Follow up or Fall Out

June 27, 2013

Here is a really pathetic statistic. Over 40% of the time a new prospect is never followed up with after the first call. Consider how distracted our society has become, and Hellothat should really scare you. You are exposed to more than 35,000 messages a day between signs, email, texts, advertisements, etc. Chances are your prospects forget about you the next day. How could they not? It’s not personal. They are just simply overwhelmed with messages.

The good news is that you have a tremendous opportunity to stand out simply by developing your organization’s follow up skills. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Schedule a follow up call before ending your meeting.
  • Send a handwritten thank you note. This is a lost art, but will put you ahead of nearly everyone.
  • Confirm the details and next action of your meeting with a brief email.
  • Add every new prospect to your email distribution list.
  • Call all prospects at least one time per week.
  • Meet with current clients weekly if possible, and monthly at a minimum.
  • If you have an unhappy client or things aren’t running to their expectations, follow up with them right away. It’s better to deal with a problem head and let your client know you are doing everything possible to deliver.

Today we all have more competition for our clients’ attention, and most of it comes from indirect competitors. Remember that someone is going to call them, usually someone different every day. If you don’t follow up, one day someone else will win their business and you won’t. You may have to follow up with a prospect more than 20 times to get their business, but that’s ok. They will know you’re committed to them.

How do you follow up? Share some of your best experiences with us.

Advertisements

head scratchThis week is our final post about why you should hire an advertising agency? The simple answer is, “You don’t have time to do it the right way by yourself.” In most cases we rarely reveal anything new about an advertising strategy or objective that the business owner doesn’t already fully understand. What the owner is not able to do in most cases is implement the strategies and objectives. He simply does not have the time and resources because those are dedicated to running his business.

A great advertising agency like SDB Creative Group is an invaluable partner for a business. Imagine adding a full marketing department dedicated to selling your products and services to your key targets without adding the payroll, taxes and other overhead expenses. That is exactly what you get when you hire an advertising agency. All the research, planning, coordinating, buying, auditing, production, and especially the headaches are taken by the advertising agency, not you. All of the thousands of sales calls you receive wanting you to buy t-shirts, newspaper, radio, TV, internet, etc. are taken by the advertising agency, not you.

The advertising agency is your at will employee where their retention is based on their performance. You wouldn’t go to court without expert legal advice. You wouldn’t file your taxes without the expertise of a CPA. You wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself. Why would you put your name and image in front of thousands of potential customers without expert marketing and advertising advice? Make it easy on yourself and hire SDB. You’ll be glad you did!

by Shane Boring

shane-3

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” Henry Ford

“Word of mouth is our best form of advertising.” This is what 90% of advertising sales representatives hear when making an initial prospecting call. How much truth is behind this statement? 100%! No marketing compares to a referral from a satisfied customer. The problem is most businesses cannot simply survive only on referrals. That is why there is advertising.

The two main components of advertising are “the message” and “the media”. If you have a great message and are using the right media, you’re going to be very happy with your advertising. But if you have a poor message or you are not buying the right media, chances are you will be very disappointed. This is where a great advertising agency like SDB Creative Group becomes an invaluable partner.

First let’s consider “the message”. If you shortchange your potential buyer on this, forget about getting the results you want. Your message has to be compelling, and has to speak to your buyer from their point of view. Who do buyers care most about? They care most about themselves. Make your message about them.

Most companies advertising on their own without the help of an advertising agency completely miss on the message and talk nearly 100% about their company, not the consumer. “Hi! We’re here! And we’re open!” is the basic theme used by companies working on their own without the help of an advertising agency and is easily dismissed by the consumer. Think about how distracted our society is with the thousands of text messages, emails, commercials, and other messages we are exposed to every day. You have to get their attention, and you get it by talking about them.

A great advertising agency will bring an outside, unbiased perspective. The agency will know your company, its products and sales processes, and it will have very good understanding of your ideal client, and what makes them buy. This data and information is taken into a creative process where amazing ideas for solid, long-term advertising campaigns are born. SDB Creative Group has experience with this process and it is part of their everyday operation. Creativity is in their blood. You wouldn’t go to court without a lawyer. Don’t start shouting out your message without the expertise of a marketing expert like SDB.

Next week we will go in-depth on the second component, “the media”, but here’s a quick preview and some homework. Try to count how many different media channels you use in one day (internet, TV, radio, cable, print, outdoor,). I’ll bet it’s a long list.

History of Advertising Pt.2

February 13, 2013

Last week we looked at the history of advertising from the early Egyptians through the beginning of radio and TV commercials. Advertising in the 70’s became more emotional and advertisers began to use clever phrases and melodies to capture the consumer’s attention which helped make the advertising message more memorable. Some of the greatest jingles came out of the 70’s. See if you can remember a few of these from Dr. Pepper, Oscar Myer, Coca-Cola and Slinky.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvCTaccEkMI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmPRHJd3uHI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8H5263jCGg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X41Tq3svxNY

The late 1980’s and early 1990’s saw the introduction of cable television and by the end of the 90’s the internet opened a new frontier of advertisers. By 2000, search engines like Google and Yahoo offered new ways to advertise by specifically targeting what  the user  was searching for in their search engine. This type of interactive advertising lead to the new genre of advertising, Social Media.

Social Media is a type of advertising that involves unusual approaches to facilitate encounters with potential consumers. This type of advertising causes consumers to buy the product or idea. This idea furthers the trend of interactive and “embedded” ads, such as via product placement, having consumers vote through text messages, and various innovations utilizing social network services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.

In the 1020’s the main source of advertising for a new business was newspaper, signs on street cars and outdoor posters. By 1998, television and radio stood as a main way advertising dollars were spent by a business. The future is now the internet and unlimited possibilities it holds to market a business, not just locally, but  worldwide.  As we have seen throughout the past, advertising is always changing and at a faster pace that ever before. This can make keeping ahead of the trends even more difficult, but more important than ever.

A large majority of business owners find it difficult to have the time to run their business and successful marketing and advertising campaigns. Let SDB Creative Group give you some time back. Give us a call today!

This time of year we are all listening to the familiar Christmas songs that make us all get into the holiday spirit. Somehow, even in West Texas where Christmas is more likely to be 75 degrees outside with a light dusting of brown dirt rather than a white, we can still dream through song. Does this same nostalgia work with jingles for goods and services? Let’s play guess that product….

  1. Double your pleasure, double your fun…
  2. My bologna has a first name …
  3. You deserve a break today at..
  4.  I’m a pepper you’re a pepper wouldn’t you like to be a pepper too…
  5. Meow meow meow meow…
  6. Give me a break….

These weren’t hard to recognize, were they? At one point McDonald’s had a jingle that kids were playing patty cake to and reciting their whole menu in the process. So the answer is YES jingles do work, and they are not just for national chains, but there are some critical things that make a jingle a success and stuck in your customers heads.

  • They need to be easy to sing for the average Joe. No complicated tunes and high notes. Think children’s songs and that’s a good place to start.
  • Easy lyrics. Repetitive easy lyrics will stick. A long song listing every product or service available will not work.
  • Frequency, frequency, frequency. Can you learn a song if you’ve only heard it once? Neither can your customers!
  • Jingles need to be consistently used throughout a comprehensive media plan. Most jingles come with several different options for use. This allows them to be used in radio and TV effortlessly.
  • Give it time. Going back to popular Christmas carols, did you hear them one season and then never again? Jingles can and should be used for several campaigns. The theme of the campaign may change year to year, but the jingle should remain part of the package. Again recognition is the key. I know that every time I think of a carpet cleaner, I think 1-800-Steamer…I even have the number in my head to call. Wouldn’t you like that for your customers too?

We will be running a Jingle all the Way Special this week. Call us to get a fresh start on your 2013 marketing campaign. Call us today to learn more!

If you manage a social media budget you quickly realize providing accurate measurements to show ROI isn’t always easily done, especially if you’re just beginning to build your brand. Logically, you begin tracking your new likes, followers & +1’s. It only seems obvious that is a great way to measure you success, right? Not only do you have to build this audience, you have to keep this audience, and that can be even more difficult

You can spend many complicated hours deciding what metrics will work for you, and depending on your company’s goals, you may need the complicated formulas. But, for a simple approach there are a few basics that must be part of any measurement process and these are what we’ll talk about today.

1. Volume is the “size of the conversation” about your brand or campaign. This is a great indicator of interest, and requires more than just counting tweets and wall posts. Measure the number of messages about your brand and people talking about your brand. Are there days or times when people are talking more about your brand? This is information you can use to focus more of your posts during these times. Did you seem to lose several after a specific post or tweet? Maybe after examining that content you’d find there are certain topics not interesting or too controversial for your audience.

2. Reach is the measure of potential audience size or how many friends or followers you have. Although this is an important number to watch, it misses a lot of important information in assessing your social media effectiveness. You may have 500 friends, but if you’re only reaching 100, you may want to rethink when your posting.

3. Engagement shows if and how people are engaged with your brand and participating in the conversation. This is when you look at our content and decide if you are “interesting” enough to keep your audience. If people aren’t engaged with our brand by likes, comments, shares or replies eventually your brand won’t show up in their Facebook news feed at all. Pay attention to what content generates interest and be sure to keep those types of topics in your posts.

4. Share of Voice: To really understand how you’re doing with your social media, you have to know how your conversations compare to your competitors. Visit their pages and watch what they and their audience are discussing.
Being consistent is essential to effective social media measurement. Measure monthly by the same formulas and tools. Tracking your numbers over a period of time and pay attention to how they change.

Is your company on Facebook or Twitter? Are you curious how your time and resources are being used on Social Media Marketing? You’re not alone!

Social Media & Digital Marketing are the fastest growing sectors of advertising at the moment and having a clear, concise goal for these assets is imperative.

When you start your social media marketing, you must think of:

  • WHO will maintain your social voice?
  • WHAT do I expect to get out of social media?
  • HOW will you convert fans to money?
  • WHEN is the optimal time to make posts?
  • WHERE can I find qualified fans?

WHO will maintain your social voice?

Handing over the reins of your social media marketing should be hard. You are entrusting someone with the identity of your company. They are going to be responsible for creating and fostering a community of brand enthusiasts.

When you make the decision of WHOM, you MUST make sure that this person is very well aware of your current marketing efforts so that all mediums are consistent with each other. Then, they must be able to create engaging and consistent content. If you’re online and there is no movement, you might as well just log off. The more your brand sits there with no content or incentives, the bigger the chance for people to unlike your page and move on to someone who actually communicates with them.

Giving someone control of your social media marketing is giving someone control of a 24/7/365 advertisement for your company. WHO is knowledgeable enough about your business to be given this amount of responsibility?

WHAT do I expect to get out of social media?

If you jump in to social media marketing without thinking through your goal, you will be wasting valuable time. When speaking with clients, we ask for clear, succinct goals for their social media. Telling us that you want more fans is a given. Everyone wants more fans. But telling us that you’d like to sell 10% more of your product this month compared to last month is even clearer to us.

Knowing what you want your end result to be will help determine the kind of strategy to implement. If you want to sell more this month, your posts should reflect that – more posts about the product, pricing points on the product, information about the product, etc.

To that end, whatever you’re expecting out of social media will only be received by what you put in to social media. If your posts are nonchalant and off-topic, don’t expect to meet your goal.

PS. Don’t forget to let the person who’s handling your profiles also know what your monthly goals will be.

HOW will you convert fans to money?

Unfortunately, while social media is a 24/7/365 advertisement, it doesn’t always mean that people will flock to you to buy what you’re selling. Like with any form of advertising, consistency is going to be the key.

Fans have liked or followed your company for a reason. You’ve given them some kind of incentive to be a fan. Because of this, you must continue to hammer home your company name, products and services. The more consistent you are, the more you will be on the top of people’s minds when it comes time to buy what you have to offer.

Facebook received a lot of scrutiny recently when GM decided to pull all of their Facebook marketing budget. Claiming that the money would be allotted elsewhere because social media wasn’t ‘selling cars’ was a big eye-opener for the rest of the Facebook Advertising world.

While it may be hard to track exactly how many people bought a car directly related to any Facebook Advertising, it’s more than obvious that the marketing they put in place online was designed  to work directly with traditional advertising – TV commercials, radio commercials, print ads, etc.

Maybe GM forgot that social media was meant to be SOCIAL. The more people hear and see the product you’re selling, the more apt they will be to buy in the future and if you’re being social in the process, the more willing they’ll be to buy from you BECAUSE of your social-ness.

WHEN is the optimal time to make posts?

This has been the golden question for a while now and just like any advertising that’s done for any client, the optimal posting time for every single business is going to be different. Learning what time is going to be the best time to post is going to take some time to figure out.

Utilizing your Facebook page statistics will be the key. By analyzing data, you’ll be able to see which posts are creating the most engagement, which posts are being seen the most, which posts resonate with your potential clients the most, etc.

When you initially start your social media marketing, you’re literally creating a community from scratch. Since that’s the case, you will want to post at various times of the day in order to figure out what is working for you and what isn’t. This also works for businesses that’ve got a great presence online. It’s never too late to monitor what works and what doesn’t.

Recently, Buddy Media, a social media marketing suite that was bought by Salesforce.com, put out a study:  Strategies for Effective Facebook Wall Posts: A Statistical Review. In this study, they consistently remind businesses that every company is going to be different and figuring out your own optimal posting times will take some time, but they do offer some very interesting insights by industry. Take a look at a few of them below:

Entertainment Industry: Don’t overlook the weekends! With mobile usage growing, many of this industry’s target customers are extremely active on Saturday & Sunday.

Media Industry: Stay away from Mondays!

Retail Industry: Take a look at Sunday; think twice before posting on a Friday.

Automotive Industry: Sunday is your friend!

Business & Finance Industry: Engagement peeks mid-week.

Food & Beverage Industry: Engagement high mid-week and Saturday.

Healthcare & Beauty Industry: Look at Thursday!

Sports Industry: Post more on Sunday!

Travel & Hospitality: Look towards the end of the week.

In addition to this industry breakdown, Buddy Media also stresses the importance of creating short and engaging content while also creating concise calls to action. Don’t forget to include words like: Click here, LIKE us, Follow us, Call us, Stop by, submit, share, comment. You’d be surprised what people will do if you ask them to!

WHERE can I find qualified fans?

Our recent blog post, 3 Steps to Better Facebook Fans, and our subsequent webinar, delved into this topic at length. You can read that blog here.

In a nutshell, you must give fans some kind of incentive to LIKE your page. Use things like coupons, specials, giveaways, etc., to entice people to your page. Once they are fans, it’s up to you to keep them!

Facebook ads are another great way to target your specific demographic. With the wealth of user information, Facebook can offer some really great options when advertising. Pricing is open and based on your budget and can be bought on a pay-per-click or pay-per-impression pricing scale. We’ll be offering an in-depth webinar about Facebook ads in the future, so be on the lookout for that.

Finally, cross-promoting can help you find more qualified fans. If your advertising is consistent, your TV commercials should be highlighting your website which should highlight your Facebook page which should in-turn highlight everything else. Adding your pages to store receipts, posters, business cards, brochures, websites, commercials, etc., gives your core customers the opportunity to find you online.

By taking all of the above into consideration, you’ll have a better idea of how your social media marketing is working for you. Just remember that this is one piece of advertising that will stick around after 30-seconds. People can come back to your page at any point in time to see what you have to offer. What will they see?

Written by Danita Maldonado, Director of Social Media, SDB Creative Group

SDB SocialLink is a product of SDB Creative Group offering social media and digital solutions for businesses. For more information about SDB SocialLink, check out our website: www.sdbsociallink.com.

SDB Creative Group is a full-service marketing and advertising firm. For more information about SDB Creative Group, check out our website: www.sdbcreativegroup.com.

SDB Creative Group. Focused on your success. Empowering your future.

Connect with us here:

www.facebook.com/sdbcreativegroup

www.twitter.com/sdbcreative

www.youtube.com/sdbcreativegroup

www.pinterest.com/sdbcreativegroup

https://plus.google.com/106649371617059204437

http://www.linkedin.com/company/sdb-creative-group