The top advertising trends for 2015 are here, are you ready

Ron Swanson- it’s a name that brings to mind breakfast, Tammy’s, abhorrence for local government, and staying off the grid. In a particularly memorable scene from NBC’s hit show, “Parks and Recreation”, Ron receives a personalized pop-up ad on his computer and later discovers (to his horror) what happens when he Googles his home address. In an effort to regain his privacy, he tosses his cellphone and computer in the dumpster. Typical Ron.
Fortunately for advertisers, though, most people are not Ron Swanson. Some Facebook users might not even bat an eyelash after seeing a Warby Parker banner ad. But just take a moment to Google eyeglasses nowadays, and you’ll quickly discover that these types of tailored ads are truly an integral part of our web browsing experience. While the decline in “traditional” advertising may still leave a bitter taste to some advertisers, this type of interconnectedness within the digital world is good news for agencies, and a homerun for reaching a highly targeted audience – just as long as the content remains “up to par.”

With a smartphone attached to everyone’s hip (or an Apple watch on their wrist), implementing real-time promotions and advertisements is both convenient and relevant; now, through location services and GPS, advertisers can even geo-target consumers based upon where they are, and at any moment.

Personally, I receive a lot of promotional emails from clothing stores. A lot. Everyday. Did I mention it’s a lot? Yet for every one hundred BOGO coupons cluttering my inbox, I’ll take the time to look at – even possibly use – just one. Sure, I have about 50 items in at least three online shopping carts, but nothing is really compelling me to click on that fateful “Place Order” button. The silver lining: potential new clothes are “piling-up” in my shopping cart, while my wallet stays full. That all changes when I’m out running errands or visiting a new city – those same brands and boutiques that I’ve previously browsed online might employ geo-targeting, sending me push notifications if I’m near a physical, brick-and-mortar store. (And sneakily, they may include a coupon, to dangle the carrot further). That sense of urgency to purchase a shirt I don’t need sure does grow a lot stronger as I think, “Well, I’m already here, I may as well stop in…” Suddenly, it’s bad for my wallet, but boy, oh boy, is it great for business.

Speaking of online browsing, 2015 marks the year of mobile marketing more than ever before. With tablet use increasing and smartphones becoming the size of tablets, mobile web browsing has become the most common way to access the web. [quote]In fact, more than 50% of Internet users are browsing on mobile devices.[/quote] In fact, more than 50% of Internet users are browsing on mobile devices. For companies, this means creating mobile-friendly sites that operate seamlessly on a smartphone, anytime and anywhere. The website’s design can be flawless on a desktop, but without mobile capabilities, it’s content has the potential to miss reaching nearly half of the target market. After all, what good was all the diligent work completed by web designers, if the smartphone user isn’t able to marvel at it’s sleek interface?

There are a series of features that should be standard at this juncture – like in-app calling, directions, ordering-placing, etc. Companies or brands whose mobile sites are not embracing this technology could find themselves way behind the eight ball. I’m not sure about you, but if I can’t quickly look up a local restaurant’s menu on my phone beforehand, I’ll likely choose to dine elsewhere. Call me a diva, but my smartphone and I just don’t have time for that.

Yet all of this is fairly useless if the content your brand is producing lacks quality and authenticity. The consumer has been able to pick and choose what he wants to see, and can easily ignore the rest- TiVo and the DVR changed the game for broadcast advertisements and the Internet has seen the introduction of AdBlock. Just getting your brand’s product name to the consumer can be tricky, and when you do, man, are they picky.

But with all this said, this is a good thing. Yes, agencies have to work harder and get more creative than the old click-bait strategy, but with content-driven marketing, the consumers that do choose to learn more are more likely to act on their interests. And at the end of the day, what good is 10,000 page hits if no one buys what you’re selling?

When it boils down to how “on the grid” we all are, paired with the technological advances we’ve made in recent years, the possibilities are endless in the digital world of advertising. The future isn’t so scary now, is it? (Looking at you, Ron).

Need some expert advice on ushering in some innovative strategies to align with these 2015 advertising trends? Contact our Orlando media buying agency today to develop your perfect game plan!

Learn the Keys to Attracting Customers – Great Ones

Interestingly, when businesses contact our Orlando marketing agency, they have a pressing issue: Business is steady, but they’re often frustrated with the client base itself.  Whether it’s the salon clients who don’t tip, the hotel guest who always complains so she can get a free upgrade or the consulting client who rarely pays on time, there is a common refrain – how do you attract and retain the best customers?

It’s no misnomer that if you don’t diligently focus your branding and marketing efforts on finding good customers, you may end up with too many of the wrong type of customers. In addition to simply being a headache to you, the wrong type of customer may actually dilute the value of your business as a whole.

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Don’t know what strategy is best for attracting customers? Let BIGEYE discover and define the right customers for you. Contact us today, and we will share our recommendations to guide your business for success!

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Let’s talk about the “daily deals” industry, for instance. These limited-time offer sites capitalize on deal seekers, people who purchase tickets for a dinner or excursion that they may not have purchased without a special incentive. (In most cases, the opportunity for consumers is to pay less than full price.)

The “daily deal” strategy works well for some businesses, as they may promote deals often because it’s what their target market loves. Big retailers such as Walmart and JCPenny both keep their customers returning by offering low prices and sales on everyday products.

But the problem with some of these deal sites is that the deal-seeking customer can be detrimental for businesses in search of long-term clients rather than a one-off visitor. The person who comes in using a Groupon may not have much interest in returning to the restaurant, unless he or she can get another offer. In this example, the deal seeker just paid half-price for a meal, and may have done so with no intention of returning or spreading the word to other potential diners.

In applying the “deal strategy” on a larger scale, you’ll notice all kinds of problematic customers. These are the types of people who shop in department stores for fancy dresses, wear them out for a night on the town, and then return them the next day (yes, people really do that!). Or, they might be the people who come into your restaurant and complain during every visit until their meals are comped. While it’s important to provide a great experience in hopes that customers engage in positive word-of-mouth marketing, it’s also necessary to consider whether your marketing efforts are attracting these “Debbie Downers”…and if so, how to change course.

When evaluating whether you’re working with the right types of customers, focus on the 80/20 rule, which suggests that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Essentially, this means that for many businesses, [quote]80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients[/quote] 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients. The goal here should be to focus on the tactical strategies that drive that 80% of sales, rather than exhausting yourself trying to please those customers whose purchasing power makes up only 20%.

If you’ve noticed that the quality of your customer base is on the decline, contact our Florida marketing agency for strategic direction. We can assist you in determining how to target your marketing efforts toward the right customers with the right message.

Know The Top Tips for Financial Institution Marketing

With so many tools, webinars and publications available for marketers within the financial services industry, it’s often difficult to sift through the clutter to figure out the most “essential” strategies for bank marketing success. However, some strategies do stand above others, and these tried-and-tested outreach methodologies can create sizable success within your financial institution. That’s why BIGEYE’s Florida marketing agency is offering a few highly effective tips to help increase your bank or other financial service’s ROI.

Develop a Strategy Prioritization Matrix

The first step to success in the financial realm is prioritization. A Strategy Prioritization Matrix can help you to determine the most strategic projects to help your business get the most “bang for its buck.” Create the matrix by listing the impact on the X axis (high or low) and the ease of implementation on the Y axis (hard or easy). Then, within the matrix, classify potential projects in one of four buckets: Quick Wins (High Impact, Low Effort), Must Haves (High Impact, High Effort), Low-Hanging Fruit (Low Impact, Low Effort) and Money Pits (Low Impact, High Effort). Your matrix might look something like this:

Strategy Prioritization Matrix

This will help clarify those areas requiring the greatest focus. For most banks and credit unions, the Quick Wins will be of highest priority, as the ROI impact is highest, and the strategy is easy to implement.

Implement a “New Mover” Customer Acquisition Strategy

Prospective clients that may be relocating to your area will likely be in search of a local bank. Depending on a potential customer’s degree of wealth, he or she may also need other financial planning services such as estate planning or wealth management. Creating a strategy to deliver your message into prospect’s inbox will assist in the growth of your audience. Of course a direct mail customer outreach campaign is only portion of the process. It’s important to have a strategy in place to ensure that yours is the first financial services company to reach these potential clients, including the development of efficient on-boarding processes. For many financial service providers, these outreach efforts can prove to be “Quick Win,” as outlined in the matrix above.

Invest in Digital Retargeting

According to Wagner dos Santos, BIGEYE’s senior director of marketing and strategic planning, retargeting is often the most effective and efficient acquisition strategy on a cost-per-account basis. It’s also a good way to capitalize on a person’s interest, as retargeting is only triggered after a person visits your site or clicks on your content.

In many ways, digital retargeting can successfully work in tandem with direct mail efforts, as one banking business achieved a lift of 40% after pairing digital retargeting efforts with a direct mail campaign.

Collect Insights for Iterative Improvement

[quote]Email marketing is still one of the leading ways to reach people, even in spite of significant levels of email glut.[/quote]

When your business can tailor communications to send the right message to the right individuals through segmentation, it significantly improves the chances that the prospect will convert (as compared to a general email blast). Be sure that in all financial services relationships, you’re not only collecting email addresses, but also analyzing customer profiles so that you can provide information that is relevant to their individual banking and financial needs. Through surveys and new account processing, you can grab significant information about your customers that you can then use for future marketing and outreach efforts. And, through iteration, you can continue evolving your campaigns and strategies for optimal growth.

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Need more ideas for effective ways to reach potential audiences with your bank or financial services marketing? Contact us at our Orlando ad agency, and we can help you tailor your customer acquisition strategies to help generate the most ROI for your business.

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The Right Questions to Ask in Restaurant Marketing

It’s not uncommon for restaurant marketers to reach out to BIGEYE for tips on how to effectively market their concepts. It would be great if the key to successful restaurant marketing meant there was a to-do list of items that, upon completion, would cause a genie to pop out of a bottle, and your wish for guaranteed success be granted. But unfortunately, the ideal strategy is much more complicated than that…

There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing plan that will work for every restaurant. A high-end restaurant that caters to tourists won’t necessarily have the same marketing strategy as a diner where all the locals hang out on the weekends. It’s important to identify your target audience, industry challenges, and what your potential customers want. Only then can you identify the right ways to reach them.

Often times, if the number of people coming to your restaurant drops off drastically, it could mean there is something about the experience that’s causing you to lose out to competitors. In some cases, it might just need a little bit of refining, while in others it could mean spell the need to make a major pivot (for instance, offering healthier options, as fast food restaurants have done in the past.)

If you want to know what your customers want, there’s no better way to do this than by talking to them. Personally, I feel flattered when a chef comes out of the back just to say hello and ask me about my dining experience. A place that does something like that makes me feel appreciated, and is sure to keep me coming back again. But beyond that, keep the conversation going. [quote]Identify your regulars, follow them on Twitter, and engage with them to hear their thoughts and suggestions.[/quote] Sometimes, it’s less about doing the PR-worthy stunts to get people in the door, and more about listening to the feedback to perfect the restaurant experience as a whole.

One great place to find out what people are saying about your business is Yelp. If you haven’t been on Yelp lately and are wondering if there might be something keeping people from your restaurant, the team at our Florida advertising agency advises you to look at the Yelp reviews. Admittedly, people are not afraid to say why they didn’t enjoy an experience, especially when they’re on the Internet, under the dark veil of pseudo-anonymity. With that said, you may want to take the reviews with a grain of salt (after all, reviewers aren’t typically food experts but just average people who may not know much about your cuisine). On the other hand, if 100 people have rated your restaurant with a single star, it may be time to rethink the experience.

In switching the question from “What can we do to get customers?” to “What do our customers want?” you shift the focus to the needs of the people who are going to support your business. Understanding your target audience can help you find new ways to reach them. Maybe the reason they’re not going crazy for “all-you-can-eat wing night” is because they’re more interested in getting a perfect gluten-free veggie burger. Your potential customers won’t respond when you try to tell them what to do, but they will take action when you make a concentrated effort to give them the experience they deserve.

Have a few restaurant marketing questions of your own? Contact us today to speak with our team of experts – we’ll ensure your strategy is menu-ready!

Using the Benefits of Luxury Industry Branding To Your Advantage

If you work in the luxury market, chances are you know something about branding. You know how important it is for the brand to know its customer inside and out, and to use this knowledge to continue to build and sell products or services that create a meaningful experience for those indulging in aspirational lifestyles. Your brand is your identity – from your logo to your website to the voice in which you communicate on social media, there’s a line that offers immediate recognition. It creates that feeling that the essence is “on-brand.”

Unfortunately, sometimes luxury industry branding includes making decisions that lead them down the wrong path. For instance, they may start producing lower quality goods in order to increase the bottom line.[quote]But the reality is, especially in the luxury industry, that customers can see right through this.[/quote] Making a person spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a shoddy project is a guaranteed way to make sure they never buy from you again. And, even worse, in this social media-driven world, you can bet that the person who has a bad experience is going to log on to Facebook and Twitter to complain about the experience to friends and followers. Imagine how rough it would be to recover if said unhappy customer is a fashion blogger with a million followers!

But brands do other things to dilute their brands, too, and in some cases, without even knowing it. For example, if your brand voice isn’t consistent on social media, that quickly becomes evident to your followers. People follow you because they’ve come to recognize a certain standard associated with you and your business. If you’re a high-end luxury brand that exudes class and elegance, you could lose credibility in tweeting out images of Miley Cyrus’s infamous tongue. It’s important to understand the types of things that drive your customers so you can keep your finger on the pulse of what’s relevant in their lives.

And, when it comes to luxury industry branding, the team at our Orlando marketing agency knows that more followers doesn’t necessarily translate to a better brand. I don’t fully understand the practice of buying followers from so-called “click farms” in other countries, because even if it does inflate your follower count, you’ve just paid for the experience of having tons of followers who don’t actually care about your brand. Sure, the number looks good, but with no real engagement, it seems like a waste of money. But this doesn’t just relate to click farms – this experience of doing off-brand activities in order to help raise your follows and likes can actually have a detrimental effect on your brand. Sure, you may get more exposure, but if that exposure is from people who don’t represent your target audience, then this can easily dilute your brand’s value on social media.

Another way you may be diluting the value of your brand is by having social media accounts that haven’t been updated in months. People follow you because they have an expectation from you, and if you don’t have the bandwidth or strategy to extend to that social media account, it’s important to assess whether you should take it down entirely. It’s my opinion that for most businesses on most platforms, having no page is better than having an inactive page.

If you’re a luxury brand, you have to act like a luxury brand —this is true in brick and mortar locations, as well as in the digital space. Remember that in branding, the customer is savvier than you think. If you need some ideas as to how to better understand your brand, your brand voice and your brand vision, contact our Orlando branding agency for a consultation.

How to Kiss Long Strategic Findings Documents Goodbye

In doing the work that I do as a strategist, it can be difficult to take long and complex research sets and narrow them down into short, concise documents. I tend to think every little insight I discover is groundbreaking and should be carefully perused by everyone at every level at a company, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know that nearly no one wants to read a long document full of analytic data. For some of these folks, looking at a long document full of important strategic findings is just about as interesting as reading your tax returns for the last ten years.

However, I’ve luckily found numerous ways to keep clients, as well as the team at our Florida ad agency, satisfied through presenting data in a much clearer and more engaging manner. The goal is to rely on an often-used phrase, “Keep it simple, stupid!” I promise I’m not calling anyone stupid, it’s just a great way to remember to simplify in every aspect of business where possible — including writing research reports. Here are some of the tips I’ve employed to keep people interested in the content so my memos don’t have to keep competing with stacks of other boring documents.

Summarize

If you must write a long research report, offer a clear summary of findings on the first page of the report. For many people, and especially high-level executives, this will be the only part of the report they will actually read.

If it’s a Brief, Keep it Brief

There’s a reason they call it a brief, you know. Keeping it under two pages will make it more likely that people will read the entire thing, ensuring they won’t miss any important items.

Use Images

Almost any type of image will add more interest to a page of text. A chart or graph can make for an excellent storytelling device, and a photo can offer a visual description of the content or inspire ideation. If nothing else, take a quote from the report, add some white space around it and highlight it, making it stand out on the page.

Use Humor

This may not be appropriate in all circumstances, but where it is, use it to your advantage. In presenting material using humor, you are more likely to keep the reader interested in the content, plus funny lines or quips will help them better remember the material. Even inserting a funny image of a LOLCat can help make an otherwise stale collection of data into something more interesting, which will also make you look like a star when people can’t stop talking about it in the break room. [quote]Remember, your content doesn’t have to be boring and stale, and in fact, making it more interesting will help people to better remember the content.[/quote]

I’ve already shared these tips with the team at our Orlando marketing agency, so I thought there was no better time than now to allow you to rip a few pages from our playbook. Contact us today for more information, and to unlock your own strategic approach!