By Michele Stilwell, Director of Marketing and Accounting at MEDiAHEAD.

Attention Span is Gone

For a long time, we’ve been told that our attention spans are diminishing. There is so much information, so many devices and channels vying for our attention, that we can’t possibly focus on one thing for very long. Combine that with the economic pressures, financial expectations, and the race to keep up in the digital world, and you get something called short-termism.

Short-Termism

Short-TermismShort-termism is fueled by your fixation on metrics, and concentration on quick wins to move the needle. It suggests an immediate, attention-grabbing impact over strategically driven, brand-building initiatives that have a higher long-term ROI. Shorterm-ism is Myopic.

By moving the needle – whether in sales, marketing or social media analytics, the pressure to demonstrate an uptick in growth is relentless. While you may signal towards growth in the short-term, this strategy erodes the underlying brand equity and robs you of a chance at something sustainable.

Build The Brand

If long-term brand building is much more conducive to growth, why do so many people fall in the trap of short-termism? Because brand building is difficult.

We truly demand everything from brands. Consider this quote from Barbara E. Kahn’s book Global Brand Power:

“A brand must be elastic enough to allow for reasonable category and product-line extensions, flexible enough to change with dynamic market conditions, consistent enough so that consumers who travel physically or virtually won’t be confused, and focused enough to provide clear differentiation from the competition. Strong brands are more than globally recognizable; they are critical assets that can make a significant contribution to your company’s bottom line.”

That’s a huge order, but it’s a necessary one if you truly want to grow and focus on long-term brand building.

Angela Richards, KFC’s Group Marketing Director, discussed the importance of creating a lasting emotional connections, even when the immediate goal might be a shot-term tactial one.

“We have a really big innovation funnel and a really strong retail calendar, but for us more recently, that functional retail calendar has morphed so the brand directs the retail calendar – and the brand’s job is to create that emotional connection,” she said.  “It’s okay now to say we are less reliant on new product development to drive those sales, because that emotional connnection of the brand leading the retail calendar is driving core sales and core growth.”

Whether it’s a rush to keep pace with the digital era, the lure of immediate ROI or the importance of brand building, many companies are sacrificing long-term marketing strategy for quick wins.

A balance in today’s world is essential if you want to grow your business.

By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD.

I can’t even begin to count the number of prospective clients and strangers that ask me if I am veggiebellie‘s mom.

veggiebellie on Instagram

My daughter, Amy McDaniel has 5,580 followers on Instagram. In a very loving way, I’m frequently portrayed as the wacky human that doesn’t understand technology or how to properly operate my iPhone. She also documented my cancer journey and most recently my wedding.

If you follow her, you probably know that my husband is now featured in the fun (or being made fun of). Last Friday, there were many funny clips of us playing Trivial Pursuit… and Rieger Whiskey was involved.

Recently, I was pitching a large account when one of the attendees raised her hand and asked if I was veggiebellie’s Mom. At the Kemper Museum Gala I had no less than four people approach me and ask the same question. And this morning, at one of The Enterprise University Classes with Willoughby, I was approached while getting a cup of coffee. We both laughed and I said, “Yes. I’m the infamous Mom of Amy.”

The Power of Human Connection

I’m using this example to show the power and reach of social media through human connection.

Most brands need to get personal and funny to keep their clients engaged. No one wants to see an infomercial on what your company does.

Wendy’s is a perfect example – the secret to their social media success is confidence and culture. Their playful approach allows them to make their points in a likeable way, like trolling McDonald’s on National Frozen Food Day with tweets poking fun that their beef is frozen. More than three million people follow the brand for their saucy tweets and good natured burns.

Izzy head shotIt’s Not About Selling Product

Social media should not be about selling your product, it should be about people getting to know your brand and your core values.

A good brand should live in the hearts and minds of the people who you’re trying to engage.

At MEDiAHEAD, we show people our brand and core values through the stories we tell. Whether it’s another blog written by our mascot Izzy, or a story about our unique and fun referral gifts… giving people a window into our company and culture is important.

Are you sharing your stories?

By Michele Stilwell, Director of Marketing and Accounting at MEDiAHEAD

Window Clings Definition: Window cling decals are a popular material used for graphic displays. Window cling is made from a thin vinyl film that clings to various surfaces. Typically, they are displayed on glass windows and doors. However, they can also be displayed on smooth plastic or metal.

Have you ever wondered or wanted to print some cool window clings? Well, they’ve come a long way since the clings that the minute the sun hit it, it would peel or curl or worse… simply fall off. You can print all kinds of window clings now. Some can cling on the inside surfaces of your building, and some are super resilient to weather and can adhere to the outside of a window. Yes, they can survive outside in the storms, heat, snow and wind.

The other great part of using a window cling is you can reuse it, because it does not have any adhesive glue. It is just a cling.

The particular window clings in the picture below were printed on a dusted vinyl material that allows for some light to come through, but still offers some privacy.    This gives you a kind of etched or frosted glass look. You can do lettering and special shapes or full panels.

Window Cling Sample 1 Window Cling Sample 2

MEDiAHEAD would love to help you print your next window clings!

Soon you will see a display of window clings on all of our windows at 3525 Roanoke, Kansas City, MO 64111.

So stop by and chat with us… or contact us through our website.

Kat 600x450Post written by Kat McDaniel, Chief Innovator at MEDiAHEAD | Marketing Portal Guru | Variable Data Promoter | Analytics Advocate | Explorer

We are seeing 1:1 printing or “print personalization” more and more places these days.

Direct mail.

Follow-up marketing collateral.

Information kits.

What’s the real deal with these applications? Do they really live up to the hype? Or is personalization just a gimmick to get marketers to buy more print?

Consider the way you’re being marketed to:

When you shop online, cookies follow your every move so that page views can be customized to your preferences and purchase patterns.

At the grocery store, your receipt is printed with coupons based on the items you put into your bag.

When you receive mail from your investment broker, it contains information only on those funds you have invested in or that are relevant to you.

Personalization has become so ingrained in our consumer experience that we barely realize it anymore.

printingIt’s not a gimmick. It’s what customers expect.

What about cost? Isn’t personalization a high-cost luxury?

On the contrary, when handled properly, the opposite is true.

1:1 printing optimizes your marketing investment by not mailing irrelevant information to the wrong people. It makes every record count.

Properly tracked, 1:1 printing provides provable ROI, so you can compare its value against other marketing methods and justify your spending based on real numbers.

By focusing on specific customer segments and generating higher response rates and per-order values from those customers, you can spend less on print and bring in more revenue.

More relevant communications (newsletters, bills and other correspondence) increase customer retention and provide a benefit difficult to quantify yet with real bottom-line benefits.

From this perspective, 1:1 printing seems less like a luxury and more like a business necessity!

Kat 600x450Post written by Kat McDaniel, Chief Innovator at MEDiAHEAD | Marketing Portal Guru | Variable Data Promoter | Analytics Advocate | Explorer

Quick! Name a soft drink.

Chances are you thought of Coke or Pepsi. These beverage giants have spent millions in advertising. Why?

Because they have a goal of being top of mind among consumers from age five to ninety-five. And they’ve been very successful at doing it.

Top-of-mind-awareness (or TOMA) is a traditional measure of marketing effectiveness. It strongly correlates to brand preference, which correlates to increased market share.

Here are five ways to achieve “top of mind” awareness in your product marketplace:

1. Find your unique selling proposition.
Consider what makes your company special. Is it market niche? Exceptional service? Highly targeted products and services? Clearly articulate this to your prospects. Make this value proposition simple and easy to remember.

2. Be proactive.
While a one-time advertising blitz can get your message out quickly to a large number of prospects, TOMA requires a drip marketing approach — a consistent delivery of messaging over time. Keep it coming.

top of mind3. Use consistent branding.
Everything from your customer literature to your e-newsletters should have consistent messaging and similar look and feel. One brand, one message.

4. Use multiple touches and multiple channels.
Stay in front of your audience using multiple channels over time. Awareness is based on repetition.

5. Be useful.
Frequency doesn’t have to mean being annoying. You want your customers to perceive you as a provider of useful information rather than an intrusive pest. Communicate frequently, but give your audience genuine value each time.

Never before have consumers had so many choices. TOMA should be a top goal of your marketing efforts.

It will help customers notice you in a noisy marketplace, all while increasing customer retention and response rates.

MEDiAHEAD: Hire a Content Expert for your BrandLet’s face it. In the world of marketing, quality matters. There is nothing that will tarnish or hurt your brand worse than being sloppy and careless with your content marketing strategy and execution. Have you ever visited assembly lines or production plants? All of these shops and products ultimately head to one place: final testing and quality control. Shouldn’t your content marketing endure a similar process?

Content marketing checks and balances are often shrugged off. Yet, other industries have a system to ensure that the quality of their product will be the absolute best in a competitive market. There isn’t a single car manufacturer that installs brake panels and sends them off to the dealership hoping they work. Your content should be treated with the same quality assurance and attention before it reaches your readers.

In a rapid-fire Internet age where a story breaks and media companies are constantly cranking out new content to gain likes and clicks, there’s still a considerable amount of content being generated, and with a plethora of embarrassing typos and grammatical mistakes. Though we are mainly referring to those simple articles about celebrity break-ups, we’ve also noted an uptick of print and digital ad mistakes that have been approved by several pairs of eyes, and are still slapped on the side of I35 with a typo regardless. Not only does this cost the company precious dollars in damage control and having to re-do these campaigns, it also costs the company their reputation, which is the ultimate price to pay and often difficult to rebuild once it’s dismembered.

PLEASE, PLEASE Don’t Rely on Spell Check

MEDiAHEAD: Chick-fil-a Billboard

Spell check will fix everything, right? Not exactly – particularly in those instances where the word itself is spelled right but it’s not used correctly. Consumers have seen this time and time again with the misuse of “their” and “they’re” or “your” and “you’re” in ad copy. (Our biggest pet peeve!) Though these types of mistakes are frustrating, more severe cases of misuse show a clear disregard for attention to detail. In turn, your consumers may begin to wonder if your negligence is reflected in the quality of your products. Does your merchandise also miss the mark? Read and re-read before you hit “print” or “send,” particularly if it’s a nationwide campaign or is going to be worn by somebody, especially a public figure.

Copy and Paste – how about, not

MEDiAHEAD: Make America Grate Again

While copy-pasting may seem like a no-brainer time-saver, it actually causes more errors and leaves more work for you to fix. This is especially true when you’re creating content calendars or working within spreadsheets (or pasting a caption on Instagram). Although it’s tempting to copy-paste work or utilize a template from a previous project, you’re actually increasing the chances of even one slide accidentally making it into the final presentation. Can you imagine presenting a project about architecture only to accidentally find a slide from your previous pitch deck about a cosmetic company? It will look both confusing and sloppy, and certainly won’t gain new business or make your current clients feel confident in your work. Begin fresh with new ideas on blank pages. If you must re-use a pitch deck for formatting, be sure to go through and thoroughly delete any pre-existing copy before you begin writing.

Revisit Your Copy Later

Once you’ve finished a piece of writing, tuck it away for at least ten minutes or more before posting it or sending it on. Of course, it isn’t always feasible to pause projects in the fast-paced industry of digital media and advertising, but if you’re ahead of schedule on your writing, it’s always best to come back and view it once more with a fresh set of eyes before sending it off. Short on time? Step away from the computer, take a beat and go back and fix mistakes that may not have notice beforehand. This is important when one is setting out to write about the country they plan on running. This is also important for everyday use, such as when you’re writing an email to a client or even a friend.

Enlist a Colleague to help out

You may be the most brilliant mind at your company, but you’re still human. You’re going to make mistakes, which is why it’s wonderful to be surrounded by colleagues and friends who’d be happy to take a look at your work. Think about it this way: you’d never send a save-the-date without having someone glance at it first, right? Maybe you send it to your mom or your fiancé or your sister, but somebody else sees that invite before it is sent to your entire address book, correct? Why would your work be any different? This is particularly true when you’re working in an agency. Though marketing managers and account directors are often busy, their goal is the same as your goal: to create the best product for your client. Therefore, if you don’t have a copy editor on staff, it’s necessary to ask them to look over your work and ensure that there are no accidental double words or spelling errors that will take away from the overall message.

Writing is only part of content marketing. Editing and ensuring that your copy is flawless will uphold credibility with your readers. If you’re a writer, don’t rely on your copy editor to salvage any mistakes that you may make. Treat each piece of writing with meticulous care and attention to detail and edit it as though you’re the final set of eyes. If you’re a copy editor, know that you’re integral to the process and have an important task. If you’re a brand considering whether or not you need a copy professional, the answer is always “yes.” In the same way that car manufacturers rarely have a defect, just one minor flaw could potentially wreak havoc on your brand and consumer’s trust. Be sure to have the proper checks and balances in place for your business and your business’s content.

Need help getting your message out? MEDiAHEAD has recently partnered with Woodsmall Marketing Group to offer everything you need to fully communicate and measure the impact of your message over print, online, and other new media outlets. Contact MEDiAHEAD today for more information about creating a memorable, cost-efficient marketing campaign!

As a marketing and print services company, we have long known that color plays a major role in the success of any marketing campaign. Specific colors tend to evoke certain emotions in customers, thus creating brand relevance and motivating purchases. The following lists 10 colors that increase sales, along with the specific emotions they bring forth.

1. Orange

Orange is high energy. It has powerful attention-getting properties, it’s fun and cool, and it makes customers feel as though they’re dealing with a cutting-edge company. Cheerful orange evokes exuberance, fun and vitality. With the drama of red plus the cheer of yellow, orange is viewed as gregarious and often childlike. Research indicates its lighter shades appeal to an upscale market. Peach tones work well with health care, restaurants and beauty salons.

2. Blue

When you want your brand to be viewed as trustworthy and cool, blue is the color for you. Mix blue with complimentary colors for best results. Cool blue is perceived as trustworthy, dependable, fiscally responsible and secure. Strongly associated with the sky and sea, blue is serene and universally well-liked. Blue is an especially popular color with financial institutions, as its message of stability inspires trust.

MEDiAHEAD: Blue MEDiAHEAD: Blue Print CollateralPrint Collateral

3. Red

Red is the color of power. It means business. It gets people’s attention and it holds it, which is why it’s the most popular color for marketing. Red activates your pituitary gland, increasing your heart rate and causing you to breathe more rapidly. This visceral response makes red aggressive, energetic, provocative and attention-grabbing. Count on red to evoke a passionate response, albeit not always a favorable one. For example, red can represent danger or indebtedness.

MEDiAHEAD: Red

4. Green

Green is a versatile color. It is warm and inviting, lending customers a pleasant and open feeling. In general, green connotes health, freshness, environment and serenity. However, green’s meaning varies with its many shades. Deeper greens are associated with wealth or prestige, while light greens are calming.

MEDiAHEAD-Green

5. Yellow

Yellow is a powerful color, but it is also the most dangerous hue. Use yellow to command your audience’s attention, and let them know you’re confident in your abilities. In every society, yellow is associated with the sun. Thus, it communicates optimism, positivism, light and warmth. Certain shades seem to motivate and stimulate creative thought and energy. The eye sees bright yellows before any other color, making them great for point-of-purchase displays.

MEDiAHEAD: Yellow

6. Purple

Purple is the color of royalty, which makes it perfect for lending a touch of elegance and prestige to your marketing materials. Purple is a color favored by creative types. With its blend of passionate red and tranquil blue, it evokes mystery, sophistication, spirituality and royalty. Lavender evokes nostalgia and sentimentality.

MEDiAHEAD-Purple

7. Gold

Gold is likewise elegant and prestigious, but adds an element of power purple can’t match. In combination with purple or green, gold is a powerful color that symbolizes wealth and pedigree.

MEDiAHEAD: Gold

8. Black

Black is another highly versatile color. It can be modern or traditional, exciting or relaxing. Used as a contrasting color, black most often adds drama to whatever mood you want to cast. Black is serious, bold, powerful and classic. It creates drama and connotes sophistication. Black works well for expensive products, but can also make a product look heavy.

MEDiAHEAD: Black

9. Brown

Brown, an earthy tone, is known as a comfort color, lending relaxation to customers. This earthy color conveys simplicity, durability and stability. It can also elicit a negative response from consumers who relate to it as dirty. Certain shades of brown, like terracotta, can convey an upscale look. From a functional perspective, brown tends to hide dirt, making it a logical choice for some trucking and industrial companies. Think UPS.

MEDiAHEAD: Brown

10. Pink

Vying for the attention of a young female demographic? You can’t go wrong with pink. It’s fun, frilly and totally female. Pink’s message varies by intensity. Hot pinks convey energy, youthfulness, fun and excitement and are recommended for less expensive or trendy products for women or girls. Dusty pinks appear sentimental. Lighter pinks are more romantic.

MEDiAHEAD: Pink