Author Archive for Tracy Weise

21
Aug
14

Not staying up to date on your PPC can cost big bucks.

In June 2013, pop singer Lorde released her hit single “Royals”, becoming an overnight sensation. In her lyrics she mentions high lifestyle items—in particular car manufacturer Maybach. Almost overnight, searches from curious teens caused the cost of online marketing for Maybach to climb as climb as quickly.Late Night with Jimmy Fallon - Season 5

More companies are using online advertising to reach consumers, but worries over wasted coverage are becoming more apparent. Pay per click advertising (PPC) works fairly simple: whenever a consumer clicks on your ad, you pay a certain amount of money to that search engine in advertising costs. These costs are determined by how much a particular word or phrase you are marketing towards is looked up. The more a word or phrase is searched, the more expensive it is to have your ad listed on that page because you are reaching a greater audience. Pay per click is useful to companies because it allows advertisers to target a very particular audience.

However, concern that much of a company’s cost using pay per click can be lost on reaching an inappropriate audience. Millennials were the group mainly responsible for the sharp increase in traffic for Maybach, and these certainly aren’t the individuals with the means to buy high lifestyle brands, such as Rolex or Mercedes. Pop culture and current events can greatly influence online marketing costs, and it’s up to marketers to stay vigilant with these trends.

imagesCompanies may also be associating themselves with the wrong target audience. Particularly in the case of Maybach and “Royals”, Rolex wasted a lot of money reaching a particular consumer base—which was greatly inflated due to the curiosity of millennials.

John Wanamaker, a very successful retailer from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, once stated: “half my advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half.” Thanks to digital analytic programs, there are many things marketers are doing to prevent waste and maximize efficiency in online platforms.

One method is cell tracking. This is implemented by using a dynamic phone number that changes for whichever ad the user has clicked. This way, marketers can see which ads are generating the most calls—which usually results in more qualified leads and sales.

Another method is utilizing online tools like customer relationship management. Connecting your Google PPC call tracking data to online resources like Salesforce.com, helps you track information regarding your PPC campaigns. These tools help you track sales and leads from beginning to end to find out how you are generating revenue and which ad placements are most effective.

Accounting for the vast majority of online searches, Google does an excellent job providing data to marketers—including A/B testing to compare different online ads. Many other search engines provide comparable information for marketers and these are a great way to get feedback regarding PPC campaigns.

Is this a problem you have run into while utilizing pay per click advertising? Or are you not sure if you might be losing your message in wasted coverage? Contact us on our facebook page to find out how Weise can help.

17
Mar
14

Friend or Foe? Techie Insights from IFA

Living up to host city New Orleans’s reputation for revelry and rapture, this year’s annual IFA Convention was nothing less than mardi gras worthy. Having spent the last couple weeks recovering and catching up after franchising’s annual hoorah, the Weise team has sorted through the swag to find our most memorable takeaways. Among these, franchisors’ lingering hesitation towards technology stands out. 

In February 2014, Facebook celebrated its 10th anniversary, hardly qualifying it as groundbreaking. Social media’s rapid expansion and continuing evolution of the digital sector leaves few hard and firm rules. Although social media is the go-to reference for digital marketing, this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Buzz words including SEO, PPC, and CRMs are all a part of the marketing and sales mix. With so much going on in today’s race to ‘be found,’ it’s little wonder the technological world is a maze of anxiety for many.

Yet, the key many franchisor’s have yet to discover is the positive impact adopting these trends can have from both a marketing and operational standpoint, ultimately increasing their bottom line. According to David Mihm, Director of Local Search Strategy at Moz, “Brands are how you sort out the cess pool of the Internet.”

With that in mind, here are some nuggets of know-how, common confusion and other common threads we gleaned from the conference:

Google + Still one of the lesser used and understood social media platforms, Google + directly impacts your brand’s SEO. Major areas to make sure are updated and complete include business info, link to your website and location information. This info will appear higher in search results because of the link to SEO, content should be largely business focused.

Location Pages Another tidbit we kept hearing repeated was the importance of location pages. This is the easiest way for search engines to validate a company’s authenticity so make sure your info is on several different ones (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp). Also, make sure it’s accurate! This is an easy first step for promoting online presence.

Facebook- Franchise sales vs. Consumer Sales Whether Facebook should be used for both consumer and franchise sales—and whether these should be separate pages—was a hotly debated topic. Although a “one size fits all” answer may never exist, it is important to remember any potential franchisee will interact with your brand several times before revealing themselves as a prospect, making high quality content more important than ever.

Content Development Discussions revealed many brands are struggling with content development. Whether intended for social media, blogs, newsletters or websites, this directly impacts SEO. In today’s world of content overload, quality and variety is key to moving up in search results. Another important nugget to mull over: hiring an outside agency to manage content development is often more effective than relying solely on in house talent. This is, after all, what these agencies do best.

A fitting sequel to IFA, FranTech—a conference exclusively devoted to the technological sector of franchising—is coming to Denver next month. These two days offer another chance for marketing managers to learn best practices, confer with other franchisors and find vendors. I guess we’ll see many of you in Denver.

 

28
Feb
14

Under Armour Handled Olympic Crisis With Speed

When Under Armour produced what was proclaimed to be the fastest speedskating suit in the world, they must not have meant if U.S. Speedskating wore them.

The highly favored U.S. Speedskating team finished with shockingly disappointing results in the Sochi Olympics, failing to finish higher than seventh in any race, other than claiming a silver medal in the men’s 5,000-meter short-track.  Several explanations for the lackluster performance have been suggested, but the explanation that has caught the most fire centered around the high-tech “Mach-39” speedskating suits engineered by Under Armour and Lockheed Martin (http://usat.ly/1jMViOT).

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As a result of U.S. Speedskating’s performance, the suits were dumped midway through the Olympics and the team returned to the Under Armour skin suits used in previous competitions (http://wapo.st/1c5a6DF). Major complaints about the suits’ vents in the back, claimed they were letting air in and decreasing aerodynamics.

In response to the athletes and media’s outburst, Under Armour took action to protect its products, sales and brand image (http://usat.ly/1e23e9Q). While the crisis gained exposure across digital and print media, Under Armour implemented key tactics imperative in crisis communication management. Among these, timely responses and well-planned messages were key.

In response to the allegations, Under Armour stayed consistent with the brand’s image; stating it strives to produce the highest quality sportswear to its consumers and professional athletes.The brand was also strategic in its defense by offering help to the team, showing the brand acknowledges it may have been to blame for U.S. Speedskating’s poor performance. By focusing on continuing a relationship and providing them with support, Under Armour appeared genuine and human.

Another key tactic when implementing crisis communication is recognizing a spokesman for the brand and providing media strategy. Under Armour did this exceptionally well through CEO Kevin Plank. Under Armour set up a phone interview with Plank that can be seen in the video below (http://dailym.ai/1jOhoDv).

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 3.53.55 PM

Plank’s obvious media training showed well during the interview and paid off to reinforce Under Armour’s brand identity. He did an impressive job of keeping the interview centered on the brand’s mission and efforts to maintain its relationship with U.S. Speedskating.  In a crisis, media training should entail defining key messaging, pre-media interviews and carefully crafted responses to anticipated questions.

Moving forward, it’s imperative for Under Armour to sustain credibility of its products. There is no evidence supporting the skaters’ speculations, and their performance even after they returned to the old suits does not support their claims. With lack of evidence, Under Armour should perform multiple tests on the suit, specifically with the back vent and athletic stability of the materials used. By providing credibility, Under Armor will protect its product value and sponsorship of future Olympic teams.

Crisis can happen at any time – being prepared for when a crisis hits is essential to protect your brand. Do you need a crisis plan for your company? Let Weise help – visit www.weiseideas.com or email tracy@weiseideas.com.

Do you think the Under Armour suits were to blame for U.S. Speedskatings’ results? Tell us below and on our Facebook page.

30
Jan
14

Ad Preview: A Peak into the Playbooks for Super Bowl XLVIII

For some, the Super Bowl is the highest display of athletic prowess, eagerly anticipated all year. For advertising freaks like us, we wait for the ads.

We have a feeling the Broncos will not be the only stars this Sunday – This year, brands are going the extra yard to change up their strategies. Last year, brands such as Budweiser and Taco Bell won the laughs and recognition of viewers nationwide – but who is getting a slice of the Super Bowl advertisement pie this year? According to Forbes, brands from H&M, GoDaddy, Pepsi and Ford are taking a slice, and paying the whopping $134,000 per second to do so (http://onforb.es/1b4MuhQ).

As the only retailer to buy air time this year, H&M is making its second Super Bowl appearance, with an ad similar to its 2012 spot by again featuring soccer star David Beckham and the brand’s Bodywear line (http://nyti.ms/1bvEJBp).

Although the new ad will feature the same celebrity, it has a distinct difference from Beckham’s first appearance – interaction. Viewers are invited to vote for one of two endings to the 30-second Super Bowl commercial, allowing viewers to create what they want to see. Consumer interaction is vital in today’s marketing– now more than ever, consumers are talking amongst themselves about brands, so as a company, it is important to not only hear what consumers are saying, but listen.

Vote for your favorite ending here: http://bit.ly/1jyhEVt

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GoDaddy, a brand known for its provocative and gutsy Super Bowl ads, will launch a new image this year, and is using its Super Bowl ad to kick it off. The ad features NASCAR star Danica Patrick and a group of body builders running until they end up at Selena’s Spray Tan. The ad is part of a corporate makeover, and reflects a major shift in GoDaddy’s messaging (http://usat.ly/1ff6dOI).

Watch the new GoDaddy ad here: http://bit.ly/1aXIT8n

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Pepsi, who in the past has purchased multiple Super Bowl ad spots, is ditching the multiple 30-second strategy, and trading it for a single 30-second ad. The brand is putting their hail mary behind its sponsorship of the halftime show, starring Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Rather than focusing on the product, Pepsi is focusing on the brand as a whole. The altered strategy allows Pepsi to take the “Masterbrand” marketing approach that will translate into fewer stand-alone ads for sub-brands like Diet Pepsi (http://bit.ly/KPA2eL).

Another brand using a different strategy this year is Ford. The Super Bowl ad regular will run a pregame ad, featuring actor James Franco, after the coin toss but before the kickoff. A pregame ad will cost Ford 2.5 million, compared to an in-game spot costing 4 million (http://bit.ly/1cpuEKG). The new strategy was put in place because it gives Ford the chance to buy into the game without paying full price.

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at 2.36.02 PM
As expected, other automotive industry regulars will appear; Toyota’s spot will feature the Muppets in with its new Highlander.

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at 2.21.38 PM

Which brands are you most excited about seeing during the Super Bowl? Tell us below or on our Facebook page.

If you need a new and awesome commercial for your brand, visit www.weiseideas.com or email tracy@weiseideas.com. Go Broncos!

23
Jan
14

Dove proves you are more beautiful than you think

If someone asked me if I thought I was beautiful, I would say no. After Adweek released the “10 Best Ads of 2013,” (http://bit.ly/1ebFAYG) featuring Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” as their number one ad, I learned I am not alone in my answer.

According to Dove, only 4 percent of women worldwide think they are beautiful – a mere 4 percent (http://bit.ly/1c3lO3j). The viral ad, done by Ogilvy Brazil, created an astonishing perspective on beauty that is hard to ignore, with results even harder to believe.

The ad shows an FBI forensic artist sketching women (sight unseen) as they described themselves, and then as others described them. The differences in the final sketches are heart wrenching, and give “real” women, a reality check about self-perception – how we currently see ourselves, and how we should strive to see ourselves. Watch full ad here or below: (http://bit.ly/1aoEqho)

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With the overwhelming results of this social experiment, it is hard not to wonder who is to blame for the low self-esteem of women worldwide? Is it the advertising industry itself, or possibly the media, who constantly shoves photo-shopped, perfect-skinned, bronzed beauties down consumers’ throats? Whoever is to blame for the lack of self-esteem in today’s women, ads like Dove Real Beauty Sketches are impossible to ignore – and it has the “viralability” to prove it.

According to businessinsider.com (http://read.bi/1fXInvA) the ad garnered more than 114 million views total and more than 3 million shares, making it the most viral ad of all time. Dove was able to create content that viewers wanted to see, but more importantly, they wanted to share.

Dove’s “Campaign For Real Beauty” first launched 10 years ago, and has been helping women realize the real meaning behind beauty ever since (http://bit.ly/1bkFcXb). Ads like “Real Curves,” “Evolution,” “Pro Age” and most recently “Selfie,” have brought to light the qualities that make women beautiful other than looks such as confidence, intelligence and happiness. Dove has increased sales by 1.5 billion since Real Beauty’s launch, proving the campaign is aging well.

What do you think about the most watched viral ad of all time? Tell us here and on our Facebook page – and, remember ladies – you are more beautiful than you think.

06
Jan
14

Kmart’s Holiday Ad: Below the Belt or Missed the Boat?

Thanks to Jordan McNamara for contributing this article to The Side Note.

In a 2012 article, Advertising Age discussed Kmart’s shrinking presence in the low-cost retail field (http://bit.ly/1gc3yWF). Annual sales were down, causing Ad Age to suggest the brand had lost relevance with discount shoppers. In the realm of discount stores, Wal-Mart dominates the low-price segment and Target holds the throne for hip, so where does this leave Kmart?

Over the holidays, Kmart and parent company Sears Holdings Corp. (http://www.searsholdings.com) made a big jingle in the viral world with the release of the holiday “Show Your Joe” commercial.

Show Your Joe

Following last year’s “Ship My Pants” spot and “Big Gas Savings,” all created by agency DraftFCB, this indicates a major brand shift for the retail chain. Kmart’s Facebook page received many complaints from angry viewers, calling the ad “disgusting and not fit for family consumption” and “inappropriate for kids!!!” (https://www.facebook.com/kmart). Many customers also accused Kmart of sacrificing family values and decency in exchange for cheap laughs.
Departure from their traditional ‘baby boomer’ demographic in pursuit of younger shoppers may be exactly Kmart’s intention. According to a Forbes article from last February, Kmart is focusing on improving sales within the 18-34 year old group (http://onforb.es/1gc32bp).

However, Time reported humor is not an effective tactic for converting sales (http://ti.me/1cTMyET). Although funny spots succeed at being memorable for consumers, they do not distinguish why the brand is better or what problem the product solves. “Ship my Pants” and “Big Gas Savings” have more than 30 million views combined views on YouTube, but Forbes reported 3rd quarter sales for Kmart were still down (http://onforb.es/1cTN7hT).

The Joe Boxer commercial may be the perfect example of funny, but ineffective. With more than 17 million views on YouTube, the ad has unquestionably garnered attention. However, the spot highlights only one product line available in Kmart stores rather than the Kmart brand as a whole. Plus, it lacks differentiation—what about these specific boxers make them so great? Why are they better than others? Why should I shop at Kmart for underwear? The ad does not answer any of these questions to make the brand or product relatable to the consumer. Both earlier ads by DraftFCB mentioned above do speak to benefits Kmart offers its customers, but the most effective ads connect with consumers on a deeper, emotional level.

Due to holiday shopping, fourth quarter sales can account for as much as 40 percent of annual sales for retailers (http://bit.ly/1hrxzFG). With that in mind, Kmart needed a stellar season to climb out of the hole after six years of continually declining sales (http://aol.it/19XT3oU). Numbers for 2013’s fourth quarter have not been released yet, but if third quarter sales are any indication, this ad will not be enough to sway shoppers away from other discount stores.

Kmart may have some big…er, bells, but that might not have been enough to fulfill this retailer’s Christmas wishes.

Do you shop at Kmart? Tell us what you think of the Joe Boxer ad here. Is your brand in need of an overhaul? The Weise team can identify problem areas and create a strategy to give your brand a boost in our Navigator session. Contact us. 

26
Nov
13

Starbucks: More Than Just a Cup of Coffee?

Thanks to Jordan McNamara, who is the Starbucks lover and contributor of this article.

Grande non-fat no-water single-pump gingerbread chai. That’s my current go-to drink when pulling through the Starbucks drive-thru, and I’ll admit no Saturday morning is complete without one (although I rarely make that my only weekly visit). I’ll also admit I’m a proud gold cardholder (pic), earning a free drink for every 12 purchased, and the app on my phone lets me pay, reload and track.Image

Adweek recently featured Starbucks among their “10 Brands That Changed the World” (http://bit.ly/1aqspFd), touting “they don’t merely influence our spending habits, they determine who we are.” Starbucks transformed the way we think about getting a cup of coffee, elevating it to become an affordable luxury. With sales reaching $13.29 Billion in 2012, Starbucks customers are nothing if not loyal. Paying $5 or more per drink, the average consumer visits the chain six times each month, according to Adweek. Their red Christmas cups ring in the holiday season, and terms like ‘half-caf,’ ‘grande,’ and ‘frappuccino’ have become a second language to many.

What makes Starbucks customers so loyal? As with any great brand, the answer is embedded in its culture. This culture can be defined as that intangible extra that keeps people coming back over and over. Starbucks has nailed the art of human connection, welcoming each customer in with big smiles and encouraging you to linger in over sized chairs at large tables over your cup of coffee. This personalized approach has turned buying a drink into an experience. Starbucks is a place you want to hang out with friends, study or hold a meeting, and this sense of belonging is at the heart of its brand culture. Equally important to Starbucks’ culture is Ethos bottled water, fair-trade coffee, free iTunes songs; all aspects that reinforce who Starbucks is and what the brand stands for.

ImageIn the age of technology, Starbucks has also mastered connecting with consumers beyond physical store locations. Member alerts via text and email, the Starbucks app, social media engagement and seasonal specials reinforce a sense of community between the brand and its customers. Generating an emotional response is key to reinforcing behavior and creating a devoted following, both areas where Starbucks excels. It’s not so much about the drink, but more what you feel when you’re there. Starbucks has capitalized on this feeling to turn a $.25 cup of coffee into a $5 experience—an experience that is felt in 17,500 locations in 61 countries. This sense of connectivity, this feeling, is consistent across locations.

Whether in Denver, New York or Los Angeles, each time you walk through a Starbucks door you know exactly what to expect. Your drink will be made exactly how you like it every time, which brings me to what is perhaps Starbucks’ largest branding achievement—personalization. Imagine another drive through where you can specify each detail of your order, down to temperature and ingredient amount. In an age where consumers are demanding to be part of the process, Starbucks has allowed their customers ultimate control.

What brands do you love? Tell us here! Does your brand need a makeover? Let us help at www.weiseideas.com. We will take you through our coveted navigator session to make your brand an experience.




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