This is the first of our new weekly #WisdomWednesday feature. We will share an important tip, strategy, or other sage-like wisdom each week. It is always our goal to give you actionable marketing or advertising advice that can help improve your business. If you would like to suggest content for this feature, feel free to email us at www.arksidemarketing.com/contact-us
For this week, we want to draw attention to the need for refocusing priorities. It can be easy to get lost in the minutiae of developing or redesigning a business logo. The right font, the right colors, the right alignment, the right whatever. All important. But they pale in comparison to the importance of staying focused on your customer. The right logo won’t mean anything if your customers leave due to a lack of attention.
Pick a font, pick a color, pick an alignment, pick something…then get back to work.
You have years of experience.
You have a nice office.
You have a strong track record of success.
You will fight for your client.
What makes you different?
As you market your firm, you need to communicate what makes you different from your many competitors. Keep in mind that before someone chooses to hire you, they have to choose to contact you. Your marketing should give them reasons to do that. Focus on your competitive advantages, then tell the world why you stand out.
We always remind our clients that they will never know why someone didn’t contact them. Maybe they didn’t like the website. Maybe the phone number in your radio ad was too complicated. Maybe they saw negative reviews on Avvo. Whatever the reason, the lost client has no reason to take time and explain how you lost their business.
Instead, tell them exactly why they should contact you. Here are some potential advantages you should broadcast to the world:
Whatever makes you stand out from the competition is a necessity to communicate. Never assume people know about you. The items above are reasons to contact you. They matter for very important and material reasons because they can help win a case. Many of them also speak to having great customer service. Firms that treat clients badly aren’t around for very long. The level of service you provide will reinforce the brand you presented in your marketing.
Communicating your competitive advantage will lead to phone calls and emails. Now the hard work begins: meeting expectations. Your level of service is another way to stand out from your competitors. Beyond capturing new clients, it can help you retain current clients.
Analyze the client experience with your firm:
Don’t lose business because it was taken for granted. Clients always have a choice for their next attorney. Work with your ad agency to ensure that you are communicating your competitive advantages, and finding ways to make your law firm stand out. Once you have earned a call, put the time and effort into retaining more business and earning testimonials that can be used in future marketing. Small investments now can lead to large returns in the future.
Arkside Marketing is one of the top law firm branding agencies. We are a full-service ad agency, specializing in heavily regulated industries such as law firms, car dealerships, and hospitals. If you would like a complimentary analysis of your current marketing efforts, 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.
New opportunities have opened at Arkside Marketing, Inc. and we are looking for a driven, success-oriented, problem solver.
First, some background:
Arkside doesn’t operate like a typical agency. We don’t have typical sales reps (Account Executives). They take time to learn about our clients and how we can develop efficient and cost-effective solutions. They are never told to sell a product. We go so far as to discourage the use of the word “sell” in daily conversations.
Reach out today and we look forward to speaking with you.
We have said it before and we will say it again: advertising works.
As this example illustrates, it works so well that two law firms have gone to court over who can advertise the most!
Beginning in 2012, Lundy Law, L.L.P., a personal injury law firm, purchased all of the bus advertising in Philadelphia. Their competitor, Pitt & Associates, went to court claiming Lundy had violated antitrust restrictions by locking out all other advertisers. The judge disagreed because Pitt and other competitors had alternative media in which to advertise. In Pitt’s view, that wasn’t enough.
The firm says the medium is so effective that Lundy paid $435,000 to advertise exclusively on SEPTA buses during 2012, almost 10 times the rate that Pitt paid when it advertised on SEPTA buses from 2008 to 2011.
The firm maintained in court documents that it received hundreds of referrals during that time. It said that the number of referrals dropped precipitously in 2012 and 2013, after Lundy took over the advertising spot.
Law firms can successfully generate “hundreds of referrals” via traditional advertising such as outdoor and transit. It is important to align not only your message with your clients, but also your media. Place your ads where your potential clients spend their time. In this case, both personal injury law firms have also made important investments in their brands and reputation. Lundy Law saw these results as so valuable, they spent nearly half a million dollars. Their competitors saw these results as so valuable, they went to court.
SUCCESS through Sales and Marketing Integration
January 23, 2014
Canyon Crest Country Club
ATTENDANCE BENEFITS: Complimentary lunch
Nearly $1,000 in raffled business products and services
We were proud to co-host a great workshop titled, “SUCCESS through Sales and Marketing Integration” with our friends at Empire Sales Strategies. It was our first collaboration and the results were not only great for us, but for each of the nearly 50 business owners and managers that attended.
The goal was to highlight the benefits of integrated sales and marketing efforts to improve performance in both areas, increase revenue, and decrease wasteful spending.
For example, it was revealed in a national study that businesses which integrate their sales and makreting efforts see an average of 39% year-over-year revenue growth when compared to their non-integrated competition. Our CEO, Nathan Greenberg, and the CEO of Empire Sales Stategies, Ryan Stephens, used that fact as their guiding principle when developing the workshop.
Throughout the one hour workshop, both presenters illustrated the “why” and “how” to make changes in current business operations to improve performance and decrease waste. Each attendee was given a worksheet with five “take away” items they could apply to their business and begin making changes that afternoon.
As part of a good marketing program, each attendee was given a feedback form at the end of the event and asked to rate various aspects and the event overall. With comments like these, you can bet another workshop will be hosted in the second quarter of the year!
We would like to thank the following companies for donating a raffle prize to the event:
by Nathan Greenberg, CEO
We begin our celebration with words of thanks.
Those that have invested in our company have given us the financial security to make necessary decisions.
Those that have trusted us with their marketing have given us the relationships we value and seek to build in a unique and dynamic way.
Those who have referred their friends, family, and associates to us have given us the trust and support to grow.
Those in the media who have partnered with us and delivered amazing results to our clients have given us the tools to make marketing and advertising exciting and profitable.
Those friends and family who have supported our decisions, helped us avoid pitfalls, and let us toil away at odd hours and miss other moments.
To all of you I give a personal “thank you”.
Four years is only our beginning. This year, in particular, has been so radically and positively different from the first three. I humbly admit that every decision has not been right. Nevertheless, I remain committed to my foundation of giving the best customer service and building relationships with clients, the media, and our fans who have helped us grow.
I have more exciting plans for this year including new services for our clients, new opportunities for our clients and partners to network with each other, and bringing on new talent to further expand our well of services and abilities.
The years ahead are bright and I look forward to sharing them with all of you.
–Nathan Greenberg, CEO
Arkside Marketing, Inc.
Cardinal sin of advertising: racism.
Divine blessing of advertising: a good ad agency.
The law firm of McCutcheon & Hammer seems to be the unfortunate victims of advertising that they didn’t want. According to them, they didn’t even pay for it. Or ask for it. A commercial production company created the offensive ad below using a horrible Asian stereotype character and it was uploaded to the firm’s YouTube channel. Check it out below (on the production company’s YouTube channel) and then scroll down for updates since the video was discovered last week.
Things got weird once the video went viral. The law firm claimed that it never commissioned the video and that their YouTube channel was hacked. It is a fair assumption that a local TV production company doesn’t have the ability to “hack” YouTube (which is owned and secured by Google). So let’s assume the law firm is using some legalese and hinging the accuracy of their statement on the first part of the statement. They never commissioned this particular video and, therefore, never authorized it being uploaded to YouTube.
Since both sides make opposing claims and the ad involves a very derogatory portrayal of Asians, the Natiaonl Asian Pacific American Bar Association has looked into the situation and made some odd discoveries:
1) Neither party is willing to produce documentation to support their claim.
2) Neither party is eliminating the idea that someone pretending to work for the law firm is responsible. (If this is true, the production company is disastrously negligent in their client authorization process!)
3) The video is still online.
4) The law firm has not followed through with any threat to sue the production company.
5) This is still very bad PR for the law firm and production company.
All that said, the judgment on this one is bad all the way around. The production company makes junk, and racist junk at that. The law firm has done terrible damage control. If this were professionally handled at the onset, it would have been cleanly wrapped up and the reputation of the firm would still be in tact. Such is not the case today.
It isn’t a rumor, nor is it a conspiracy. Facebook organic reach has been slashed. Facebook has admitted to changing its algorithm so businesses (or anyone else with a Page) are forced to pay if they want their posts to be seen. While most businesses saw a decline to about 15-20% organic reach last year, many are now reaching only 2%. In the case of the Arkside Marketing Facebook Page, we are seeing 5-8% consistently.
Facebook has become the bridge troll with a pay-to-play model.
The origin of this change reaches back about a year and a half. Facebook had one billion users and was the place to be. Many Fortune 500 companies were clamoring to get on the bandwagon but still hadn’t figured out how. Even at the end of 2012, only 66% of the F500 were on Facebook, let alone using it effectively.
But in May 2012, General Motors’ firebrand CMO, Joel Ewanick, made the decision to fire their social media agency of record and stop all advertising on Facebook. Quick way to save $10 million. The stated reasoning was that they didn’t see any substantial return on their investment so they would stop advertising and continue with their organic Facebook Page fan base of a few million followers.
Even with Facebook making it impossible for brands to reach 100% of their followers, most were still seeing what you posted. Why advertise? Faceb0ok was cannibalizing itself. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
Not only did they just eliminate themselves as a top Facebook advertiser (and revenue source), but they did this the week Facebook had their IPO. Ouch.
We believe Joel was right.
Ewanick and General Motors exposed the flaw in Facebook’s plan. Spending wasn’t necessary because people were organically finding, Liking, and sharing brand content.
Facebook had to fix the giant hole in the ship. Now you have to pay to get on board.
Post-IPO, Facebook has been under immense public pressure (especially from our own Founder who has had issues with the platform). They have been busy addressing their failure on mobile devices and an unfriendly ad platform. Organic results were odd also. For many years, it has been frustrating for businesses on Facebook because they are treated badly. Even when a customer says they “Like” a business, Facebook doesn’t see that as permission to show your content. In their belief, just because a customer says they “Like” something, that doesn’t really mean they want to see anything from it.
In high school, guys wanted “no” to mean “yes”.
On Facebook, “yes” actually means “no”.
Now, “yes” actually means “no way in hell”. So what is a business to do? According to Facebook, a business is to pay for ads.
“Your brand can fully benefit from having fans when most of your ads show social context, which increases advertising effectiveness and efficiency“.
Perhaps the most offensive and glaring admission is this:
“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.“
If someone tells you they like something and you block them from seeing it, how does that equal a meaningful experience?
1) Save Money and Reach Fewer People
There are many social media agencies and managers that we have spoken to whom have told us they will be focusing less of their time (and their client’s money) on Facebook Pages. In their view, the task of reaching a fan base is so time consuming and expensive that better results can be found on other social media or even traditional media.
2) Spend Money and Reach More People
Other social media agencies and managers have said they will pay, if necessary. Facebook wants to command paid media and may be a force that is too large to ignore. For those companies with substantial followings in the thousands or hundreds of thousands, a marketing investment may be a wise decision.
At Arkside Marketing, we have saying, “advertising is an investment. If it is only an expense, you are doing it wrong.”
3) Leave Facebook
Yes, we’re serious. For some businesses, the Facebook Page organic reach may have provided a nice bump in social interaction, but their new model decreases the return that could possibly be achieved. Could that time be better spent on other social platforms such as Twitter or the SEO-friendly Google+?
In the spirit of full disclosure, we have not recommended that any of our clients abandon Facebook. Each of them can continue to successfully reach their audience, but to a smaller degree. We also plan to continue our own Facebook presence, but will reduce our advertising to large announcements.
Although we agree with his decision, we blame Joel Ewanick for this. Ultimately, it would have occurred anyway. Facebook had to realize their shortcoming. But now that it is here, what will your business choose? The pay-to-play model is here to stay, mainly because it doesn’t seriously infringe on Facebook’s main product: its users.
If you would like an objective evaluation of your social media presence and strategy, contact our office.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2013
From: Arkside Marketing
Media Contact: 951.444.1237
Growing Southern California ad agency brings on specialized talent for highly regulated industries.
(Moreno Valley, CA) Arkside Marketing has retained the services of Cyndi Lemke, formerly of Soboba Casino, Target, and Kenneth Cole, to further strengthen their efforts and expertise in highly regulated industries such as law, casinos, automotive, healthcare, and education. Ms. Lemke brings a wealth of experience from her previous positions with large and small business entities.
“At Ms. Lemke’s first contact with us, I was excited at the opportunity to bring her on board,” said Nathan Greenberg, Founder of Arkside Marketing. “Our clients expect a high level of knowledge gained through experience in complex marketing strategies. Ms. Lemke’s background makes our team much stronger in that regard.”
She has spent the last 18 years working in retail management and marketing. Her professional passion of helping others succeed aligns well with the mission of Arkside Marketing: to solve their clients’ business challenges. Ms. Lemke said joining a company like Arkside will, “give me opportunities and a professional atmosphere not commonly found in this industry. I’m looking forward to this journey.”
Arkside Marketing is a full service advertising and marketing agency serving industries with high levels of government oversight. Arkside’s foundation is built on the harmony between traditional and digital mediums while providing the highest levels of customer service. Offered services include traditional media buying, campaign strategy, brand development, digital ad campaigns, graphic design, website development, social media, reputation monitoring, and market research.
The question “is print media dead” is much harder to answer than you expect. The reasons are complex and the answer is changing. Today, it would depend on what part of “print” you’re asking about. Print marketing includes newspapers, direct mail, magazines, coupon publications, and others. If any of them are “dying”, it does not mean mean they have lost utility or effectiveness.
The century-plus old technology has faced small year-over-year declines, but overall, has fallen for a decade. This is only true of their print editions. Most newspapers in America have made transitions to digital editions to various degrees. Their digital efforts have seen robust growth in most cases. Because of this adaptation of new media, the budgeting and targeting of an ad campaign is vital for positive ROI in newspapers.
Your Marketing Consultant should know the publication and work closely with the media representative to ensure a customized campaign for you. Very little in advertising is one-size-fits-all. The demographics should be understood and costs thoroughly explained so that expectations can be appropriately set.
As will be mentioned in each print advertising category below, the benefit of a media mix should not be ignored when considering “dying” print. How can newspaper work in tandem with radio or television? How can online ads on the high school sports webpage help support your community relations or targeting of active families? Work with your Marketing Consultant to explore these opportunities.
Your customers want to build relationships and so do you. Direct mail is routinely rated one of the least intrusive forms of advertising. According to a recent study on direct mail by Millward Brown, “physical media left a ‘deeper footprint’ in the brain”. In other words, people remember more about something they can touch as opposed to something they can not.
But what about results? Doesn’t everyone throw out “junk mail”?
Target Marketing magazine conducted a study on ROI and the media producing the best results for customer acquisition, customer contact, and retention for B2C marketers was direct mail. It is easy to track and that makes it easy to understand and source it’s performance.
Beautiful, glossy pages filled with beautiful people and products. Although not as hard hit as newspapers, magazines have seen challenges erupt over the last decade. But there are many success stories and evidence of a rebound in the industry. Just last week, Newsweek announced it would restart its printed publication. Publications are seeing a growth in readership and revenues are on the rise.
As long as magazines are used effectively and for the right goals, they can be a powerful element in your media mix. Some data suggests that you only get half a second to make an impression before someone decides if they will read your magazine ad or not.
Focus on what you want people to notice. This could be a call to action, a logo, or a photo. If appropriate, include contact information and a reason for people to use it. Like all ads, your space is limited so use it wisely and beautifully.
We may be climbing out of the recession, but people still love a discount! Find the publication or mail package that is most likely to reach your target market. Just because you publish a coupon doesn’t mean it will get used. Targeting is critical and must be combined with a worthy offer.
Again, time and space are limited. You have less than a second to make an impression and only so many inches to use. Keep your disclaimers short, your dollars or percentages big, and your contrast strong.
There are many options such as Welcome Wagon, which targets new home owners, or PennySaver which stretches “from sea to shining sea”.
Is print media dead? No. It is changing and rebuilding but it remains extremely successful for advertisers. Contact an Arkside Marketing Consultant today and explore your best options.