I’ve created my fair share of TV commercials and I absolutely have seen more TV commercials than any normal human should see. Have you ever wondered why companies have commercials in the first place? Furthermore, have you ever wondered how some brands actually let a commercial see the light of day? For guys like me, whose DNA contains art direction,the latter question can get me yelling at the TV Screen or whatever device I’m watching!
So what makes a good commercial? That can be debatable and usually depends on a myriad of factors. However, good TV commercials contain similar qualities and are usually created by the world’s largest brands. The consumer has been painstakingly researched, the messaging has been carefully analyzed, directors have been interviewed and selected, scripts written, actors reviewed and chosen, shooting sites picked, sets and wardrobe decided upon and calendars set. Phew! Just to get on TV requires so much work but that can only mean one thing…the consumer, YOU, are that important!
Here are some things you should look for this Super Bowl Sunday when viewing your million dollar commercials:
1. Entertained: Was it interesting to hold your attention for more than 5 seconds?
2. Comprehensive: Could you easily follow what was being said?
3. Emotional: Does the commercial create an emotion that causes you to the react to the brand?
4. Memorable: Do you even remember what company was trying to get your attention?
5. Actionable: Will you purchase the product or visit the website or talk about it to friends?
Well that’s it. Of course, communication scholars will dissect the commercials and can probably add a few hundred things to my list. But at the end of the day, the consumer is the boss. YOU will be the deciding factor. So enjoy the million dollars it took to reach you and appreciate the barrage of commercials on Super Bowl Sunday. I almost forgot, enjoy the football game that happens in between. I know I will!
Six years of owning a marketing firm has taught me something that I don’t think I could of learned any other way. Not all clients are a good fit. Of course, that’s a hard line to hold when you know someone is going to pay you for services and you need the cash. I’m not saying to not take the job, just be aware of the traits of that person and their company to begin to identify the ideal client for your marketing business. You’ll be able to identify winning clients in the future, increasing your value and your own happiness.
How clients can become tough
Most bad clients become bad clients because they weren’t communicated to effectively in the beginning or they had unrealistic expectations of what was going to be delivered. This can turn into a sticky situation making all parties uncomfortable. It’s important that in your pitch to prospects that they understand what is going to be delivered and what the outcome is going to be.
The smart client understands that marketing can encompass many variables and that they hired you to help coordinate, organize, create and drive business through your services. There is no one magic tool, but several tools that need to be working together, saying the right thing at the right time to create a winning brand.
Your style might be different
Personality differences or managerial styles can make your days long and painful. I remember we worked with a company that the owner paid well, but he was indecisive. Brilliant man. Actually, I think he was too brilliant. Even though the monthly retainer was great, the emotional, financial and constant drain on my teams confidence nearly destroyed our company. That’s not an over exaggeration. Be careful, with personality differences they can cause you tremendous amount of unnecessary anxiety. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be able to sleep at night.
Another thing to take into account is that your client’s are in business to make money. You are too. Don’t let client’s take advantage of you. We can get caught up in the work and forget to charge. I’m guilty of that. Most clients will appreciate the over-achievement, but there are some that take advantage of your passion. Keep track of your work and notify your client that they might have to pay more.
Finding greener pastures
So how do you deal with these situations? Well, you can build “outs” into your agreements that allow you to amicably part ways. You can also try to talk it out and get your client on the same page. Sometimes just speaking clearly about what it is your trying to do can solve the problem. If you are a bigger company, try switching your team around. Have a different point of contact who might be able salvage the relationship. But at the end, it’s what you said upfront. What did you sell? How are you delivering? What is your measurement? That can help alleviate any future stress.
Just remember, like all your relationships, not everyone is a good fit. That’s not something to be afraid of, it’s something to be aware of. Difficult clients can drain energy, time and ultimately cost YOU money.
After six years of doing this, I can tell you I’ve got a good handle of a good client. Those are the ones you’ll do anything for. You believe in their business and they believe in you and your company. So don’t stop searching. Your perfect client is out there!
Over the course of the past few weeks we’ve been diving into data looking for ways to improve our service. In doing so, I came to the realization that marketing is whole lot like being in the restaurant business. How do I know? Well I spent 5 years in the restaurant business doing everything from washing dishes to waiting tables. Now I spend my days trying to understand customer needs and product/service value then connect them. Creating a dish, serving it and getting a positive reaction and repeat business.
As the economy continues to recover, it’s estimated that the restaurant segment will grow this year slightly. 2012 wasn’t horrible for most restauranteurs but the sluggish economy kept consumers weary about eating out. Secondly, as healthcare laws kick in and food inflation continues to raise costs, it’s important for restaurants to be consistent with the basics of their marketing plan and to find ways to get more bang for your buck.
Assuming that you have a consistent, killer menu and provide a great customer experience what are the most cost-effective methods to promote your restaurant? Here are some of our suggestions:
1. Identify every instance your brand connects to a consumer and use it.
Entrepreneurs sometimes think that advertising a business means a newspaper ad, radio commercial or online advertising. Actually, any time your brand comes into contact with a consumer that’s advertising. From your outdoor signage to table toppers. Your waitstaff are valuable parts of your marketing mix. Make sure they are well trained and understand your menu and your entire company. If you really think about it, there are several free ways to spread your message.
2. Create things to talk about.
Is January Fajita Month? Or is Willie Nelson doing an unplugged concert in your dining room? Good restaurants keep creating ideas that generate buzz and drive people through the doors. Specials are always winners. Of course, everyone loves free. If it makes sense, do it.
3. Word of Mouth is changing but it’s the most effective way to communicate.
We don’t think of Word of Mouth as a media channel but it is. You can either be playing in that channel or not.
Word of Mouth is now all over the internet. From blogs to review sites. Your social media is becoming significant in forming opinions about your restaurant. By the way, 90% of moms between the ages of 18-36 are online and account for over 2 trillion dollars in buying power. That should tell you something on how you think about your online strategy.
Finally, don’t forget about creating loyalty programs. This is a great way to keep those customers coming back for more and having them spread the word.
4. Be a good business neighbor.
Do you have a community strategy? Are you working with your local elementary school or church? Do you even know who your neighbors are? Restaurants, now more than ever, have the ability to closely connect to their communities offline and now online. In most instances, these people become your core customers bringing friends and families to your business. Get that plan and work it!
5. Local is better.
I find it interesting how people who rely so much on local customers hire companies from other cities to do their marketing. Not only is using local or regional ingredients a popular trend, using local marketing and advertising resources is equally important. Being able to have your team in your city following local trends is so valuable to how quickly your marketing reacts. There might be opportunities that exist in your target that only those who live in the market would know about. Consider your marketers network and experience when hiring.
Of course we believe that if you sit down and build your marketing plan and devise strategies you can maximize your efforts and create buzz and generate sales. So get out there, work that plan or bring in a professional to get more bang for your buck.