advertising

The Difference Between Marketing & Sales

I have encountered a weird trend in the advertising marketing lately. I'm thinking it has something to do with client steered conversations and marketing guys with no backbone. We've all been there; a deal is about to close and the client asks for one more thing ... deals closed! You think for a moment, "Can I do that?"

In that moment of the thought you find clarity, but there's food that needs to be put on your table so you bend and say, "Of course." I think it's that very bend that has created the climate we're in.

Just so we're clear, the difference between marketing and sales is quite distinct. Marketing is the creative process that garners a brand interest in the public eye. Sales is the psychological process of leading the public to the close.

In short, marketing gets them in the door and sales teams close the sale. These are 2 very distinct and equally important jobs. Without the people there are no sales. Without the sales there's no marketing money. Expecting a company to have both is like expecting a farmer to also run a successful grocery store; that's just not how things work.

So, next time you're looking for help hire 2 teams. The first will specialize in marketing and make it possible for you to reach critical mass. Then, hire a salesforce that can close. 2 teams, 2 roles, 2 different expectations.

When Something Goes Wrong - A Lesson in Advertising

There are millions of variables when sending out a newsletter or offering a promotion only. First, you have user aptitude. Second, which browser a person uses can greatly impact results (Internet Explorer, I'm looking at you). Third, have they updated their apps or computer? I could likely list off factors all day long, but I'm not here to give you a list. Let's talk about what happens when a problem occurs.

Are you equipped to deal with an issue?

Just last night there was an issue that came up for a client. An unforeseen bug appeared in a live environment that didn't exist in testing. We were able to diagnose the issue within 12 hours and offer a fix. This is because our experienced technical team were able to take disjointed notes from those complaining and create a patch. What do I mean by disjointed?

Here are some samples:

"It's not working. This is stupid."

"I can't get [product]. I click like crazy and it just doesn't do anything."

My favourite though, "My grandson is a computer genius and even he can't figure this out."

Of the 10,806 people to receive the promotion, 15 people had issues and it was due to a small bug with tabbed browsing on out of date platforms such as IE, Chrome, and Safari.

With that said, we've encountered many of these types of issues over the years, and I'd like to offer you a few steps to dealing with the issue:

1. Once the problem presents, if the issue is on a page you control, put up a notice.

2. Be honest and let your customers know you are working on a fix to an unforeseen issue. People respond positively to honesty for the most part.

3. Breathe. You're getting hit from all sides but losing your head will not help anyone, especially you.

4. Consult with your tech team, and look for a fix or at least a work around.

5. Offer the solution on the original form of communication. So, if the issue was on Facebook, offer the solution on Facebook. If the issue came from a newsletter, send a followup.

It is critical to your success that you don't let the issue get you down. In this world of computing there are often going to be issues you never saw coming. No one expects perfection; but they do expect you to be honest and help.

I hope this helps, but if you don't have a tech team to assist you in moments of crisis, please let's talk.

Get More Customers at Your Restaurant with These 10 Digital Marketing Tips

Get More Customers at Your Restaurant with These 10 Digital Marketing Tips

Every restaurant with quality food, and a great concept should [technically] be able to succeed online. Regardless of whether you hire an agency like Sync, or you take on training to go it alone, you should see varying degrees of success.

According to Marcus Samuelsson, "Approximately 2 out of 3 restaurants fail within the first year of opening." Read more about this in his post here. Let's start to sway at least some of the unpredictable factors (such as your digital marketing) in your favour, shall we? 

Here are 10 simple tips to get your restaurant noticed online:

  1. Facebook Ads: If you're going to be on Facebook, then you need to accept that Facebook ads are a necessary evil. As the largest social networking site continues to move closer to zero reach, a spend is necessary. However, you'll quickly learn that you can be far more effective on Facebook with much less of a spend compared to traditional advertising. We've seen huge decreases in the advertising costs at restaurant chains since moving budget to digital. Here's a great tid-bit; every restaurant we've worked with has decreased their traditional marketing spend, and increased digital. That's saying something.
     
  2. Free Directories & PR: There are countless free directories online that you can list your business on. Keeping track of these can be problematic (especially with menus and evolving or seasonal hours) but the manual labour will absolutely benefit your business. Some examples include Yelp, 411, and Zomato.
     
  3. In-House Social Promo: Encourage your customers to share their experience online, and create a unified place for those shares with a hashtag.
     
  4. SMS Marketing: 90% of text messages are checked. This is a huge opportunity for restaurants. However, be cautious about how you approach SMS marketing. Internal polling of 500 restaurant customers show that 38% of those who received texts from restaurants didn't give permission, and considered it such an invasion of privacy that they never plan on returning.
     
  5. Digital Gift Cards: It pays to work with a proper platform, and to get digital gift cards in play immediately. You're more likely to see impulse purchases (especially late at night).
     
  6. Your Website: Make sure it's easy to get around, a person can quickly make a reservation, and that you show off what makes your restaurant unique. 
     
  7. Get Active with Great Content: Near daily posts with fantastic content will drive interest, and will improve your standing in algorithms. Ensure all of your social posts have LPV (Link, Picture, or Video) media, and that they are free of spelling and grammatical errors. Answer questions quickly, and engage! 
     
  8. Build an Email List: Make sure that you can reach your customers after they leave, and email is the best way to do that ... with permission of course. Email lists are a great way to bring in business during slower periods. Be professional though; useMailChimp or another similar service.
  9. "Restaurants Near Me": This will take some time (and likely give you some grey hairs), but getting accurate data on Google, Bing, and other search engines is critical in this mobile marketplace.
     
  10. Connect Your Restaurant & Your Digital Identity: A lot of restauranteurs keep what happens in their restaurant and what happens online separate. The two are not mutually exclusive; they are one. Your staff, your customers, and your marketing team should all be engaged. That's when you'll start seeing some great success.

At Sync, we go deeper with all of these concepts. However, here you have a starting point to get more customers in the door. If you need help with your restaurant's digital marketing, let's talk.

Which of these techniques have you used? How seriously did you take them, and how much success did you see?

Written by:
Jay Hall - Chief Strategist

Successful Advertising Starts with a Successful Business Concept

Successful Advertising Starts with a Successful Business Concept

I want you to picture a 2016 BMW. Nice wheels. You would absolutely consider buying that car. Now picture a 1980 BMW. You're less likely to buy that car. Why? Well, every year since 1928, BMW engineers have been improving on their design. Then, when the timing was right they released a new and improved model to the market. BMW addresses trends, social change, philosophy, and other variables to appeal to potential customers. The good people behind one of the finest cars in the world change everything from the body style to the type of lights that brighten a purchaser's dash.

In this video we see the evolution of the BMW 7 Series.

BMW vs Your Business

Now that you're done dreaming of what kind of car you're going to buy next, tap into how you're going to afford it. All businesses function like BMW. If you run a nightclub you need to change up decor from time to time, add CTA promotions to your already established nightly brands, and from time-to-time throw in some controversy to get the people talking. If you run a restaurant, you need to be changing your menu, offering specials, and giving certain groups of people special promotions. For water parks, you need to offer new games, better food, more exciting attractions, and cool theme nights.

In short, you have to offer something new or you will be perceived as old, antiquated, and the people will be less likely to respond. How many BMWs do you think you'd see on the road today if they stuck with the old model?

Consistency in Change

Now, that's not to say you should be taking all of your profits and dumping them into big changes. Small modifications, while staying true to branding should do it, with the occasional big "holy hell" promotion. Think about the iPhone. It's fundamentally the same design since the beginning; apps on the touch screen, a home button, and a place to plug-in your headphones. They changed the body, and made it more powerful. The holy hell moments were the screen at first, then high speed connectivity, the App Store, a front facing camera, FaceTime, and so on.

A great case study to reference is a water park we work with. To address the concerns of stagnant content, perceived value, and bringing in new customers, a small promotion was created for nearly every day of the week:

  • Mondays: Marvel Mondays. Kids in Marvel superhero clothing get a discount.
  • Tuesdays: 2-for-1 Tuesdays. I'm sure I don't need to explain that one.
  • Wednesdays: Wonderfully Wet. Extended hours accommodating new customers.
  • Fridays: Fitness Fridays. Discount at the gate with a gym membership, and yoga.
  • Sundays: Sunset. An 18+ promotion after hours, and a completely new audience.

Couple these promotions with watermelon eating contests, pony rides, gaming stations, DJs at pool side, dance lessons, country days, mascots, and volleyball tournaments, and you can quickly see how the public could get excited about the park again. 

Advertising

Not only is this good for business, but it's good for advertising as well. With fresh concepts comes fresh content. That's a very important principal in the age of digital communication.

Yes, showing your quality product or service off to the world is necessary and absolutely a piece of the puzzle. However, showing off original concepts helps attract new attention to your business. But please remember, that attention span is short, which is why you must always be plotting your next small idea.

I'm not talking about overnight success here. But, imagine if you ran a sports bar that came up with a new flavour of wings, and a new tasty burger each month. The promotions around both of the concepts are limitless, and your customers will eventually catch on to what you're doing, then they'll crave the next announcement.

Change ... it's good.

If you need help with your advertising, let’s talk.

Written by:
Jay Hall - Chief Strategist

Ad Blocking: The Next Digital Marketing Challenge

Ad Blocking: The Next Digital Marketing Challenge

Currently, in the US, 30% of internet users are using ad blocking technology on their cell phones. By this time in 2017, that number will increase over 60%. Desktop ad blockers are on the rise as well. The big players like YouTube, have announcedYouTube Red to combat this trend. For $10/month you can enjoy YouTube without any ads.

So, the questions needs to be asked. Are people more willing to pay for premium services or are they going to accept ads as a part of their digital eco-system?

Will They Ad Block?

I believe that the above question comes down to income levels. Those in a higher income bracket, with a credit card in hand will likely pay for ad blocking on their favourite services like YouTube. However, those in lower income brackets will view ad blocking like buying a car with spinners on it (do they still make spinners?). There’s just no need to put spinners on a car when money is tight.

The case can also be made that if presented properly, everyone’s willing to click on an ad. This is why remarketing works so well. Remarketing ads are simply showing you what you’re already interested in.

General Ad Blockers

Now, where everything gets a little hairy for advertisers is in the use of general ad blockers like AdBlock and AdBlock Plus. An app like this walks into a virtual room and tears down all of the virtual posters. There’s simply little that can be done about these services on websites across the WWW.

That’s why advertisers are being forced to get savvy, and really understand the customer. It’s also why content is king.

The Right Kind of Ad Delivery

People generally don’t like ads because they find them invasive. I can appreciate that. An ad for a product you’ll never use is the virtual equivalent of an obnoxious, uninvited guest to a dinner party.

The right kind of delivery can change that experience though, and your brand must associate itself with being on the right side of user experience (UX). Based on a poll by Marketing Sherpa, we can see what the right kind of delivery means to the 1000 people interviewed.

  • 54% prefer to receive ads by mail (although 32% admitted that is because it’s easy to discard of the ads they don’t like).
     
  • 49% prefer to receive ads via a eNewsletter they set the frequency for.
     
  • 38% visit a company’s website when looking for promotions.
     
  • 28% want to get their dose of ads in-store.
     
  • 24% wish to receive ads from an eNewsletter with pre-determined frequency.
     
  • 20% enjoy receiving ads from the brands they follow on social media.
     
  • 17% are fine with opt-in text messaging.
     
  • 15% receive ads through a mobile app.
     
  • 8% prefer not to receive ads at all.

The Details Behind the Numbers

This survey tells us a lot about how we should be advertising to the public. For one, it tells us that mailers are ineffective because they are getting tossed in the garbage by many. Mailers are also generally 5x more expensive than virtual ads.

eNewsletters and websites do well because the person has a choice as to whether they see the ads. The public will always prefer that which they can seek, over that which seeks them. 

That’s why social media is next on the list. People have become more protective over their feeds, and are choosing to only follow brands that interest them. There’s no more adding for the sake of adding.  Only 20% of people said they are okay with social media ads, but over 80% said that is due to the fact that they see ads for services and products that they have no interest in. Target those ads people.

Be aware that the text and mobile app numbers relate only to big brands, and small businesses with a cult following. Do not be fooled by these numbers. If you don’t fall into one of these two categories, stay away from using them. You’ll spend more money and time on them than they’re worth.

The Conclusion

It all comes down to a simple principal. People don’t hate ads, they hate ads for products and services they have no interest in. Well, 92% of people anyway. Serve your potential customer great content that they will show interest in. If you’re a restaurant, display your fantastic meals, and when advertising, pick demographics and interest groups that you know have the highest chance of relating to your customer. Again, this is why remarketing is so successful.

Here’s a great social media example. Let’s say you own a burger joint in Los Angeles. Instead of just blasting out an ad to everyone, serve it up to fans and friends of fans in LA. Then, if you’re looking to bring more people into your network, try this:

  • Los Angeles
     
  • 18 - 50
     
  • Male
     
  • Interests: Burgers, McDonalds, Hamburgers, Fries, Beef

Now, this is a general example, but gives you an idea about what kind of options you have. A fan of burgers is more likely to be interested in burgers than someone who could potentially be a vegan.

As the noose tightens, make sure you are staying ahead of the digital advertising curve, and you’ll be alright, friends.

If you need help with your ads, let’s talk.

Written by:
Jay Hall - Chief Strategist