Concept is a collection of artists, geeks, perfectionists, and strategists working together to make some damn fine advertising.

ADVERTISING IS CREATIVITY.

Not just in the execution, but in the strategy. Compelling creative is that much stronger with an equally creative brand position.

ADVERTISING IS MARKETING.

Branding, SEO, online marketing, logo development, backend web development, positioning, and a whole lot more. But never more than you need.

ADVERTISING IS ALWAYS CHANGING.

New this, new that, and a whole lot of social networking—there sure are a lot of options these days. But what’s trendy isn’t always what’s most effective.

FEATURED WORK
LATEST BLOG POSTS

Good Graphic Design

We recently asked our graphic designers what they thought made great design and how they use this for clients.  Below are their answers.
In your opinion what are the top three most important aspects of graphic design?
Rob- For a design to be successful it must complete the following criteria:
#1 Form: Does it look good? How are the shape aesthetics, balance, color and technique?
#2 Function: Does it do its job e.g. if it’s a billboard can you read it at a great distance and get the message in under 3 seconds?
#3 Feeling: How does it make you feel? If art cannot provoke an emotion, good or bad, then it fails on all levels.
Spencer- Composition, contrast and space. I could wax philosophical about graphic design nerd talk all day, but design fundamentals are key.  The perfect font, a vibrant color theme, a clever tagline or a breathtaking photo will go to waste if design basics aren’t used.

What does your eye immediately go to when you see a piece?
Rob- The focal point… a good piece will guide your eye through it like telling a story.
Spencer- Focal point. With good design the focal point will be what you want one to see first. If you find yourself flipping through a magazine and ignoring pages it’s usually because a focal point wasn’t established. Every element of a design needs to interact with the other elements. When these elements are complimentary you will have eye flow and the information of said elements will be conveyed. This all starts with the focal point.

What really irks you when it comes to graphic design?
Rob- I cringe when I see a complete disregard for typography. Letters and words are graphical elements too.
Spencer- When graphic design is underestimated and the importance of design is not seen as a value or a means to better a company.

How do you translate client’s wants with good design?
Rob- When creating for someone else, you must be flexible and open-minded. It’s easy to get frustrated, but remember there is always a design solution to every challenge.
Spencer- Balance. I incorporate the client’s brand and the client’s need with design fundamentals. Good design can be applied to anything, but you are missing the mark if a company isn’t represented correctly or if design overshadows the purpose of a project.
Leave us with a word or quote of wisdom when it comes to graphic design.
Rob- Your art is a reflection of yourself. Be great at whatever you do and always push yourself to be better.

“We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams.” ~Willy Wonka
Spencer- Simplify. When I am having design troubles, I have found that I am trying to do way too much with too much information. Cut down the information and trim down the process and you will come up with some fine design.
 
 

Marketing Relationship Infographic

Concept Marketing Infographic

Marketing and Halloween

Happy Halloween! Below are the Halloween themes that you should apply to your marketing strategy.
BOO! Don’t be scared to invest. A successful business invests 20% of their operating budget in marketing. This allows your business to invest in the future and invest in different types of marketing.
King of the Goblins- Online is the king of marketing and where many potential customers are going to find your business. If you are not online (properly online) you do not exist.
The Coven- Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram along with other social media is a coven that bewitches your customers. Social Media is the greatest influence on you customers. Within their trusted circle you can become an influence. This influence will help you gain customer trust, brand awareness and sales.
The Black Cat- Ever wonder how little black cats get such a bad wrap? We think one loud person spoke up about their dislike and now everyone believes they are bad. This is the same for your business online. If you are not paying attention to your online reputation you will become the lonely (and out of business) black cat.
Costumes- You should care about you brands appearance. How you dress your brand up will become what the customer sees and believes it is. Be sure you are proud of your business’ costume because it will become its appearance to the customer.
Be safe and have a great Halloween. We cannot wait for the rest of the Holiday marketing season!

Super Moms

Think about your products’ consumers. What cross section of the population do they fall in? Once this is discovered your marketing plan can be formulated. Part of a strong formulation should be attracting brand advocates that your consumers will trust. This is where mommy bloggers have the market cornered. They are willing to try products and talk to their readers about the companies that hire them.
Your product or service could use the “mommy bump” if your demographic speaks to mothers or parents. This could be child specific or something that makes home life better or safer.  Of American mothers, 14% blog about their family life regularly. The demographics of the bloggers and the readers are strikingly similar, lending to the brand advocate trust.
The average blogger has a household income of $84,000 a year, 37 years old is the average age, and 52% have a college degree or higher. These mommies are capable of representing your brand with intelligence and life experience that speaks to your consumers on a personal level.
One out of four readers have purchased a children’s product because it was mentioned on a mommy blog. Further statistics reveal that 55% of daily social media users (blog readers) have made a purchase because it was recommended by a blogger.  This brand advocacy is real power for products and services that get into cahoots with these blogging mommies.
Mommy bloggers come from all over the United States. The top states for blogging are;
35% of Salt Lake City mothers blog
23% of Seattle mothers blog
21% of Austin mothers blog
21% of Nashville mothers blog
20% of San Francisco mothers blog
20% of Washington DC mothers blog
Your brand can find the best mommy in the market of your choice to represent a product or service.  Mommy blog power is growing and getting more readers. Be sure your brand is on board with these advocates so your product isn’t left out of the blogging sand box.

Tying the Knot with the Perfect Agency

When your company is ready to get serious about marketing, an advertising agency is a great place to start. With an agency you will be able to gain access to diverse marketing and advertising strategies.  The agency will be able to help you with your printing, online, and media buying needs. With this in mind, how should you choose an advertising agency that will benefit your business?
1- Decide what services you want to pursue. Is your product heavily purchased on the web or do you provide a service where PR is needed? Decide where you would like to start and what can be done to supplement the main effort.  If you are not sure what to do, an agency can help you decide where your money is best spent.
2- Decide your advertising budget. Usually, a successful business will spend 20% of their operating budget on marketing and advertising. This budget will determine what you can do with the business strategy.
3- Meet with the agencies. Get to know the agency and the people you will be working with.  Their style and demeanor will be the influence on your brand. If they are not jelling with your idea of the brand it is not a good fit.
Your brand and business development will need marketing to grow. Choosing the correct agency will launch your business into the next stratosphere for sales and brand awareness. If your business is ready to start marketing call Concept Marketing to meet our team and see what we have to offer.

A Graphic Designer Knows Best

You see advertisements every day and make a judgment if you like them or don’t. You might even say to yourself, “Well, I could do that”.  If you are an advertising client it can be very tempting to try and direct a brand’s graphic design process. Did you know the graphic designer has very specific reasons why they design how they do? These reasons may not be as obvious to the untrained eye, but always have sound design and marketing principals behind them.
Graphic designers are trained professionals that will guide your brand in the right direction. Their suggestions are based on proven results and know-how that is not commonly known. These professionals will direct your brand to a strategy that will help reach your company goals, mission and improve sales.
What are the risks of not listening to a graphic designer when designing a brand or an advertisement?
1- The flow of other materials will be off. If you try to go at it or overrule a graphic designer, the campaign runs the risk or not coordinating and delivering too many different messages.
2- The formatting of the design may not be correct. Do you know the difference between CMYK and RGB?
3- Graphic designers not only know current market trends, they are setting the stage for future trends.
You may know what looks good to you, but it’s only because a graphic designer told you that it looks good by design proportion, color choices, and brand strategy.

When Your Brand Behaves Like Kim Kardashian on Social Media

What if your brand behaved like Kim Kardashian online? Kim follows a formula that has led to not only financial success, but also helped her become a social media power house. Below is the formula for her success and the take-a-ways to help improve your success on social media. 
Perfection is Perception - Protect your image fiercely! If you do not like it or it doesn't match your brand, make your voice heard.
STOP! Let Me Take a Selfie - Kim is the queen of self-promotion. You should be a self-promoter of your brand, too. If you’re not talking about yourself, who will. Take a page from her Instagram and get snappin’! The self-promotion approach is ideal in branding. Be sure to talk about yourself frequently, link to other accounts, and be assessable to your fans through the Internet.
Power Couple - When Kim and Kanye got together, they created an advertising powerhouse. Do not be afraid to create a partnership with another brand if it benefits you both. Playing off each other’s strengths allows you both to expand and interact with interested audiences.
Small Achievements are Highlighted - Not one day has Kim completely disappeared online. She is Facebooking, Tweeting, and Instagramming each minutia of her life.  Your brand should post to at least one of your social media outlets a day. 
With the fours tips above, you can not only keep up with the Kardashians, but also make your brand a social media power house.

Busy Bee!

Wow! Have we been busy this week with current and potential clients. This is great for the agency, but can be hard on our timelines and stress levels. To mitigate this, we have discovered many tricks to keeping your cool while the business heats up.
1- List your priorities.
2- Know the timeline
3- Breathe. Don’t be afraid to take a break after a stretch of productivity.
4- Schedule with purpose. Explain to coworkers and clients that this week is booked up, but next week is available to work on new projects.
5- Learn to recognize when you’re done.
We’d love to hear what tip and tricks you have to staying focused during these stressful and high energy times!
 
 

Why Should Companies Blog?

Concept Marketing is an innovator in the marketing industry with over 50 years of combined experience, and we wanted everyone to know. With that in mind, we started a blog in order to share our research and company highlights. This blog covers not only our findings, but also our voice in the industry.  This is one of the many reasons companies should blog — to share their voice and innovative thoughts in the market place.
Companies who discuss their business practices and chime in on current industry events are often thought of as innovators. Blogging can be very lucrative for your business because consumers will be drawn into your ideas. You’re telling readers and customer what is cutting edge.
Blogging provides a digital connection, but very real connection to your customers. The goal of business blogging is to create connections with your brand. The key to connecting to customers is finding the correct and consistent voice for your brand. This voice can encourage sales and customer dedication to your brand.
SEO is a tactically important part of blogging for your company. Within the blogs can imbed SEO keywords that your brand wants to focus on. This is especially important for all online businesses. Blogs also help support your SEO efforts by providing fresh relevant content that reiterates the fact that you are the subject expert in that matter and therefore should be sought after for answers. 
YOU should quickly finish this blog and start your own! Blogging will help you become a recognizable innovator, connect with customers, and amp up SEO efforts. Concept Marketing can help your business by identifying SEO keywords, find your voice, and even write the entire blog campaign for you.

What to do when your product is hated!

Have you ever run into a product that evokes rage in you? I have, and it is called the knee defender. The knee defender is a device used to keep the person in front of you from reclining their seat on an airplane. The product even comes with a halfhearted apology card. The hatred for this product brought up an interesting conundrum for this marketer. How would I market such a discourteous product that incurs such a mix of emotional feelings from consumers?
First, professional marketers will start with the discovery process. The discovery process will help determine the product’s demographic.  In the case of the knee defender, someone who is taller would find the product a necessity for air travel.  Determining your demographic captures a large piece of the marketing puzzle. Once this piece is connected to the overall game plan, other parts of the marketing strategy can come together.
Education and proper usage of the product within the marketing campaign will be a necessity if there is negative hype. This education should not only be directed towards potential customers, but also for the general public. This will help with the acceptance of the brand.
Finally, in the strategy of the campaign an effort to educate and evangelize the business’s employees around the product is important to success. When employees buy into the brand it is much easier for potential customers to follow suit. Education and pride among employees will help kick start positive brand awareness.
When your product or service has experienced negative backlash, do not despair.  A proper marketing and PR strategy can bring positive attention to the product and an increase in sales to follow.

How can you prepare for Christmas sales now?

Did you know that September 5th marks 110 days until Christmas Day?! You may be thinking that you have plenty of time to properly prepare your marketing plan for the coming season, but your days are numbered. You can prepare your business marketing strategy now to boost sales and catch the Christmas spirt early.  
Concentration on early branding will help inform and educate customers about your product or service for when the time comes to buy. Your branding should include a comprehensive media strategy. Running a successful online media campaign will help your current and potential customers view your business and start to become familiar with what you have to offer.
Closer to Christmas a print campaign can help you gain an edge on your competition.  Creating a Drip Campaign with direct mail will target specific customers that may be in search of your product. You will be able to attract and sell to customers with a proper drip direct mail campaign that starts early. (We consider it on time if you are beating the competition.
What else can you do now that will lead to a flurry of results in December?
• Amp up your SEO. SEO needs time to grow, so start now. 
• Focus on your social media campaign. Haven’t started social Media? Hurry and start today.
• Begin production on your radio and TV advertising campaign. Production can take a few months.
Look over trends in your industry. Study your inventory and see what is selling. Once sales and predictions are established, a strong campaign around the findings.
Concept Marketing will help your business ring in a great new year with targeted Christmas sales. Our team will craft a masterful strategy for your business. Call today (one final pun) a workshop of marketing elves are waiting.

House of Marketing

First Question
Sing this-
Dun duna dun dun…I’m lovin’ it. What does this song immediately bring to mind?
McDonalds! Delicious McDonalds.
Second Question-
What does the letter in the thumbnail of this post remind you of?
Ahhhhhhhhh. A refreshing Coke.
How do the simplest sounds and visuals create a desire and then an action to pursue the product? The answer is a strategic and full marketing campaign. Both McDonalds and Coke Cola spend millions of dollars a year in marketing. The average business spends 10% of the operating budget on marketing, with these two marketing giants spending a larger percentage. Their marketing is diverse and spans multiple channels ranging from media, print, online, and social. Their effectiveness for campaigns relies on a sturdy marketing foundation.
You wouldn’t build a house using the minimal amount of support beams, so why build a marketing campaign with this strategy. To keep marketing going and structurally sound, a business must form proper support with media, print, and online. Investing in one and not the other will lead to failure.
When a business includes all the needed support for a marketing campaign, the business has a better chance of being successful. Without the proper support and relying only on one part of the marketing house the business can tumble. This tumble from ill constructed marketing will ruin not only the campaign but also has the potential to taint your service or product.
In order to properly construct a marketing campaign, all support and marketing options are needed and working together. Only relying on one support does not construct a strong house of marketing. A properly constructed marketing house/campaign will lead to a greater chance of success.  A business must invest in a properly constructed marketing campaign, and Concept Marketing can help. We will help you find the best balance for your business.

We Survived!

Shark Week wrapped up and the numbers are in. Companies who fish for customers during Shark Week are guaranteed immediate attention with 29 million people tuning in. Many viewers watch for hours at a time. As a marketer or even the business owner, now is your chance to interact with an engaged audience and stretch your creative “mussels”.

Shark Week exponentially growing creativity inspires avid viewership. They even form their own gatherings, much like schools of fish, to view and discuss the shows. Now’s your chance to chum in potential customers during Shark Week by creating fun, memorable and innovative commercials. One creative commercial aired during 2014 Shark Week was for Southern Comfort. Normally, an alcohol ad would not be placed on the Discovery channel. But, when a commercial has teeth, it will be seen during Shark Week.

In essence, Shark Week is simply one show after another focused on sharks. It has evolved into a marketing mega beast. Shark Week is like the Valentine’s Day of TV sweeps and season. It served a purpose, but has evolved into a marketing storm of merchandise and corporate sponsorship… and that is some prime lobster. Shark Week shows that even the most mundane topics, like educational programming around fish (especially those with large teeth), can be produced in a way that creates excitement and an evangelical following.

Concept Marketing can help your product and business become a "sharknado" so your current customers become evangelized to your product. We will create holistic marketing strategies that will take a bite out of your competition and create unstoppable waves of sales.

The Weather and your Marketing

When it rains do umbrella sales go up? What about sunny days and sunglasses? Your business readiness needs to be able to adapt not only to the climate of the economy, but also literally the weather. Marketers predict trends and then plan accordingly. These predictions not only take into account future trends, but also what will be needed when it rains or storms.
Weather effects sales of needed items, as well as other important facets of marketing. In recent years, the effect of weather on social marketing has been evaluated, extensively. When the weather is poor, social media engagement increases. This means if you want more interaction with your Facebook fans, hope and wait for a blizzard. You will be able to reach customers better on a gloomy day than on a sunny day. Studies have also shown that stormy summer weekends lead to a 90% higher interaction rate. A rainy day can lead to a bright future for your social media efforts.
The weather also effects the buying patterns of your customer based on when they spend. When a natural disaster occurs, the stock market historically takes a hit. When the stock market falls, people usually tighten the purse strings. This tightening will affect your business. So how do you plan for this rainy day? Plan aggressive marketing now.
Working with a marketing professional allows you to better prepare for any type of business conditions. A qualified and knowledgeable marketing team will thoroughly research your business. These findings will uncover the best times and ways to sell your product, as well as show its pitfalls. Once the good and bad are revealed, your business will be able to plan accordingly to still make sales and drive customer engagement upward. Concept Marketing will build a plan for your business that accounts for economic markets in rain or shine.

Celebrity Endorsements

Your favorite celebrity doesn’t just influence your choice of movies, they also influence how you spend your money. Celebrity endorsements have been a marketing go to for years with many brands seeing large returns. This potential is why makeup companies book starlets and car companies book NASCAR drivers. The investment is worth the risk for return for many companies big and small.   How can your business use a celebrity endorsement to increase sales and gain brand recognition?
Budget- If your business is small and you do not have a PR/endorsement budget, a big celebrity is not the way to go. Research local celebrities like sports heroes or news Personalities
Know your audience- knowing your audience can help you determine if a celebrity will connect with your customers. 
Know your brand- Choose someone who compliments your product, company, and brand. An example would be if you are a toy shop you wouldn’t hire a Marilyn Manson.
Testing 1,2,3- Test the celebrity you have chosen in a small focus group of your target demographic first. Do not brand everything right off the bat with their name and likeness. Test the relationship with a radio spot or commercial. If you like the relationship and the audience responds, then the business can move forward.
Celebrity endorsements are a powerful tool in the marketing machine. Your business can benefit from the right celebrity relationship. A marketing professional can help find, connect, and deliver the right celebrity to grow your business.

Google Pigeon Update

Google recently updated the algorithm that affects how search results populate. When a user searches for a business Google will now populate results closer to the user’s search. This improved result comes down to the best words and predictions on what the user is looking for. A user will also see other user’s opinions of a business. This means that business reviews and online reputation are more important than ever.

When users type in a business name and location, review sites like Yellowbook, Dexknows, and Yelp will populate. The population of Yelp is an important update for Google. Previous to the update, Yelp accused Google of suppressing Yelp reviews in favor of Google reviews. Since the Pigeon update, Google now populates Yelp reviews, especially if Yelp was called out in the search. Previously, Yelp did not populate at the top before the update even with Yelp in the search terms.

The Pigeon update also means more local results. When a user types in general search terms, local results will pop up first. This means that if a user searches “bakery Portland Oregon,” bakeries in Portland will outrank and populate higher then bakeries in other regions. This is an important update for small businesses, especially those who do not have budgets for large SEO campaigns.

The Pigeon (as in the bird) is programmed to locate home and return. The Pigeon (the Google update) is programed to do the same. It locates the user’s location and returns local (home) searches. This update should be a reminder how important not only a trained SEO and PPC manager is, but also the importance of keeping updated directory listings. Concept Marketing can help business owners build targeted SEO, PPC, and has an amazing department to handle your online reputation. With Concept Marketing, you are sure to be found on the internet. 

#Oldschoolpoundsign

Before the birth of the hashtag, we had the pound sign. This symbol was used to distinguish telephone numbers and punch codes. Now the pound sign has evolved into the “ hashtag.”  The hashtag is a way of categorizing the thoughts we share over social media. To hashtag something gives others the ability to expand on the thought and follow the ideas/interests of others. When you hashtag your favorite song or an idea, you are able to see who else has thoughts on the matter and start building a niche community.
The term hashtag was first seen in 2007 appearing on Twitter. The hashtag was created by a developer who wanted to help Twitter users improved connections to each other and content. The creator (Chris Messina) of the hashtag placed parameters around the symbol and gave it the form we see today. This form quickly caught on for Twitter users and the old school pound sign evolved into the hashtag we know today.
The hashtag has gained popularity not only for its organizational uses, but it is used as a rally or battle cry for the social media masses. When a revolution broke out in Egypt the hashtag #Jan25 was a way for people across an expansive geographic area to communicate. This hashtag also gained the international media attention that lead to social change for Egypt’s citizens.
In recent years the hashtag has been used as an informal polling tool for news organizations. CNN is known for using hashtags to collect on the ground reports and ask the public about their opinions on diverse matters. The hashtag is considered the easiest way to connect with an audience and discover diverse opinions across nations.
The hashtag has evolved as a way to communicate about the mundane details of life to a communication and strategy powerhouse. As new uses for the symbol evolve, its importance to the social media world will expand.  This expansion has already helped businesses grow.  The use of hashtags in business has led to recognizable brands and sales. Your business could benefit from the use of a hashtag in a social media campaign. #ConceptMarketing can help decide the best way to connect with your customers via social media, including hashtags.

You Know What I Mean?

When communicating your vision or idea, sometimes formulating the right words can be difficult. The other stakeholders involved may not understand your vision. As marketing professionals, we have to describe not only what the client wants, but also in terms that a copywriter, graphic designer, and vendor will understand. Concept Marketing has created a process to help everyone understand and communicate the vision to create an excellent end product.
Do you really know what you want? Have you honestly thought through the scenario in your head or is your vision still liquid? What helps solidify a vision is pen to paper. Write down, sketch, or doodle what you truly have in mind. This will not only help you conceptualize the idea, but also communicate your goal and vision.
Does this match your brand? If you have a strong and recognizable brand, your vison should fall in line. If the new idea is off base from the brand identity then people may not understand where the vision is going.
Know your Audience. Do not use your lingo to describe the vision to others. It is like speaking Chinese to a Frenchman. Get to know your audience, once this is accomplished you will be on a common playing field.
Ask Questions. Check in with your audience a few days after the conversation. They might not have questions immediately, but after the meeting they could have ideas that will make the vision stronger.
With the tips above, your vision can be realized. If your business has an idea, Concept Marketing can help you solidify and develop the vision in to fruition. 

A Negative + A Positive = Facebook Psychology

Facebook analyzed almost 700,000 user’s newsfeeds to conduct a study on emotion. This study was intended to test the theory of emotional contagion — if a Facebook user saw a negative or positive status update, would they themselves contract that emotion? The study found that some emotions were paid more attention to than others. The analysis quantified this finding by studying the responses (post, likes, clicks, and shares) back to the original post. The perceived breach of Facebook privacy was not a breach at all. When an individual chooses to use Facebook, they sign an agreement confirming they are willing to participate in psychological studies — the beauty of fine print. Facebook further protected its ability to experiment by having a computer analyze the results. Interestingly, Facebook has seen little backlash. Facebook users haven’t threatened to disable their accounts and a simple “sorry” by Sheryl Shamburg is seemingly accepted by the public.
On the other hand, the findings of the study have interesting consequences for Facebook marketers. The main finding is that people have a higher response rate and pay more attention to positive messaging and replies. Many social marketers have specific plans to address negative comments on the page. This strategy is meant to swiftly suppress unsatisfied customers who “vent” on the page. This swiftness was meant to show others on the page that they are being looked after and try to stop others from chiming in. The study is important to this point, because it shows negativity does not get far on a page. People are more likely to pay attention and remember a positive post.
Facebook announced that targeting probably will not continue down a road of emotional manipulation. Facebook released a statement saying, “In hindsight, the research benefits of the paper may not have justified the anxiety.” Users of social media should expect Facebook “big brother” to have access to their information and use it for targeting. This data is currently used to target advertisements and marketing products to specific Facebook users.

The Creative Process - Told in GIFs

The creative process is complicated, full of ups and downs. To simplify we have placed all the important steps into gifs. Enjoy!

YAY a new project! We are always excited to begin on a new project.

Emma Stone

Lets chat! This is when we nail down the specifics with the client's project.

Ryan from the office taking notes gif

Brainstorm. This is the step where we think of ideas... brilliant ideas.

great idea gif

Online vs Traditional

There are many directions a marketing strategy can take that will lead to success. One of the biggest choices in marketing is trying to decide whether to rely on traditional or online media. A good mix of the two is highly recommended. An example for a new campaign would be pay per click and a physical billboard. The list below highlights the benefits of both avenues in order for a business to decide where to place the budget and focus.
 
           Traditional
1.      The average business spends the majority of their marketing budget on traditional media. 
2.      Depending on the customer base, they may be more drawn to a printed piece then a digital pop up.
3.      TV and Radio are media king.  Be seen when the customer is paying attention.
 
 
Online
1.      Online Media allows small businesses to advertise economically.
2.      Businesses can target to specific audience. Online can help identify where the consumer is seeing the product. 
3.      Everything placed online can be measured. This ability of measurement means instant results if a campaign in working.
4.      When a company invests in SEO this results in long term marketing. This SEO investment benefits a business for months after the initial creation.
                                                          
Concept Marketing will find the perfect mix of traditional and online media advertising for your business. You will have an effective strategy that best combines the two media. Call us for your media consultation. 
 

Creativity=Currency

Have you ever had a brilliant idea pop into your head and think “why has no one thought of this”? These original ideas are what makes today’s world go-round, especially in advertising. Agencies can conduct similar research and contact the same vendors for pricing, but what makes an agency worthwhile are the employee’s ideas. These ideas are the design, social media, and content that become the brand and marketing identity of the business.
The people within the agency are what businesses are buying.  It’s the people that are pushing trends and looking for innovation. Companies purchase ideas that will suit them and the brand when developing a marketing campaign.  This creativity, consisting of ideas, innovation, and abilities, is the currency that agencies deal in.
How can businesses measure an agency’s creativity? First, look at the track record of the agency. If the agency is heavily and exclusively involved in the same industry, innovation and creativity may be stagnant. If you take a look at Concept Marketing’s portfolio, you will find that there is a diverse variety of services and products in the agency portfolio. Concept Marketing is able to shift gears quickly. This swiftness and ability to create dynamic campaigns in a short timeframe is because of the diversity of current clients working with the agency and the employee’s background catering to varied  advertising accounts.
Agencies who can hold their own in a creative smack down are also able to brainstorm diverse ideas for clients. Like the old saying goes, “time is money,” creative currency falls in the same vein. Ideas should be strategized and executed in a timely manner in order for them to work. One idea or campaign will work in the month of May, but not in the month of June. Agencies with far reaching timelines are not using creative currency correctly and their client’s branding stock will plummet as a result.
Creativity is the most valuable currency in today’s advertising marketplace. Concept Marketing is diversified and reacts quickly to new market trends, furthering the value of creativity in marketing and advertising.

Jump!

Businesses have traditionally had to decide if campaigns will be strategized by an advertising agency or their internal marketing department.  The new luxury trend in big business is not making the decision. Instead, these larger companies are deciding to “ball jump” the campaign. The business will pit the in-house group against the agency and see who comes up with the best campaign and budget.
”Ball Jumping” can be found playing out in the Apple Corporation. Many industry insiders have seen a creative decline in advertising and marketing with Apple. To fix this, the mega business has brought on new internal faces while still utilizing their agency of record.  The thought process is that two competing groups will only present the best of their collective ideas.
If a group or firm does not have a competitor, there is no threat and can become complacent. Agencies have been competitive with each other for years. Agencies’ competitive nature is finely tuned and they know how to find and poke holes in campaigns. This strategy will be played out with an in-house department who does not necessarily have direct competitors. They are in a shark tank and used to fighting it out for dominance.
An in-house group may not have the same fighting instinct. Internal marketing is steeped in the product, causing an innovation struggle. The internal team has to continue to work with one another on different projects. The group adapts to each other and the product’s creative past, creating a homogenous culture of ideas. Agency employees strategize and formulate in different groups. This mix up among teams encourages a cycle of innovation from the different ideas and group culture.
This trend in advertising “ball jumping” has caught on with other businesses as well. Smaller businesses are exploring marketing options and tapping agencies for strategy and campaign rollouts. Concept Marketing will work with your in-house team and present new ideas for a variety of campaigns. Innovation and strategy is what we do best for businesses, large and small.

Pushing the Envelope

Advertising has been known to push the envelope in order to gain attention. Advertising must engage the customer in order for the marketing process to work. However, attracting and grabbing attention comes at the cost of good taste. How do companies know if a new market will find their brand or style offensive? How do companies know what could be seen as poor taste and offensive? 
With uncertainty, advertisers choose to stay well within the lines. This over-cautiousness can potentially kill a company’s marketing growth.  In order to grow and attract customers, it is highly recommended to utilize well-managed and strategic campaigns that are innovative and strategic. It is best practice to work with an advertising company that is cutting edge and keeps a brand’s image from being tarnished while also creating innovation. Below are our three best tips at stepping right to the line of good taste.
Know your specific audience: Understanding your audience is key. Your messaging should specifically target a select demographic and encourage them to purchase the product. If this is successful, it will educate the company on how to reach their target audience and build their brand reputation. Once this group is evangelized, they would be considered brand advocates and speak positively about the product and company.
Know the culture:  A brand selling hamburgers in India is not going to have much luck. Is there a specific audience that would love your burger? Yes. Is the audience large enough to support backlash and costs? Probably not. Having a full campaign selling hamburgers in India may not be wise. Instead, the focus should be on inexpensive and targeted marketing.
What are your internal employees comfortable with:  Brainstorm with your employees and marketing agency. If an eyebrow is raised with an internal brand advocate and the idea is publicly introduced anyways — brows could explode.
Concept Marketing can help you and your business team find the correct branding and voice. This voice should connect with the audience, engage the culture, and grow the business. Concept Marketing will keep your business and brand in good taste while attracting the attention of your targeted demographic.

How to Get a Job in Advertising

So you have big dreams of being a Mad Man do ya? If you are a recent college graduate with a degree in marketing, communication, or design you may be asking where to start. Well we are here to give you the best secrets and chance to getting hired by an advertising agency.

Great start getting a degree! Concept Marketing values education and other agencies do as well. The skills learned over the last few years were worth it and now you are valuable in the workforce. Now it’s the day after graduation or few months after. You are wondering what to do. Well log on to the computer and polish your resume.

When searching for candidates, agencies like to see work experience and a portfolio. When creating your resume, be sure to include active language that displays you have done something pertaining to the job. An example would be an entry level marketing strategist. You will want to call out project management, ROI, and specifics/successes of the project you had hands on. If you are an up and coming designer, work on your hard copy portfolio, digital portfolio, and online portfolio.

Once your resume is polished, look on job boards for advertising and marketing positions. Be proactive and call agencies in your area or in the area you want to work.  Being proactive shows that you have initiative, which is essential in the industry. 

Hooray! Your portfolio, resume, and interview skills were amazing and you got the job! This is where the nitty gritty insider advice comes in.

The Basics- Do a great job, be on time, and know when it’s time to clock out. It can be enticing and addictive to always be at the office or on your phone checking in. You can still maintain a professional relationship, do a great job and not be on call 24/7. Unless of course your job description details that requirement.

Read your Non-Compete- When the agency extends the offer, they will also send a contract. This contract is a non-compete and dictates what you can do and say should you ever leave the agency. Your understanding of this document is vital.

Continue Learning- An agencies’ success is based on developing trends and creative thought. Keep your creative juices flowing by investigating upcoming trends. Sign up for webinars and newsletters to stay on top of your game and in the know.

Well there you have it. All of our secrets to get and keep a job in advertising.  Good luck graduate and new peer!

WHOOPS!

Whoops! That didn’t work.
This is a phrase many of say in our lives, but we prefer not to say it in our business ventures. Many business owners and staff begin a campaign with good intentions when creating a marketing campaign. Sometimes these campaigns fail even with good intentions. Can companies recover from this failure? Maybe.
First- The business must take a step back and decide what parts of the campaign were a bust.
Second- If the entire campaign was a bust, determine what went wrong. If only certain parts were an issue, re-craft the campaign to connect with people.
Third- Businesses need to take time for discovery. Why was this decisions made, who made the decision, what caused things to go haywire? If it is methodology issue, the business can look at structure and the team members who lead the campaign. Was the mistake was outside the business’s control, like a delivery or posting issue? This may simply be handled with by questioning the vendor.
Fourth- If the campaign triggered public outrage, a carefully crafted message with the help from a public relations agency may need to be deployed. It is crucial to have a strong partnership with an agency. The PR agency is not directly tied to the issue and can objectively hear both sides of the story from the business and the public.
Fifth- Take a deep breath. Reassess and move forward. 
Concept Marketing professionals are well equipped with project management skills that partner well with diverse businesses.  So, can a business recover from a marketing failure with Concept Marketing on their side? Yes! Can a business avoid a marketing failure by creating strategy with Concept Marketing? Definitely! 

Building the Best Marketing Team

When building a business empire, proper marketing needs to be a strong cornerstone. Successful businesses realize the importance of marketing and advertising. Businesses generally seek out professionals to better strategize the future. Should the business hire an internal marketing and communications team, or hire an agency that suits their needs? 
Keeping Marketing in-House
Pros-
Control- You know their working schedule. This is great for the business owner who can monitor and wants to be in the day to day workings of marketing.
Cons-
Salary Nightmare- The average social media manager makes $60,000 a year, a copy writer $50,000, and SEO manager upwards of $90,000. These three careers only address some of online marketing, the business still need design and production.   For a business to be successful, each facet of marketing must be addressed. Hiring professionals is the best course of action when planning a marketing strategy. Hiring them out right is expensive.
Dead Creativity- Group think causes a creative status quo in corporations. Agencies are constantly shifting gears with new clients and tends. These quick shifts help agencies to think nibble and imaginatively. 
Hiring an Agency
Pros-
Fresh Attitude- Agencies breed creativity. If the agency creates an idea for a client and it doesn’t quite fit the brand, this great idea is delivered to you at a comparatively low cost.
Deadlines- Agencies operate on tight deadlines. You will be able to see turnaround at a reasonable time and lower price tag.
Cutting Edge- Agencies develop creativity. Their value and currency rely on the continual creation of new ideas. Agencies are constantly in development to improve their work and push brands forward.  Agencies are performance driven, they watch trends and predict upcoming needs for the client.
Focus- Business should be focused on business, not when to post on Facebook or creating direct mail. Hiring an agency allows a business to truly focus on sales and the bottom line.
Cons-
Bottom Line- For small startups, having a devoted agency handling all marketing can be expensive. These startups want to prioritize with an agency where they will get the most bang for their buck.
Concept Marketing has the experience and knowledge in leading large marketing campaigns for corporations or consult start-up business.  Our marketing professionals will work with you and your company to help further your business strategy.
 
 

How Very Worldly - Advertising Around The World

American culture continues to spread around the world. Many International communities religiously watch American television shows and movies, just as Americans do. The American culture has had a large influence, but can American advertising agencies take a page from the foreign book of business? Would it work the same on us? Marketing practices differ around the world, because the populations being targeted are attracted to different tactics. In this article we will explore the marketing and advertising practices in Japan, India, and Brazil.  
 
Japan is the world’s third largest economy. Japan’s position on the international stage brings the worlds business to attention. Many marketing giants like McDonalds, Coca Cola, and Williams and Sonoma have worked hard to break in to the market. The businesses above saw success in Japan, only because they changed their American and European techniques and made them undeniably Japanese. The Japanese culture responded to their slang, dialects, and recognizable messaging placed on typically American brands. The mix of west meeting east was a delicate line that the successful companies walked.
 
India is an economical sleeping giant. The country is currently investing in industry and the people are increasingly becoming educated, taking their western education back to India. This has made India a particularly interesting culture for marketing. Not only is the culture open to western entertainment and ideas, India also has Bollywood. Bollywood is quintessential Indian and brings the ability to market effectively, because the Indian culture already responds and is partial to the Bollywood culture.
 
The Indian culture can delight in western influence, but wants to see their homegrown stars promoting the product. This was seen when McDonalds rolled out new restaurants in India. The Indian restaurants featured Bollywood stars, but also had specialized menu’s that did not include cow meat.  McDonalds completely assimilated to the Indian culture, and the culture responded positively. If the fast food giant tried to serve up an American patty with an American sweetheart on the side, the company would not have survived in the market. The company would not have survived because the Indian culture reveres the cow and as stated above identifies with homegrown celebrities. 
 
Brazil is the seventh largest economy in the world and growing. From a marketing strategy this means more influx of money and the ability to market to a large population with upward mobility. This upward mobility is important, but the strongest marketing tool in Brazil is the push from the government for free Wi-Fi. With free Wi-Fi, a business will be able to connect with 192 million people instantly. A mobile strategy is key when trying to crack into this Brazil nut.
 
Besides mobile and Wi-Fi, Brazil is a culture of first adopters. This culture is happy to embrace the newest trends and products. Brazilians are comparable to a nation of hipsters — they want you to know they knew about it first and by the time you know, they are over it. Adding this exclusivity with Brazilian flavor is the best bet for business trying to effectively advertise in the market.
 
United States marketing and advertising agencies can use the information gathered in foreign markets not only to help them break in to international waters, but also reevaluate their effectiveness. Agencies’ effectiveness is the ability to produce new ideas and be innovative in emerging markets. American culture is not the quid pro quo anymore. American agencies will have to look beyond boarders to keep up with the times.
 

Pinned

Let’s play a game of “Would You Rather.” Would you rather buy a product based on A or B?
A)
Bun, meat, cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion
 
B)
http://www.foodbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/shutterstock_63969367-300x300.jpg
We would pick B.  MMMMMM B…..urger.
This game shows the importance of visual communication. Consumers are drawn to what they see, not read. The need to present products visually created the increasingly popular Pinterest. Pinterest is a social media platform that encourages people to display their wish lists online and share them with friends and other like-minded individuals.
25.5 million unique users frequent the site each month spending 1 hour and 38 minutes browsing products. This hour and half is more than Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn receive combined.  Pinterest is working with the consumer to find what is popular enhancing the community’s efforts. This is seen when a pin is posted once and has an 80% chance of being posted again, and then 10 more times. Each of those 10 pins will produce 10 more, the cycle is fast and spreads like wildfire. If one person likes the product, more will follow. From this duplication each of the pins will produce 6 website visits, and then the cycle repeats itself.  
Pinterest’s power also bolsters SEO. A business is discovered by the SEO bread crumbs on the internet. Pinterest allows not just crumbs, but a loaf to be placed in front of the customer to find and share. Pinterest is a search engine, the site is looking for popular words and images to promote to members. When that pin is linked back to the site, the originals site’s SEO is improved. These crumbs/loaves have a ripple effect not only within the Pinterest search engine, but other search engines will pick up on the popularity of the site.  
From increased Pinterest SEO, a business can expect sales to be generated. The average Pinterest user will spend between $140- $180 when purchasing from Pinterest. This is relatively easy money; a business cannot pay to advertise or optimize with Pinterest. The consumer comes to you through the popularity of the site and your pins.
A businesses ability to properly pin and be pinned is based on an overarching marketing strategy. Concept Marketing will create this a marketing strategy for your business that utilizes all appropriate and savvy Pineterest marketing strategies.  
 
 

A Little Blue Birdie Told Me...

When analyzing the importance of Twitter, it is easy to reduce this fast moving social marketing medium to shallow amusing news updates and a never ending flow of hashtags. The updates are called “tweets” and are intended to be short and to the point.  This direct communication has attracted a generation who appreciates breaking news and have become accustomed to the 24-hour news cycle.  The importance of Twitter is not only the rapid fire updates received but is an important world tool for causes that need quick attention.
 
When a revolution erupted in Egypt in 2011, protesters used tweeted directives to overthrow a military and the current government rule. These tweets were used to organize protesters and broadcast untainted messages and personal accounts from the protesters on the ground. These tweets were not only valuable to Egyptians, but were used by the international media as firsthand accounts. These first hand accounts solidified the pro-democracy Egyptians while international support poured in with the use of #Jan25 and #Egypt. Did Twitter cause the Egyptian revolution?  No. But it was the catalyst instrument. Twitter was a largely contributing strategic, non-violent weapon in the success of the Egyptian revolution, not a powerful, well-armed military.
 
Recently, Ukraine led their own revolution and took cues from the Egyptians. Ukraine protesters/ revolutionaries used Twitter to organize and mobilize a large populous that would otherwise have been unheard.  The hashtag of choice was #weareukraine. This hashtag cited Ukraine’s main issue and the reason for the protest —Ukraine should remain independent from Russia. The power of quick communication thru Twitter mobilized populations and attracted the world’s attention.
 
In peaceful Twitter times, tweets are seen in celebrity Twitter wars and highlighting our favorite brands.  The power of Twitter is extended into marketing as a tool of suggestion and continual, positive reinforcement. When a product wants to be highlighted by a celebrity, companies no longer solely seek endorsements for television. Twitter is used by these celebrity endorsers to directly contact a loyal base and evangelize the product to an eager audience. News sources have reported that Kim Kardashian charges $10,000 per tweet. A look at Kim’s Twitter feed shows that a majority of her thoughts are consumed with certain pre-determined products she endorses.  To her 20 million followers this is a legitimate product that Kim actually uses.  Her Twitter followers are more likely to “trust” her opinion on a product than any other marketing or advertising they have seen.  Twitter’s marketing power is rooted in quick almost flippant thoughts that are not directly tied to a cause, allowing the ultimate goal to sell the cause and allow the marketing to be disguised. 
 
Have no fear. Small businesses also successfully use Twitter to further their brand without hiring an expensive, power-house celebrity endorser. Businesses use Twitter to engage and evangelize their current customers while attracting new ones. Current customers are encouraged to follow a products social media by first liking the product. Since this is a main business goal for any company, the first major hurdle for social media is covered. Customers follow and keep tabs by engagement and content. If a business invests in operating a Twitter feed with regular postings and original content, communities will grow. Another option is to utilize Twitter as a sales tool by offering followers a special coupon or price. Twitter, like any social media, can be time consuming. Between the engagement and original content, a business owner may feel overwhelmed. Concept Marketing can take the pressure off of a business by creating and maintaining a thriving online community. #bestblogpostever.