The biggest ad budget doesn't always win. The best communication wins.
How are you communicating your value to the public? Are you just telling people what you do? Or are you proving to them why they should do business with you (instead of your competitors)?
When all you do is tell people what you do in your paid advertising, you're wasting money. When all you do is describe your business in your paid advertising using a bunch of fluff words like--
best, integrity, dedicated, #1, for all your _____ needs, we care, service-oriented, OR any other description carries no real "weight"... you're wasting money.
Your advertising must engage people. You need to steal their attention from what they're currently doing. And that's not easy. People are busy. They care about themselves and their family... they don't care about your business. So, if you're not communicating with them in the form of a story that they can relate to or see in their mind, then they're not hearing anything that you have to say.
Be interesting. Share knowledge. Tell people something that makes them happier, smarter, healthier, etc. Be the company people feel best about when they have a particular need or problem that you can provide or solve. Make it automatic for them to think of YOUR BUSINESS FIRST. And that doesn't happen by advertising in the normal, hum-drum manner that you see and hear everywhere. You need to engage people with your advertising and marketing communications.
This is something that most business owners, media people, and advertising agencies don't understand. But that's ok. That's why I'm here to help you with all of it. You don't have learn it. I'll show you. I'll help you understand what works and what doesn't when it comes to promoting your business more effectively.
If it's not engaging, you're wasting your money. Let me know if you need help with your marketing.
Have a groovy day! :)
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
I was a radio marketing and sales guy for a long time. I didn't know anything about Sales when I started selling radio advertising in 2004. Most of the training out there is terrible, too. If they say this, you say that. If they say that, you say this. I didn't buy it. From the very beginning, I wasn't comfortable being a typical salesperson. I just wanted to help businesses grow with better advertising. And I knew I could do it. So, I never pushed or "sold" people. I just talked to people. I didn't do presentations, I did conversations.
When I started my own marketing company, I had to start being the point of contact for my clients who had other media people to deal with. I had no idea they were all this bad. Even when they KNOW that I have been eating, drinking, sleeping MARKETING since 2004... they still try to SELL me. Like the cheesy, old-school salesperson kind of SELL. It's annoying and ridiculous.
A billboard rep emailed me the other day with a spiel about how billboards are basically the best kind of advertising in the world. I nicely told her my client's budget didn't allow for us to add any new advertising at this time, but feel free to contact me in 6 months. She replied with more rambling about the brilliance of billboards and proceeded to tell me that my client would likely keep getting terrible return on advertising investment unless I bought billboards from her. That made me a little angry. Instead of saying, "Ok, thank you for your time, I'll reach out in 6 months"... she decided to go the rude and slimy route.
NO WONDER BUSINESS OWNERS DON'T LIKE and DON'T TRUST MARKETING & ADVERTISING PEOPLE!
In my sales and marketing career, I was "brought up" to be a helper, not a seller. And even when management did push for more sales from the team, I never swayed from just being a servant to those who need me. But here's what I see from so many media reps and ad agencies...
False claims, puffery, irrelevant statistics, fear-based selling, more puffery, and they're all sellers - not marketers. Not one of them ever talks about how to make the advertising actually work. (Hint: It's not about the media you choose)
Now, as I'm growing my little marketing company, I still remain the one who just wants to help. I'll help with all things marketing. Most I can do myself, other things I can't. But I can always tell the kind of advertising that can work or not work. Some of my clients just want someone they can trust to handle their marketing. They get bombarded by so many people trying to sell them some form of advertising, they're tired of it. They need me to help them navigate all of it, be an advisor, be their "front person" to deal with all of these people, create their ads, be a director of creative, make sure they're showing up towards the top of Google, find online leads, keep up with their Social Media, etc.
I chose "9 Yards Marketing" as the name of my marketing company because of the "whole 9 yards" story. Here's a quick explanation of where the saying came from...
The bullets for the machine guns used in American combat planes of World War 2 were in chains twenty-seven feet in length. And if a pilot was able to fire all his bullets off at one target, he was said to have given his adversary, 'the full nine yards'.
When it comes to my experience and capabilities, I can give you the whole 9 yards.
When it comes to service and dependability, I want to give you the whole 9 yards.
Here are a few reasons you might need me:
If you find it hard to trust marketing and advertising sellers and companies because of how they treated you in the past... but you know you need to advertise to maintain or grow market share... let's sit down and discuss your situation. You and I could be a very nice fit.
Thank you! Have a groovy day!
9 Yards Marketing
How Much Money Are You Wasting On Your Marketing Efforts?
Of course, there's a saying, "I know half of my advertising works, I just don't know which half." I'd like to help you fix that.
Most of the problem usually, is because there's no solid game plan. There's no strategy behind the money you throw into the wind, hoping that new customers will come back in replace of it.
The cause of that "waste" is because you've been taught that WHERE YOU ADVERTISE matters the most. But the cold, hard, truth is... the people who believe that... just don't get it. They don't know how to make advertising ACTUALLY work. It's not their fault usually. They've just never been told otherwise... or been taught anything of real substance when it comes to achieving advertising results for advertisers.
Oh, sure... there are better places to advertise than others... but the "degree of better" won't be very large if the ideas you're communicating to the public in your advertising isn't hitting any hot buttons. When you advertise, you have to ask yourself if your "target" is going to give a crap about what you're saying to them.
I'd like to help you do a couple of things:
1) Help you create a smart strategy that gives your advertising at least twice the traction it currently has (and probably a heck of a lot more).
2) Help you be more visible to online searchers... and understand what you need to do and all the things you DON'T need to do.
The first one has a lot to do with your strengths, weaknesses, your competition's strengths and weaknesses, and why your current happy customers truly do business with you right now. If you don't have a lot of happy customers, you're in trouble.
The second one can be accomplished through a smarter online marketing plan. I'd like to evaluate your online presence. There are so many things you can do to your website, your online listings, and any online advertising you're doing to trim the fat and make everything a heck of a lot more efficient.
In the end, your marketing simply needs to communicate things that will persuade people to buy from you. Or at least move them closer to buying from you. But what most business owners think is "persuading"... is usually "pushing" or saying things in their marketing and advertising that nobody really cares about. A good marketing person will help modify your marketing to help it say the things that people will react positively to. I'll help you say things in your marketing that moves people closer to doing business with you. And to do that... you have to start with getting them to trust you.
When all you do is say Who you are, where you are, what you sell, and Buy Now... you're going to be very disappointed. It means you're WASTING A LOT OF MONEY ON YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS. Let's change that. And move the needle.
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
Because you want more business? More customers?
You call up some place to advertise then. You say, "I'd like to run some ads." And a lot of times, you have no idea how the whole process works. Maybe you place a few ads in a shopping news publication, or put some coupons in some mailing pack, or in a local magazine, or on the radio, etc. And I'm not even talking about all of the online advertising options you have. Your choices are overly abundant, which is confusing as hell. Everyone seems to have the answer for you. But they really don't have the answer, do they? They want your money - YOU WANT RESULTS. They get what they want... but you don't. Happens all the time. Then, whatever place you decided to advertise with, you say, "It doesn't work." But they didn't know how to make it work in the first place. They're only trained in how to take your money and place your ads.
Let's go back to the original business problem you have. You want or need more customers. Maybe sales are down. Maybe you have more competition in the area and it seems to be affecting your number of new leads coming in.
When you don't have as many customers as you'd like, it means your business is not anchored in enough MINDS of the people that could be your customers. So, then you should ask, "How do I get in more MINDS?"
This is what true branding accomplishes. And branding isn't about buying "awareness" ads that you may have already tried. It's about having "bonding" ads created and put in front of people on the proper advertising medium.
In my experience, radio is one of the best platforms to do this. Or good video that shows people what you're really about and how you care about doing the right thing. But how do you create "bonding" ads? How do you get people to bond with your company so they think of you first when they need what you sell?
You get them to like and trust you.
And that's not by telling them that you're dependable, quality, and you have a knowledgeable staff to serve their needs. These are the crappy "awareness ads" that don't work. You have to PROVE those things to people - not cram those cliche words down their throat. You have to tell stories, give PROOF that your product is great or service is superior, play to their emotions, and be sincere as possible. As if you're chatting with your best friend.
These kinds of ads are harder to create. But they work far better. Doesn't it make sense that if we put more thought and time and research into your marketing message, that it will actually work better? Of course it does!
Don't just buy some advertising. Buy the means to help you reach your goals. WHAT YOU SAY in your ads matters 10x more (or is it 100x more?) than WHERE you decide to put some advertising.
If you decide to advertise... first, set an annual advertising budget. You have to. This is a process. You'll get far better ROI if you do it consistently. No more of this "shooting from the hip" and hoping you hit something. When you do it right, you'll love it, and you'll do it forever because of the new customers you consistently attract.
Want more help? Need a plan? Just let me know. I'd be happy to. I can handle all of the media buying, talking to the ad reps, strategy development, copywriting, creative work, etc. I've been the advertising salesperson before. I've been the creative guy before. I know what works and what doesn't. You want someone you can trust. Someone who is in it to win it with you. Let's get together and you be the judge on whether we'd be a good fit.
Thanks! Have a groovy day!
9 Yards Marketing
Sioux Falls, SD
It's amazing how many places you could waste advertising and marketing money in Sioux Falls. A thousand? Out of all of those people selling all of that marketing stuff, how many of them do you think really know what it takes for advertising to work? Or are they just a salesperson? Do they care about making it work? Or just getting the sale?
There's a strategy that needs to be uncovered before you decide to spend any marketing money. Who are you targeting? (and I don't mean demographics) What is your competition doing? What are your main profit centers? What are your best customers thinking about you?
You don't have to try to "do marketing" all at once. You start somewhere, then learn from it, and grow.
But I have a shortcut for you. Instead of learning all the bad ways to advertise and market your business yourself, why not let me share with you some of the things to avoid? It starts with a conversation. We'll talk about your goals, and how I think you can get there.
Maybe you're just tired of doing all of the marketing stuff by yourself and need someone to take a big load off of your shoulders. Of course, advertising agencies do a lot of that... but they like to handle pretty huge accounts. But I don't. I want the small to medium-sized businesses who can't justify paying big bucks to an ad agency for what you need handled.
I've talked to business owners who went the ad agency route for about a year and then pulled the plug. Why? Because they were expecting it to be just a big green "Go" button to push and all of their marketing woes would be dissolved. After all... the ad agencies are the pros, right? Usually, you're shocked when you see what they charge for creative and handling your marketing. It's not that they're charging too much... it's just that they're better suited for the bigger companies who have over a half-million in their advertising budget.
You don't need that. You need to run a good business and have smart and strategic local marketing.
I've been in the trenches for almost a dozen years now. Meaning, I talk to business owners every day about their business, about their customers, about their troubles, about their frustrations, and about their marketing and advertising. I've been there. I've heard it. I know how difficult running a business can be. I understand.
All you need to do is have one meeting with me. If you want to continue... great. If you feel we're not a good fit... we'll both move on. All I want to do is help good local businesses succeed in a highly competitive business landscape.
Local Marketing Cafe
Sioux Falls, SD
Do you need marketing help from the ground up? Don't know where to start? I love to help with that.
I ask you, "Do you have a slogan?"
You say, "No, not really."
I ask, "Have you done much advertising before?"
You say, "A little here and a little there... but nothing has ever worked very well."
I ask, "Are you happy with your website?"
You say, "No."
I ask, "Do you get many leads or sales from your website?"
And you say, "I have no idea."
I love helping smaller businesses get straightened out and set up with their branding and marketing. From the ground up. And many times you may have some things in place, but would prefer to start over from scratch.
I'd like to discuss your situation with you. Oh, and have you ever been "pitched" by anyone about marketing and websites and stuff? The way I do business is the farthest thing from ... "a pitch".
You call. We chat about your situation. About your business. About your goals. And about what you're doing now to attract new customers, and what you feel has worked for you in the past (or what completely does NOT work).
First, we'll talk about your website. If you need one, we'll build you one. A very reasonable price for building it (possibly the lowest you'll find), and a tiny maintenance fee once per month - about 8 bucks. We'll also look at how you may or may not already be ranking on Google for the keywords that are relevant to your products and/or services.
OR... you might want us to not only maintain your website, but also make changes when you want (we suggest consistent, small changes to your website so Google keeps deeming it relevant and worthy of as many eyeballs as possible!). We also optimize the site, and make tweaks every so often, so you can start ranking well in Google and other search engines. Plus for added SEO purposes, we will write a blog for you, set up and post on your Google+ biz page, set up your YouTube channel, create some videos for you, etc. If you go this route, we skip the upfront initial website-building fee, and just charge you a low monthly fee.
Your website would also be mobile-friendly. And of course, at no extra charge.
Depending on the services you want us to handle, your monthly fee for this would be between $50 and $300 per month. This beats the heck out of paying THOUSANDS just to have a website built... and then pay hundreds each time you want a web company to make changes.
After we look at your online presence, we can talk about any local advertising you may want. Depending on what you're trying to accomplish, and what your competitive landscape is like, we'll put together a proposal for your very own unique advertising campaign. It could be Radio, TV, Digital, Billboards, Direct Mail, etc., or any combination of things.
Maybe you need a new logo. Or a catchy slogan. Or marketing videos for your YouTube channel. Whatever you need, we can help you make that happen. If there is any task that's not exactly in our "wheelhouse", we'll find the right company to handle that specific job...and we'll handle everything so you just deal with one easy-to-work-with company, Local Marketing Cafe.
And if you're already working with a marketing company, but need us to do the ad writing for you, we can do that.
So, the bottom line is that we're here to help you get your local marketing running on all cylinders without any clunking, chugging, or misfiring.
It all starts with a Free 45 to 60-minute evaluation and discussion about what you want to make happen. Give us a shout.
Looking to the Future...
That was an ad slogan I heard on the radio the other day. And the business had nothing to do with time travel.
The thing about slogans is... don't even bother having one if it's not going to give people a clue as to what kind of business you are or what kind of company culture you cultivate.
When your slogan is nothing but a cliche phrase, it means nothing to people. It's invisible. Nobody's going to say, "Oh...well I should buy from them because they're looking to the future."
For a slogan to be worth having, it needs to be unique to you. It needs to give people one or two great reasons why they should do business with you. And if you're paranoid about offending one person out of a hundred thousand with your slogan or any of your marketing messages, you're going to have a tough time getting anything OUT of your marketing.
If any other business could attach your exact slogan to the end of their business name, pick a new one. Make it fit YOUR business only. Then, you're on the right track.
Restaurant advertising is a tough one. Right?
Naw. Not really. The only thing that's tough is making a profit if your only ad strategy is the use of coupons.
Restaurant ad strategies:
If you're a unique restaurant, with not much competition in terms of the kind of food you serve... then all you have to do is describe your food. But do it in a fun way in your advertising. Have you tried a radio campaign? Radio gives you free reign with the creative. You can make people actually SEE IN THEIR MINDS whatever you want them to.
If you're a restaurant that's a dime a dozen... you'll have to kill'em with kindness. Customer service and friendliness flippin' matters! Especially when you ain't nothin' special in the Food area. You'll have to talk about being a gathering place or get emotional or really creative with your advertising. But most of all... you'll win over all the other restaurants that have some similarities to you by being CONSISTENT with your advertising. While all the others will be couponing people to death, you can establish a relationship with people by helping them get to know you in your advertising. Become something COMFORTABLE to your customers. Be the ONE THEY CAN COUNT ON.
If you're a restaurant with a great "back story" or if you have a "secret method to your madness", then that's what you talk about in your restaurant marketing and advertising. It's all about setting yourself apart from the others when it comes to the big marketing picture... so whatever you can snag that's unique to talk about, DO IT.
What if you'd like to CREATE something unique about your restaurant? GREAT! That's a superb idea! Most restaurant owners are too lazy to do that. Maybe you want to name some new menu items something wild and crazy. What about decorating one half of the restaurant in ____ colors and the other half in ____ colors. "Would you like to sit in the polk-a-dot section...or the rainbow explosion section?"
I'm just making things up off the cuff. Doesn't mean that's what you have to do. You need to brainstorm with about 7 people or so. It's something I love to do if you're interested in having me help with your marketing.
I think the best advice for restaurant advertisers is to NOT get hooked on the COUPON. It's a profit killer. I use coupons at restaurants that I already love and have been eating at for years. And I eat there even when I don't have a coupon. I don't remember the last time I CHOSE A RESTAURANT based on what coupon was available to me. If you want the profitable customers...appeal to their taste buds creatively and to their emotions.
Hey... come on... this is Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We're known for having an abundance of places to feed our face. I bet there's a pretty big statistic for Sioux Falls restaurants failing too. There are a lot of options out there for you in regards to promoting your business... let me help you wade through all of it. We'll keep what we need, and toss what we don't.
That's all for now. I have lots of other restaurant marketing and advertising ideas if you're interested. Thanks!
Gathering Information for Website Content
There is no way I'm going to give out my secrets to gathering website content. Actually, I'm just getting started with my "system". It's a work in progress. Because it's tough, right? It's hard to come up with original content. It's really hard if you're lazy.
To get the information and the stories to write great website content, you need to actually have a background in ad writing. Why? Because you need to know what to listen for and look for. You need to know what kinds of questions to ask in order to get answers that are different and might actually "move" someone into have half a feeling towards you.
If you ONLY write web content for SEO... yuck. What a crappy website to visit. You won't get any real substance. You'll only get the who, what, when, and where. Well, whoopidy doo.
Websites will get far more action and people will stay longer when you have something interesting and differentiating in it. And aren't ad writers going to be able to best write an interesting and PERSUASIVE website? Well...not all ad writers are created equal. It took me over 5 years to go from writing mediocre ads to "not too shabby" ads. And then another 5 years to step my ad effectiveness (potential to bring phenomenal results to clients) up another notch or two.
Oh, you think that the best websites are the ones with the fanciest images and elements with motion and other pretty things? I agree that a website needs to look good, but if all your website has are huge, high-quality images and close-ups, and custom buttons and 3-D icons, without good written content... then all you have are a few pretty pages on the world wide web.
If it doesn't help sell your product or service any better than most of your competitions' attempts at selling on their websites, then you haven't accomplished anything.
And if you don't know how to gather really good information from the company or small business you're building a website for... then don't start because you've just skipped over one of the most important parts.
Please don't pay for a cliche website. Don't pay for extra SEO services if you don't need them. It doesn't take thousands of dollars a month for most local businesses to have their website show up on Google for some strong, relevant keywords.
For sure ask around and get a few different quotes or plans from some different web and SEO companies before you decide on one. Don't jump at something and throw money at a company just because they spammed you with an intriguing email. Be careful.
Best thing you could probably do is give me a call and we can discuss your situation. I'll never suggest anything to you in regards to marketing and online marketing if I don't think you need it. Bottom line... I'm one of the most honest advertising and marketing people you'll ever meet. And you'll realize that after just one quick meeting with me.
Just hit the CONTACT button and get a hold of me.
In your marketing...never try to portray something you're not. Because if someone decides to do business with you, and their experience doesn't reflect your marketing...it will leave a sour taste in their mouth. And open you up to negative reviews and bad word-of-mouth.
So, be yourself! You're passionate about your business, right? You're happy to give the best service, aren't you? If not...good luck...and you can stop reading now.
I suggest to a lot of people to have real pictures of themselves on their websites. Not stock photos. We know your stock photos aren't real. And it takes away from "the first impression". I also like a "welcome video" on websites. Something short and heartfelt. Something to let the people that land on your page know that you're down-to-earth and that you have their best interests at heart.
Sincerity and "openness" in your marketing and advertising will work wonders for you. Don't be afraid to show that you're human. People like doing business with people...not corporate robots.
When your marketing messages match up with the customer experience you provide, you'll have laid the foundation. Then, you can keep working on providing an even better customer experience, which will give you more "ammunition" to use in your marketing and advertising.
Local Marketing Cafe
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls Website Design -