Is this a mouse?

Is this a mouse?


……………………….. Which of these pictures is a mouse? Both of course, but in the new consumer mind it’s the latter rather than former that you and I might consider “a mouse.”

The new generation is growing up in a world where the internet has always existed, there have always been 600 television stations, they have always had a cell phone and instant connectivity to anyone around them by text.  That’s not how we grew up, but it’s clearly a reality for consumers who are young and will become the key demographic in a few short years. Forward thinking businesses are already marketing to them. That old mouse would have to be wearing a Hollister hoodie for them to notice it!
My kids don’t know what the Yellow Pages is, but they know how to pull up just about anything they need on their phones via Google.
So, why do we still have the oneway conversation in advertising? You know the type: some car dealer screaming that it’s the end of days unless you buy a new Ford today!  Does anyone still buy this crap? We are still selling it, though if we are truly media consultants, we should know better.
Does your marketing refelect your understanding of how much life has changed? It should.

Optimization is a word you may have heard surrounding your web prescence, but do you know how to apply optimization to all of your media? Optimization is what we all need. Online it is influenced by how your website is built and tagged afterwards. Search Engine Optimazation is what you have when you appear as a top website in a search (regardless of the search engine.)  SEO is typically a one time deal, though regular updates would be great, but most websites are optimized at the time of their birth. For all the websites out there without SEO, don’t worry, it can be added after the fact.

Optimization can be complemented wisely with Search Engine Marketing. SEM is when you buy Google Ad Words or other placement online to drive traffic to your website. This too is a process. It seems like it would be straightforward, but start writing down the number of words people could search to find your business, and you’ll see it’s complicated.  Pick the best ones and go with them in an aggressive manner. SEM is an ongoing expense, though it is not very expensive itself, staying on top of it is demanding.

So now you know two things that most website owners or visitors don’t know: the difference between SEM and SEO. Congratulations

There’s a need for consistency in advertising–all advertising. The temptation is to jump from one media to the next: radio to television, television to cable, cable to newspaper. This is craziness and must be stopped for one very solid reason: waste of money. 

The fact is that the expense far exceeds the results at the beginning of any campaign. It is as the campaign continues that the results eventually reach the expense and then goes on to exceed it, becoming a solid advertising investment.  By jumping willy-nilly (can I still say that?) from one medium to another this process of return on investment restarts in the expensive stage and never reaches maturity that is profitable.

So, consider closely where you spend your advertising dollars and once decided stick with it as long as possible, because that is how money is made by advertising.

   If budget were not an issue, every business would buy every tv, radio station and the best billboards they could find.  They’d also have an awesome website and have plenty of placement to drive traffic to their .com. However, budget is an issue.

    Every business needs to set a minimum of 3% of their gross aside to market their business, yet few do.  They build buildings, have signage, invest in employees and systems, yet the one thing that they often fail to do is inform the public of the “why buy from us.” And the unique selling proposition of any business is simply the “why buy from us.” All the great companies have it and tell it. You know it because of their marketing. Think of three businesses you admire and think how you know what you know about them? You can also probably recite their “unique selling proposition…” what makes them different/better than their competitors? If you don’t do that for your business who will? There’s a lot of ways to market, but market you must and having someone who knows marketing helps. You must advertise to some degree or you may as well pitch a tent rather than buy a building because “If you don’t advertise your business, you’ll soon be advertising it for sale!” It’s an old quote, but totally true. You’ve seen businesses come and go and now you know why….they didn’t ask anyone to buy from them and trot out that unique selling proposition.

    It’s not complicated, though meeting with all the sales reps and understanding the jargon and such might make it seem complicated. This is what we do for businesses. We make it simple and affordable. We know how to get results and you will participate in the process while we assess and develop your “unique selling proposition….” the “why buy from us.”  We make the process simple and seamless. We can write your ad copy, we can place the buys, we can design your website and place online ads in your zip-code. We do all of it for you. That’s our “unique selling proposition.”

  If your business is ready to make the leap into a formal marketing strategy that delivers sales results call us today at 314/604-6804 for To the Hilt Marketing or email us at info@tothehiltonline.com.

  I never know what to name a post before I write it.  There’s so many things to talk about, often I just let my fingers hit the keys to see what I think right now.  I was watching a former colleage on a You Tube video and his key point is that advertising is not about those creative spots. It’s more about strategy and takes a business to where they are headed faster than without advertising. If it’s a great business, it goes great places. If it’s not so great, it goes down the tubes faster. Tim Miles with the Wizard of Ads is my former colleage and he has one of the greatest creative minds I’ve ever worked with (and I’ve worked with my share of impressive people.)

I preach the same thing, but in a different way.  I stole the Buying Funnel from some trainer (I think it was Norton Warner) sometime early in my career, but I’ve been talking to clients about it ever since.

All consumers move through the buying funnel each and every time they buy something. Sometimes the journey is fast. “I need gasoline, turn in here, get it.” Sometimes it takes a long time to go through all the stages of the buying funnel. For instance: The average consumer takes 20 months to go through the buying funnel before buying new carpet. A new car is probably somewhere in the middle.  Advertising expedites the journey through the buying funnel making us want something and showing us how easy it is to get. Advertising is not the cure all, as Tim explained, but it will get you where you are going faster!

After meeting several businesses for initial consultations lately, I find myself surprised all over again at how many businesses have not changed their business and marketing tactics in a very long time. Of the three businesses I met with yesterday one business did not have a website. One business didn’t know why they had a website, didn’t market it and the website itself was not a very good one. The third client wasn’t sure of the website address. What? Okay, not everyone needs a website, but these aren’t hard questions or they shouldn’t be:

  1. What is your web address?
  2. Who goes there? (Customers or Employees?)
  3. How many people go there? (Simple Metrics)
  4. Why do they go to your website? (The SO WHAT factor)
  5. How do you drive traffic to your website? (Marketing)

We can talk about traditional media—radio, television, newspaper, but the future of your marketing usually begins with a decent working website. Mobile Marketing is a perfect example…there will come a time even in Southern Illinois that when you drive past a store you get a message from that store sent directly to your smart phone. When it gets here, do you want to do it? Great for some businesses and not so great for others–like all forms of marketing.

Okay, so if you fall into the category of no website or one that doesn’t serve your business, let’s talk. It is not difficult to get a decent website up now that templates are very adaptable and we, at To the Hilt can help you with that. We are very capable of getting the wheels turning and the gears ready to build this important part of your business.

   It still surprises me the number of businesses who do not have an  online presence and who do not have an online strategy. I’m not talking about a website with e-commerce–well, not for everyone. I’m talking about having the business registered with google and maybe take a few minutes to create an online fan page on Facebook. A website is expected now, but many businesses can forgo the time and expense of a website by replacing it with a little social marketing and listings in the directory. A blog is also a simple solution that can be used much like a basic website.

   The days of people knocking on your door and offering to build you a website for $700 are over. Anyone worth their salt understands that websites can now be built with very responsive templates and it’s not the $700 website owner that need help, it’s the ones that are much more elaborate.

   Spend an hour with me and we will determine the right routes for your business to explore the web. We will set some realistic expectations and settle on a game plan. It’s not hard. I’ll come to your business. What’s more if I cannot help you, I’ll tell you that too! Call me at (314)604-6804. Thanks.