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5 Things To Watch For When Watching Super Bowl Ads

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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!

5 Ways to Improve Your Restaurant Marketing

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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.

Consumer Relationships Mimic Life

Our Mission is to Build, Sustain, Evolve Impactful RELATIONSHIPS between brands and consumers.

Over the holidays our team worked two days to examine our company’s direction and messaging for 2013. A close examination of our capabilities, approach to services, measurement of services and client interactions. In our discovery sessions it became clear that the word relationship kept coming up over and over again. It came up so many times that we changed a key word in our mission to reflect that.

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So why do we believe relationships are important to your company?

All brands started with an idea for a product or service. The product/service then turns into an opportunity to make money. The opportunity to make money turns into “I need someone to buy what I’m selling.” Then the question arises who do I know that would buy from me? And the answer usually becomes family, friends of family, former coworkers or acquaintances, etc. Why are these usually your first customers?

You’ve built a relationship. This first group of people chose to listen to you because they trust you. They’ve seen you work your idea for months. Or they’ve seen your results in a particular service for a few years. They’ve observed your attitude. Seen your passion and are willing to give you a shot. These start-ups are executing the most basic of marketing. Something that we call intro-connecting.  By the way, every company has similar beginnings.

So what are we really saying?

Your product or service becomes a part of people’s lives. So think about it? Who do you want in your life? In that same line of thought, what brands do you want in your life? You want brands that you can trust. You want them to provide a benefit to your life. You want to build a consumer relationship.

This thought, hopefully, begins to open up how your brand is speaking to consumers and ultimately building a lasting relationship. Here are five quick tips to begin the process:

1. Understand who your customer is. – “You like people who get you.”

2. Be where your customers are. – “You feel comfortable with people from your neighborhood.”

3. Deliver what you say you’re going to deliver. – “You don’t want skitzo friends in your life.”

4. Listen – “If you don’t provide attention, your friends will leave you”

5. Improve – “Everyone is changing. Don’t be afraid to change in order to keep your friends. Or go find new ones.”

The really good brands do these things like clockwork and understand the importance of maintaining close and strong relationships with their core consumers. Of course, in many instances, when brands want to amp up their relationships they hire professionals, internally and/or externally, to maintain consistent connections.

So is your brand becoming stagnant? Are you losing your foothold with your consumer? Well think about your relationship. It might be time for a professional to examine it.

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2013 might be the year that you improve that relationship. So get out there and MAKE A MILLION!

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.

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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.

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“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.

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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!