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Does Anyone Believe Your Ads?

Advertisers have always had credibility issues. They are, by their very nature, self-serving ad of a commercial nature.

I have always felt that there is some relationship between the size of the claim and its impact on consumers. When the little local dinner claims to have “world-famous cakes and cookies” are we really to believe that people in the far flung recesses of the world are talking abut the baked goods from the diner? Or, assuming that the consumers will disbelieve the claim, has the diner just made it bigger than life in hopes that it will register in the mind of the consumer?  I think the opposite occurs – I think that the larger and more grandiose your claims, the more they are likely to be discounted by your audience and rejected as hyperbole.

Every new business model today is a “Game Changer” or a “Revolutionary System that will change the way you do business” . And yet, for the most part, changes in our businesses are more incremental than cataclysmic, and the claims are quickly forgotten because we are conditioned to ignore that part of the presentation.

In a recent survey by Lab42 of 500 consumers  they found that more than three quarters of those consumers felt that advertising was exaggerated. As little as 3% felt that advertising claims were accurate – leading me to wonder if they were the same 3% of the population that respond to direct mail ads. And yet three out of ten people surveyed said that they would buy a product because of brand advertising, and less than one put of five wanted to see more laws regulating advertising.

The top three things that might make them try a new product that was advertised?

  • They recognize the brand
  • They saw an in-store promotion
  • They had a reaction to the ad (Laughed, Shared, Talked about it with others)

Al of which indicates that when you create advertising for your product or service , you need to be sure that you are consistent in your brand message so that it is immediately recognizable to your consumer. You need to look for easily accessible promotions if suitable for your product or service. And you need to create reactions in your audience. If your advertising doesn’t get a reaction from them, your business probaby won’t get business from them.

Advertising is a part of business, and has been since the first advertisements were carved in the wall in Ephesus, but we need to know what consumers want if we want to reach them – and what they want is pretty simple. The stud indicates the two biggest things consumers want from ads are information on new products and education. And that is where your creativity should be directed to get the best results possible.  I would love to know what ads you find to be most effective – both as a consumer and a business person. Please let me know in the comments below.

Infographic Courtesy of Lab42


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How to Spot a Yelp User

As businesses and professionals seem to obsess about social marketing, the social review process has become an important consideration. Consumers are empowered to provide their thoughts and reactions to all of their experiences 24 hours a day, and in doing so have illuminated a path for others who follow after them, helping to craft the consumer experience for others.

Yelp is possibly the best known review site, covering everything from Pizza places to auto repair shops to Realtors. Reviewers add ratings, reviews, and photos, connecting with their friends to communicate the best and worst experiences of their daily business interactions.

But what does the Yelp reviewer look like? Could you recognize one when you are out and about? How does Yelping impact their lives? The imaginations of Flowtown and Column Five have provided us with these answers to these burning questions. I know I recognized a little bit of myself here. Do you?

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Vacationing the Social Media Way

Whenever the disruptive influence of the web is discussed, the travel business is always at the forefront of the conversation. Travel agents have, in many ways been taken out of the middle of the transaction,as people make their own hotel, airline, and car rental arrangements online. Its become such a normal way of doing business, and is so different from what went before, that it’s no longer a novelty.  But the discussion of how social media has changed our vacation habits is one that is only now evolving.

Recently MDG Advertising developed an infographic with information from Marriot, TripAdvisor, Frommer’s Unlimited, Comscore and Allianz Global Assistance USA,  showing how social media is used in planning, booking, sharing, and reviewing all of the elements of their vacation. Their research showed that 5 out of 10 people used social media as a source for vacation inspiration,  with 3 out of 10 getting that inspiration from Facebook. More than half of the vacationers “like” a page related to their vacation while 59%  posted something on Facebook about their upcoming vacation.

It seems that we want to stay connected even when we get away – 3 out of 4 people used social media on their vacation, and when we return, 3 out of 4 share photos from their vacation with their social networks.

MDG found that mobile played a big part in the vacation process as well for everything from photos to scheduling wake up times. In fact, they discovered that the percentage of people using their mobile devices to check in or check flight status doubled year over year.

As we near the Labor Day Weekend, maybe reviewing the infographic can provide you with some ideas for your own vacation – Here’s hoping yours is a special one!





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Instant Success with Instagram

We have all become photographers.

Its almost impossible to attend an event, go to a historical landmark, or watch a sunset without  seeing someone using their phone to capture the moment.

Smartphones add to the photography explosion by providing numerous apps to enhance the photo taking and editing process. On of the most popular of these is Instagram, not only because its simple and easy to use, but because it has a strong and engaged social aspect. Instagram provides a simple and easy way to enhance and edit your photos with just a few taps of the a screen and its users are an engaged and responsive community that shares and comments and likes at an amazing rate.

Facebook‘s acquisition of Instagram took this already important player in the social space and amplified their reach and potential, and increased our need to have a plan to utilize the app and the community it provides access to in a thoughtful manner. Instagram is not only a cute and easy to use app, it can be a very powerful tool for using photos to increase involvement with the people you are connected to. Here is a terrific infographic from our friends at ColumnFive and Marketo that can help you simply create , curate and tag your photos, both new and existing to connect with your target demographic in an effective and personable manner.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Choosing Your Marketing Resource Strategy

I’ve always worked for small businesses. In fact, the largest company I have worked for as an adult is the one I own. So I have always been a big proponent of cost effective solutions.

If I can’t afford to hire a quality staff person, I may need to find another way to get the job done. But I am fascinated by the thought process that goes in determining whether to develop in-house resources or go outside of your company to get your goals accomplished.
Our good friends at MavenLink have combined two of my favorite things a flow-chart and infographic to help you through the thought process (with a smile on your face).

Hope you enjoy

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