Monday, August 30, 2010

Advertising Savvy—Know Your Target Audience

Defining your target audience is key to delivering your message effectively.

If you hope to reach children, you will use messages and graphics that makes sense to children. However, if you are trying to reach high income earners, your tactics must be more refined.

Both of the following ads are attempting to market their leather handbags to high-end consumers. The first one uses a bizarre image of a youthful group and the cheeky headline, "Show Off". The second ad, by Ogilvy & Mather, uses a sophisticated, classic image of the highly recognizable Sally Ride, Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell. Which do you think is more likely to hit it's target?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Client Showcase—Centennial apparel helps build momentum

We designed this shirt as as part of a campaign to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Inland California's Gresham Savage law firm. Apparel is a great way to build momentum for a message internally, and works well as a supporting element in a Centennial communication package.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Swagger Wagon Commercial

To market their new minivan, the Sienna, Toyota features a young family rapping about their new ride. The well-executed direction is both unique and sure to raise interest in a type of vehicle typically reserved for soccer-mom types.

How would you rate it?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mayo Clinic: One to Watch on Social Media

Is the social media revolution the most far-reaching communications development since the printing press?

Last month Mayo Clinic announced the launch of their Center for Social Media designed to facilitate communication among patients and between patients and knowledgeable medical professionals.

Mayo is using social media to:
  • Involve employees in business strategies
  • Manage change
  • Share news
  • Share resources with other organizations
  • Explore use of social networking tools for collaboration among employees in an effort to improve care
  • Connect patients
  • Share stories from patients, families, and staff
  • Convey health information
Mayo Clinic is already the most popular medical provider channel on YouTube.

We'll be interested in following their progress as they blaze the trail for social media use in health care.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Want a solid social media strategy? Start here.

Social media is revolutionizing business to consumer communication by making the consumer, rather than the business, the most credible voice about a product or service--and providing the consumer with an expanded sphere of influence.

While word-of-mouth advertising has always been effective, social media now makes it possible for consumers to talk to a much wider audience about their experience with a product or service. Where once businesses could control their messaging--at least to some degree--today the consumers not only have more control over the message, they have more credibility with other consumers.

Mark Hurst, customer experience advocate and producer of the Good Experience newsletter and blog, is right on when he says that the first step in building a good social media strategy is building a good customer experience.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pssst! They're talking about you again.

The digital media has provided a platform for anyone who has an opinion to speak. While marketers like to think of the opportunities this affords to reach prospective customers, it also provides a platform for others to talk about your brand. Take a minute to do a Google search on your company—and see what they're saying about you.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Client Showcase—University T-shirt

We designed this vintage pillar shirt in four colors for Walla Walla University, using their logo as inspiration for the artwork which was imprinted using metallic gold.

The trendy shirt won an Award of Merit for Imprinted Materials in the 6th Annual Service Industry Advertising. The judges reviewed the entries for execution, creativity, quality, consumer appeal and overall breakthrough advertising content.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It Pays to Shop

This month we saved a client more than $2400 on a printing job by bidding it among several of our preferred printers—and this was on a quantity of only 6,000 printed pieces. Every printer has their niche, and print jobs must be matched to printers who are a good match for the project. While we're the first to say that we don't buy printing on price alone, once you have identified trusted printers who are well suited to the project, obtaining estimates from more than one printer can save you money and help you find the right vendor for the job.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Word Doctor: Use Punchy Verbs

A simple verb does its job—but not necessarily enthusiastically.

“The can ran across the floor and ran into the pillow.”

Sometimes writers, in search of excitement, will spread modifiers throughout their sentence, like this:

“The can ran swiftly across the wood floor and ran head-first into the pillow.”

Snooze worthy. But punchier verbs work even better.

“The cat sprinted across the floor and collided with the pillow.”

See the difference? A strong verb has a way of including modifier-like qualities without adding more words.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Tribes We Lead

Blogger and entrepreneur Seth Godin presents a new perspective on mass marketing, arguing that the internet has launched a new era of leading and connecting people and ideas, thereby creating ideological tribes. While tribes have been around for a long time, today's tribes go beyond geography or shared culture. He asserts that people long for connections, and that today's marketing leader must move away fron the model of trying to persuade people they want something they don't have. Instead, they must connect people with similar yearnings who can become loyal fans of your idea, product or service--creating a sense of belonging or virtual tribe.

A Look Inside the Social Media Revolution

Social media is the biggest revolution in communication since the printing press, fundamentally changing how people and businesses communicate. Yet most companies are still struggling to imagine how to use it in meaningful ways. If the following facts interest you, take a minute to watch this fascinating production about socialnomics:
  • If Facebook were a country it would be the world's third largest
  • 96% of millenials have joined a social network
  • Social media is the number one activity on the web
  • There are over 200 million blogs, and 34% of bloggers post opinions about products and brands
Everybody's talking--and some of them will be talking about your business. What will they be saying--and how will you engage them in meaningful conversations that impact your business? We'll talk more about this in the days ahead.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Internal Communicators: Invest in Setting Customer Expectations

This week one of our clients, a hospital marketing professional, talked with us about developing a message for imaging patients. The proposed piece would achieve several things:
  • It thanked the patient for choosing her hospital.
  • It explained why the patient would get different bills (from the hospital, and the radiologist)
  • It explained why the patient would need to get results from his or her physician, rather than the imaging technician
  • It listed the names of the people with whom the patient interacted that day
  • It listed all of the phone numbers the patient might need to follow up on the visit
This simple two-page flyer will effectively deliver messages that help the consumer better navigate their hospital—while setting expectations and thereby minimizing frustration.
As you think about ways to advertise your business, don't forget to focus on those critical consumer touchpoints, and ask yourself this: What message can I convey in this touchpoint that will improve their experience with our organization?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Let's start a blog!"

We've heard those words often, and as you can see, the answer for us was yes. Blogging is a great way to share information, but it does take time. Before you start one, ask yourself these questions:
  • Do you have enough topics of value to post new messages frequently?
  • How many posts per week will you write—and how much time will you allot to writing each one?
  • Who in your organization will write the blog?
  • Who will need to approve it?
  • Will you respond to blog postings, and if so, whose responsibility will that be?
  • How will you develop a following?
  • Who will be your target audience?
  • What will they want to hear from you?
The blogosphere is a busy place. And it's a great way to connect with your customers. Just be sure you're clear about your objectives, and have the resolve and the resources to follow through. We all know how those newsletters end up being due way sooner than we thought.

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Unless otherwise credited, all content copyrighted by CMBell Company.