Marketing Messages

How Will You Celebrate Leap Day?

Unlike your favourite real holidays, which happen annually, you only get the chance to celebrate February 29, or Leap Day, once every four years. That makes Leap Day actually less frequent than once in a blue moon (which happens roughly every three years).

Motorbike

How should one celebrate this day? By taking a leap, of course! By trying something new that you’ve been putting off for far too long. That’s as simple as making a booking for a dance class, or trying a new restaurant, or bungee jumping in a chicken suit (if you do this, please send us photos).

I know what you’re thinking: Leap Day isn’t a real holiday. Well, neither is Talk Like A Pirate Day, but as more people support and celebrate these left-field calendar dates, we can change the world. I still hold out hope for a Leap Day miracle.

Leap Day William

We also think it’s a good day to take a risk with your marketing.

The best advertisements of all time all have an element of risk. Have you ever thought that a scripted message looks different to what everyone else does, or is a bit ‘out there’? That probably means it’s more effective. People remember things that are different. It’s one reason why we recommend updating your messages – to keep it different! After all, how do you expect to secure your competitor’s clients if you market your business in exactly the same way they do?

Old Spice

So if you’ve been playing it safe with your marketing, do one thing this Leap Day: ask us to write something wacky, wonderful and way out there. After all, there’s a Leap Day saying: if you want make a baby, playing it safe isn’t the best way to do it.

I’m on a horse.

The Top Five Christmas Campaigns for 2014

Every year around early November, the internet starts to come alive with the excitement for the upcoming ad bonanza that is Christmas time. So in spirit of Christmas, here are our top 5 Christmas campaigns for 2014!

5) Sainsbury’s – Christmas Is For Sharing, made in partnership with The Royal British Legion. [Warning – turn your speakers down]

Talk about pulling on the old heartstrings! The famous war story of The Christmas Truce has been brought to life in this ad which at publishing date has had over 14 million hits. Sainsbury’s took a big risk with this one.  War isn’t a topic to be taken lightly. However if we look past the fact that in essence, the supermarket is using war to advertise their company, what we have is a beautiful representation of the spirit of Christmas. (Sorry for the saccharine, but if we can’t at Christmas then when can we?) What makes the campaign more palatable is the fact its promoting a chocolate bar of which all profits will be donated to the Royal British Legion.  A brilliant message indeed.

4) Tesco’s Wigan Light Show

Once upon a time, retailers would release one wizz bang Christmas ad and that was enough. Not anymore. UK Retailer Tesco has released a fun, sweet Christmas ad campaign which at face value is fine. But it’s not the official ad that we love. In 2013, Tesco customer Claire Hannah tweeted that her local Tesco wasn’t displaying the iconic ‘Tesco hat’. Instead of a miserly, boring response tweet, Tesco threw plenty of energy (and plenty of dollars) at a response (seen here) this year that’s already getting them plenty of free publicity. Not only did they respond to the tweet, but they added to their Christmas message this year in a spectacular, explosive fashion. It looks like the proof is already in the pudding in terms of free exposure thanks to Christmas-themed content.

3) David Jones – The Things We Do For Love

Speaking of saccharine! We’re proud to announce that Aussie retailer David Jones has jumped on the Christmas bandwagon and offered up a classic Aussie Christmas problem in their sentimental Christmas ad! Here in the wide, brown land, we’re not famous for our inclusion of chimneys in our architecture. This ad plays delightfully on this notion and reminds us why we celebrate Christmas at all. Because it makes the people we love happy. While this ad’s not racing up the viral stakes yet, we’re expecting a Christmas miracle!

2) Aldi – Aussie Christmas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVaZ1hvXW0A#t=55

Australians enjoy a fairly unique Christmas. While the romance of a white Christmas isn’t lost on us – most of us spend December 25 sweltering in the heat wishing we’d let the whole ‘hot food’ thing go. Aldi has jumped on this idea and offered a delightful mash-up of the traditional white Christmas and the quintessential Aussie Christmas. While the advertising elements of this ad might be a little overt, we’re willing to forgive it just to watch those zany Europeans having a crack at the slip n’ slide on the snow! And keep an eye out for the budgie smugglers – we didn’t know they existed outside Australia!

1) John Lewis – Monty The Penguin

And finally, it wouldn’t be a modern Christmas without a visit from Monty The Penguin. John Lewis must be rubbing their hands together in the lead up to Christmas now, knowing they’re days away from an absurd amount of free publicity. Before it was even released, the Twittersphere was abuzz with excitement. And, as expected, this year’s Monty The Penguin ad notched up 12 million views in the first week it was released. John Lewis pre-empted the insane response to the ad with more content marketing than you can poke a stick at including  a website where you can explore Monty’s world, a storytelling app, Monty’s Den in each of their stores and Monty the Penguin adoption toys which raise money for the WWF. Oh and Monty the Penguin has over 35,000 followers on Twitter. Not bad for a penguin. John Lewis spent £1 million on the Monty the Penguin ads but when you look at the YouTube shares, the interactive content and phenomenal free publicity this little guy has earned the retailer, it’s a small price to pay.

– Sophie

Marketing Messages: What Kim Kardashian Can Teach You

Whether you loved it, hated it, or thought it was the latest character in Ryan Murphy’s and Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story, you probably saw the photo of Kim Kardashian’s behind. There’s also a good chance you shared it, tweeted it, liked one of the hundreds of memes it produced and discussed it with friends. While a great lesson in Photoshop, Kim shows us that just one carefully selected image can be shared, posted and published over and over again across social media, websites, and even in good old fashioned press. In a nutshell, if you have the right image, it can be seen by millions.

Kim’s Paper Magazine shoot is also a great teaching tool when you’re deciding how to market your small business. Whenever you upload, post, or interact with customers on social media, or update your website or online shop, words are only half the battle. To be truly effective, you need marketing messages with images – good ones.

 Bolster your marketing messages with compelling images.

Websites

If you have an online shop, take note that 56% of consumers consider images of products to be more significant than any other information you may provide, including detailed descriptions, reviews and ratings. Forget ‘images coming soon’ notices and grainy iPhone photos, consumers want images that are both clear and professional. This is because a) they want to know what they’re getting before it arrives at their door, and b) only tangible images will produce that “yes, this is exactly what I want” feeling.

If you don’t have an online shop, and instead just have a contact number, email and a two year old “under construction site” notice, (you know who you are) you still need an image. Upload one of your store front, or with your staff members standing in the foreground. Why? Because 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact your business if an image appears in local search results. Consumers want to put a face to a name and want to know that the company they’re choosing to do business with is a) real, and b) legitimate.

On Social Media

90% of the information transmitted to our brains is visual, and visuals are processed in the brain 60,000 times faster than text. This means when a person is scrolling down their Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn feed they’re 90% more likely to stop for an image than for text, not because your tagline isn’t engaging, but because their brain picks up on the image rather than the text.

The statistics back it up. Images are liked twice as much as text updates on Facebook; articles with images on LinkedIn get 94% more total views; and using images on Twitter increases retweets by 150% and click-throughs by 18%.

Pinterest and Instagram

If your business isn’t currently on Pinterest or Instagram, here are two figures that should change your mind. Pinterest saw a 1047% growth in unique visitors in their first year, (unique visitors refers to a person who visits a website more than once within a specified period of time) and Instagram has 130 million users who like 1 billion photos per day.

Whether you’re a fashion, furniture or fencing business, get an account and start uploading. Images are so important for your marketing messages because they let consumers imagine. Customers can picture themselves in your dress, imagine how their pool will look with a stylish glass fence, or envision how your dining set will look in their home. Plus, Pinterest and Instagram let you connect and interact with current and potential customers on a fundamental level, and by constantly uploading and updating, consumers are constantly exposed to your brand. And as we know from the Effective Frequency Theory – a consumer has to be exposed to an ad at least three times before they take action – more exposure to your brand can never be a bad thing.

The Bottom Line

Next time you’re updating your business’ Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account I want you to stop and think about Kim’s oiled up bottom, and imagine what kind of photos will stop your customers mid scroll. Stay away from poor stock photos or images that looks too set up, and get creative – images that show your human side will create stronger connections with customers.

– Steph

Marketing Messages – What Really Gets Customers Through The Door

Would you buy your wine from Dan Murphy’s because they take “pride” in “offering the lowest liquor price guarantee?” Your new plasma TV from Retravision Online because they “guarantee to beat any advertised competitor price?” When your nephew or niece’s birthday arrives, will you purchase your present from Toys R Us because they promise their “prices can’t be beat”, and that they’ll “match any advertised price?” These retailers wouldn’t lie to you… or would they?

According to the University of East Anglia, lowest-price guarantees can actually work against consumers, potentially pushing prices up and discouraging them from shopping around. So, in fact, lowest or best price guarantees are not good indicators that a store is cheaper than its competition. Why, then, do we keep returning to and buying from these businesses? Well it’s pretty simple – you’re a marketing message sucker.

On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the small print. We as consumers don’t bother reading that: “In some cases there are prices which Retravision Online cannot match,” “The competitor store must be within 10 kilometres of Dan Murphy’s,” or that the Toys ‘R Us guarantee “Excludes competitor’s category or storewide discounts, conditional sales, package deals, discontinued lines, loyalty or third party offers, fire or liquidation sales, clearance/warehouse outlets.”

Marketing messages should excite customers with what you can do for them.

Our eyes and wallets are dazzled by lowest price guaranteed slogans. So what does this mean for the average business owner? You need to think about what you are selling to your customers. Retravision, Dan Murphy’s, and Toys ‘R Us aren’t telling consumers they’ve been in production for however many years, who they’re owned by, where they source their materials from, or where they hope their business will take them. Why? Because people just don’t care.

Most consumers have one thing they care about more than anything else. You need to work out what it is and sell it to them – whether it’s getting the product to them quicker, being cheaper than your competitors, or by ensuring that the quality is the best on the market. So, if your business has been running since 1969, don’t give them a history lesson from that year – it’s useless and frankly, it’s boring! Instead, mention that with over 40 years of experience under your belt they won’t be paying for you to learn on the job.

If your production takes place locally with locally sourced products, don’t just focus on the fact that this supports the community. Tell your customers because it’s right next door, it’s fresher and faster! In the event there is a problem, you’ll be able to solve it a hell of lot quicker because you have the part right on your shelf – they don’t have to wait weeks for shipping. And, in years to come when a part needs replacing – you’ll be able to do it for them – they won’t have to scour eBay for a part that hasn’t been manufactured in years.

To ensure your business can compete– you need marketing messages that excite customers with what you can do for them. Instead of dropping your pants on prices that might see a short term spike in sales, opt for something that will provide you with long term growth. Find the most compelling features of your business, and sell them.

– Steph

Marketing Messages – Some Harsh Truths

If you’re not selling as much as you used to or sales have petered out, your marketing messages are no good. I know, it’s hard to hear – and it’s supposed to be. This is a wake-up call.

Sure, we could blame it on the market or customers being more frugal with their hard earned dollars. But the truth is you can sell in any climate to anyone if your marketing messages are on-point.

What I mean by on-point is this: are they focused on your target market? Is your audience receiving these messages regularly and through a variety of mediums? And finally is the content of your marketing messages high quality and relevant? If you can’t tick all three, then you may as well be shouting your marketing messages down a well with your fingers in your ears.

Are your Marketing Messages focused?

In 2013, Dove launched their ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ campaign to prove to women that they are more beautiful than they think. Knowing that only 4% of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful, Dove used this to create a powerful message that resonated with their audience. This message is an extension of Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, and the video became one of the most shared videos of all time.

Are your Marketing Messages consistent?

When Motorola launched their ultra customisable Moto X smartphone, their message was simple: this is a smartphone that can be customised to match your personality. The customisation was the key and that’s what they pushed through outdoor initiatives like bus shelters and storefronts that changed colour to match the clothing of the viewer. They even created an interactive print ad that allowed readers to change the colour of the phone on the page using polycarbonate paper and LED light pipes.

Are your Marketing Messages of high quality?

You don’t need a million dollar budget to create highly relevant, high quality content. Kit Cosmetics keep note of customer purchases and email them around the time those purchases are likely to run out. For example, if you purchase a 50g tub of face moisturiser, they know it has a three month lifespan and will email you similar products in three months time. Simple, yet highly effective.

It’s no longer enough for you to spend an hour banging out a sales email on a Monday morning, firing it out on a Tuesday and expecting results on the Wednesday. You need to convince your audience what you’re promoting is worth their time, attention and most importantly of all, their money. Here’s the kicker: all that takes time.

On average, a person will need at least seven exposures to a business’ marketing messages before taking action. The more your target audience is exposed to your message, the more they will recognise it. It’s this recognition which builds familiarity, which in turn builds trust. Once they trust you, they will be open to being sold to.

Multiple exposures to marketing messages – quality marketing messages – aren’t just a pleasantry, they’re a necessity. A lone, well-worded email simply won’t cut it. Your audience needs to see your marketing messages everywhere. In bite sized pieces of information on social media, in downloadable PDFs that offer them value & insight, in banner ads, radio ads, from their neighbour’s mouth – everywhere.

Your target audience isn’t trying to make your life difficult – they are expecting you to work hard for their loyalty. If you can create great, value-adding content that regularly appears in, and is relevant to, their situation you will have them. Remember, you have to give to get.

Now take a few minute, make yourself a cup of coffee and ask yourself: what marketing messages are you sending out? Are they consistent? Are they of high quality or value? And finally, are they appearing everywhere they could be?

– Lachy