Master Both Sides of Marketing
The Sprocket Report
Lately we put in some long days of highway driving and saw a zillion billboards advertising a wide range of products – including advertising itself. We got to thinking that there are two important sides of marketing and not everyone is mastering both.
Every business and not-for-profit organization needs to get their message in front of their audience in order to thrive. We’ve been noticing lately that while there are two equally necessary tactics to getting that message out, folks are forgetting to take advantage of both.
Driving through the American southwest, we had plenty of time to ponder marketing as we passed sign after sign on the highway. You have no doubt seen these billboards while traveling, too:
Trading Post – Souvenirs!
Trading Post – Fudge!
Trading Post – Cold Drinks!
Trading Post – Clean Restrooms!
When you see the first billboard, you think to yourself “we don’t need to go there”. But after the third or fourth – or even tenth sign on some long stretches in Arizona – you figure “oh, we might as well stop and take a look.”
Marketing gurus will teach you it takes multiple “touches” to establish the chain of recognition, familiarity and trust that leads to a purchase decision. Far too many businesses make one or two attempts at marketing and then quit because “it doesn’t work.” Repetition, a technique those southwest trading posts have down pat, is important for making those multiple “touches.”
One of our favorite signs was along a more urban stretch in New Mexico. It said: “Does this billboard make my ad look big?” Later we saw this one: “Does advertising work? It just did.” We really liked the first billboard. It had a simple, memorable message followed by their name so you could look them up later.
But the second billboard got us thinking. Yes, we SAW the ad, but don’t we need to ACT on it before claiming “advertising works?” Which brings us to the second side of marketing that is often neglected: The Call To Action.
A zillion people may see your ad, but what you really want is for them to take some sort of action that will put money in your pocket. Sure, sometimes that action is just keeping your name on the top of their mind, but you also want them to engage, to give you additional access and to ultimately make a purchase.
The only way to know if your marketing is a success is by taking a measurement before and after your campaign, so you need to measure whether they acted on your call. “Buy now” is an action easily measured. Brand recognition may require a survey. But whatever your CTA is, you should be able to measure it to see if it’s working.
We frequently see organizations and businesses forgetting to tell anyone about their events until one quick blast just before the day and then they’re so disappointed about the turn-out. With all the media competing for our attention, repetition is key to being heard. At the same time, you need to provide that Call-To-Action so your audience will know what you want them to do. As a bonus, you’ll also get data to inform your next marketing campaign.
Using both sides of marketing like this gives you the best chance of making a productive connection. We know lots of tactics to make this strategy work for you. Contact us today to discuss it – we’re always happy to help you think it through!