Maybe it is the deluge of marketing information out there that is confusing. Perhaps it is cost or a lack of time that holds them back. Or perhaps they are trying to do it themselves and don’t prioritise marketing. Whatever the case, there is no doubt some business leaders struggle to market their brand well and often. Others do market their brand well, but are paying more than they need for the exposure they are getting and would get a better return on investment (ROI) for a more targetted approach and a lower spend.
It’s confusing – but not inpenetrable
Talking to an expert seems the sensible thing to do before developing a marketing strategy or plan. We at G&A Creative Agency (G&A) can help with that. Director Grant Nelson is happy to meet with you for an hour at no cost to talk marketing. Grant has more than 31 years’ experience in conventional and multi-media marketing, advertising, graphic design and production management. He loves to chat and will probably even shout you a coffee. Discussion could cover what has worked for your organisation in the past; the latest channels to market, and how the return on your marketing investment is more easily measurable these days. At the least, you will probably leave with a few free hints on how to ‘up’ your marketing game.
Easy Social Media (ESM) in partnership with G&A is also happy to help by offering you a 30-day free trial of social media management aimed to generate attention online for you. You won’t have to battle through the constantly morphing cloud of social media platforms to work out what’s best for you.You will have your business Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ pages set up and managed for you, for one calendar month, saving you heaps of time. If you don’t like the results of your 30-day trial, you pay nothing. If you do, and wish to carry on, you still get your first 30 days free.
When did social media get so huge?
Check out ESM’s street cred over at: easysocialmedia.co.nz
Take up our offer of an hour’s free consultation with a marketing expert and a 30-day free trial of social media management by emailing Grant Nelson with your details. This offer closes at the end of November 2015.
By Mandy Nelson
Get a social conscience.
We’re becoming immune to traditional ways of marketing. On top of that, most advertising media are too expensive for small-to-medium enterprises. Cold calling and direct mail don’t have the impact they used to have. What is a business to do!
Every business still needs to commit to an annual amount tagged for marketing that is seen as a cost of sales generating a return on investment, not as an expense to the business. This marketing budget must be allocated to extract the best possible value. Businesses should be prepared to spend a portion of it on highly original creative concepts. Excellent creative thinking must apply not only to the content of your campaign but also to channels through which you reach your market. Social media outlets are going to feature in almost every promotion. These channels are affordable, can be professionally managed, cleverly targetted and the results are measurable – sometimes in real time. Can’t afford print media? Think laterally about options like t-shirts worn at a big event; chalk pavement art; or organising a flash mob performance by your local sports club outside a big game and spreading a video of that over social media. Think about aligning your business with another business, organisation or charity that shares your values, location, goals – or provides a complementary service to your business. Consider anything that is legal and visible to your target!
We ran a campaign recently for Paul Reed Homes, a Christchurch-based building company with no significant history of advertising and no social media presence. Our strategy was to create a socially-concious programme with a large component of social media activity. The budget had to cover creative concepts and social media costs as well as a $5,000 donation to charity.
Example post on Paul Reed Home’s Facebook page
Here’s how it worked.
• G&A developed a campaign concept that reflected the values and brand of Paul Reed Homes and creatively connected him with other organisations having compatible values: a win-win situation.
• G&A and social media managers ESM set up a brand new Facebook page for Paul Reed Homes.
• Paul Reed Homes purchased $5,000 worth of warm woollen gloves at the start of winter from local manufacturer Untouched World, a well-established local manufacturer and retailer with an excellent reputation, a social conscience and good level of social media following.
• Paul Reed Homes donated the gloves to the Christchurch City Mission, chosen as a trusted organisation with the facility and knowledge to distribute these to those who need them.
• G&A photographed the pick-up and delivery of the gloves by Paul Reed and wrote a media release emphasising the use of a marketing budget in a socially-conscious way.
• The media release and photos were sent to the right journalist at the Christchurch Press, who wrote and published a story which subsequently reached an estimated 25,000 readers and attracted 100 per cent positive comment online.
• Untouched World and the Christchurch City Mission were invited ‘like’ Paul Reed Home’s page and to share the story on their social media sites, which they did.
• Paul Reed Home’s Facebook page ran a ‘teaser’ campaign prior to the newspaper article showing Paul Reed himself revealing facts and figures about Christchurch’s homeless and needy. The last posting revealed what he was going to do about it: i.e. lead by example, donate gloves to the City Mission and invite others to do the same. Over a period of about three weeks, this new page gained 77 targetted ‘likes’ without investing in aditional page promotion.
• To make it easy for others to donate, G&A and ESM worked with Paul Reed Homes to set up a Givealittle page for one month where the public could give funds to purchase more warm gloves.
• The only conventional advertising ran in Avenues magazine in August, inviting donations to the Givealittle page.
Print ad for Paul Reed Homes
Paul Reed Homes has begun an evolving long-term generic branding programme and delivered a clear message about its company values. The company can expand upon this type of campaign every year, aligning itself with different businesses for mutual benefit, and organisations it can help. These might include community groups, a school, or other charities that need fundraising. The nature of house building suggests that new business will not be instant but the company’s name is now getting visibility. It is important that future campaigns exhort the same values and are persistent yet flexible enough to carry new creative. Watch this space!
By Mandy Nelson
We love to create stuff that is in advance of popular culture. Our own brand promise, developed about five years ago, is: ‘We bring your story to life’. We are modestly chuffed to confirm that we were ahead of the pack on recognising storytelling as a marketing tool. Our brand promise remains relevant today and concisely encompasses everything we do.
In detail, that means G&A Creative Agency provides a complete range of marketing services, from sourcing research through to producing a live website, print promotion or newsworthy original event, by providing the creative talent, technical skills and network needed to build and bring that product or organisation’s unique story to life for their target market.
We love the symbolism of storytelling since it is similtaneously cross-cultural, ancient and contemporary. Stories have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, communication and instilling moral values. The art of storytelling predates writing yet stories can be written; stories can incorporate imagery, costume and music, flow through every medium and stimulate every sensory organ. Yes, even those ones.
We think there are several stories that should be told at different stages of your customer’s life-cycle as you work through your organisation’s customer touchpoint programme.
1) Your brand story. This is the legend your must build first around your product, service or organisation based on its values and unique marketable point of difference. It is not something your customer will typically see: however, it will underpin every promotional campaign you create and must be authentic.
2) Your creative campaign story – the most visible story. You need highly original stories for each promotional campaign that support your brand and values and belong together like a family, and are distributed through appropriate marketing channels: i.e. highway billboard versus free public lecture versus social media campaign or YouTube video.
3) Your customer relationship story. You might benefit from writing the story of your ideal or typical customer’s journey through your touchpoint programme from initial awareness to advocacy. Don’t forget to record conflict and how you resolved it; work through the aging process if relevant and its implications on your customer; and consider whether the user of your product is the same person who actually makes the decision or purchases under instruction.
Never let it be said that we can’t recognise a ‘Good Thing’ when we see one. All of us here at G&A have an eye out for every kind of ‘Good Thing’ – from a frigid beer on a Friday afternoon, to bubble machines and double rainbows, right through to anything that might encourage world peace. Sometimes, after the frigid beer at the tail end of a hot Friday, we start to believe that if we swapped out weapons of mass destruction for bubble machines, world peace would spontaneously break out. That might be the ultimate ‘Good Thing’.
We are always looking on behalf of our clients, with their wondrously varied stories to tell, for promotional opportunities outside of the ordinary. They do crop up all the time but you need more than a working pulse and your brain set on ‘Receive’ as opposed to ‘Transmit’ to make the most of them. You need an openly creative mind, experience, and training in marketing strategy. Or the services of a great creative agency.
Of course we are ideally qualified to spot opportunities for ourselves and were delighted to hear that respected business strategist John Spence is coming to town. We are serious about business strategy and have a sound grasp on how it needs to integrate with excellent marketing so we grabbed the chance to associate our good name with his as one of the sponsors of his Christchurch seminar.
For those who don’t know him, we can tell you that John Spence has a huge brain and is Garrulous and Affable! John delivers up-to-date ideas on how to grow and promote a business like nobody else. He is funny, fast-paced, charming and articulate but speaks in layman’s terms. John cuts across the BS and pares information down to essentials, delivering serious messages about business with a light touch. We relate to that. We bet our clients do too.
John’s official bio and promo blurbs describe him as a trusted consultant, respected advisor, experienced strategist, passionate speaker, well-read author and Top 100 Business Thought Leader. He helps executives and all kinds of organisations, from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, build success. More than 500 client companies have called upon John’s expertise including Bank of America, Microsoft and Apple, and dozens of private, non-profit and industry association organisations.
John has thrice been named one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America; and once as one of the Top 100 Small Business Influencers in America and one of the Top 500 Leadership Development Experts in the world. His consulting and training expertise means he is in demand, working with companies all over the world, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Russia and Africa.
In particular, John is known for his ability to absorb massive amounts of research and combine it with his personal hands-on experience to deliver timely, focused, results-driven programmes. John’s passion and credo is: ‘Making the Very Complex… Awesomely Simple’. He reads a minimum of 100 business-related books each year and also listens to 30 – 50 audio books, giving him an incredible depth and breadth of knowledge to draw from. He creates customised events that reflect the newest business research and most current thinking. Having John present a business growth seminar here in Christchurch is, we reckon, definitely a ‘Good Thing’ and you should probably not miss this chance to attend. You will learn something and you will be entertained. See you there!
Date: 25th March, all day
Venue: Isaac Theatre Royal
Table of 10: $6995 (plus GST)
Single: $795 (plus GST)
Register for this event here:
By Mandy Nelson
You’d have to be Gagged and AWOL to miss the growing potential of social media for marketing purposes these days. Like us, you will have heard all sorts of success stories about people who have built huge businesses through online trading, or have expanded their existing bricks and mortar enterprises as a result of adding online media promotions to their marketing portfolio. Of course, not only business but also many organisations including charities, clubs and educational institutions will also benefit from branding and marketing themselves online.
Promoting your company through such channels is an excellent option for many businesses. New ways of gaining people’s attention online are opening up all the time and the potential for fine tuning a message to a specific target market continues to expand. Ever alert to what works best for our clients, the G&A team is thrilled to announce that we have teamed up with technical experts in building campaigns over social media, the Auckland-based company Easy Social Media. We welcome Easy Social Media to Christchurch and now share our office space with their Christchurch social media manager, Moses Robbins.
Moses Robbins – Social Media Guru
G&A Creative develops original concepts that are designed to raise brand awareness across several media, or alternatively, can be specific to one medium. Now that we share a nest with Easy Social Media, it is simple and immediate for us to collaborate when we feel social media channels are the right fit for a client’s branding and promotions. Our experts are on the spot.
Let’s look at what type of organisation or business will benefit from a strategic marketing programme that incorporates social media channels and other online exposure:
1) Any organisation that wants to connect directly, person-to-person, with their clients and customers.
2) All small-to-medium enterprises.
3) Organisations wanting to get better value out of their marketing budget, i.e. more bang for their buck.
4) Any organisation wanting to target their prospects, customers or membership list more accurately.
5) Organisations and businesses that want more control over their publicity and relish the opportunity to respond directly and immediately to positive or negative feedback.
6) Those seeking new business who want to improve their lead-to-close-of-sale conversion rates.
7) All organisations wanting to create more touch points, interact more often and more meaningfully with their customers.
8) All businesses and organisations wanting to gather better quality data about their prospects and clients.
9) Organisations that want to increase search engine rankings and visits to their website.
10) Organisations wanting to expand their geographical reach.
11) Organisations that value trust. An accessible brand appears like a trustworthy brand.
Clearly most organisations, whether they are a business, not-for-profit entity, education institution or some other flavour, can meet many or all of their promotional goals and needs online. The right social media marketing programme presents an opportunity for them to directly contact clients and then immediately measure the results of that effort. Social media is not a temporary fad. It will keep evolving and it’s here to stay. The G&A team loves kicking against the boundaries of social media as a marketing tool – and remains on amber alert, ever ready to spot new ways of promoting our clients.