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August 8, 2013

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Celebrating Freedom!

July 3, 2013

Freedom, Imagehopefully you will be celebrating it tomorrow. Americans have paid a high price for freedom, and it’s worth it.

Have you ever thought about freedom in your business, or the price you pay for it? A business owner gets to set his own schedule, but what most people never understand is that he or she takes the business everywhere. You take it home, on vacation, wake up with it, and go to bed with it. I’m not saying it is bad that this happens. It’s just how it is, and most business owners love what they do, but sometimes a little breathing room can really help.

SDB Creative Group gives our clients a significant amount of freedom. First we give them their time back that used to be spent meeting with, taking phone calls from, and having to battle with different sales representatives from all types of different media (TV, Radio, Internet, T-shirts, Yellow Pages)…there are thousands that could be listed. Our clients simply defer all these calls to SDB and go on about working on their business.

Second we help put together a real marketing plan for them. We spend the time that they don’t have researching and zeroing in on the absolute best way to get their message in front of the most valuable target. We produce all the assets needed, negotiate and buy the media, and monitor and audit the performance of the campaign…all while our clients work on their business, saving thousands of hours of time over the lifetime of our relationship together.

If you’re feeling trapped by your marketing and advertising effort, I invite you to contact SDB. We’ll make it better, and we will give your freedom back. Here are a few words from one of our clients, Medical Center Pharmacy http://youtu.be/d5KCqkSUwcQ

By Shane BoringImage

“Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising’.”
– Jef I. Richards

Last week we talked about one of the two main components of effective advertising, the message, or “the creative”. It is critical to have a great message, but if you’re not strategic in where you place your message, it is all for not. This week we will discuss how to buy the right media for your business.

Think first about all the options available to you. TV, Radio, Cable, Newspaper, Billboards, Email, Social Media, Website, Blogs, Magazines, Trade Shows, Promotional Items, Printed Materials, and on and on and on. Now think of how many different channels there are for each of the above categories. Add them all up and you have thousands of options to place your message. However, you should avoid most of them.

Know your customer inside and out. Put yourself in your target customers’ shoes. Know their habits. When are they home, in the car, at work? What do they like? How do they consume their media? This will tell you where to start. The next step is deciding which channels are the absolute best for you. Unless you have the advertising budget of Coca-Cola, don’t try to spread your message over all the channels. You need to have enough frequency with your target audience for it to work. If this means you can only buy one channel, that is what you do, and you keep it there until your business grows where you can add another. Trying to buy more than what you have the money for is one of the most common mistakes made. Don’t do it. The other is buying what you like, not what your customer likes. Don’t do that either.

If you want your advertising to be effective, you’re going to need to put a significant amount of time and research into it. If you’re not sure you can afford the time commitment, then your best option is to hire an advertising agency like SDB Creative Group. They possess the tools and talent needed to put together a real, effective advertising program for you. Plus with an advertising agency an outside perspective can be extremely valuable.
If you would like more insight on buying the right media, register for our June 19th seminar or schedule a consultation by calling 432.218.6736 or emailing us at info@sdbcreativegroup.com.

Interested in Pinterest?

March 26, 2013

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Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site in history. Pinterest is the 3rd largest platform, following closely behind Facebook & Twitter. Some people see Facebook & Twitter as having a subtle undertone as “look how great I am”, whereas Pinterest says “wouldn’t this be great!” A vast majority of Pinterest users are women between the ages 25 and 44. Pinterest attracts higher-educated affluent women.

Image based posts get the most engagement on Facebook. This is part of the reason Facebook has changed their timeline to encourage more visual content. What makes Pinterest so different from Facebook?

  • Pinterest is clean and uncluttered. At this point there are no ads, scrolling columns
  • Pinterest is personal. You’re not just broadcasting where you are or what you’ve done. You’re creating your own personal inspiration boards and sharing them with others.
  • Pinterest doesn’t brag. Instead of having undertones of “look how great I am”, Pinterest says “wouldn’t this be great!”
  • Pinterest doesn’t just drive likes, it also drives sales. 
  • Pinterest can be an incredible source of information about your customers & clients

Some brands are an obvious fit for Pinterest. Generally when brands get started, the natural inclination is to drive people to your website or blog. It’s important to have your business pinned by pinners as it is to have them mention and like you on Facebook and Twitter. Evaluate your website to ensure it contains a lot of images that are pin worthy. The same concept is true with your blog. Be sure your blog has great images. Even though Pinterest is image driven, you do want to include thoughtful descriptions of the images you pin.

These are just a few tips about using Pinterest to market your business. So jump on, create a personal account and get to know Pinterest. Be careful because you”ll start wanting to spend a lot of time on this social network, which is why we love Pinterest for business!

It’s hard to believe that some small businesses still shy away from an online presence. Just Imagehaving a website is not enough these days. Some businesses rely solely on Facebook when there are so many platforms engaging different demographics. Even if your company does use social media to stay connected to your customers as well as generate leads for new business, maybe you’re feeling tired of keeping up with the changes. Let’s take a look at the benefits of your business developing a successful social media plan. Maybe it will even re-energize you in your social media efforts!

  • Social Media drives repeat business by keeping your name in front of customers with more information about your company and products.
  • Social Media allows you to establish yourself as an expert. Blog, use message boards to answer questions, and become part of your community chat about your industry.
  • Social care is the new customer care. Using social media for your customer service is quicker as well as lower in cost compared to telephone and e-mail. Studies also show consumers with positive social care experiences are three times more likely to recommend the brand to others.*
  • Social media transforms the way consumers make purchasing decisions. Customers need to trust your company and your product before purchasing. Recommendations from friends encourage buying over any other type of advertising. 
  • Social media allows you to monitor your on-line reputation. Just because you’re not on social media, doesn’t mean your customers aren’t. I assure you, they are.
  • Social Media works together with all your other marketing activities. No company should rely on social media solely, but as part of a complete well thought out plan designed to meet your customers and prospective customers where they are. 

Each week we’ll be looking at social media platforms, discussing new players, changes in the ones you may already know about and how they can relate to your business.
*http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/12/turn_customer_care_into_social.html

Laissez les bon temps rouler! That was the last week’s theme in New Orleans as they celebrated Mardi Gras, but don’t expect to read about it in the New Orleans Times-Picayune paper. The paper announced this year that it was going to a 3 day a week schedule. “The Times-Picayune published its last daily edition on Sunday, making New Orleans the biggest city in America without a daily newspaper”-Huff Post. Why the shift? Well… because of YOU!

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You may have never opened the New Orleans Times-Picayune but they are like every other paper in the country that is losing subscribers. Why wait and read yesterday’s news when you have instant access to many newsfeeds on your phone. The shift from traditional media like newspapers and phone books to cell phones and online access didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen quickly and our methods of receiving information will forever be changed. It was a good run for the newspapers and phone books, but new methods of communication have surpassed them and you don’t want your marketing to be passed by too, because you didn’t see the trends.

SDB Creative Group is up on the newest trends in Interactive media, and because we know no businesses are the same, we combine the right mix of Interactive media for your business. One of our clients in the plumbing industry is a business that one would think of as not needing to be innovative in their marketing approach, but they understand that the old days of getting a double page ad in a phone book is over, and they have adapted to the shift with the right combination of traditional and interactive media and their marketing is making them money without costing them more. Isn’t that the point?

Be innovative, Be current, Be Seen! Don’t be left out of the loop because you didn’t see the trends. We can help you! Call us today!

History of Advertising Pt.1

February 5, 2013

This month we are looking at how advertising has changed through the ages. Not only the mediums and companies themselves, but society trends that can be seen through advertising. The advertising industry goes way back through history and as new inventions opened the world to reading, they also offered new ways to market a business. We will go through some of the major events that shaped advertising through the ages.

The Egyptians used papyrus to promote sales. Political campaigns have been found in ruins in Pompeii and ancient Arabia. Wall painting advertising can be trace as far back as 4000BC. During the middle ages advertising included handbills and in the 17th century advertisements began appearing in newspapers due to the advancement of the printing press. The 19th century saw the advance of new types of advertising including mail-order. It was not until 1836 that a French newspaper, LaPresse, included paid advertising for the purpose of lowering the cost of paper to the consumer. This new market for advertising became the catalyst for advertising agencies to open world-wide.

The 1920’s brought the first radio stations and following the lead of the newspaper offered time to promote businesses to the consumers on the radio. Most of this paid advertising was done in the form of one business sponsoring a program. Remember in A Christmas Story, Ovaltine sponsored the Little Orphan Annie’s radio show & her secret decoder pin?

Watch how Ralphie discovers the cruel ways of the world:

It didn’t take long for radio stations to quickly figure out that selling multiple business advertising opportunities would make more money.

With the dawn of television in the late 1940’s, television stations followed suit and began advertising on their stations. The 1960’s became known as the Creative Revolution and creativity was really allowed to shine on the commercials produced. This era of modern advertising promoted a “position” or “unique selling proposition designed to associate each brand with a specific idea in the consumer’s mind. This brings us to the 1980’s and forward, which will be covered in our next blog.

Take a look back at some of this history in TV and notice the societal differences from “back in my day”

Did you know Fred Flintstone & his neighbor, Barney, sold cigarettes for Winston back in 1954?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYvOgnabABU

In the 60’s Folger’s Coffee told everyone that the key to a happy marriage is a good cup of coffee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_q413J6D5I