The MadAveGroup Blog

Scott Greggory, Chief Creative Officer

Thursday, 08 December 2022 13:30

Marketing Tips for the New Year

Marketing Ideas for 2023

The new year is an opportunity to take a fresh look at your marketing goals and activities. So, I asked several members of the MadAveGroup team this question:

"What should more companies do with their marketing in 2023 and beyond?"

Consider their advice.

Joe Hochgreve / Senior Web Developer

Adding a Live Chat feature to your website can provide many benefits. It creates conversion opportunities on every page of your site, increasing conversion rates by an average of 150%. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a live person standing by 24/7 to address incoming questions. And leads generated by live chat close at a much higher rate than those from online forms.

Gwen Hagen / Marketing Manager

A lot of companies underutilize their first-party data, especially as they grow. Look at what you’re doing with your customer and prospect phone numbers and email addresses. Are you using that data to its fullest potential? Or have you been applying the same predictable marketing tactics to reach those people for too long? If you have data, there may be a more creative and effective way to leverage it.

My favorite example: using first-party mailing addresses to match with your customers' home IP addresses. Marketing to street addresses limits you to printed pieces, like postcards and brochures. But marketing via IP addresses opens a world of possibilities for digital marketing, such as serving display, video and OTT ads through a variety of platforms.

Michael Seay / Director

If you’ve been recruiting without much luck, re-evaluate your digital spending. If you're using LinkedIn, Indeed or other dedicated job platforms, shift money to more mainstream platforms with higher traffic, like Google or Facebook. Unemployment is low and the need for skilled labor has never been higher. So, job seekers on traditional job websites aren’t likely to be the cream of the crop. Your ideal candidates may not even be looking for a new job. That’s why you may need to interrupt and entice them while they’re on other sites.

Jessica Speweike / Content Developer

Since I’ve been monitoring our clients’ social media accounts, I’ve noticed that many companies put time, money and energy into platforms that don’t produce returns.

It’s a misconception that using every social media platform will increase your exposure and reach. If your Twitter account isn’t generating engagement now, doubling your number of tweets each month won’t attract more attention.

Take an honest look at your content to improve it, or you can focus on the social channels that are working better for you. Even though there’s no cost for the media, running successful social media programs is not free.

Jon Marker / Business Development

Before creating your marketing plan, it’s important to assess your high-priority pain points. Determine how much those pains are costing your company - in actual dollars and in other ways - and then craft your marketing plan and budget. Many businesses ignore the total cost of their pain points, even if that pain is “only” the toll it takes on their employees or the turbulence it generates in the workplace. Having a plan to offset those costs and eliminate that pain can be an absolute game-changer.

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Monday, 07 November 2022 10:46

Are You Marketing in a Fog?

Dont Market in a Fog

The last few mornings in our town have been foggy. And it’s been dense fog. Very low visibility.

Of course, when you can’t see much past your own windshield, it's tough to know where you are, even if you’ve driven the road you're on for years. It also means you can't tell if you're close to your destination or not.

If you run a business, you may feel like you go through foggy patches now and then. They can make it hard to see a clear path to success or may cause you to miss important turns and detours.

When driving in thick fog, it makes sense to use GPS, a tool that helps you stay on course and avoid potential danger.

A marketing plan is like GPS for your company.

It ensures that every member of your team is moving in the same direction by defining your marketing goals, strategies and tactics. It prevents you from merely hoping the marketing decisions you make will get you close to where you want to be.

April Rietzke is the Director of MadAve Marketing Management. Her team creates and executes marketing plans. "Our plans have allowed clients to streamline their processes, increase sales and improve retention, all while saving money on advertising," she said.

"We've also helped clients identify and seize marketing opportunities they never considered before. A solid marketing plan makes it easier to maintain consistent messaging, too."

And all that intention and focus can lead to a more engaged audience.

Working without a marketing plan is like driving through fog. With no clear vision of where you’re headed, it’s easy to lose your sense of direction and make costly blind turns.

No one wants to wait on hold after calling a business. Yet, each day, companies all across the country force their valuable callers into a void of on hold silence. Or they make their customers and prospects listen to the same 60-second loop of music, interrupted only by the redundant and pointless reminder that “your call is important to us.”

That’s no way to treat the people who keep you in business.

BusinessVoice is our Caller Experience Marketing agency. Since 1989, that team has been dedicated to providing information callers can use to make smarter buying decisions. In other words, they serve their clients by serving their clients' callers.

One of the other ways BusinessVoice elevates the caller experience is by creating custom Humor On Hold. Take a listen to the four examples below. All were winners of a 2022 MarCom Award.

Video 1: Lakeland Auto and Marine won the Platinum award.
Video 2: Downey PHCE won a Gold award.
Video 3: Binkelman Corporation won a Gold award.
Video 4: Wellington Implement won an honorable mention.

To put Humor On Hold to work for your brand, call 800/473-9005 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

"It's all about creating marketing content that people WANT to hear, even when it's in a traditionally negative environment."

That's how Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory describes Humor On Hold, the unique service provided by BusinessVoice, our Caller Experience Marketing agency.

"Nobody wants to be put on hold after calling a company, but if we can make the experience surprisingly funny, while still imparting useful information, both the caller and our client win."

And, once again, BusinessVoice has been named a winner for creative excellence. The agency received two honors during the 2022 MARCE Awards ceremony, presented September 19th by The Experience Marketing Association (EMA).

Our Humor On Hold for Wellington Implement earned the trophy for the Most Entertaining On Hold Marketing production, as well as a Judge's Choice award.

One judge wrote that "This is very entertaining. The situations really enhance the brand." Another judge noted that our work "made me want to listen to the next message all the way through."

Creative Consultant Daniel DiManna and Scott Greggory co-wrote the copy. Josh Jump served as recording engineer.

If you're considering a new approach with your marketing content, talk with our team about using humor in your videos, website, social channels and On Hold Marketing.

Thursday, 01 September 2022 20:27

8 Reminders: Marketing and Communication Basics

Marketing and Communication Basics

Yep. The following reminders are, in fact, basic. But there’s a good reason to read the list - the “basics” are foundational.

Even the most accomplished musicians warm up by playing scales. Even the best hitters in the Major Leagues take batting practice before each game.

Likewise, reviewing and applying these basic thoughts can help you maintain your strong foundation.

Here we go…

1) On your business cards, résumé and email signature, use the name you want people to call you. If you prefer Bob, don’t refer to yourself as Robert on your LinkedIn page and other public profiles.

2) Make your emails easier to scan and read by using bullet points. Change important ideas from black to red. And highlight any requests that require action.

3) Include all your company’s contact information on your website. Don’t just make potential customers enter their personal info, submit it and then wait for your response.

4) Writing a blog post or a longer email? Start with an outline. Jot down the main points you’d like to make in a column. Add basic details under each point. Then, build your content around those points. Move your blocks of content as necessary to create the most logical flow for your audience.

Also, when writing website and email copy, apply this journalism principle: don’t bury the lede. Position the most important information near the top of your content.

5) In a meeting? Keep your phone or other device out of sight. Turning it over isn’t good enough. The presence of your phone or tablet suggests to others in the room that, at any second, you could be attending to an email or call that's “more important."

6) Never lie - or even exaggerate - with your marketing. Making outrageous claims about your product is an obvious type of lying, but there are more subtle misrepresentations, too. For example, the marketing emails that include this type of copy:

“I’ve been reviewing your website, MadAveGroup.com. I really like it, and I’ve been thinking about ways that we could help you generate even more traffic.”

The person who sent that email didn’t review our site. He didn’t form an opinion of our site. And, on a whim, he didn’t start pondering ways to improve our site. Lies have no place in any type of relationship. Make sure your marketing messages are accurate and honest.

7) Edit your business writing so it’s as concise, yet as effective as possible. Cut the fluff and repetition to show respect for your audience’s time. Whether you’re crafting emails, reports or blog posts, it’s your job as the writer to make your content easy to navigate, digest and retain.

8) Always say “thank you.” For a client’s time or trust. For a customer’s purchase. For a colleague’s insight. Thank people when they hold the door, when they pick up the tab, when they do good work. Look people in the eyes, say thank you as often as you can and mean it. There’s neither an easier expression of gratitude nor one that’s more meaningful.

Thank you for reading.

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Tuesday, 09 August 2022 12:48

"Picture Toledo!" Photo Challenge

We asked a few of our staff members to step outside of their normal skill sets for a while and capture images of our hometown of Toledo, Ohio. 

Check out their photos below.

Want to live in our great city and work at MadAveGroup? Find details here.

 

Bob Seybold

Bob1

Bob2

Bob3

Bob4

 

Lindsay Gebhart

Lindsay1

Lindsay2

 

Kara Koepfer

Kara1

Kara2

 

Daniel DiManna

Daniel2

Daniel1

 

Scott Greggory

Scott11

Scott1

Scott8

Scott4

Scott7

Scott5

Scott3

Scott13

Scott2

Scott9

Scott6

Scott12 

If Your Brand Is Flawed Do What Bob Fosse Did

Bob Fosse was one of the world’s best-known choreographers. Over his 40-year career, he designed memorable dance scenes for films and Broadway musicals, including All That Jazz, Cabaret, Pippin and Chicago. (Watch a salute to Fosse here.)

He earned an Oscar, three Emmys and nine Tony Awards, while creating a dark, sensual, instantly recognizable look and a unique physical vocabulary that still inspire dancers decades after his death.

Yet, much of his signature approach was born of his weaknesses.

In a 1984 BBC interview, Fosse said, “Truly, my style came from my own physical problems. I always had a slight hunch in my shoulders, so, as a dancer, I began hunching.”

He started losing his hair as a young man, “so I started wearing a lot of hats.”

“And I never had the ballet turn-out, so I said, ‘well, I can’t turn [my feet] out, so I’m going to do the opposite and turn them in.’ The whole style has come out of my defects.”

Fosse said, “I thank God I wasn’t born perfect.”

Of course, nobody is perfect. Nor is any brand. But, while you’re walking the endless path to improvement, consider how you could capitalize on your company's weaknesses.

Start by re-positioning what you perceive as negatives. Instead, think of them as quirks, unique qualities that could have value as differentiators. No one saw Bob Fosse’s hunched shoulders or thinning hair as impairments because he leaned into them. He looked right through the cons and saw the pros on the other side. Then, he put those features to work for his dancers.

So, for example, is your company smaller than you’d like it to be?

Instead of going into debt to grow your local inventory, focus on just one product and work to earn your status as a respected national expert on that item.

Instead of hiring more people, invest in training the staff you already have so that they come to exemplify a new pinnacle of customer service.

Instead of upgrading to technical systems you can’t afford, embrace old-school business practices: personal phone calls, face-to-face meetings, hand-written thank you notes.

Each of those is an example of looking at a perceived problem through Fosse-like eyes. And each could elevate you and your brand in the hearts and minds of customers. 

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Tuesday, 21 June 2022 14:05

Look for Indicators

Look for Indicators

I drove behind a pick-up truck for a few miles the other day. On the truck’s rear window was a hard-to-read, dated, ultra-fancy logo for a local florist. My immediate thought was, “I’d never call that place for flowers.”

Why? Because of how poorly they presented their information, even though they're in the presentation business

Whether the florist designed or just approved the gaudy logo, I assumed they’d also do a bad job of designing tasteful floral arrangements or, at the very least, that their idea of what’s beautiful is not consistent with mine.

To me, that florist’s logo was an indicator. And often, indicators speak louder and more truthfully about a company’s abilities and commitment than its advertising and marketing content do. For instance…

  • Is the restaurant’s front window filthy? If so, you don’t want to see their kitchen.
  • Is the wireless provider’s website an endless maze? There’s a good chance their customer service feels like that, too.
  • Is the physician’s office always short-staffed? That suggests that the doctor who cares for your health doesn’t know how to care for his employees.

Indicators are red flags that may provide insight into future encounters. A company’s commercials or online ads might allude to a great buying experience, but when its callers are kept on hold in silence or their store environments are old and tired or the staff isn’t trained and friendly, customers are sure to be disappointed with what they find in real life.

Distinctive, memorable advertising and marketing content is important, but it must also be an accurate representation of what you deliver. Exaggeration for the sake of bringing people through the virtual or actual door can quickly backfire in the form of bad reviews and angry customers.

On the other hand, you may be the best landscape architect in town, but if the lawn and bushes in front of your office are brown and crispy, potential clients might be suspicious of your good reputation.

As a consumer, it’s important to look for indicators before you buy. As a marketer, it’s even more important to recognize when your message or visual brand is misleading, inaccurate or potentially damaging in any other way.

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Monday, 13 June 2022 11:38

MadAveGroup Wins 2022 Telly Award

In June 2022, MadAveGroup won a Telly Award for "Hang The Wreath," a holiday-themed television campaign we produced to subtly promote our agency.

"We purchased air time on a local TV station, but, as a B-to-B company, we knew the majority of the audience wouldn't need our services," said Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory. "So, we chose to have a little fun with the concept."

The three 15-second spots pushed viewers to the HangTheWreath.com website where they could read about the cast of the commercials, download a screensaver and vote for the destination of a holiday wreath.

"We targeted the spots at local marketers to draw them to the site and learn what it was all about," said Greggory.

The Telly Awards honor the best work created for television and other video channels. Each year, industry judges review more than 12,000 entries from every state and five continents.

Watch the winning campaign below.
 

Telly Awards Graphic

Our BusinessVoice team won a 2022 Communicator Award of Excellence for a Humor On Hold production created for Lakeland Auto and Marine in Port Clinton, Ohio. The audio, captured in the video below, is titled “What’s This Sound?”

Communicator Award entries are judged by members of the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. The panel consists of professionals from media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms. Members represent major organizations, including Amazon, Conde Nast, Disney, ESPN, GE Digital, Spotify, The Wall Street Journal and Wired.

Credits:

Scott Greggory - Writer / Voiceover
Chris Zaharias - Recording Engineer
Amy Scott - Voiceover

 

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