Advertising: What’s new. What’s not.
Every few years we hear of the impending death of advertising. Yet those pronouncements remain greatly exaggerated.
What hasn’t changed.
Advertising is still about determining the most effective messages and information, and conveying those messages with impact. It still requires creativity and getting the attention of the right people—repeatedly.
The mechanisms are constantly evolving. Digital technology and cyberspace have opened up a whole new world of media while diluting the power of old standards such as TV commercials (now easily skipped with DVR technology). But since products are more alike than ever, brand characteristics have become more important as differentiators.
Has the role of brand changed in advertising?
Nope. We don’t think so. The link between advertising and branding is as important as ever. Brands are built on emotional connections. Advertising is often the first connection to a product, and it continues to play an important role throughout the product’s life cycle.
Advertising services available from Taylor Brand Group:
- Print advertising
- Online advertising
- Media planning and placement services
Public Relations: Build your brand with public relations.
The power of public relations is that it places your message in a more credible environment where audiences will lower their guard against constant marketing and see or hear what others have to say about you.
The best PR programs integrate with the rest of a branding and marketing effort to empower all elements more fully. A positive story on your company’s new product will make customers more interested in reading your ad or checking your website.
And PR can put you in places where advertising usually can’t go—such as the front page, the nightly news, or next to thought leaders and celebrities.
At Taylor Brand Group we use public relations to introduce brands and products, build credibility among key audiences, even replace advertising when it is too costly or is likely to be ineffective.
Our services include:
- Media relations
- Media tours
- Editorial awareness programs
- Speakers tours
- Press releases and distribution
- Bylined articles
- Trade shows
- Special events planning
You can’t buy out the front page.
And you can’t get a paper to run the same story more than once. PR and advertising usually require a balance. One helps drive the other to create a synergistic effect. PR is very valuable for introducing new products, services or ideas. The media want what’s innovative, what’s changed and what grabs the attention of their audiences. But paid communications provides complete control of messages and the ability to repeat your point as much as necessary, which is what makes integrated programs that include PR and advertising so effective over time.
Websites & Interactive: Click here. Or here. Or there… over here… no, here…
To the consumer, the world of e-marketing is exploding with choices. Search engines produce thousands of results. Sponsored links clamor for attention on virtually every search. There are millions of new websites every month.
But the e-marketing world actually functions on the same principles as all other marketing: Serve your customer, provide value, and demonstrate a difference in your product, your service and your brand experience.
Too much of e-marketing is tangled up in “Mission Critical” jargon that obfuscates the simple power of the Internet. At Taylor Brand Group, we help our clients integrate their Web program into the rest of their branding and marketing effort. Their site may be at the center, but their brand reaches well beyond it. Our goal is to use e-marketing to extend and improve the brand experience. And we promise not to bury you in jargon along the way.
E-marketing services from the Taylor Brand Group include:
- Website development (including traditional and e-commerce sites)
- Online advertising (banner and paid search)
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Website analytics
- Targeted email campaigns
Design: Can touch this
In this digital age, a collateral piece may be the only tangible connection a customer has to your company. Whether it’s a brochure, a direct mail postcard or a door hanger, it’s still a brand touchpoint that may have a lasting contribution.
Today’s digital printing makes more kinds of collateral possible than ever before. Personalization and customization capabilities can link your customer database or CRM program with one-to-one or one-to-some target marketing programs.
Collateral services from Taylor Brand Group include:
- Product and corporate literature
- Direct mail programs
- Posters, statement stuffers
- Point-of-sale materials
- Logo design
- Annual reports
- Print-on-demand custom literature programs
Direct Marketing: Going straight to the target
No longer the province of direct mail and late night TV, direct marketing opportunities have vastly expanded with the digital age. See a banner ad, or paid search ad, click, and here’s an offer. Send an email with a link to a coupon, discount, or free app—the list goes on.
Even so, traditional direct mail is still effective for many market segments, and ironically can be an ideal way to reach people who consume relatively low levels of traditional media.
A creative way to generate direct responses can be event-driven offers that encourage prospects to attend events that will give you direct, face-to-face access to your target audience, which is an golden opportunity to deliver a powerful brand experience and make a sale at the same time.
We work with our clients on direct marketing campaigns that both produce sales and keep their brand consistent and strong. Services include traditional direct mail, as well as fully digital e-commerce programs with retail websites, database marketing and list development.
Direct marketing services include:
- Direct mail programs (database development, tracking, offers)
- Event marketing
- E-commerce (retail website, email campaigns, database development)
Market Research: What do your customers really want?
Is it even a product? Or is it something else? More and more often in today’s world of luxury commodities (parity products or services with all the same bells and whistles) it isn’t the actual product or service that sets a company apart in a customer’s mind. It’s the brand experience.
Understanding how your customers experience your brand.
Some of our most productive research focuses on studying our client’s brand experience and helping them craft it to be more distinct and more valuable to their customer base. Studying the brand experience includes looking at every way customers and prospects can encounter a specific brand—what we call the brand touchpoints.
We study these touchpoints using our in-house resources, which include research design and implementation, an experienced focus group moderator and partnerships with research specialists in packaging, website usability and consumer psychology.
Research formats available from Taylor Brand Group:
- BrandStorm™ workshops
- Focus groups using projective imaging
- Mail surveys
- Online surveys
- Telephone surveys
- On-site/intercept interviews
- In-depth personal interviews
- Executive interviews
- Mystery shopping
“If I had given my customers what they asked for, I’d be making faster horses.”
– Henry Ford
Henry was right; it’s not as simple as asking people what they want. Good research helps companies find what their customers really need and how to motivate them to want to buy it. One approach we use to get at genuine consumer attitudes when conducting market research is projective imaging. Projective imaging is a series of questioning techniques that help participants disconnect their “marketing radar” and discuss their opinions in a more unfiltered way. It’s an approach that often gives a clearer picture (and better branding insight) than conventional questioning alone can reveal.
Social Media: Strategy and execution that stays focused on your brand
The rapidly developing world of social media can present great opportunities to businesses of all industries and sizes – or be a waste of precious time and resources. Our social media services provide our clients with strategic guidance for delivering a consistent brand experience and creating content on the social media channels that make the most sense. We start with a full audit of all social media platforms in use and diagnose where improvements can be made. Then we put together a strategic social media plan that can span all the way from branded feed design to targeted ads.
Our social media services include the following:
- Social media audit
- Strategy & planning
- Feed design
- Engagement + community management
- Social listening
- Account and page development
- Ad design and execution
- Full ongoing social media management
Any brand can have a successful social media program if they stay rooted in the basics: engaging audiences, educating followers, and entertaining along the way. It’s called social media for a reason, after all.
Curious? Check out our recent blog posts on the power of social media marketing.