Advertising

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Success in Management and Communication

Published June 9, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

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There are two themes that are relevant in the world of communication, learning communication skills to help navigate a successful career and adapting these skills to succeed in a leadership or managerial position. Baack (2012) suggests that leaders with superior communication skills not only gather information, they comprehend and communicate that information in a way that empowers others while earning their respect and loyalty. These are the architects that establish new career models as a framework that can be applied to any industry (Baack, 2012). In other words, these leaders have developed a strong set of principles to guide their interpersonal relationships as well as the communication constructs that motivates them to achieve successful outcomes.

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In my eBook, Breaching Communication Barriers (2013), I reveal how communication problems in the workplace can become hostile and toxic as well as the role employees play in tearing down a company’s reputation (Berry, 2013). In the meantime, employees that communicate a positive view of their organization are also happy to offer their loyalty to a firm. For example, Southwest Airlines, (SWA) one of America’s success stories, provides an ideal example of how effective communication played an integral role in helping them build a successful business model. Herb Kelleher, the firm’s leader, worked hard with his employees to build and maintain a reputation influenced by his management style which included the following concepts: (a) revealing the company’s purpose, vision and values, (b) making people heroes, (c) being honest and consistent with communication, (d) maintaining a flow of open communication between all divisions, and (e) providing staff members with applicable information to help them make the most effective decisions.

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While many leaders focus their strategies by keeping the customer happy, the SWA leader focused his model on keeping the employees happy. He believed this was the most effect method to succeed in the aviation industry because employees that are content and valued at the workplace are also motivated to perform at higher levels.

On Wednesday we will take a closer look at the similarities and differences in business and management communication. Until then … keep working on reaching your highest potential!

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A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem. – Albert Einstein

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arriving soon

References:

Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.

Berry, M. A. (2013). Breaching Communication Barriers (Vol. 2). (C. Angela, Ed.) USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

 

 

 

Online Marketing

Published November 8, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Viral marketing is a very effective strategy in which advertisers spread their message digitally from one person to another. This strategy counts on individuals to get excited about something and share it with their friends and family through various social media outlets. There are many reasons why things like wristbands, nonfat Greek yogurt, low-fat diets, Atkins, South Beach, iPhones, and the Macarena caught on. Berger (2013) explains that these are all samples of social epidemics, situations where ideas, products, and behaviors became a part of public consciousness that was spread by word of mouth. There are three main reasons why products go viral: (a) innovative quality products or ideas that offer value, (b) discounted products or services that offer equal value as their pricey competitors, and (c) unique advertising efforts (Berger, 2013). Although it is fairly easy to identify samples of social contagion, it is actually much more difficult to get something new to actually go viral. One reason some products and ideas become sensations is because they are just better products. In other words, when items come along that function more efficiently, people tend to want to own them. For example, earlier models of television and computer monitors were large and weighed considerably. Flat screen sales skyrocketed because they offered larger screens and weighed less. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why they became a sensation.

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In today’s world, the Web has transformed the way people interact with each other. A variety of services have been developed for instance, to help people keep in touch with whoever they want, whenever  and from where ever they choose with speed and ease. In other words, society is interconnected in a way that has improved our lives considerably just with a few keystrokes and clicks of their electronic devices. Adams (2013) asserts that although we can connect instantly, this same element has created a high level of deafening noise and clutter to penetrate. As a result of the bombardment of advertisers trying to reach consumers, people are only focused on what is relevant to them at that moment. Marketers are now beginning to comprehend that providing value alone is not enough to grab a viewer’s attention. If it doesn’t include an innovative idea or unique presentation, it will have a harder time getting through to the masses (Adams, 2013). To make an impact in the online marketing community, it helps to have an idea that is fresh, new, different, and remarkable. Most people would like to believe success will happen overnight. However, in most situations, that’s not the case. There is a tipping point that must occur. In other words, once the idea reaches a certain tipping point, the idea then causes a crescendo like a virus that goes on to produce an epidemic. This occurs faster now because of the interconnectedness within the global network.

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There are many examples of things that have gone viral like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Starbucks, and Harry Potter. They all went viral because they provided unique value and were innovative brands. The length of time varied from weeks, to months, to years but what set them apart from all the others was that they offered value in a unique way. Baack and Clow (2013) contend that the primary reason people are on social networks is to showcase their self. Successful corporations are now using this strategy to connect closer with consumers. Social media acts as a platform for advertisers reach prospects so that they will then share that information with those they care about (Baack & Clow, 2012). Marketers want their campaigns to go viral online and social networks allow them to create campaigns that will spread by word-of-mouth. This kind of strategy is more effective because word-of-mouth is more targeted and therefore, more persuasive. Companies are more successful when consumers spread the word about their brand because it is a genuine response from the users. To make an online marketing strategy effective, marketers develop their campaigns knowing that word-of-mouth strategies will help them connect to a relevant audience.

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A recent example of an advertising campaign that went viral was a promotional ad for the theatrical release of a very popular remake of the 1970s movie Carrie. The advertising company hired a professional film crew and worked in partnership with a small Manhattan café where the event took place (Telekinetic Woman Pranks Coffee Shop Customers!, 2013). The environment was secretly set up by the professional crew prior to the shop opening adding special effects components to make the reaction from the patrons more believable. Actors were hired to play out a short scene and cameras were strategically hidden to capture the event while  innocent patrons witnessed the action that transpired. Once the event was set in motion, the male performer began to agitate a young female patron at the cafe that was engaged in her studies. The young man deliberately spills her coffee on her computer workstation. This caused the young woman to react and lose her composure. Losing her temper created a chain reaction to where she became so angry she began to use what seemed like telekinetic powers to throw the man against the wall and with the wave of her hand, he starts elevating up while pressed against the wall to the full height of the ceiling. In the meantime, her anger has not subsided and she begins moving the café furniture, tables and chairs out of her way as well with the wave of her hand as if by magic. The expressions and genuine screams from the unsuspecting patrons was priceless. Afterwards they were advised it was all part of a hired crew to create a promotion for the upcoming movie Carrie. Needless to say, the video has gone viral. That was one very effective and cleverly unique way that brand communicated a their message.

This concludes my organizational management research work on the various components of marketing, advertising, and public relations. Thank you for sharing this journey with me so far. Next week we begin a new adventure as my research work for the next six weeks will focus on corporate financial decision making. Until then … have a great weekend everyone!

References:

Mayer, M. G. (Producer). (2013). Telekinetic Woman Pranks Coffee Shop Customers! [Motion Picture].

Adams, R. L. (2013). Viral – How to spread your ideas like a virus. Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Berger, J. (2013). Contagious: Why things catch on. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

 

Advertising Research (Conclusion)

Published November 4, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Direct Response Marketing and Setting Objectives

To set marketing objectives, advertisers must identify the most efficient means to communicate their message and incorporate the best research methods to help them accomplish their goals. Eyun-Jung et al., (2012) purport that online data collection methods are more commonly employed than offline methods and must be taken into consideration during their research efforts (Eyun-Jung, Hyoungkoo, & Lan, 2012). In order to determine and set objectives marketers must identify precisely what they intend to communicate and what their message is supposed to achieve. In addition, they must determine the most appropriate means and tools used to communicate their message so that the answers to these key questions flow organically. Direct response marketing is another research strategy advertisers use to better understand their audience. For example, companies invest time and energy to implement programs that include direct mail and email campaigns. In doing so, they provide consumers with such items as catalogs, surveys, flyers, and other means to communicate to them. These strategies are implemented in conjunction with other direct response mass media efforts developed in their TV, radio, and magazine ads, to influence consumer behavior and encourage some kind of immediate response. In turn, marketing teams use the information they gather to build a solid data warehouse which includes some of the following components: (a) client name and contact information, (b) purchase transactions details, (c) the history of company interaction including inquiries, return merchandise, or complaints, (d) survey results, (e) consumer preferences, and (f) consumer participation in promotions and marketing campaigns. Marketers utilize data management disciplines as a research strategy and evaluate the information collected to help them identify and design their promotional campaign goals. This is also an effective way to develop more meaningful relationships with consumers\ that not only builds consumer trust it can also help predict future trends and behavior.

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Personal Selling Tactics and Budget Plans

Advertising research is also effective for identifying the most efficient executional frameworks to deliver brand messages with the financial resources available. Learning about consumer lifestyles and media preferences help marketers reach prospects and communicate their messages with precision. For example, to avoid costly mistakes and allocate funds efficiently, marketers may include personal selling tactic strategies in their research efforts to help determine the company’s resources and budgetary needs. Thomas (2013) postulates that one of the greatest obstacles marketers face is integrating media strategies effectively and deciding on the most efficient executional frameworks to deliver their message (Thomas, 2013). The choice of media channels, whether TV, print, or outdoor, is one of the most important aspects in the development of a marketing campaign because bad decisions due to a lack of poor research and planning can result in considerable financial losses as well as cost a company to lose their brand positioning in the marketplace. Companies that include personal selling techniques in their advertising research strategies, for instance, offer consumers the opportunity to build relationships face-to-face with company representatives. In the meantime, strategists are able to learn more about consumer interests so they can build better budget plans to achieve their goals. For example, one personal selling effort tactic may include an in-store demonstration of a product to give people an opportunity to experience a company’s goods with their own eyes. The response they receive can help marketers create more effective programs and build better budget procedures to support them. This strategy helps marketers in their research efforts because it also provides an opportunity to generate new leads by adding a personal touch. In addition, it gives consumers a chance to meet and interact with company insiders that can provide more details about a brand. This discipline helps build trust, gives consumers a chance to discover a brand’s goods and services first hand, and the data gathered from the event plays a significant role in the development of effective budgetary plans to support them.

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Conclusion

Companies want to build brand awareness not lose it. Their goal is to tell their story while meticulously crafting their image in a way that cleverly presents their unique selling points. Baack and Clow (2010) explain that the recruitment of new leads from implementing such strategies like frequency programs, permission marketing enticements, and direct response marketing techniques, are all effective practices to motivate customer action and build brand loyalty (Baack & Clow, 2012). In other words, companies that use the data they collect from consumers as a research strategy, will help them develop more effective methods to motivate and influence consumer behavior and more likely to achieve successful outcomes.

Academic discipline strategies play a key role in advertising research because they help companies build meaningful relationships with consumers. Thomas (2013) reminds us that the main objectives of marketers are: (a) to generate new leads, (b) identify current prospects, (c) stimulate activity, and (d) implement effective follow up programs to ensure customer satisfaction (Thomas, 2013). Advertisers that incorporate disciplined strategies into their research efforts are more likely to get clients excited about a brand and have a better chance of closing a sale than trying to reach them blindly in a vast sea of consumers. In conclusion, the best way to achieve marketing goals is to incorporate disciplined research and data collection systems that can help companies identify and determine consumer behavior. This helps touch clients in a way that is not intrusive and instead makes them feel special and valued. The findings of this research conclude that brands can communicate their message more effectively and develop more efficient advertising campaigns by implementing strategic academic disciplines into their advertising research efforts.

References

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Eyun-Jung, K., Hyoungkoo, K., & Lan, Y. (2012). Social media research in advertising, communication, marketing, and public relations. Journalism and mass communication quarterly, 89. Columbia, USA: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Retrieved October 16, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1026654509?accountid=32521

King, P., & Young, C. (2008). The advertising research handbook (2nd ed.). Seattle, WA: Ad Essentials, LLC.

Shimp, T. (2010). Advertising, promotion, and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Thomas, J. (2013). Advertising research. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from http://www.decisionanalyst.com: http://www.decisionanalyst.com/publ_art/adver.dai

Advertising and Research (Part 1)

Published November 1, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Introduction

An advertising campaign’s function is to provide information about a brand in a memorable and entertaining fashion. To achieve the most effective response, marketers focus their strategic plans to develop the brand’s positioning with the message and images they choose to communicate. Shimp (2010) suggests that marketers can entice consumers in interesting ways by learning more about their wants and needs, using the information they collect to reach them more effectively (Shimp, 2010). These strategies are commonly used to help advertisers grab the attention of viewers, build trusting relationships with them, and in exchange patrons offer brand loyalty.

To find out more about a target audience media teams implement precision research systems into their campaign efforts to experience maximum benefits for their efforts. Baack and Clow (2012) contend that research systems give marketers insights into: (a) consumer purchasing habits, (b) the merchandise they use, (c) how they make purchases, and (d) other behavior that may affect their interaction with the brand. Advertisers typically focus their research efforts in two areas: product-specific and consumer-oriented data collection to better comprehend their target audience (Baack & Clow, 2012). Research strategies help marketers devise the best methods to communicate their messages more effectively to motivate consumer action. The focus of this study is centered on three academic disciplines that play an integral role in advertising research to help in the development of an effective marketing campaign: (a) data driven management systems to help support brand positioning, (b) the implementation of direct response marketing programs to assist with goal setting strategies, and (c) applying personal selling tactics that can have a profound effect on budget allocation. In addition, the study will also examine how components like data mining, customer profiling, trawling, and frequency programs are important for building customer relationships to help with research efforts. The findings of this study will conclude that companies who implement a disciplined advertising research program which includes strategies to individualize communication with consumers, will experience more success from their efforts. These programs can help address important issues that will influence the development of their promotional campaigns which in turn has an impact on the brand’s positioning, goal achievements, and budget plans.

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Data Management and Brand Positioning

Media experts look to position their brand more effectively by including strategic disciplines in their advertising research efforts. King and Young (2010) explained that a brand’s position communicates the benefits, their image, and the key advantages they represent in the way they want to deliver that message to the collective mind of their target audience. In order to determine their brand positioning in the core of their message, they must provide a tangible reason their brand stands out above the competition (King & Young, 2008). To position themselves above others, marketers begin by conducting thorough research on their competitors and collect substantial data to profile consumers as a means to better comprehend the marketplace. This strategy is also effective to help to establish trustworthy relationships with their patrons.

The first step for a marketing team is to incorporate strategic data driven systems into their research programs. To achieve this task, teams begin by developing a strong data warehouse that includes coding analysis capabilities which can also be used for data mining procedures. Data driven marketing provides a direct link to consumers and helps advertisers develop more effective relationships with their audience. For instance, because of advances in internet technology and software development, companies can easily build and develop strong database programs that support and personalize customer interaction to build loyalty. Technologies that support database storage, mining and coding operations are more effective in building intimate relationships with consumers because they keep track of their interaction with the brand. For example, a brokerage firm that has established a customer profiling program may use database mining strategies to implement a practice called trawling. This procedure helps companies identify active patrons and pinpoints the inactive ones. It also helps strategists determine whether clients should be pursued and enticed into new action or released to make room for others. Companies that incorporate data driven marketing strategies into their research programs do so to understand consumer values so they can build better relationships with them and increase their chance of elevating their brand position in the marketplace.

Part 2 to be continued next Monday … thanks for staying tuned!

References:

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Eyun-Jung, K., Hyoungkoo, K., & Lan, Y. (2012). Social media research in advertising, communication, marketing, and public relations. Journalism and mass communication quarterly, 89. Columbia, USA: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Retrieved October 16, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1026654509?accountid=32521

King, P., & Young, C. (2008). The advertising research handbook (2nd ed.). Seattle, WA: Ad Essentials, LLC.

Shimp, T. (2010). Advertising, promotion, and other aspects of integrated marketing communications. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Thomas, J. (2013). Advertising research. Retrieved October 17, 2013, from http://www.decisionanalyst.com: http://www.decisionanalyst.com/publ_art/adver.dai

Consumer Promotions

Published October 25, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Marketers today try to comprehend the psychology of consumers and focus much of their research on consumer behavior. This helps them understand the following components: (a) how actions shape an individual’s identity, (b) the impact it has on their target audience and their families, and (c) how their consumption habits affect the environment. Jansson-Boyd (2012) explains that human consumption has become an integral part of society. From a business perspective, it is imperative that advertisers have a clear understanding of the effects these habits have on human behavior to better serve their customers. In other words, companies have more successful outcomes when they focus on figuring out how individuals are influenced based on their behavior with respect to the materials they acquire. The information they gather is used to determine how and why they are engaged in certain activities and what affects them in order to help influence that behavior (Jansson-Boyd, 2010). Knowing how people process information and in turn how they will respond, can also help marketers predict future behavior. This is useful data for developing consumer promotion strategies to generate more traffic and build long lasting brand loyalty. Consumer promotions are typically developed as exciting events to entice consumers to investigate further into a company’s merchandise so that they will purchase their goods. The focus of this research is centered on the various methods advertisers develop to influence consumer behavior by incorporating different types of promotional strategies to their campaigns to stimulate the buying process. The study will examine seven kinds of consumer promotion models including: (a) refunds and rebates, (b) contests, (c) sweepstakes, (d) premiums, (e) coupons, (f) in-store, and (g) trade shows. As an example to help illustrate these concepts, the research is influenced from my own personal experiences as a young corporate executive in the promotion department at EMI America Records in Hollywood. The study will take a closer look at the variety of strategies a record company will utilize to introduce a new artist and to help promote their music products. The findings of this research will conclude that consumer promotions drive patrons to buy products because they stimulate excitement, add fun to shopping, and create a memorable experience.

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Contests

Consumer promotions are meant to drive people towards a company’s products. Smart advertisers know that in addition to delivering an awesome product, to attract and keep loyal clients, exceptional customer service also plays a key role to their success. Baack and Clow (2012) postulate, that in the past, many experts were under the impression that any type of sales promotion could contaminate a brand’s reputation. However, because of the vast amount of market place competition, advertisers are developing more clever methods to lure consumers into making a purchase. Promotions are an effective way to generate interest and excitement to attract shopper attention and activity (Baack & Clow, 2012). One method marketers use to spawn excitement about a new product is holding a contest. Contests require audience participation and can create a buzz about a new product. For example, record companies work in partnership with radio stations and music store outlets to set up various kinds of contests to attract attention. When an artist comes out with a new album, for instance, conducting a contest in conjunction with a radio station is a sure way to generate a buzz. First of all, radio stations work with record companies and provide free publicity from the airplay of the new album. To generate more of a thrilling experience, the radio station will hold competitions by offering callers incentives like free concert tickets or a chance to win the artist’s new album if they are logged in as the fifteenth caller, for instance or have the correct answer to a certain trivia question. These types of promotions not only generate excitement and interest in the artist and their new product, it also serves to help bring more listening traffic to the radio station. This choice of promotion is ideal and if planned well, can serve the music company, the artist, the radio stations, and the concert promoter.

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Sweepstakes

Without consumer promotions, a company’s product can get lost in the crowd. Cummins and Mullin (2010) state flatly, that the main goal of marketers is to drive consumers to buy products and sales promotions are effective for achieving those outcomes. People go shopping because they want a rewarding experience (Cummins & Mullin, 2010). In other words, people purchase merchandise because it makes them feel good and sales promotions, like sweepstakes, are one way of adding fun to the buying equation. In a sweepstakes promotion, purchases are not necessary for participation and generally shoppers are encouraged to enter as often as they want. In these kinds of promotions, probability determines the outcome so merchandisers are required to reveal the odds of winning in advance. This displays a company’s fair business practices and helps build trust. A record company, for instance, will incorporate a sweepstakes event into their promotion campaign because they add both extrinsic and intrinsic value. For example, to add extrinsic value and make the promotion more attractive, the record label may include an all-expense paid trip to Hollywood, California for entry winners to attend an artist’s concert. In addition, they may offer free promotional material, like t-shirts, special concert related program books, and other paraphernalia merchandise to support the release of the new album.  Sweepstakes promotions are similar to contests, in that they require participation and necessitate the use of some kind of skill, such as sharing stories centered on the theme of the album or the submission of an original song. People that enjoy competition events will participate because: (a) it is fun, (b) they want to demonstrate their abilities, and (c) it presents an opportunity to meet the artist. Marketers have discovered that offering discounts only are not as effective in generating excitement over their products, and by designing promotions into their advertising campaigns, such as contests and sweepstakes, they become extremely efficient for generating a positive experience and attracting more business.

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Refunds and Rebates

Consumer promotions stimulate excitement in a company’s brand. Refunds and rebate strategies are cash incentives offered to buyers once they purchase merchandise. Baack and Clow (2012) submit that this strategy is more effective when they it is perceived as an original idea and usually motivate buyers to change their behavior (Baack & Clow, 2012). To receive the reward, the consumer must provide a proof of purchase and mail it to the designated organization to redeem their prize. This is not a very popular method because many people do not want to take the time to mail in the required documentation, follow-up, or even wait for that matter. However, if the prize is enticing enough, consumers will participate. Music companies can use this strategy to help promote the release of an artist’s new album as well as their concert events. For example, a rebate offer can be an effective method to entice consumers to purchase a special limited edition of the music product offered exclusively at certain outlets only that includes concert tickets as part of the rebate strategy. This promotes the record label, the music store retailer and the concert promoters. Plus, it also helps fans save money on costly concert events while encouraging sales for higher ticket items such as special collector products. These effective strategies assist advertisers in generating more sales, build brand loyalty, that can also lead to additional purchases. This model draws attention to the brand and is a great way to engage and win new supporters.

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Premiums

To put it simply, promotions are developed for consumers to help create a rewarding shopping experience for them. Calder and Tybout (2010) assert that human behavior is motivated by goals. Goals are a reflection of a fulfilling future that is driven by an individual’s desires, aspirations, hopes, and dreams. The value individuals attach to their solutions varies by the degree of the problem solved or goal they want to achieve. Taking this concept into consideration, advertisers engage in competitive marketing as a valuable tool that provides consumers a means to achieve their goals (Calder & Tybout, 2010). Sales promotions that offer premiums in the form of prizes, gifts, or other special offers, are also useful for getting people excited about a company’s brand. Typically there are four kinds of premiums that a company offers: (a) free-in-the-mail, (b) in-or on-package, (c) store or manufacturer, and (d) self-liquidating. A music company, for instance, may offer two albums for the price of one as a premium bonus. This strategy promotes a new release and is also effective for moving older inventory. Another popular strategy is to provide personalized autographed merchandise as a premium because that has value that no other company can offer. This is highly effective because any item that is specifically autographed to an individual from the artist will inherently add more value to that product and is a successfully proven promotional strategy.

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Coupons

Consumer promotions are typically developed to make shopping a memorable experience. Advertisers that include coupon promotions in their campaigns do so to offer a price reduction to stimulate consumer interest. Baack and Clow (2012) purport that out of 188 billion coupons issued in a year, about 1.6 billion were redeemed (Baack & Clow, 2012). Studies suggest that manufacturers issue about 80 percent of all coupons produced and are delivered through print media systems, although with advances in technology, coupons are now also offered digitally through social media and smartphone outlets. In addition, some companies use cross-ruffing techniques to promote other products. For example, a record company that wants to promote a new soundtrack album that features a song by one of their artist’s, may include a redeemable movie ticket coupon with their music album purchase. This strategy promotes the artist, the record company, as well as the movie company that made the investment in the artist to compose a new track to support the film. Companies that work together can share advertising costs as well as create an unforgettable experience for consumers.

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Trade Shows

Trade show promotions offer incentives that are also effective for enticing consumers to purchase products.  Trade shows can build a company’s business rapidly in just a few short days.  Abrams and Bozdech (2006) explain that trade shows consist of a large number of industry contacts, potential suppliers, and important buyers.  These key players are brought together at one venue.  In fact, trade shows are very successful because: (a) they attract significant clients, (b) they introduce new products, (c) produce real prospects, and (d) they enhance relationships (Abrams & Bozdech, 2006).  The main objective of a trade show is to bring industry professionals together to feature new or existing merchandise to impress existing vendors and attract new ones.  Music industry trade shows are designed to showcase the company’s artists and will include live performances.  This tactic provides entertainment as well as gives attendees the opportunity to sample the music and meet the artists in person.  In addition, it is a great public relations strategy which allows other industry heavy weights the opportunity to view the competition, meet these talented performers, as well as enjoy some quality entertainment.

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In-Store Promotions

The goal of an advertiser is to drive consumers to buy their products. Cummins and Mullin (2010) advise that in-store promotions conducted by specially trained staff members that offer incentives to motivate a crowd, is still one of the most effective ways to generate substantial business (Cummins & Mullin, 2010). In-store promotions are the most common methods companies employ as part of their sales promotion strategies. For example, a music company that is looking to promote a new album or artist will develop an in-store promotion because it is the most effective means to generate excitement around a new product. This strategy offers the general public an opportunity to listen to the product as well as meet and mingle with the artists face-to-face. Depending on the magnitude and celebrity of the artist, these kinds of promotions tend to generate the largest crowds because they provide fans an opportunity to experience direct contact with their music heroes. This plan makes the brand stand out above the competition because of the unique abilities and talent of the artist who can strike a deep emotional chord from their supporters. In addition, once consumers are enticed to visit the retail outlet, when the promotion concludes, people remain free to roam the facility to explore other purchasing options. In-store promotions of this nature are appealing to merchants because of the inherent ability to draw a large crowd by those interested in meeting a celebrity in person. In addition, it helps create a long lasting buzz for the company in the community, especially from those who were fortunate to have been a part of the experience. When a celebrity is associated with a particular music retail chain like the Virgin Megastore or other outlets where their music is sold like Barnes and Noble, the chains become favorites because of the memories consumers experience during those events.  In-store promotion strategies work the best for a record label due to the artist’s power of attraction.  Plus, consumers do not have to pay an admission price to attend them like they would a trade show or concert event.

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Conclusion

Consumer promotions offer the public a fun way to go shopping. Cummins and Mullin (2010) suggest that the use of sales promotions in their campaigns is one of the most effective ways a company stimulates excitement, encourages retail response, and offers valuable rewards. These marketing strategies serve to create an exhilarating and unforgettable experience for consumers. A good sales promotion will make consumers stop and think about a brand and if it has the right impact, will cause them to follow through on their feelings to purchase their products (Cummins & Mullin, 2010). Today’s consumer is looking for more than just making a purchase; they want to have an experience that will transform them. Sales promotions can do that by offering novelty, excitement, and even humor at the point-of-purchase. These are significant components that consumers respond to and motivates them to help build brand loyalty. Consumer promotions are meant to create a  rewarding shopping experience; one that motivates consumers to purchase products and tell their friends about it. The findings of this research conclude that without effective promotional sales strategies a brand’s products can get lost in the crowd.

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References

Abrams, R., & Bozdech, B. (2006). Trade show in a day: Get it done right, get it done fast! Palo Alto, CA: The Planning Shop.

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Calder, B., & Tybout, A. (2010). Kellogg on marketing (Second ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Cummins, J., & Mullin, R. (2010). Sales promotion: How to create, implement and integrate campaigns that really work (Fifth ed.). London, UK: Kogan Page.

Jansson-Boyd, C. (2010). Consumer psychology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Executional Frameworks for Advertising

Published October 18, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Marketers design their ads to influence the attitudes of their viewers. These messages are produced to transmit through a variety of outlets available in media advertising. To determine the executional framework or the manner in which ads are presented, it is essential that marketers do their homework and gather as much information as they can to devise the most effective message and deliver it in the most efficient manner. Bodri (2011) adds that every business, product, and service should also include a unique selling position (USP) as a preemptive strategy in their advertising campaigns. This method can help give an organization the edge over their competitors. It is effective for getting noticed, transmitting messages, and motivating prospects to listen, believe, and take some kind of action (Bodri, 2011). The focus of this research is centered on the methods that marketers utilize to develop their product’s USP and the executional frameworks they choose to deliver their messages. For the purpose of this study, the product chosen to help illustrate these concepts is Dragon Naturally Speaking (Dragon), the dictation software created by the Nuance Corporation. The research will identify the USP created to deliver the message and examine the following five executional frameworks Dragon incorporated to reach their target audience: (a) slice-of-life, (b) dramatization, (c) testimonials, (d) authoritative, and (e) demonstration. The findings of this research will conclude that the executional framework with which a message is delivered should also include a company’s unique selling position to invoke consumer emotions and help make their message more appealing.

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Unique Selling Position

Top performing marketers are cognizant that unfocused messages do not reinforce a strong selling position. Cosculluela (2012) contends that a compelling USP should be the foundation for all communication including public relations, advertising, sales promotion, product design, and packaging. Mediocre messages that are unfocused with no USP can generate sales however, advertising campaigns are more effective when companies focus their transmission clearly to their intended audience (Cosculluela, 2012). In other words, everything a company does needs to center on reinforcing their USP. For example, Dragon’s website is designed in a simplistic fashion that displays the graphic images of their primary products. Their home page clearly states Dragon’s USP in the following tagline that has been strategically placed next to the product graphics: You talk, it types.  Dragon makes it easier to use your computer (Dragon, 2013). This statement is short, simple, and delivers their message in a unique clear fashion.  It articulates what their product does as well as the benefits consumers will receive from using it.

Executional Framework Strategies

Slice of Life

Slice-of-Life Models

Executional frameworks incorporate the use of appeal concepts like humor and music to convey their USP. This strategy invokes emotions so that consumers will take action. For instance, Baack and Clow (2012) explain that marketers will implement various common types of appeals such as rationality, scarcity, fear, and humor in their executional framework, to stir feelings in prospects so that they will inquire further about the product. One such framework is the slice-of-life concept. In slice-of-life campaigns, the marketer’s objective is to offer solutions to common challenges that consumers and businesses address. Typical slice-of-life frameworks introduce a challenge then explain how their product can help solve them. This strategy typically includes the following four components: (a) the encounter, (b) the problem, (c) an interaction, and (d) the solution (Baack & Clow, 2012). For example, because of the expansion and innovation in computer technology, the Dragon software TV commercial reveals that one common experience most people face, is having to navigate and type on their computer devices. This model addresses a significant problem that many viewers encounter. Next, they introduce the product and interact with it to demonstrate how easy it is to speak while their computer transcribes their words. This strategy supports Dragon’s USP, exhibits the benefits, and offers a solution to help solve their problem.  This entices consumers to take some kind of action.

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Dramatization Frameworks

Executional frameworks that include dramatization strategies can invoke a powerful experience to rouse immediate viewer action. Barnes and Blake (2011) purport that companies who offer a unique selling point, or differentiation, focus on the value of their messages and propositions. The greatest value in this case comes from an organization’s ability to deliver a dramatic message with absolute clarity so that consumers become excited about them (Barnes & Blake, 2011).  Dramatization models are similar to slice-of-life models in that they introduce a problem and offer their product as the solution with compelling storylines. This model illustrates a difficult predicament in a way that will stimulate a reaction by adding drama. For example, one of the Dragon commercials features a young student that is struggling in school.  By incorporating the USP to build excitement and illustrate the ease of use, viewers become an eyewitness to the benefits of their products as the best solution.  Dramatization frameworks add thrilling stimulation and drama to help make a brand’s message memorable.

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Testimonial Strategies

Another effective strategy that marketers implement to transmit their messages is the use of testimonials. Baack and Clow (2012) postulate that feedback and claims made directly from users of products can offer some of the most credible information about an organization’s brand. When a customer genuinely shares a positive experience, that testimonial becomes an effective component for promoting the brand (Baack & Clow, 2012). Consumers believe what others say about a company because they are not paid spokespeople. In other words, their testimonials provide a believability factor that is greater than any self-proclamations a company can state because they are made by everyday people who are eager to boast or complain about the products they invest in. The Nuance media team subscribes to this view. In fact, they are so confident in the benefits of their products they dedicate a full page on their website that provides testimonial videos, case studies, and personal quotes submitted directly from consumers. This strategy reveals authentic product results from users and also serves to build consumer trust.

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Authoritative Structures

Advertisers that execute an authoritative framework want to influence consumers to subscribe that their product is superior. Cosculluela (2012) suggests that without a clear USP, even messages delivered from authoritative figures will be harder to transmit (Cosculluela, 2012). Marketers use this framework to help prove their product is exceptional by employing experts to transmit their messages. Most people trust them as licensed practitioners and proven masters in their field. However, Dragon casts professionals as users to provide information that supports the brand selling position through their own success stories. For example, to illustrate the ease of use to support their USP, a physician is featured to articulate how the Medical Edition of Dragon offered solutions to help them reduce transcription costs. In short, media executives incorporate figures of authority because they are more believable and consumers trust them.

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The Demonstration Approach

Demonstration executional framework strategies are extremely effective in communicating the product’s benefits because consumers can witness the benefits first hand. Barnes and Blake (2011) purport that thanks to new technologies, advertisers can now engage directly with consumers as if they are selling door-to-door. If companies fail to deliver their message effectively or make a good first impression, search engines will lead prospects to competitors that do (Barnes & Blake, 2011). Because of clutter and the heavy ad traffic, most companies literally have only a few moments to make a long lasting impression on their intended audience. Demonstrating the product can directly validate the benefits is one of the most effective ways to communicate a message. In addition, it shows how a product works which can instigate change and win consumers. Marketers design them to include the USP because this strategy exhibits products in a way that advertisers want them to be seen. For example, Dragon includes demonstrations of their product in their TV commercials, on their website videos, and in person at trade shows. Demonstrations at trade booths can show consumers firsthand how easy it is to use their product to support their USP. In other words, marketers that implement demonstration strategies into their advertising campaigns can wow consumers directly to help them remember their claims because they provide an eye witness account to support them.

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Conclusion

Consumers want to trust that a product or service a company provides will solve their problems and deliver benefits to them. Bodri (2011) advises that incorporating a unique selling position in advertising campaigns will serve to support the promises companies make that will benefit their intended audience and help position their brand in a unique fashion. Focusing on features that highlight how significantly different a brand is than anyone else, is an effective method marketers utilize to place their companies above the competition (Bodri, 2011). Appealing messages that broadcast a brand’s unique benefits and are easily understood, are more likely to achieve successful outcomes. The findings of this research deduce that unfocused messages do not reinforce a strong USP. However, a compelling USP that is integrated into a company’s marketing communication strategies, that include a variety of executional frameworks, can serve to help influence consumers’ opinions, particularly when they are matched with the appropriate type of emotional appeal to deliver the company’s message. In conclusion, long lasting marketing campaigns are more effective when media executives incorporate strategies that clearly state their unique selling position by highlighting the benefits and advantages of their brand to help them stand out.

References

Dragon. (2013, ). Retrieved October 2, 2013, from http://www.nuance.com: http://shop.nuance.com/store/nuanceus/Custom/pbpage.resp-dragon-home?utm_medium=ps&utm_source=Google&utm_campaign=Dragon&utm_term=dragon+naturally+speaking&cvokeywordid=137796643&siclientid=2868&sessguid=36873bb3-380b-4925-9727-335dda8b8faf&userguid=36873

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Barnes, C., & Blake, H. (2011). Creating and delivering your value proposition. London, England, UK: Kogan Page Ltd.

Bodri, B. (2011). How to create a million dollar unique selling proposition. Reno, NV: Top Shape Publishing, LLC.

Cosculluela, J. (2012). Find your own unique selling proposition: Getting ahead with USP. Boston, MA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing.

Media Buying

Published October 16, 2013 by Mayrbear's Lair

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Advertisers face many significant changes with how the media operates in today’s global market. Katz (2007) postulates that there are three major critical changes in how media executives plan, buy, and sell advertising. These can be referred to as the three C’s: consolidation, consumer control (technology enabled) and communication accountability (Katz, 2007). For instance, anyone that stays on top of business news can acknowledge that the media seems to find countless ways to consolidate their time and energy. Media domination is driven by demands for high profits resulting in more companies purchasing their competitors to create something even bigger and hopefully better. In addition, media planning has conformed into communications planning as it expands mediums to include everything from the internet, to sports arenas, to elevators, to TV screens in public places like at Madison Square Garden, as well as event sponsorship and promotions. In other words, today’s media buyers and sellers have a lot to consider when making the most effective advertising decisions that will reach their target audience and yield a return on the company’s investment.

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Most studies agree that any communication to reach consumers is immediate exposure that offers some kind of value. Geskey (2013) suggests it is the job of the media team to think of all the many ways marketing can reach the right prospect that will create a memorable interaction to yield measurable returns. In addition, they also realize that the sole purpose of media sellers is to sell them time or space at the highest possible price. So marketers must learn about their industry and the company’s advertising needs to develop proposals that fall within their budgets and are supported by volumes of statistics and analyses to help them decide on the most effective and objective path that will satisfy their advertising strategies (Geskey, 2013). Furthermore, in today’s competitive market, the stakes are much higher because of the financial significance in allocating funds wisely. Big companies like General Motors or Kellogg’s, for example, stand to lose millions of dollars in lost revenue if ads are not developed and placed effectively to convey their messages to reach the relevant audience.

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An advertiser’s objective is to reach their audience to invoke emotions that cause them to take action. To help marketers achieve their goals, deliver their message effectively, and yield the highest returns, they develop advertising campaigns that incorporate three significant rules to their strategies: (1) extensive media planning, (2) the use of effective media frequency and reach concepts, and (3) efficient selection approaches to help them determine the cost effective medium to deliver their advertising campaigns. Baack and Clow (2012) explain that media planning serves to help marketers formulate a program to effectively integrate their message across a wide range of media channels. This first step is the process of data collection and assimilation of that information that helps them identify and locate a target audience and develop a plan to deliver their message as well as help them decide when, where, and how often they place their ads. After creating and delivering a powerful message, the next step is to decide on the frequency their message is transmitted to assist with product recognition and building a brand name. Each marketer must decide where to place the ad in addition to determining the amount of times it takes before they achieve the desired outcome which causes consumers to act. The third step helps marketers determine the most effective form of medium (electronic or print) to transmit their messages to make sure they reach their relevant audience (Baack & Clow, 2012). For example, marketers will incorporate media plans to gather data and assess the information to determine their audience. Then, they decide on the most effective means to communicate their message to their target audience. Advertisers for a hair product, for instance, must consider whether they are more likely to reach a customer waiting in the reception area at a beauty salon or reach them more effectively by a TV commercial, magazine, newspaper ad, or use of these outlets. By developing a strategic plan marketers can locate their audience and create campaigns based on the best media available to them that fall within their budgets to reach intended consumers. Marketers who develop and incorporate strategies to include media planning, media reach, and media selection in the development of their campaigns, will increase their chances of achieving higher returns on their advertising investments.

References:

Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

Geskey, R. (2013). Media planning and buying in the 21st century (Second ed.). Washington, DC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing.

Katz, H. (2007). The media handbook: A complete guide to advertising, media selection, planning, research, and