Are you the best salesperson?
All of our career openings (jobs fill time – careers fill passions) are posted on our ad agency jobs page. So why are we writing a blog post about our current sales openings? Simple. One of our designers got it in her head to make an ad for them. Weird, right? An ad agency making creative advertising. Who would have thought?
So if you are good enough to answer “Yes” to the questions below, we want to talk to you. We’re looking for those people that care about customer service, want to solve marketing challenges, and enjoy a creative environment. Oh – the pay is good and benefits come with it. Learn more about the positions and contact us today.
Client: Arkside Marketing, Inc.
Campaign: “The Best Salesperson”
Designer: Amanda Johnson
People don’t love buying cars.
People love driving cars.
Going fast. Showing friends and family. Personalizing with accessories. Even the new car smell. You can buy it in sprays, little mirror trees, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. No one feels nostalgic for the “low” payment or the warranty. They love the experience that is uniquely part of owning a vehicle. So why are dealerships continuously and relentlessly focused on everything but ownership?
“The dealership experience is as old as the car industry, roughly 100 years old. While cars have changed, the retail experience is much the same as it was 100 years ago.”
–Dr. Ian Robertson, Head of Sales & Distribution at BMW
This is what so many dealerships resist to acknowledge and are even slower to correct. They remain focused on their experience (lot layout, funneling an up, trade evaluation, price negotiation, finance, etc.) instead of the experience of their customers. Most other industries have already recognized the necessity of building an experience for the customer instead of forcing customers into an experience.
Consider these facts from a 2014 Edmunds survey:
That should be alarming to the automotive industry. One-third of your customers would rather deal with the IRS than you. Employees are personified as the icons of lying, cheating, and stealing. “He’s as bad as a used car salesman.”
When we meet with dealership clients, most say they want to stand out from their competition. To do that at most stores, we encourage them to look internally first. At Arkside Marketing, we have two rules we teach every client. The second one is, “never make it difficult for someone to give you their money”.
The solution is usually easy to identify. Any area where the customer is not the primary focus could be an area for improvement. Getting a customer excited is surprisingly easy for a great dealership. Expectations are already so low that exceeding them can be achieved with one or two simple actions. A dozen would blow them away!
Here are some simple changes you can make to improve a customer’s first five minutes at your dealership:
Build everything around the experience of owning a car – not buying one. Your dealership is a method of delivery for a product they can buy at your competitor. You can be a dealer of a great experience. By doing so, you will generate more word-of-mouth referrals, more positive conversations and testimonials online (Facebook, Yelp, etc.) and more service drive retention. Then take those incredible experiences and make them part of your marketing. Tell the world about your success.
Don’t sell a car – offer a great car experience.
If you would like to know more about how to integrate your sales and marketing strategies to deliver a great car experience for your customers (and cost-efficiently for you, contact us today. Our first consultation and needs analysis is completely free.
Tired of posting to Facebook and not getting results? This Facebook case study is here to help. Good social media is not something for your receptionist or “any young person” to handle. Facebook for your business is different than having a personal profile. You have goals to sell more widgets, promote your brand, earn new customers, turn loyal customers into fans (more on this later), and increase traffic to your website. To achieve these goals -or any others on social media- you need to understand what works. You must also be prepared to dedicate multiple hours per day to finding content, sharing images, promoting posts, replying to comments, finding new audiences, and analyzing previous results.
Our goal with this Facebook case study is to show how we approach Facebook management (along with other social media networks) and the results we create for our clients.
Craig & Sons Termite & Pest Control, Inc., located in Redlands, CA. Their service area is approximately 35 miles from their office. They are a family owned business for many decades and provide all pest removal and prevention services to residential and commercial clients.
Craig & Sons had been working with a national media company (who will go unnamed) that built their website and “managed” their social media. After failing to see any meaningful engagement on Facebook and no other social accounts being used, Craig & Sons was seeking alternatives. After explaining our approach to Facebook and other social media, we were honored to earn their business.
Posting Schedule: The previous company had no posting schedule. Content seemed to appear randomly: sometimes four posts a week (still less than half of what it should be) and other times once a month. In all cases, the posts would lack any images or video. Just a few sentences of text. This is completely insufficient. According to some studies, the average life of a Facebook post can be only 2.5 hours!
Audience Reach: In the six months preceding our takeover, only three posts ever reached (not engaged, simply reached), more than 100 people. This was on a page with over 250 fans. Two of those posts were posted directly by the client so they can’t be attributed to the media company.
SEO Performance: In the six months preceding our takeover, only four clicks from Google went to their Facebook Page. One substantial benefit of a successful Facebook Page is search engine ranking. Beyond linking to your website and encouraging search engines to boost it on page one, you also have the capability to have your Facebook Page rank on the first page of Google (and other search engines) to knock out a competitor.
Audience Engagement: Reaching an audience is one thing. Getting them to engage with your content and your company is another. Only ONCE did they get an engagement level of 10 people or higher. Half of that engagement was directly attributable to a post from the client.
Summary: Despite having thousands of employees and millions of dollars to develop effective social media strategies for their clients, this company approached social media as less than a hobby. Their client suffered from a wasted investment.
Remember Arkside Rule #1: Always treat marketing as an investment!
1) Understand the target market: home owners and property managers, age 35+, located within 1-35 miles of the Craig & Sons office
2a) Create accounts on Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest
2b) Optimize their existing Facebook Page (and the other networks) to include keyword-rich bios and easy-to-find contact information
3) Capitalize on the creepy factor of bugs with visual content and include educational elements so the audience becomes more aware of bugs and other pests, how to prevent infestations, and how Craig & Sons can take care of pest problems
4) Build a posting schedule focusing on the days with the most social traffic, optimizing time-of-day placement
5) Utilize social profiles for engagement, customer retention, and SEO value
6) Posts need to be image and video heavy while still maintaining the traditional “80/20 Rule”
7) Employees were trained on engagement and encouraged to Like the Page (if they had not already)
Date work began: June 6, 2015
Posting Schedule: As most people don’t want to hear about bugs on a constant basis -especially a sales pitch about bug killing- we identified the days of the week most relevant to the client’s target audience. On those days, we create 1-2 posts per day. These are scheduled during “prime time” when the audience is most likely to be on. Approximately 20% of those posts in a given week link directly to the client’s website. The remaining 80% are funny, creepy, educational, or otherwise relevant content for the intended audience. Hashtags are included when appropriate as they are now searchable on Facebook.
Beyond Facebook, we also create unique content for Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. These platforms were selected due to their user demographics, capability for visual presentation, and popularity.
As a combined group, all four social channels receive relevant content customized for the intended audience. Twitter receives more posts and Instagram the least. This is based on substantial research regarding how users interact with brands on each network. All four work together to promote a cohesive brand presentation no matter which social network a potential or current customer may discover.
Audience Reach: Beyond taking their number of Likes to over 300, our relevant organic content now reaches more people each week than previously achieved in a month. This is without a single paid ad or otherwise promoted post. The goal is to provide information that matters to the audience so they Like, Comment, and Share with their friends.
It is worth noting that this new approach, which put much more content in front of the audience than they had seen previously did not result in a single Unlike, Hide Post, or Report as Spam action!
SEO Performance: The SEO improvement was extremely fast. In just six weeks we saw at least eight clicks to the Facebook Page directly from Google search results. We also began to see traffic from Bing, Yahoo!, AOL, and even LinkedIn. These demonstrate moments in which a competitor may have appeared but had been outranked by Craig & Sons’ Facebook Page.
Audience Engagement: We often describe our “Useless Army” concept to potential clients. It is the idea of having thousands upon thousands of Facebook Fans but none of them actually engage with the Page. No Likes, comments, or shares – or at least very few. So what good is an army of Fans who don’t interact with your posts? In one word: useless.
As you can see here, the new content immediately achieved greater engagement across all three measurements: Likes, Comments, and Shares. Such interaction helps Craig & Sons demonstrate expertise in their field, passion for their industry, and a commitment to truly engaging with their audience. Where the previous company only achieved an engagement level of 10 people or higher one time in six months, we have done it more than a dozen times without any direct client posts. When people have great content to share, you empower them to become “brandvocates”.
What is a “brandvocate”? The term describes anyone not employed by the company that promotes your product or service without compensation. They advocate your brand to their friends and family for one simple reason: they like what you offer. They are a valuable marketing asset because they are genuine, loyal, and provide free word-of-mouth advertising. Social media gives them the ability to do this on a massive scale.
Summary: Success is a direct result of multiple efforts. It requires an understanding of the intended audience, posting schedules based on research and demographics, relevant content curated and shared by people, better search engine optimization, and new levels of audience engagement.
If you would like to learn more about how Arkside Marketing can help your business find success on Facebook or other social media, contact our office today. The first consultation is free and we will analyze your social media at no charge.
Few things are as important to your business as your brand identity. The branding of your company is about your logo, your appearance, your service, your products, and your reputation. It is how the world perceives you. Your ad agency should understand and appreciate the importance of brand development.“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” –Jeff Bezos
The development and protection of a brand is critical. A critical element of that brand representation is your logo. It is the most commonly seen visual representation of your company. Hundreds of dollars or hundreds of millions of dollars go into the promotion of a logo. When we come across instances like the ones below, we wonder if the agency truly understands the value of their client’s brand:
These examples were taken from the home page rotator of a US regional Chevrolet dealer association website. They represent 57% of the images in that rotator. That makes such errors difficult to excuse as isolated incidents or something not reviewed by multiple employees (graphic designer, project manager, account executive) and the client.
We are the first to admit that we aren’t perfect. No agency or person is perfect. But errors like this speak to a larger problem of disregarding the fundamentals of brand integrity. Imagine the IBM logo being printed backwards on a company brochure. Or Google having a typo and showing up “Gogle”. It wouldn’t make it off the printing press.
Protect your logo.
Protect your reputation.
Demand an agency that does the same.
Arkside Marketing is a full-service ad agency, specializing in regulated enterprises such as law firms, car dealerships, hospitals, and financial institutions. If you would like a complimentary analysis of your current marketing efforts or brand identity, please contact us today to schedule an appointment. We can come to your office or conduct the analysis online via Skype, Google Hangouts, or Join.me.
Five years. Started during the depth of the Recession and thriving today. As we celebrate our five year anniversary in 2015, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the joys, challenges, and educational experiences that have happened with me and my team. Most importantly, a look back at why our clients mean so much to us.
First I will state the obvious: This post is long overdue. Specifically, our five year anniversary was February 4th. Anniversaries are important for many reasons. If we were a client of ourselves, we would have had a party planned in advance, press release drafted and ready for distribution, new collateral material printed, fun promotional products made, et cetera. But we spend every minute of every day worrying about everyone else’s marketing. Remember that phrase about the cobbler’s children having no shoes?
When I started this company, I knew it would be difficult. I was leaving a good job with a good company and risking it all on a dream with the encouragement of friends, family, and colleagues. The last five years have been an emotional roller coaster. Difficult? Yes. But also rewarding. Arkside Marketing is not my first business, but it is my largest thus far. The challenges, successes, and lessons learned have been incredible.
The last year has been especially turbulent. Despite my years of experience in media, ad agencies, and the marketing industry as a whole, I experienced more unforeseen challenges than ever. The worst was a solar company that misled us and a few of our competitors. They lied about nearly every element of their RFP including their goals, marketing strategy, personnel, and budget. My team and I invested considerable time and money into our proposal. Although we were glad to win, we soon realized what a bear trap we had stepped into.
The best part of the last five years has been the people. I have been fortunate to surround myself with talented consultants, designers, and programmers. The aforementioned solar proposal unified our great team of professionals. We showcased a creativity, media knowledge, and strategy development capability unrivaled by our competitors. These strengths have continued with knowledge, fun, and excitement through today. The Arkside staff has doubled in our fifth year and there are bright prospects on the horizon to continue growing before the start of 2016.
We are blessed to work with some of the best vendors and media partners in the world. Each cares about our clients, our relationships, and the quality of their product. They have provided incredible customer service over the years and bring a fresh perspective to each project in which they participate. From the reps at our radio and TV stations to our partners at Google and various print shops, we value each of their contributions to the success of our clients.
Most importantly, we have had five years of wonderful connections to our clients. When I first started the company, I intended to work with nothing more than the heavily regulated industries in which I focused most of my career: law, automotive, healthcare, education, and financial. Fortunately, other opportunities arose within our first five clients. We were able to work with manufacturers, distributors, non-profits, retail stores, and other unregulated industries.
Having an even larger variety of industries than anticipated enabled us to bring more creativity and new ideas to all of our clients. It is perhaps one of our greatest strengths: the ability to take a concept that is tried-and-true in one vertical to a completely different vertical and modify it to step ahead of the competition.
Our growth has been more than a portfolio. In 2014 we moved into a new office in downtown Riverside which has given us a conveniently central location to the huge Inland Empire metro area and faster access to all of Southern California. Staff was consolidated in this one location, bringing about greater efficiency, team work, and creativity.
All of our staff shares a commitment to our community. Throughout the last few years, we have participated with or donated to many charities including the California Police Chiefs Association, “We Remember: A Night for Veterans”, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Revisiting that topic of our own advertising, that is the area in which we are most in need of improvement. What can we do better?
We are working on solving this hypocrisy. Soon we will be adding more videos to our YouTube channel. (Subscribe now so you can be one of the early cool kids.) You can also expect to see our new 5 year anniversary logo around the internet and on some of our collateral.
In light of the many lessons learned over the last five years, we will be launching a new initiative for non-profits. These small armies of passionate volunteers are usually the most in need of marketing help and least able to afford it. Stay tuned for our upcoming initiative in which we will help two charities reach their goals!
To all of my friends, family, colleagues, coworkers, and clients, I give you my most sincere thanks. None of this success would be possible without your support. I look forward to continuing the growth of Arkside Marketing and bringing new opportunities to others every day.
Does the Hillary Clinton logo means she is moving to the right and becoming a Republican?
Is it the FedEx logo?
(The creator of the FedEx logo described the Clinton design as “disappointing, amateurish, clumsy and decidedly static.”)
Is it a hospital directional sign?
Is the campaign sponsored by the History Channel?
Wikileaks tried jumping on the bandwagon, but we have no idea what they are talking about. They are probably desperate for attention.
The new Hillary Clinton campaign logo has divided our office, but most have come down on the side of ambivalence. Our CEO was the first to notice it on April 10th. What did he think? What did the team think?
Here is what some of our staff had to say about the logo. Other than Nathan, this was the first time each of them had seen it. They were advised to put aside any personal political opinions and evaluate the logo as a logo alone.
“A little plain for a Presidential campaign, but that certainly speaks to current trends in design. Flat and simplistic will receive criticism. In the end, it could give the campaign more flexibility in how the logo is used.” –Nathan Greenberg, CEO
“I think its a misalignment. Not impressed.” –Cal Haney, Lead Graphic Designer
“Seems simple but effective.” –Ryan Robbins, Marketing Consultant
“Need to think about it.” –Marc Lemus, Marketing Consultant
“I think she tried to hop on the “Presidents get logos” bandwagon and didn’t do a good job of it.” –Amanda Johnson, Digital Coordinator
Arkside is largely underwhelmed. Other experts have weighed in with everything from adoring praise to cringeworthy criticism. But let’s look at other aspects. Generally speaking, what is it that makes a good logo? We have compiled a list of inspiration, ideas, and implied meanings from a collection of design professionals.
Forget this concept. Now. Like most things in design and advertising, there is no such thing as perfect. A logo needs to be good and that means effective. Reliability, affordability, trustworthy, and any other emotion you seek to convey can be achieved in a myriad of ways.
There is no perfect shade of whatever color you’re looking for.
There is no perfect font for the elegant or sporty text you’re looking for.
There is no perfect angle or curve for the shape you’re looking for.
You can waste time trying to find the “perfect” thing that will make your logo perfect…or you can get out and actually sell your product or service.
As always, we recommend you seek the help of a professional who can guide you through the process of logo creation and brand development. There is a science behind the art, psychology, emotion, and creation of a great logo. You can focus on your job and trust a professional to deliver a great logo that will properly represent your business far into the future. If you are interested in a free consultation with with one of our Marketing Consultants and designers, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Is it worth marketing an anniversary? As Oprah Winfrey once said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.“
We, the awesome Arkside Marketing team, are celebrating our five year anniversary in 2015. Each anniversary of your company’s beginning represents the end of a chapter and the simultaneous start of another. But that is a generalized observation with arguable meaning. Of strategic importance is the marketing value of that anniversary and how it can be used with employees, vendors, investors, customers, and potential customers.
Let’s jump into a couple you may not have considered:
1 year – Your first year in business. You made it!
5 years – Most businesses fail in their first five years. If you’re still around, its time celebrate.
Always commemorate the traditional increments of 10 (10, 20, 30, etc.) and half-10 (15, 25, 35, etc.) anniversaries.
Also consider numbers that are relevant to your particular industry or company:
These milestones give you an opportunity to reconnect with your customers using a completely non-sales touch point. You are suddenly empowered with a new way to stay top-of-mind, offer a unique incentives, and provide an experience unmatched by your competition. (Assuming they aren’t celebrating an anniversary at the same time).
The key is to share your excitement with your customers. Tell your story. Your employees may be your best source of material, especially if they have been around for multiple milestones or even from Day 1. Share trivia and experiences from the company’s history: how did the company begin? What was the last milestone like? How has your city or cities changed over time? Do you offer new products or services?
Here are ways for getting customers excited about an anniversary:
These are just a few ideas to help cultivate ideas for your particular situation. Your customers will enjoy knowing about your success, longevity, and whatever may be in store for them. Most importantly, each of these steps humanize a business. The management, the staff, and the brand as a whole become more “relateable”. In other words: great marketing. Few things can help a company grow like a positive relationship with a customer. They turn into referrals. Those referrals will be around for the next anniversary and so will your business.
We are proud supporters of first responders. There are brave men and women who protect our rights, property, and lives by running in when others run away. Sadly, some are lost in the line of duty. They made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duties.
Each year, the California Police Chiefs Association hosts a training symposium which includes a tribute to fallen officers. Family members are brought to the tribute from around the state to receive the praise of colleagues and thanks on behalf of the community their loved ones served. Their travel and lodging are covered by donors. This year’s symposium and tribute is being held in Riverside, CA February 22-26, 2016, hosted by the Riverside Police Department.
We are proud to be a donating sponsor of this touching and worthwhile event. These families deserve to know that their loved one did not die in vain. Their sacrifice is appreciated and won’t be forgotten.
I decided to write this because the new storm surrounding legendary comedian and family icon Bill Cosby has stunned me. I watched The Cosby Show, Cosby, loved the book “Fatherhood”, and saw his standup comedy specials. When I started ProActiveDads in 2008, he was a role model for what we fought for when it came to dads in the media. Now, the accusations are coming in waves with woman after woman dating back 45 years. As all of this unfolds and I see Cosby’s reaction (or lack thereof), I continue to think that Bill Cosby is making PR mistakes.
Before this post continues, I want to make it clear that I am not second-guessing the PR people employed by Bill Cosby. From what I have seen and heard over the years, they are some of the most successful people in the business and have been for decades. But they are not the only people involved. A-list celebrities are surrounded by a variety of advisors including public relations specialists, lawyers, agents, studios, costars, friends, family, and many others. All of them have opinions. Most of them offer advice. Some are paid for their advice. That advice doesn’t always agree with another party or the celebrity. Ultimately, the celebrity needs to choose their own action.
This is where I believe Bill Cosby is faltering. He is facing an expensive, damaging, and career-ending barrage of accusations. Could the lawyers really be the best helpers when they advise total silence? Every interview has been a “no comment”. Even when the AP tried to play “gotcha” with their recent interview release, he still said nothing.
I find myself more and more in the camp of spectators who believe that this many accusers can’t all be making this up. It is already public knowledge that Bill Cosby has cheated on his wife Camille. Also shocking is the fact that I haven’t seen or heard any reports of his Cosby Show cast members coming to his defense. Most of them were female. Where are they? Thus far, only Raven-Symone has said she was never a victim. But where are Lisa Bonet, Tempestt Bledsoe, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Sabrina Le Beauf…all of whom knew and worked with Bill Cosby when they were young? Where is his TV wife, Phylicia Rashad? To have so many accusers and so few supporters is surprising for a man so well respected. And each of them is now suffering financially because The Cosby Show reruns have been pulled from TV Land.
The women making accusations are not just unknowns who may be seeking a pay day. They are an assortment of women from all walks of life with a similar story: Cosby allegedly drugged (or tried to drug) them, then took advantage of them physically and/or sexually. Some have tried to sue him, others have come out now for the first time and say they aren’t seeking a dime.
Agents and PR experts are usually the ones advising clients to “get in front of the controversy”. Make strong denials, be bold, circle the wagons with friends and family, etc. Lawyers usually advise absolute silence because anything said can be used against their client in a trial. These accusations have been around for more than four decades and will not be going away any time soon. They seem to be the “nail in the coffin”, as Carla Ferrigno said, to his career.
Were Bill Cosby my client, I would certainly be advising more than “no comment”.
If he is guilty, he needs to admit it. Get counseling, stay with your wife, go to rehab, do jail time if necessary, and work to help victims. Take a page from Lance Armstrong – lying makes it worse. If he is innocent, he should proclaim it all day, every day. The truth shall set you free.
So many accusers.
So few defenders.
So much silence.
I don’t see any way for this to end well. Cosby’s career is destroyed. His wife and children (who many know about his true behavior) are forced to endure this. His former co-stars are forced to endure this.
He needs to speak. Now.
What do you think? Can his career be saved? Is he right to stay silent? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
This post reflects the opinions of Nathan Greenberg and may not represent the official position or opinions of Arkside Marketing, Inc., its employees, clients, vendors, or partners.
We have recently upgraded our portable audio equipment with a new recorder from Sony. This allows us to capture audio from our team and clients virtually anywhere with clearer sound and easier editing than ever before. Once we topped it off with a new windscreen (to make those “p” sounds less “p”unctuated) we thought it looked like a person. So that’s when it hit us…
But why should we have all the fun? We turned this into a contest and the winner will receive up to $100 in concert tickets at any venue in North America! Submit your name idea in the comments below. Is it Alfred? Beulah? Cleopatra? Diablo?
The winner will be chosen at 12:00pm (noon) PST on Thanksgiving eve, November 26th.
Share this post with your friends and family across social media. Anyone can enter as many times as many names as they like. Do you know someone that would like free concert tickets?
POST YOUR NAME IDEA IN THE COMMENTS BELOW…