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Is traditional media worth your advertising dollars anymore? Many people hold the presumption that it’s
on life support and will soon become obsolete. Although in some cases usage has declined, putting it on life support would be a bit dramatic.
In fact, good ol’ reliable traditional media is very much alive. For example, 93% of Americans still listen to the radio. And viewership of traditional media’s biggest hitter, TV, has actually increased. Ninety-eight percent of people 12 and up watch TV every week.
Our agency has recently experienced a firsthand account of what traditional media is capable of. July is typically a soft month in sales for one of our clients. In an attempt to counteract this trend, we implemented a promotional offer only good during the month of July. To advertise this promotion we used television as our primary medium and print as secondary. The results brought our client record sales for July, making it the best July and second best month in company history. Based on this positive and anomalous deviation in sales trends for our client, we can determine that traditional media, when used effectively, is still a powerhouse player in media.
The takeaway message is this, history shows that traditional media has proven to be very adaptable to our constantly evolving society. The younger forms of media like web, social and mobile have definitely been useful and have made a large impact on the industry, but eventually they too will be threatened by a newer form of media, forcing them to either successfully evolve and adapt like the rest of the traditional mediums in use today, or fail and become obsolete. Until traditional media loses its adaptability and fails to meet the wants, needs and tastes of a modern society, it will continue to be a vital form of media.
As Andrew mentioned in his overly-complimentary post from yesterday, today is my last day at ADwërks after more than a year of fun, learning, and getting to contribute to some killer work. Calling it a good year would be an egregious understatement.
However, since it is my last day, I thought it would only be fair to share some of the lessons I’ve learned since I began my tenure here at ADwërks. So for those of you interested in the inside scoop, here you go.
This list could’ve been another 30 bullet points longer, but one other thing I’ve learned in my time here is the importance of brevity. (Clearly, I’m still working on it.)
All in all, I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to work with this ADwërks crew. Every person working here has a wealth of knowledge and a passion for sharing that knowledge, and it has truly been inspiring to come in every day and work with people who love doing what they do. I’ve never worked in an environment quite like ADwërks and I doubt I ever will again.
Thanks to everyone here at ADwërks for the past year. Each of you has helped me get better at what I do and it’s been an experience I’ll remember forever. Or at least 30-40 years. But probably forever.
Photo by woodleywonderworks.
He and his wife, Lindsie, are moving to Springfield, Missouri where she will pursue a degree in Christian counseling. Meanwhile, Captain Content will be scouring the city looking to protect advertising agencies from villainous marketing problems or to save them from treacherous writer’s block. In other words, he’s looking for a job.
The strategy he’s using for marketing himself to the Springfield job market speaks for his overall advertising and marketing skills – like his writing talent, creative strategies, and sturdy thoroughness (and much more). And as always, he throws in a dash of humor and a pinch of the Billeter wit. Perhaps the most interesting thing he’s done so far to market himself is launching this website hiremikebilleter.com where prospective employers can view his work/writing samples, look at his résumé, and most importantly, connect with him. And Mike draws them in right away with the headline, “Can you live with yourself if someone else hires him first?” – Brilliant, Mike.
ADwërks will truly miss Mike and all the talents and skills that are included in the Captain Content package. But we are confident that he will continue to succeed in his career and we wish him all the best. And to all of Mike’s prospective employers in Springfield, if you’d rather not receive a cake that says “hiremikebilleter.com” in icing, you can also reach him here, twitter.com/mikebilleter, and here, www.facebook.com/mikebilleter, oh, and here linkedin.com/in/mikebilleter.
Although Mike will no longer be employed by ADwërks, in a way, he will always be an ADwërker. Go get ‘em Mike!
You start out in kindergarten, then finish 13 years later when you graduate high school. For some, you become college freshmen and finish as a college graduates. Fresh out of college, you most likely start out as a newbie at some kind of business or corporation. The circle continues.
The learning process does not necessarily have a definitive beginning and end. And completed schooling certainly is not the end of our education. After graduation, the responsibility of learning becomes our own instead of our professor’s. Because the truth is, there will always be plenty to learn. Once we’ve become comfortable enough in our jobs, to the point where we’re just maintaining the routine, it’s easy to allow ourselves to go with the flow, instead of forcing ourselves to constantly push the threshold of our knowledge, skill sets, and definitions of success. The more we learn, the more we grow, and the better we can be at our jobs (and of course, life). Once we convince ourselves that we have learned enough, or become too arrogant or too proud to admit that we don’t have all the answers, that is when we stop learning. And when we stop learning, we become vulnerable to failure in the always changing world of business and advertising.
This is not to discredit the many intelligent, wise, talented, and highly acclaimed people in business, advertising, and the world in general, but it is a reminder to keep an open mind so we all can continue to learn and improve. That’s the beauty of The Learning Circle – with no true beginning or end, there’s always something new to learn.
During a recent client meeting the discussion turned to putting QR codes in some of their ads. I thought it was a great idea. However, the client didn’t fully understand QR codes and how they work, which made me think of this cautionary message.
As the digital world progressively integrates itself into our culture, along with seemingly endless technology upgrades, more and more businesses are jumping on the bandwagon. I know that everyone is telling you to stay current with the web, but I ask you one thing.
When the next new social media site, digital platform, or any other new technology or digital trend surfaces, take a moment to think rationally about how it can or cannot apply to your business specifically. All too often businesses immediately jump on the latest bandwagon thinking it’s going to somehow magically save them or keep them afloat. Although our digital age can be very beneficial to business, don’t automatically think you have to ride on EVERY bandwagon. It’s not about the fun, cutting-edge technologies you’re using; it’s about how you use them while keeping your consumers in mind. Plus, haphazardly putting out an app or signing up for every social media site out there, without the understanding needed to use these technologies properly to further your business can sometimes be worse than not using them at all.
With our digital world, sometimes it’s easy to forget that it’s all about the people behind the technology, and not the technology itself. We’re still communicating with human beings, no matter how you look at it.
Have you taken a trip to your business’s social media account lately? Does it feel like an old, abandoned gas station isolated in the middle of nowhere? If your company, like many companies, is neglecting its social media account, then you may be turning potential customers away from your business. Either revive it, or destroy it.
Abandoned social media sites always strike me with a weird, forlorn, melancholy-type feeling, whether it’s a small business’s clearly unused Facebook fan page, or a long forgotten, yet once thriving MySpace band page. It’s almost depressing. Much like the feeling I get on a hot, dusty Sunday afternoon when I see an obsolete retail chain store (I won’t mention names) struggling for survival on the edge of town. This feeling is not the message you want to be sending to your current/potential customers. You’re telling them that your business has not modernized in society along with the rest of us; it is now obsolete, and is no longer relevant. If you absolutely CAN NOT keep it updated, then you should delete it immediately. Although I strongly recommend having an online presence (not just limited to your company’s website), its non-existence is better than portraying your business as a struggling retail chain store.
As for everyone else, it’s essential that you keep your social media accounts active and updated with information and posts. And if it applies to your business, you should always keep your photos, videos, and graphics flowing, utilize new apps, and keep your knowledge of the trends in technology and activity in social media updated.
If your social media accounts fail to bring in money/customers, that doesn’t necessarily mean your effort is a lost cause. There is still a long list of benefits your business will enjoy. A few being: you’re still offering people information about your company, you’re demonstrating to visitors that you’re modern and relevant, and you’re giving people an alternative way (maybe their favorite way) to communicate with you. Plus, you won’t be giving consumers that odd feeling I was talking about earlier.
It is for these reasons that you must (cue echoey, booming voice) REVIVE IT, OR DESTROY IT.
Much of our company’s work is for restaurant clients, mostly national chains that you all know; McDonald’s, Applebee’s, Carino’s etc… so they all had well known names long before we started working for them. But as our fair city is growing and new restaurants are opening up, there seems to be an epidemic of new eateries with truly awful names. Having started my own small business more than 12 years ago and since then helping others create names for their businesses, I feel that I have some expertise when it comes to creating a memorable name.
But this skill seems foreign to many new business owners. And it seems they are unwilling to seek help. With that in mind, this post is a plea to those who are thinking of opening a new business; please think twice before the signs are made!
The owner of Pappadox, a well known drinking establishment here in Sioux Falls recently opened a second establishment, calling it The Other Place. While Pappadox may get misspelled occasionally, it is at least memorable, which is more than I can say for The Other Place. And in an interview with the Argus Leader, the owner said of how he came up with the name, “People are always saying we should have went to the other place.” So the moniker is based on poor grammar. Nice.
Another team of budding restaurateurs opened “212° The Boiling Point” in Brandon a few years ago. Know what, I know the significance of 212 degrees without adding “the boiling point.” If they had stopped at “212°” it would have been a clever name, but like a joke, if you feel you have to explain it, you know it isn’t good. Now the same folks have opened kRav’N. Not just a mixed up spelling of a word (no, that would be too simple), they felt the need to throw in some odd caps, just to confuse the subject.
Other examples; the venerable drinkery Smoe’s sold their liquor license to The Other Place and became Old Skoolz. Perfect for people who didn’t finish—and thus can’t spell—school. The Lie’brary was named after a bad old joke, while it’s sister pub The 18th Amendment was named after the legislation that banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol. If I didn’t know better I would think that was an alcohol-free establishment. Perhaps a better name would have been The 21st Amendment, which repealed prohibition.
An old favorite downtown location on Phillips Avenue has seen many names on the door from Sanchez Taquitos to The Fat Duck to Café 334; all fine restaurants in their own way. Now the location holds Bros Brasserie Americano. It’s a nice restaurant, run by two really accomplished chefs, but in the short time it’s been open, I’ve heard it called Brother’s, Brassieres and “that place where Kristina’s used to be.” But most of those who get it right don’t know what a brasserie is or what kind of food to expect there. Sorry guys, I love your pork sandwich, but the name leaves something to be desired.
If someone would just ask before the menu is printed and the sign is on the building, there are a lot of really smart marketing minds in Sioux Falls who would help you come up with a good solid name. Who knows, we might even be willing to trade our services for food and drinks. What do you think?
The night we left, we ran into a problem. To make a long story short, some misplaced and incorrectly-marked detour signs added about 50 minutes to our already-9-hour drive. And since this all took place around midnight, our options for getting help were extremely limited (and I’m not even the stereotypical, never-asks-for-directions male that is portrayed in every travel-related movie).
All it would’ve taken was one or two more clearly marked signs. A few guideposts to ensure that we were on the right path. But there we were, wondering why the detour signs for I-29 S were pointing BOTH directions at a T-intersection.
However, even amidst all of the intense frustration and confusion, I realized that this scenario fits perfectly in the business world. Because, when it comes to sharing your message with your customers, it’s amazing how much a little extra clarity can do. Whether it’s encouraging them to pay for your product or service or simply asking them to support you on Facebook, giving your target audience clear, defined ways to accomplish a goal is essential.
If your Facebook page isn’t growing as quickly as you’d like, have you considered adding a “Like” button for your page on your company website? If your online sales are down, have you been sure to include a prominently displayed “Buy Now” (or similarly-messaged) button on your site? Small guideposts can make a big difference when it comes to keeping your customers on the right path.
Eventually we found our way, but it would’ve been much easier if things were clear the first time around. Make sure your customers aren’t suffering the same fate my wife and I suffered on our road trip. I can tell you from personal experience that clarity is, in fact, key.
Picture this. You’re walking down the street; there are strangers in suits on both sides of the road, holding up their products and shouting at you in a barbaric attempt to get your attention. The idea of hopping the fence in order to get closer to you never occurs to them. After awhile you become desensitized to the brutish noise, with the exception of the occasional voice that’s even louder and more annoying than the others. Then a smart, down-to-Earth person climbs over the fence, casually approaches you, and engages in pleasant conversation with you.
Now THAT is how you advertise.
This scenario is how I sometimes see the advertising world and all of its participants. If you were trying to establish a relationship with someone in society, you wouldn’t just scream at them to get noticed would you? This kind of attention-grabbing is impersonal and unappealing to people, and like in the metaphor above, would come across as crazy. You want to be that down-to-Earth person who is legitimately interested in having a real, human conversation with the individual. Listen to them; get to know them; converse with them. You have some interesting things to say and so do they. From sincere, productive conversations come sincere, new relationships. And after all, relationships are what we’re after.
I know it can be tempting to yell. With all the noise around, one’s first instinct is to yell louder than everyone else. But instead of contributing to the noise, it’s more important to think strategically. Hop the fence, and treat your consumers like the individualistic humans they are.
That’s how we get the quality attention we’re looking for.