Pros and Cons of Marketing

Many of my friends and relatives can attest to this fact: I hate making decisions…especially the difficult kind.  Who does, though?  Really?  To cope with this hatred, I have been known to make many a “pros and cons” list – from my college choice to who I’d be taking to prom…yes, even the petty things got a list. 🙂  I’ve talked to many small business owners since starting Lindsay Plathe Marketing Consulting in September, and I still find it difficult to explain to them what marketing will do for their business.  I have a degree in Marketing, so it was never really a question of whether it was important. Ha!  But now, as a business owner, myself, I have a better understanding of how to make smart decisions in business.  With that said, I decided to share with all of you a page from my “pros and cons” book (yup, the collection of them all is the size of a book…don’t judge me).

Advantages

Disadvantages

Promotion of your business

The most obvious advantage and reason any business markets is to get the recognition and attention of its target market.

Cost

Some marketing mediums are very costly – putting an ad in the newspaper or a commercial on TV is simply out of the price range for many small businesses.  The good news is that with the proper research to back it up, you can keep your marketing costs to a minimum!  For example, the Internet is a highly inexpensive way to promote a business.  Advertising and marketing costs money.

Enhanced brand recognition

This is the point I was trying to get across in my post “A search for my fellow marketing nerds“.  Over time, people begin to associate your logo with your business and all that comes along with it (i.e. customer service, product quality, timeliness, etc).

Investment of time

Researching the right marketing strategy, designing and writing, and tracking how successful your marketing is are only a few things involved in proper promotion of your business.  By doing marketing yourself, you run the risk of waiting time on an unsuccessful campaign, and let’s be honest, our time is valuable.

Improves the businesses profits

(aka: you make more $$$)

Every business needs to spend money to make money, and investing in marketing will do just that if done correctly. 

Ongoing

Research shows that people have to see a piece of information between 3 and 30 times before it sinks in.  So clearly a disadvantage of marketing is the fact that your marketing campaign needs to be ongoing and consistent which increases the time and money spent on it. 

I can say that this method of weighing my decisions has been successful for me in the past…I mean, prom was a blast 🙂  Let’s take a look…(just for kicks and giggles)

233_24980922608_5465_nWhat are you doing for your marketing strategy?  Do you have a plan for 2013?  Weigh out the pros and cons of having some solid marketing behind your business, and let’s make it one successful year!

An epic quest into the world of finance

FinanceGang, I have some bittersweet news…actually more sweet then bitter. 🙂  I recently got a job in a marketing position within the financial industry!  Woo hoo!  Since starting Lindsay Plathe Marketing Consulting, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to learn about many different industries.  I am continuing that trend by diving (head-first) into marketing in a whole new world…or so it seems. :S  Anyway, I’m so excited to take this journey!

Fear not!  This isn’t the end of Lindsay Plathe Marketing Consulting!!  I will continue to be available for all your (and your friends’) marketing needs in the evenings.  Feel free to call me then, otherwise, contact me through email and I will get back to you within 2 business days.

More updates to come on this new chapter in my life…Stay tuned to learn about marketing in the world of finance.

Top 12 Ad Campaigns of the 20th Century

As I was doing my usual caffeinated, morning marketing research, I came across an awesome article on CNBC.  The following introduction written by Contence Parten which is what intrigued me to feature this on today’s post.

Top Ad Campaigns of the 20th Century“As the old adage goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Nothing could be truer when it comes to advertising. Great ads can yield dramatic results, but if the product quality isn’t there, well, that horse won’t be pulling out the platinum card anytime soon.

Still, great ad campaigns can be revolutionary. They can change the way people live their daily lives—for better or for worse.[…]” 

Take a few minutes and think about how advertising has changed over the last 50+ years…it’s really quite remarkable.

12. Apple Computer’s “1984”

“This commercial, designed by the advertising agency Chiat/Day to introduce Apple’s Macintosh computer and directed by Ridley Scott—fresh off his science fiction classic Blade Runner—has never run again [on TV] since that Super Bowl spot. But few commercials have ever been more influential.Advertising Age named it the 1980s’ Commercial of the Decade. You can still see its echoes today in futuristic ads for technology and telecommunications multinationals such as AT&T, MCI, and Intel.”

11. Federal Express’ “Fast talker” (1982)

“Thirty years after making a name for himself as the fast talker in FedEx’s legendary ad campaign, John Moschitta unleashed his manic mouth on the world once more with a series of ads for JetBlue.”

 

10. Avis’ “We try harder” (1963) Avis Ad Campaign

“As Avis says on its website, “The phrase ‘We Try Harder’ has gone down in advertising history as one of the longest-lasting and respected taglines. The origination of the slogan was not to create a cute gimmick, but instead it was—and is—a business philosophy that every Avis employee holds true. ‘We Try Harder’ has helped Avis earn a reputation as one of the most admired businesses in the world.”

9. Clairol’s “Does she … or doesn’t she?” (1957) Clairol Ad Campaign

“How successful was this campaign? Well, Time magazine wrote in a 1967 article, ‘The question, as every reader of advertisements knows, refers to artificial hair color—and the odds on an affirmative answer have dropped from 15 to 1 to 2 to 1 since Miss Clairol first asked it 11 years ago. Sales of tints, rinses and dyes have risen from $25 million to $186 million a year. So popular is their use that some states no longer require women to list their hair color on their driver’s licenses.'”

8. Miller Lite’s “Tastes great, less filling” (1974)

“For years, Miller Lite drinkers, including notables like comic Rodney Dangerfield and football coach John Madden, bickered back and forth. Some said the drink tasted great. Others said it was less filling.

The commercials were a big hit for the brewing company, which revived the campaign in 2008, albeit using an arguably better looking cast of characters than in Dangerfield’s and Madden’s day.”

7. Absolut Vodka’s Absolut Bottle (1981) 

“The campaign was such a success that Absolut continues to use it today. In fact, according to AbsolutAds.com, ‘Absolut Vodka’s advertising campaign is the world’s longest-ever uninterrupted one. To date it comprises 1,450 original ads, with more added each month.'”

 

6. DeBeers’ “A diamond is forever” (1948) Diamond is Forever Campaign

“An advertising campaign can last forever as well, it seems.[…]  As the De Beers website explains, ‘In 1947 a young copywriter called Frances Gerety was working with De Beers and was given a brief to compose a line that encompassed and expressed the physical attributes and legends surrounding the diamond. The understanding is that she worked late into the night on the challenging brief and, about to admit defeat, she then scribbled the sentence which would later be voted as the most iconic advertising slogan of the twentieth century—A Diamond Is Forever. Books and films of cult status have been named after this tagline, and a song featuring the phrase has been recorded numerous times by some of the world’s most popular artists.'”

5. McDonald’s “You Deserve a Break Today” (1971) McDonald's Ad Campaign

“Ronald McDonald, the true icon of the McDonald’s brand, hasn’t been in every single ad campaign. The fast-food chain turned its attention to busy consumers in this 1971 campaign, focusing on the ease with which a McDonald’s meal could be obtained.”

4. Nike’s “Just Do It” (1988) Nike's Just Do It Campaign

“In 2008, Nike celebrated one of the most memorable advertising campaign slogans in history by creating new ads  to air during the Beijing Olympic games.”

3. Marlboro’s “Marlboro Man” (1955) Marlboro Ad Campaign

“It doesn’t get much more iconic than this. As AdAge.com wrote of this legendary ad campaign, “The most powerful—and in some quarters, most hated—brand image of the century, the Marlboro Man stands worldwide as the ultimate American cowboy and masculine trademark, helping establish Marlboro as the best-selling cigarette in the world.  ‘Today, even a mention of the Marlboro Man as an effective ad icon brings protests from health-care workers who see firsthand the devastation wrought by decades of cigarette smoking. More than any other issue, the ethics of tobacco advertising—both morally and legally—have divided the advertising industry.'”

2. Coca-Cola’s “The pause that refreshes” (1929) 

“‘I’ve always admired brands that preserve their core campaign for decades,’ wrote independent ad counsel Chris Macrae in an article on AllAboutBranding.com.  ‘Coca-Cola provided a stunning example with “Pause that Refreshes” (USA 1930s to 1950s) uplifting a nation at time of depression, championing a product which literally fuelled—emotionally and physically—what was then a developing nation, lobbying the US war office on the extreme fatigue of war and thereby becoming the GI’s mascot during World War 2 and making Coke available at 5c per bottle wherever GIs went.'”

1. Volkswagen’s “Think Small” Campaign (1959)

“Kurt Kroner was the man behind the defining example of the greatest advertising campaign of the century, according to AdAge.com.  ‘He wasn’t the copywriter. That was Julian Koenig. Nor was he the art director. That was Helmut Krone. Nor was he elsewhere employed by Doyle Dane Bernbach, the agency that stormed the confining Bastille of advertising orthodoxy to ignite the “creative revolution”.'”

“Actually, our hero wasn’t in advertising at all. Kurt Kroner was the one, among 3,389 Wolfsburg, Germany, assembly plant workers, to flag a blemished chrome strip on the glove compartment of a 1961 Volkswagen Beetle and reject the vehicle for delivery. Yes, if we are to believe Koenig’s copy, Herr Kroner gave us the famously failed and fabulously forlorn ‘Lemon.'”

“God bless him, because in so doing he also gave advertising permission to surprise, to defy and to engage the consumer without bludgeoning him about the face and body. Kroner offered up a lemon with approximately the same result of Eve offering the apple. Not only did everything change, but suddenly things were a lot more interesting.”

 

I hope you enjoyed your history/marketing lesson for the day and that you found it as interesting as I did.  Thanks for stopping by!

Freakishly Fun Fact

According to Nielsen research, 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising.

ImageAs recommendations from peers become more prominent online, the influence they have on an individual business’ success continues to grow exponentially.  With that said, start asking your friends, family, and clients for recommendations on your business social media sites…the results could surprise you.  

If you like this post, feel free to share it with your friends and family via the social media buttons below. 🙂

I do resumes, too!

Happy Friday!

Today, I’ve decided to target all of you lovely people who may be graduating next month or are just simply looking for a job and wondering how to set yourself apart.  I have good news for you…I do resume’s too. 🙂  Below is a resume that I created for my cousin, Becca.  Initially, she came to me for help with wording and basic layout, so we worked together to put together to create her original resume.  For her birthday, I decided to spice up her resume for her…

In the previous layout of her resume, Becca listed everything vertically similar to how I listed mine in my marketing resume.  The issue we ran into with the original layout was that there was alot of white space AND the resume was 2 pages long.  Now, what I was always told was that most employers look at each resume for approximately 15 seconds (if they receive alot of them).  So, to combat that little issue, the advice I was given was to try to keep your resume on one page and give it a little something that makes it stand out to an employer.  Now, with that said, you can call me a hypocrite, because my resume is 3 pages long…BUT as a college grad who doesn’t have much work experience aside from summer jobs, it was crucial for me to include each extracurricular activity I was a part of in my field of study.

Anyway, back to Becca’s resume…The first thing I did was to consolidate it to one page in an organized way.  Since I don’t know much about what employers in the Cosmetology field are looking for (as far as wording, experience, etc), I had help from many resume examples online.  Oh, and I enlisted the reviewing help of my mama who is a cosmetologist herself. 🙂

If you compare the fancy design of this resume to my resume design, you may wonder why one is so plain and the other not so much…well, that is also something to keep in mind when doing your resume.  Certain industries DO NOT want color or fancy fonts added to resumes simply because they are not part of the “Creative Industry” (we’ll just call it)  What I mean by that are the employers in the graphic design field or marketing field.  So before you get super excited about making your resume pretty, do a little research to see if the industry in which you’re applying is generally accepting of it. 🙂 When working on my resume, I wanted to keep it simple and only add a few “pretty pieces” so that the design wouldn’t distract from the content itself.  Now for Becca’s resume, I did not do a pretty design to distract from the content (ha)…but it was crucial to set her resume apart.  Especially because most cosmetology resumes have incredibly similar content.

Anyway, to wrap it up…if you need any help at all with wording, layout, or design of your resume, don’t hesitate to contact me!  For now, Happy Job Hunting!

P.S. If you happen to be reading this and know of a place hiring hair stylists in the Apple Valley, MN area, give Becca a call. 🙂

Black Friday…what you didn’t know

It’s that time again that I unveil another of my clients.  For those of you who know me pretty well, you know that I have a ridiculous amount of friends that are cops (We became friends before they got their badges. ha)  Well, knowing a cop got me my latest client – Risk Management Headquarters, or RMHQ.  RMHQ is a business that sells multiple products that help protect other small businesses from loss.

Their mission is “to help you combat loss within your business by effectively training your employees and developing secure systems of operations”.

Their products and software include Advance Alert Network, LegalShield, and Investigator Training Academy.

Advance Alert Network
  • It’s like Facebook creeping…on criminals!
  • Advance Alert is a secure database for the reporting of retail theft and other serious incidents.  This network allows retailers and law enforcement to share information with each other in a secure and confidential manner.
  • By using this partnership between retailers and law enforcement, you will be better able to fight back against organized retail crime, burglaries, robberies, and counterfeiting.
  • If you are part of a branch of law enforcement or the retail industry in the Twin Cities, join us today!

At LegalShield, “our mission is to make sure everyone has access to quality, affordable legal protection.  By offering accessible legal services at an uncommonly affordable price, our hope is that everyone can live their lives worry-free, every day, every night, now and forever”.  For more information on this national service please visit www.legalshield.com.

Investigator Training Academy provide the following perks:
  • Learn from experienced investigators.
  • Stay informed about the latest activities and technology being used to strengthen business security systems.
  • Sign up today to receive access to hundreds of articles, videos, and interviews from real private investigators and police officers about how they share information.
  • Also sign up for exclusive courses from private investigators who will teach you tips, tricks, and tactics to market your own successful business.

Now that you have a background on what RMHQ is, let me share the print marketing that I designed for the business as well as the campaign we worked together to create.  Since the target market of Advance Alert Network includes law enforcement and retail businesses, Jay, President of RMHQ, and I thought it would be a great idea to theme a marketing campaign around the fast-approaching Black Friday.  This is the direct mail postcard that I designed to target retail businesses to sign up for Advance Alert Network:     The next graphic is the flyer I designed for the same campaign.

For more information about RMHQ, watch the video!  And if you’re interested in signing up for a 60 day FREE trial, please contact Jay at investigatortraining@gmail.com or visit RiskManagementHQ.com for more ways to contact him.  The website will give you a glimpse of what other businesses are involved in preventing loss within their business.

Check out some of the businesses that currently use Advance Alert Network!

Lighting a fire under your marketing

Hi friends,

It’s Thursday already!  This week is flying by!  I don’t know what the weather is like where you are (as a home-grown Minnesotan, I’m required to bring up the weather, right? :)) but it has been dreary and rainy here all week.  Because of that (and it being fall and all), I have been in urgent need of some coziness.  My ugly sweater/cardigan collection and coffee can only do so much, so I went on a search…

What is more cozy than a bonfire?!  Ok, probably quite a few things (ha) but I found a certain bonfire that will light a fire under your marketing…Small Business Bonfire.  I use this website as a way to communicate with other marketing professionals that are in similar business situations as myself.  A major downfall of working for myself (and by myself) is that there is nobody to bounce ideas around with…so this website is the perfect solution for me!

Now, if you are part of running a small business venture, you should take a peak at this site, as well.  I found an article just this morning that inspired some ideas for the marketing I am working on for a few clients.  Check it out for yourself: 7 Small Business Trick-or-Treat Marketing Tips

Hopefully this post brightened up your day…no matter what the weather is like where you are. 🙂

Until next time…

Fatherly Advice

Today’s post is inspired by a great man in my life…my dad.

As I mentioned before, both of my parents are entrepreneurs, so I think it’s actually in my DNA. 🙂  My mom owns her own hair salon in my tiny little hometown (and runs the Plathe Pumpkin Patch like a pro…see previous post). My dad farms, and he called me up to chat yesterday while he was out in the field…

A little background:  My dad and I are thinkers…we think and think and think until we are 85 steps ahead of the rest of the world.  I would also describe my dad as a dreamer in that he comes up with ideas for new inventions and businesses literally everyday.  Not only does he come up with the ideas, but he also thinks through all the little details about how they could work…then he gets incredibly excited.  Therefore, when he’s got about a half a pot of coffee in him in the morning, he calls me and tells me all about his latest idea.  Anyway, I love those conversations with my pops, because he always gets me excited about the possibilities of the future AND there is ALWAYS a bit of advice attached…

“Not taking a risk is a risk, too.”  ~Dad

As a farmer, this man knows what risk is arguably better than anyone else, so after I hung up the phone, I spent some time reflecting on those words…

In life, if we don’t take a risk and continue to remain in our comfort zone, we risk the chance of not experiencing something truly wonderful.  For example, my Junior year of college, I was contemplating studying abroad for either four weeks or four months.  I took a leap of faith and decided to go for a whole semester (4 months) which was 150% outside of my comfort zone and highly unlike me to do.  Well, I can safely say that those were the best four months of my life…I met incredible people, saw oodles of amazing things, ate great food, and most importantly, learned things about myself I otherwise would not have. (If you’d like more details on my adventure, I have a blog about it: Lindsay’s London Adventure)

Well, professionally-speaking, taking a risk is just as frightening.  However, not taking a risk and continuing to do things like you always have won’t get you very far in this ever-changing world.  None of us want to become stale in our business endeavors…we want to always be thinking BIG for the future.

Now, after reading this, take a look at your business…is there more you could be doing to stay fresh and up-to-date?  How about your marketing?  When was the last time you updated the content of your website or business card?  You may be thinking, “I’m doing fine…business is good.”  To that, let me ask you this: “Don’t you want your business to be GREAT?!”

Ok, I just had a conversation with myself, so I think it’s about time to wrap this up… 🙂

I was always taught that the key to success in business (great business) is to hire people that are smarter than you…aka: experts in their field.  So, if your marketing is getting stale, take a chance and hire me to help!  Remember, “not taking a risk is a risk, too.”

Email me today!  lgplathe08@ole.augie.edu

Facebook stats and the Plathe Pumpkin Patch…hey, that kind of rhymes :)

FaceHappy Friday!

Today, I would like to explore the topic of Facebook page statistics.

Alert: This is yet another marketing aspect that makes me happy 🙂 —Yup, another nerd-out blog post.

The Facebook business page we will be exploring today is actually a business that is incredibly near and dear to me…the Plathe Pumpkin Patch!  I told you that entrepreneurship is in my blood.

**In case you’re wondering, this is my awesome family. 🙂

Up until this year, the way we spread the word about the Plathe Pumpkin Patch was through newspaper ads each Fall, word of mouth, and hand-made signs on the main roads near our home.  The news really got out when we began hosting field trips for several local elementary schools along with donating gourds and small pumpkins to local churches.  Well, to stay fresh, we enlisted the help of the World Wide Web.  The best part…it’s FREE!

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with my mama on the phone and she asked me if I could help her set up a Facebook page for the Pumpkin Patch.  This year is our 7th year of being open, and she found out that we have some competition in the area this year.

Well I told her that I would help manage the page when I had time, but Mom pleasantly surprised me…apparently marketing runs in my blood, too.  This woman is a marketing machine!  It brings a giant smile to my face when I see a Plathe Pumpkin Patch post pop up on my newsfeed almost everyday. 😀  Go Mom!

Back to the main subject of today’s blog post: Facebook stats.  Mom doesn’t know this nifty info yet either…:)

Alright, these are some of the stats from the day the Plathe Pumpkin Patch Facebook page was created until today.  At first glance, you see an overall decrease, and you’re probably thinking, “Lindsay, this is bad…why are you showing me this?”.   Let’s take a closer look:  As you can see the blue dots represent how many total people saw the Plathe Pumpkin Patch page through friends and friends of friends.  The number began at 2,423 people on September 14, peaked at 2,610 people reached on September 17, and has leveled out to reaching 230-240 people per day.  I don’t know about you, but I am impressed!  The purple dots represent when a post is made on the page, so by comparing the blue line to each purple dot, one can determine how many people each post reached.  The portion of greatest increase in people reached seemed to be correlated with adding pictures to the page along with general excitement about a new page for a business that people recognize.

This next graph is pretty neat, too.

This graph breaks down the demographic information, such as age and gender, of all the people who have “Liked” the Plathe Pumpkin Patch page.  As you can see, more than 86% of the “Likes” are from females with 20.8% of them being between the ages of 35-44.  This information can be used in the future to design other marketing material in a way that appeals primarily to women in the highest percent age groups.  Great for any business to know especially if you are unsure of your primary target market!

These graphs are only a small portion of the information that is available through your Facebook page’s “Insights” tab.  However, just a note: to have access to this information, you must be an administrator of the page and have at least 30 “Likes”.

I would love to keep spewing out other interesting things you can find on your Facebook page, but this post has already turned into somewhat of a novel.  Thanks for hanging in there. 🙂  I hope you learned something new…and maybe even had a nerd-out moment.

*Note:  This information about traffic/hits is also available on almost all websites…in fact, I have the stats available to me on this blog site (WordPress).  It tells me how many people were on my blog, which post they spent the most time on, and how they found the link to my blog (i.e. Facebook, search engine, etc).

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