remember when Domino’s Pizza essentially admitted their product was awful? In the early 2000s, the pizza chain’s reputation was so toxic that taste testers liked their product less if they were told it came from Domino’s, rather than simply being unbranded.

Domino’s decided to make changes to their pizza and accompany the rollout with a marketing campaign that was basically an extended mea culpa for culinary crimes. This candid and authentic approach was a resounding success; Domino’s market share rose from nine to 16% in five years. The moral of the story? The honesty and candor resonated with consumers, and they ordered much more pizza as a result.

Fine tune your voice

Does your company speak with a unified and distinctive brand voice across all platforms and channels? If not, it’s time to start working with a brand story agency. Your brand voice should be an authentic representation of your brand personality and it should, ideally, be immediately recognizable to your audience.

What’s the best way to create an authentic brand voice? Fine-tune your language. All of your brand language should reflect your brand messaging, attributes etc. It should also be relatable, fresh and up to date.

What it shouldn’t do, however, is attempt to mimic popular slang phrases or idioms. That kind of thing needs to be executed perfectly, otherwise, you’ll fall into the all too familiar category “corporation tries to be hip and fails spectacularly.” That’s about as inauthentic as it gets in the eyes of modern audiences.

Reach for a higher purpose

Consumers may be wary about marketing, but they appreciate uplift and storytelling. Look no further than Nike’s advertising campaigns, which typically do a masterful job of highlighting the triumph of the human spirit over often-incredible odds.

When an audience watches Rohan Murphy (a wrestler who managed to compete at the highest collegiate level despite having no legs) in a Nike ad, some of the awe and goodwill they experience is transferred to the brand.  Being exposed to a narrative like this can create a deeply human and authentic connection, as the ad creates a powerful emotional response in the viewer.

Forge a two-way connection

Great storytelling doesn’t have to be a one-way street. In fact, by encouraging your audience to share their own stories with your brand, you can forge an even deeper and more authentic connection.

Social media is the ideal avenue for a two-way campaign. Invite your audience to share photos or stories on Instagram, and engage them in meaningful conversations about their content.

Don’t behave like a brand; Act like a person

Let’s face it: Brands are never going to fully transcend the inherent skepticism audience’s hold. So why act like a brand?

If you want to achieve authenticity, don’t be afraid to let the corporate mask drop. Show the occasional misstep or hiccup. Work with a brand story agency to create interesting, fresh and human stories to share. Drop the pose of corporate Olympian detachment, and let your audience know that your brand is really a collection of people: Imperfect, yes, but also human and deeply authentic.

Reach out to our human team and begin to authenticate your brand story.

Does Your Brand Talk About You? Use a Brand Story Agency

Human beings are natural storytellers. From our earliest days, we’ve shared stories, shaped myths and passed them down through each generation, using them to explain, entertain and educate. The most successful brands understand how important a great story is to public perception — which is one reason why working with a specialized brand story agency is often the best move.

By developing a compelling brand story, customers view businesses for what they truly are: A collection of real people working to deliver a product or service that improves the customer’s life, rather than another faceless and distant organization.

Neuroscience research has shown that narratives have a profoundly stimulating effect on the human mind; in fact, if one looks at scans of the brain, there is little difference between reading or hearing a story and experiencing the same thing — all the same neurological regions of the brain are activated. A brand story, like any other story, has immense potential for creating rich and meaningful connections with audiences.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at five tips for improving your existing brand story.

Identify your protagonist

There’s a reason why almost every story needs a hero; the archetypal “hero’s journey” is one of the oldest story patterns we have, and one that is found in virtually every human culture. It has endured this long for one reason: People respond to it on a deep, emotional level.

A brand protagonist doesn’t need to be a figure like Hercules and doesn’t even need to be overtly or classically heroic. It might be a founder (think about the iconic power of a Steve Jobs or Ray Kroc), a spokesperson or simply the company itself. Yet it should always help forge a connection with your audience. Remember, brand stories need to go deeper than conventional advertising; when executed correctly, they create emotional resonance.

Make it Relatable

“Put people in your photos” is the first thing any news photographer is taught. Why? Because people are drawn to each other, much more than we’re drawn to landscapes or buildings. The same holds true in storytelling.

Your brand story should focus on how your product or service improves the lives of everyday people. It should be authentic and compelling, feeling personal yet also universal.

Cut Through the Clutter

We’ve all started reading a boring story and stopped after a few uninspiring paragraphs, never to pick it up again. To maintain audience interest, it’s vitally important to seize their attention immediately.

When crafting a brand story, originality and creativity are paramount. It’s impossible to sell to an audience if you cannot hold their attention.

Focus on Simplicity

When telling a story, needless complexity distracts the audience and increases the risk of disengagement. This is especially true for brand stories (after all, we’re not creating War and Peace, here). In order to avoid this, it’s important to tell your brand story in a simple fashion.

To do this, keep your story focused on the problems you can solve for real people while still allowing your brand personality to shine through.

Make Sure You Answer Two Fundamental Questions

Every brand story should address two essential questions: Who are you and why are you in business?

Audiences want to know who they are patronizing and the values you stand for. They also want to know why you’re in business — and the answer has to be more than just “to make a profit.” Use your story to explain your values and the value you can add to your customers’ lives.

Working With a Brand Story Agency

Creating a compelling brand story is a real challenge — especially for small to mid-sized businesses. At BIGEYE, we have the storytelling expertise to help you create the kind of brand identity that moves the needle. 

If you’re in the market for a top Florida marketing firm or brand story agency, we urge you to find out what BIGEYE can do for you.