Archive | December 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Drew Christmas Card

Thanks to all of you who have been part of our success in 2012. Bring on 2013!

Christmas Miracles Do Happen in Advertising

Over six years ago I set out to make a few extra bucks freelancing so my kids could have a couple of presents under the Christmas tree. True story. The year was 2006 and the country was facing a financial meltdown that no one really understood. I just turned 30, worked at a non-profit and was struggling to pay the mortgage, feed my family and felt like anything that I did was not fulfilling me professionally or financially. As things became desperate, my faith strengthened and through constant prayer I was sent a few miracles. Those miracles are what provided me with the faith to take a leap and begin Drew Advertising. Shortly after, in 2007, I started working out of the house and here we are today, overlooking Alamo Plaza. I would say that it’s been a miraculous journey.

Operating a small business, with a turbulent economy, in a competitive industry can be the most challenging and mind-boggling thing any human can possibly do. But since we’re talking about miracles, the fact that we have pushed through and have been successful is a true blessing and a testament to our team’s hard work, determination and faith.

2012 became the year that Drew Advertising rebounded and became an active part in the advertising industry in San Antonio. After a disrupted 2011, our company has set stronger roots and has produced campaign after campaign. We’ve built marketing strategies and have delivered creative design solutions to an array of brands. From brand redevelopment for the 124 year-old Adam’s Extract and Spices to assisting in the creation of upstart Dorcol Distillery’s new whiskey to be introduced next year. Our company continues to build momentum and stay in-tuned with the latest marketing trends providing authentic service and measurable results.

Pantry_Basics_LogoDrew Advertising worked closely with Adams Extract & Spices to redevelop several lines. Pantry Basics will be unveiled in 2013. 

Other opportunities came in the form of brand managing Ole Avocado Guacamole and the up-and-coming Texas brand, Alamo Beer. Both highlighted our company’s ability to set strategies, execute and measure results. Multiple promotions were created for both brands, including a Guactober! Giveaway and ALAMO Beer’s Backyard BBQ. Both increasing impressions and building a foundation for future marketing growth.

OLE_PHOTOS

Drew Advertising led in the brand management and direct marketing efforts for Ole Avocado guacamole. Participating in several events, consumers were able to taste the fresher tasting, better priced guacamole. Click Here To See ALAMO Beer & Adams Extract and Spices Video

Grand openings also happened on our watch. Bubble Bath Car Wash chose us to help in the establishing of their new location on San Pedro, as well as, managing their grand opening. Definitely, another exciting opportunity.

Wash4theCure

“Wash for the Cure” was part of the grand opening weekend celebration for Bubble Bath Car Wash’s new location. Click here to view Bubble Bath’s YouTube Channel

Social media became a huge part of our organization this year. Through our efforts brands received millions of impressions and creative content overflowed generating thousands of new fans. Our social connections in the community were equally impressive. From our client’s presence at Fiesta to the city’s first Coffee Festival with Ferra Coffee Roasters, we were there.

ALAMO_BEER_PAGE

Alamo Beer, Ole Avocado and Bubble Bath Car Wash benefitted from Drew Advertising’s efforts in developing creative content and social media management. Online tactics were used to support offline efforts. Click Here To Go To ALAMO Beer’s Facebook Page

Finally, part of our culture is our contributions to the community. Whether it be reduced rates or donations to local non-profits. Community involvement is very important to our business. The rebranding of Providence High School’s “Providence to Pearl” provided a burst of energy to the event. Healthy Futures of Texas Gala and the the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s Legends gala gave us some special event branding. Of course, our participation with San Jose MissionFest is our largest contribution and the event has statistically doubled in impressions, revenue and attendees since we ‘ve been involved.

MissionFestWith Drew Advertising’s leadership in it’s marketing efforts, San Jose MissionFest has quickly become a major Fiesta event. Click Here To See MissionFest’s video recap

For over five years we’ve had the pleasure of working and serving our customers and we will continue to improve our company, listen to our clients and work towards our vision of becoming industry leaders. If you ask me, 2012 is a reminder that miracles still continue to happen for our company.

Every time I get to December I remember 2006 and thank God for giving me the opportunity to do what I love and for sending our company great clients, great people to work with and a future filled with optimism. I’m sure the miracles will be there too!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

– Drew

Dawn_At_The_AlamoOur view of the Alamo proves that Christmas miracles and a little hard work can still happen this Christmas season. 

Time To Hire A Marketing Professional? Finding the Answer Can Be Tricky

Do I need Marketing?

For the course of the 15 years that I’ve been in the industry I’ve had the opportunity to visit with and participate on numerous communications efforts for a variety of organizations – private and public. For some reason, this morning, I thought about those organizations and began diagnosing the common thread that drove there decisions to hire support. Whether it be a big ad agency, social media shop or public relations firm. The answer is not all that surprising, but a variety of factors can drive that decision.

For most businesses, especially small businesses, the basic answer is that it’s easier and less expensive to contract than to hire full-time. Any business savvy person knows that an additional employee means taxes, scheduling, training, etc. Of course, I support the hiring of a marketing professional if possible, but a great first step into a more permanent marketing solution is to seek outside resources. For larger companies, who might have employees who specialize in marketing, the reasons can be different.

So what factors should you consider when hiring an outside firm? First think of your business objectives and goals. Then think about how much “lifting” you and your current staff can sustain. Finally, think about the type of people you want to work with. How important is experience? How important is creativity? Are you looking for one project or do you want to build a relationship that lasts years? This part of it is very much like hiring an employee. So be critical but also be mindful of people’s time. It’s important to make sure that you are absolutely going to do something. There is nothing that can bum out marketing professionals, or any other professional, than to get strung along only to realize the opportunity was never real.

So where is your business now and what types of support are out in the marketplace? In some instances it might be important for your business to dig deeper into your marketing plan and require you to seek the support of a strategic marketing firm. Strategic firms hang their hat on thorough market research including inquisitive competitive analysis and development of customer personas. From that research process comes pinpoint objectives, calendars, tactics and measurement. You could say that this becomes your company’s marketing “bible.” Medium to larger size companies typically hire these types of agencies because they have ability to pay for that valuable information and can afford the time it takes to compile, organize and plan that information. They are also paying for people who specialize in an exact components of marketing like media specialists, creative gurus and strategy whizzes. The fees are steep, but the results can be impressive and keep you in business for a long time.

Smaller businesses, including upstarts and newer companies rely on tactical marketing. There is a certain level of research but for the most part these companies typically have an existing client base and they know who they’re targeting for future growth. The strategy here is based on the knowledge of the business owner, their team and maybe their business plan. These businesses need a website that works, brochures, social media management, advertising, public relations, package design, etc. In this case, the best solution is to piece the tools by using an army of consultants to keep your marketing working together. Most of these situations require the small business owner to wear the marketing director’s hat and can require a larger role from small business team.

So is there a happy medium? As businesses grow there is a step that falls in between. This step is what we call “Brandvertising.” This intermediary step was developed by us to assist companies that were in a particular growth phase. Characteristics of of this group include being in business for 5 to 10 years. Currently have a staff of 3 to 10 people. Want to organize all their efforts, because it was pieced together over time. Feel like they want to learn more about their customers. Don’t want to make LARGE financial investments, but know that a move in this direction will be beneficial in their company’s future.

No matter where your company is the idea of marketing is important. No matter how much or how little you do. Every situation is different, but in order to sale you must stay out there! Remember the best marketing is your own enthusiasm, so get out there and MAKE A MILLION!

If you need to talk, email us.

Fiscal Cliff or Not You Should Keep Marketing

Grand Canyon

So I was thinking of all the beautiful cliffs at the Grand Canyon and other awe inspiring natural landscapes throughout the country. Looking up at a cliff can be breathtaking. If you’re a rock climber, cliffs can be great motivation. In the great national debate about the upcoming Fiscal catastrophe the opposite is true. No one is talking about the beauty of this cliff. It’s more like armageddon.

As a small business owner are you paying attention to any of it? Well, if you’re like me your buried in projects, payroll, end of year taxes, client needs, 2013 planning, etc. Customers are still out there and until their money is no good, you have to keep working. So should you bury your head in the sand and anticipate the worse? Or should you carry the mantle of optimism and forge ahead and anticipate that people will still be buying in 2013? If history is any indicator, the latter is probably your best bet.

Some things to think about when jotting notes about your future marketing efforts is to look back at 2012 and assess marketing successes and marketing failures. In this fast-paced, media slammed, consumer environment, fiscal cliff or not, any marketing successes are worth noting. Think about what made it successful. Was it the time of the year? Was it after a presentation or promotion? What type of people were you connecting to at the time? You can build a pretty good assessment of your marketing tactics and possibly use them in 2013.

If an effort failed, what factors may have contributed it to it’s poor performance? Ask yourself similar questions but also think about how you might of communicated your effort to your target markets. Was it the right communication? Did you use all the channels available to you? Was it creative and memorable?

Other things to reflect on for future marketing efforts is how you use or manage your entire marketing mix. As part of our assessments and management of all of our clients, we always start there. It becomes a baseline for all of our marketing recommendations. You can turn to any business book or marketing resource to give you a checklist and begin to customize it to your needs. We use a system that we have devised from our own experience. Getting us answers quicker. After all, the quicker you know your market, the quicker you can push, the quicker you build momentum and the quicker you make the sale!

So before you decide to bury your head in the sand remember that you still live in a country with a great economy. That even when we were in the middle of the worst recession in our country’s history, people still lined up for I-pods. We’ll get through this, but this country will always rely on small businesses like ours to keep it moving. Plan for a successful 2013, stay consistent with your marketing and get out there and MAKE A MILLION!

If you need more advice or guidance, consultations at Drew Advertising are always free. Email me directly at andrew@drewadvertising.com to set something up. I believe 2013 is going to be your best year!

Don’t Miss the Boat…Cross-Promote

The word synergy is one of those words in marketing that gets tossed around a lot. Even though it can be over-used there is value to synergy especially among products or services that complement each other. We see these complementary combinations at our local grocery stores every time we walk in.  For example, when your favorite beer teams up with your fave chips and salsa…yum. Synergistic products or services create a great opportunity to cross-promote!

For marketing companies like us who specialize in consumer goods, having a portfolio of a variety of products (5 at the time of this article) allows us to team-up and conquer the market driving impressions and creating sales among our brands. This marketing collaboration or cross-promotion allows us to share media resources and brand names. Reaching potential new markets and building solid business partnerships.

So what should you look for in a great easy cross-promo? Well, start with the basics. Does the product/service you want to cross-promote make sense with your product? Think of things like complementary flavors, geography and price-point. Buying Ole Avocado Guacamole, a client of ours, would be great with fajitas. A customer would be enticed with that offer because it makes sense and it’s delicious! Another example is purchasing gasoline and receiving free coffee at that same location. What a nice gesture and you get to try the coffee!

Another way to determine whether a cross-promotion will work for your product/service is evaluating  the weight or value of your brand versus your cross-promoting partner. This can be challenging and can at times cost you money. However, if you are a small business working with other small businesses this could just cost man hours. But let’s say you are crossing with a mega-brand that has loyal customers who fit your exact target! That might be worth the exposure and extra money. Or let’s say you’re the mega brand. You’ve got the loyal following but you feel that crossing with a complement will provide your customers an incentive to remain loyal. Finally, both brands might be even-steven. This is when both agree to promote evenly placing equal amounts of energy and resources to ensure a successful promotion. How ever you slice it at the end, do what it takes to create a fair and profitable promotion.

The third thing to think about are communication channels. So you are now cross promoting with Super Chips! But how will your customers find out? How will their customers find out? For this truly to work as a great cross-promotion both companies must be cross-promoting! The larger company will be able to afford BIG TIME media. We’re talking TV, radio, billboards, digital ads, etc. For the rest of us, it’s time to be creative! Consistent postings to social media sites is a great start. Flyers to existing customers to tell their friends would also be swell. The most important thing to remember is that all parties should kick in some support. After all, cross-promoting needs team work to pick up sales!

For any business small or large, cross-promotion should not be thrown out with the bath water. Think about whether it accomplishes your business objectives and if it does go for it! Always remember the best marketing tool you have is your enthusiasm and creativity! So get out there and MAKE A MILLION!

A great example of cross-promoting is when we were able to combine ALAMO Golden Ale with pasta sauce using Adam's spices. The pasta sauce recipe was placed on a recipe card with complementary spices for runners to create the dish of course the magical ingredient was ALAMO Beer! ALAMO Beer participates in several runs throughout the region. This combo did two things: Gave ALAMO Beer another way to connect to it's customers and gave Adam's a new direct channel to area runners. Click here to see the video.

Adam’s Extract & Spices Team Up With ALAMO Golden Ale
A great example of cross-promoting is when we were able to combine, thanks to the folks at Adam’s, ALAMO Golden Ale with pasta sauce using Adam’s spices. The pasta sauce recipe was placed on a recipe card with complementary spices for runners to create this spicy sauce. Of course, the magical ingredient was ALAMO Beer! ALAMO Beer participates in several runs throughout the region so this gave the beer company an opportunity to make an impression before the race. As well as making an impression for the beer it also asked runners to go to Adam’s You Tube channel for the play-by-play on how to make this culinary delight!
Click here to see the video.
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