Marketing to Builders, Contractors and Specifiers: A Metrics Blueprint

To market building materials effectively, you need to follow my favorite marketing mantra: It’s all about the audience. You need to speak their vernacular, which is refreshingly straightforward and to-the-point:

“How do I install this?”

“How much does it cost?”

“Will it save me time? Will it improve my margins?”

And metricking in this space should be straightforward as well. Because CRM systems provide an accurate means of monitoring purchase behavior, you have all the tools you need to track success of each marketing program. Here are 3 tips for effective campaign measurement:

1. Define Performance Indicators

And think beyond the cost per click. Smart database management, with perhaps some smart pixeling, can calculate cost per lead and cost per customer easier than you think.

2. Hold the Sales Team Accountable

I’ve written before about the critical role your sales team plays in marketing. If your sales process involves follow-up phone calls and in-person meetings, be sure the sales team logs their activities timely and accurately. Oftentimes dissecting the data by sales person, or by region, can lead to unexpected insights.

3. Implement Your Learnings

If you set the right KPIs up front, you’ll have actionable data on the back end. Tweak the creative message, reallocate media dollars, and focus your sales team’s energy on the most profitable prospects. Data is useless if you refuse to use it!

In the B2B Space, Buyers Are People Too

In the advertising world, it’s widely accepted that good advertising appeals to consumers’ emotions. That people buy based on emotion, then rationalize with facts.

For some reason, however, some marketers don’t think emotion has a role in B2B advertising. To them, I say, B2B buyers are people too! And the good people at the San Francisco School of Copywriting* agree:

“Psychologists and analysts are well aware that we walk around all day long with mindless chatter going on in our brains. It’s your job to write copy that is strong enough to get the attention of these people and to provide them with answers to the issues that are irritating them…

  • Fear of loss
  • Comfort and convenience
  • Pride of ownership
  • Desire for gain
  • Emotional satisfaction

Remember that you are selling the feelings that your prospect will attain from having purchased your goods. You’re not selling the hole that the drill makes; you are selling how the customer will FEEL once they’ve drilled the hole and used it.”

To see emotion come alive in a B2B brand essence video, check this out:

*San Francisco School of Copywriting

Auto Service Providers… Check Your Rearview Mirrors!

If you didn’t see the recent Pep Boys “Rebranding Efforts” article in Ad Age (link to story is below), you definitely will want to check it out. Bottom line: As cars become more and more complicated for non-professional DIY’er to service, the traditional aftermarket auto parts retailers are changing their paradigm and trying to carve out their own piece of the auto service pie. And these guys have traditionally been bigger spenders in mass media, in general, than even the larger auto service chains. So, you can likely plan for them to be a force to be reckoned with! And one that you can also count on not to go gently into that good night.

What does that mean for all you traditional auto service providers – dealership, chain and independent? I suggest you take a renewed, and very close look at your brand positioning, messaging, budgets and media mix; and start making plans now to do all you can to blunt the efforts (and they’re coming, and they’ll be serious) of this new group of entrants into the category. Are you doing all you can to promote your years in the business of servicing vehicles? What about the expertise of your technicians? Are any or all ASE Certified? Is your work warrantied? Has your shop earned any “awards” for service excellence? Or is it rated an “A” or and “A+” by the Better Business Bureau?

If you don’t start immediately differentiating the services you provide from what might be expected from these newcomers to the category, plan on watching them as they pass you, rolling down the high-speed lane. Lest YOU be the one in THEIR rearview mirror.

http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/pep-boys-banks-rebranding-effort-road-ahead/292252/

And… if you think an independent third-party audit of your marketing, branding and advertising might be a valued undertaking, contact me via phone or eMail, and let’s talk.

David Courtney

Group Director-Auto/Transport

Wyse Advertising

Ph: 216.736.4165

EM: dcourtney@wyseadv.com

3 Tips for Marketing to Women in the Auto Aftermarket

Marketers are familiar with the stats:

  • 85% of purchase decisions are made by women
  • Women spend over $200 billion  – yes, billion – in new car purchases and maintenance

And yet 75% of women feel they are misunderstood by automotive marketers.* So, how can we, as marketers, win over the fairer gender?

1. Enforce customer interaction that fosters trust. Studies show that women rank “How I was treated by the sales associate” as most important when deciding where to take their business. To ensure women’s expectations are exceeded, implement a process that fosters listening, collaboration and mutual respect.

2. Understand budget expectations. Women are willing to pay for quality service, but they’re not willing to put up with pushy salespeople. Be sure your countermen, and counterwomen, empathize with all customers.

3. Build your brand through reviews. Compared to men, women are more apt to conduct research before making a purchase. Interestingly, women are also 3x more likely than men to write reviews. Be diligent about asking for reviews, especially with female customers. And if you’re tackling the first two items listed, the reviews will be positive more often than not.

Source: www.women-drivers.com

Marketing to Millennials: Key Data Points

Topline data about Millennials, thanks to our friends at the Center for Media Research:

According to a new SDL study, Millennials are 56% more likely to discover marketing content on social networks than via search engines or email. The average Millennials check their smartphones 45 times a day. The study is part of a series titled “Five Truths for Future Marketers,” which details five key ways that marketers must adapt to engage the next generation of highly connected and informed consumers, whose digital preferences may not respond to traditional marketing tactics.

Millennials

  • Born 1978-1996
  • Age 18-36
  • 1 in 4 people in the US is a Millennial
  • HH Income:

<25K   10%
25-50K   20%
50-100K   42%
100-150K   17%
>150K   11%

Millennial consumers orchestrate their own brand experiences, across multiple channels and devices, often as many as four devices in one day. Email is one of their last choices of preference, and they share content with peers and trusted brands. In order to win their trust, brands must create a consistent experience across all channels. Millennials want content that finds them.

To learn more about generating such content, find us on Twitter @WyseAdvertising or at WyseAdvertising.com

 

B2B Marketing: Using Content Marketing to Convert Leads

There’s no denying that Content Marketing is a buzzword in today’s ad biz. I’m not sure which brand gets credited for inventing content marketing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Betty Crocker. Who, cleverly, created demand for her products by including recipes in her print ads.  Brilliant move, Betty!

betty crocker 3

Fast forward about 75 years, and while Betty’s recipes might have stayed the same, content marketing has certainly evolved. Today, thanks to modern marketing technology, we can better target our content in a way that lets us develop, nurture and convert leads.

Here’s our short and sweet recipe for mixing content marketing and lead gen:

1. Smart use of a database allows you to track new leads, and what content they consume most. Use this information to inform your content calendar going forward.

2. Leverage the right software to deliver existing content to new leads. Pushing existing white papers, infographics and case studies to new leads based on profile data they provide allows for efficient delivery of relevant content.

3. Asking the right questions up front allows you to successfully categorize leads. Then, hot leads can be called and others can be incubated with relevant follow-up.

Share your tips, or ask questions in the Comments section below. And follow us @WyseAdvertising to stay up to speed on content marketing strategies.

Running Dialog Two.

(This piece runs a little longer, but stay with it. You’ll feel good when you finish.)

It’s noon. Or close enough. It’s warmer outside, and the sidewalks are clear. No plans for lunch.

Time to cinch on your Garmin and go for a run. Time to see what’s changing on the Cleveland cityscape. And get some much-needed exercise as the deep freeze thaws.

Starting out from Titans gym on Prospect, let’s head east.

Cut down the alley by the recently opened, now-closed Black Dog restaurant. Great idea. Cut a side entrance into the former Citizens building—now the City Club building—and retool the former Pewter Mug from an upholstered gopher hole into a sports den. Too bad it didn’t catch on.

Exit the alley and turn west on Euclid, passing in front of the 668 Euclid building, the former William Taylor & Son department store. In fact, passing by the ground floor offices of Wyse Advertising. Look for the logo in the windows.

Cross Euclid and head north on E. 6th opposite Potbelly’s on the ground floor where the Bond department store with its signature stainless steel clock used to be.

Continue north, cross Superior, pass by the unique rose-marbled façade of the Federal Reserve bank, then by the newly restored Calfee building, home of the Calfee law firm.

It’s worth pausing here, figuratively—true runners never stop until they finish—to admire the Calfee building, a 100-year-old historic landmark that was originally headquarters of the East Ohio Gas Company, then the studios of KYW, later WKYC, radio and TV.

Glance across the street to the preeminent sandstone block structure of the Cleveland Board of Education building, recently sold at auction, soon to be converted to a Drury Plaza hotel.

Continue north on E. 6th, turn right on St. Clair by the Lincoln building. The Lincoln was originally built as a parking garage, then partially enclosed to accommodate offices. Recently, plans were announced to reconvert much of that space back to parking to help satisfy the demand for Convention Center parking. The owners plan to top it off with loft apartments.

Right on St. Clair across from the former Crowne Plaza hotel, under renovation to become the new Westin hotel, another project destined to help fill the void in Cleveland hotel space.

[As of 2013, Cleveland offers a total of 3,145 hotel rooms downtown. With the addition of six new hotel properties projected to open by 2016, Cleveland’s hotel room inventory is projected to grow about 56% in the next three years. Cleveland will add 1,748 rooms over the next few years, bringing the city’s total to 4,893 rooms.]

North on East 9th, take a side trip through Willard Park behind the giant red steel Claes Oldenburg Free Stamp and back to Lakeside going west.

Pass City Hall, take another little side tour around the promenade on Mall C, note historic landmark citing Burnham Mall. You’re actually above the north section of the new Cleveland Convention Center.

It’s a beautiful open area—sidewalks with streetlamps, benches, and tables surrounding a large lawn in the center framed with hydrangeas in the spring. Great view of the lakefront. Worth the detour.

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.”
— Daniel Burnham, Architect/City Planner
(1846–1912)

Just past the Mall B Convention Center, immediately north of the newly opened Center for Health Innovation, you’ll see a fenced-in excavation. That was the site of the Cuyahoga County building recently demolished to make way for the recently unveiled 600-room, 30-story Hilton Cleveland Convention Center hotel complex, connected to both venues underground.

Continue west on Lakeside, pass by the county courthouse at Ontario, then doff your cap to the statue of Jesse Owens at Jesse Owens Park at the corner of W. 3rd. Yes, the Jesse Owens. The standout sprinter from Cleveland East Tech High School who went on to single-handedly dispel Adolf Hitler’s notion of Aryan supremacy by winning four gold medals—with Hitler watching—in the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin, Germany.

Cross and head into the Warehouse District, now Cleveland’s apartment district, staying on Lakeside to avoid the lunchtime crowds along St. Clair.

After you cross at the corner of W. 9th and Lakeside, you have an option. Turn north and head down into the Flats. Or turn south on W. 9th. Today, it’s Plan B, south. Pass trendy apartments, Constantino’s gourmet market, a string of cafés, and the historic Western Reserve Building, the keystone restoration project of the Warehouse District led by Herb Strawbridge, the visionary chairman of The Higbee Company.

Take a right and head west across the 3,112-foot Superior high-level bridge, aka the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, one of two major spans linking east to west over the Cuyahoga River and the Flats. Immediately below are the tracks of the underground streetcar lines that, until the mid-1950s, carried commuters to and from the Cleveland train terminal below what is now Tower City.

It’s your first uphill stretch. But don’t sweat it, it’s only about one-third of a mile. Soon enough, it’s the same distance downhill to W. 25th Street.

At W. 25th, turn left, head south. Pass the sprawling community vegetable gardens along the western rim of the Cuyahoga Valley, supplying fresh produce to many local eateries.

The gardens stretch behind the Riverview Towers across from Lutheran Hospital. Now you’re into Ohio City’s Market District, an eclectic chic blend of shops, brewpubs, galleries, consignment shops, and gentrification. Next stop, Cleveland’s celebrated West Side Market.

At the corner by the Market, cross Lorain, cross Gehring, continue east to Columbus, take a hard left. At Freeman, turn right; the Duck Island Club is on your left, go another block, turn left on W. 19th. Pass the Gateway Animal Clinic, turn left again on Abbey back to Gehring and Lorain.

Take the crosswalk to the north side of Lorain, you’ll see why in a minute. Head east on Lorain toward the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge. Just after crossing the short bridge over Columbus and the Rapid tracks, you’ll notice a large, recently cleared lot on your left.

That’s the first evidence of a large-scale demolition to make way for the Brickman project, a four-acre planned development of apartments and townhouses overlooking the west bank of the Flats.

Dedicated in 1932, the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge, aka the Hope Memorial, spans 5,865 feet over the Cuyahoga River, itself adding over a mile to today’s route.

The Hope is recognizable for its four 43-foot double-sided pylons, the Guardians of Transportation, heralding technological advances in road transit.

Why the Hope Memorial? One of the original stonecutters of the sandstone pylons was William Henry Hope, a 1908 English immigrant and father of one of Cleveland’s favorite sons, the entertainer Bob Hope.

Heading over the bridge, we’re protected along the 15-foot-wide pedestrian way by a staunch chest-high barrier on both sides. Constructed by ODOT, the mile-long pedestrian crosstown byway was a concession to bike groups pressing for a bike/pedestrian lane along the new Innerbelt bridge, which ODOT denied.

Glance over the bridge to the serpentine river through the sprawling Flats below. Far to the right, work continues on the new Innerbelt bridges, the most ambitious road construction project in Ohio history.

At the east end of the byway, Lorain—now Carnegie—crosses Ontario to Progressive Field. At E. 9th, turn north. Look to your right, notice the main entrance to the historic Erie Street Cemetery with its original sandstone archway, now being restored by the city.

On another day, visit the cemetery. It’s a who’s who of storied names from Cleveland’s heritage. And, yes, the gates are open; you can run through the grounds.

At the corner of 9th and Prospect, glance diagonally to your right to admire the reflective glass façade of the new Cuyahoga County headquarters building, the first phase of the Geis Brothers Ameritrust complex project. New life emerges on an abandoned block along a main downtown corridor.

Turn left on Prospect, head west back to Titans. Stop your watch. Total miles: 5.5. Total time: 50 minutes (or so).

These five miles show you a fraction of the new development on the downtown Cleveland skyline, a revitalized city rediscovering itself.

Where, we’ve never been more proud to say, Wyse has been putting major brands on a faster track since 1951.

To find out more, contact Matt Arko.

Screen shot 2014-03-21 at 3.50.04 PM

Visit MapMyRun.com to plot this course or create your own.

Links of interest:

Lincoln Building, Cleveland.com

Hilton Hotel, Cleveland.com

Brickman Project, Cleveland.com

 

B2B Insights: Using Direct Mail Advertising to Drive Sales

In the B2B space, a successful marketing strategy is one that drives positive ROI. If you’re reading this blog, you’re well aware of that. But you might not know that oftentimes the people that make or break your ROI are not even on the marketing team.

They’re on the sales team.

Depending on organizational structure, marketing and sales are often distinctly separated. But in fact, our sales counterparts are often to thank for direct marketing success. So how can marketing and sales work together efficiently?

By setting sales up for success.

Most established sales people are closers. Once they get the meeting they can sell (insert your favorite sales analogy here). Our job as marketers is easy. To get them in the door.

And trust that they’ll close it.

Watch a short video on the most critical part of direct marketing, the offer: Wyse Direct Marketing

Spam I AM? Not!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but every morning when I arrive at the office, the first few minutes of my day are taken up cleaning out my eMail Box. The vast majority of which is Spam. Then, throughout the remainder of the work day, I invariably receive between 50 and 100 more Spam eMails. Okay… so it doesn’t take an inordinate amount of time to scan the Sender information and Subject Lines of most of these to then delete them from my Inbox or Junk folder. But it still frustrates me to be losing productive work time every day to manage this inexorable task. But perhaps what’s most frustrating for me is having to delete repetitive Spam eMails that could never be something I want or need. Today. Or Ever. At least, I Hope.

As a male, 50+ ad executive in fair (for an ad guy who’s been in the business for over 30 years) shape, standing 6’1’’ and weighing 160 pounds, today alone I’ve deleted a total of 31 eMails which were for just the following 5 subjects/items: Losing Weight (which includes “Shrinking My Dress Size”), Saying Goodbye to Embarrassing Gas, Breast Augmentation, Drug Rehabilitation, and (more-and-more, just over the past couple weeks) chronic eMails with the Subject Line written in Chinese characters.

So, maybe given the fact that I’ve been in the advertising field, the Drug Rehab eMails could potentially have had application to someone like me. But the rest of these are ridiculous, and totally irksome. And this is honestly just the tip of the iceberg.

I know I can’t stop these eMails from coming, but it would sure be nice if the folks creating and disseminating them could do some filtering of their own on their side before blasting these eMails out to everyone they can get their message through to. Or at the very least taper these back to one or two per day, maximum.

Of course, to anyone who may be reading this post that has a role in disseminating Spam eMail, if you are advocating/selling any of the following… please, ADD me to your list:

  • Coffee for Life (shipped directly to your home and billed directly every month to your checking account or credit card).
  • Gas Stations in Cleveland Ohio (where I hope this terrible winter is finally coming to an end) that have attendants who will pump your gas and check your oil and washer fluid while you wait in your temperature controlled vehicle, with it running, like they used to do in the good old days.
  • Doctors, Dentists or Government offices that are open before 8:30am or after 5:00pm for business/appointments, so I don’t have to always miss work to attend to these services.
  • Client prospects who want to work with an ad agency that has some of the most talented people in the world working there. Better yet, for you folks, skip the eMail and simply call me directly @ 216-696-2424.

Reach out to garner the low-hanging fruit.

Or, why walk the walk when you can talk the talk?

We’ve all been in that meeting. You’re in sync with the presenter. Then the jargon starts to flow. You nod like you get it. Then again you’re not so sure.

By the time you snap back into the moment it’s too late. You missed something. Or did you?

Peel the onion, push the envelope, think outside the box. It’s there every day, in every meeting. It spills over into emails and phone calls—make that shout-outs.

An admittedly unscientific observation, jargon serves no useful purpose except to fill time and vocal space. It’s an artificial substitute for authentic content. Fuzzy logic.

To wit, somewhere there must be a rule that says saying something is better than saying nothing. So, saying nothing becomes saying something. It’s a paradigm shift.

Jargon’s existence is untraceable and never-ending. It’s a continually evolving form of language and speech that wants to amaze, impress, and confuse us at the same time.

Ad writers are continually reminded not to use a big word when a small word will do; and use as few words as possible. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t hold true in meetings. It’s volume from the get-go, until the hard stop.

But maybe that’s a good thing. The carwash of disarticulation that often masquerades as strategic input might actually serve a purpose. By comparison, a simple, direct, well-crafted ad can break through the clutter. In the room.

Gatekeepers and stakeholders, quoting complex analytics and following best practices to avoid boiling the ocean, exhort you to make it pop. Everyone nods his head. These guys know what they’re talking about. They’re thought leaders.

Maybe it’s just me but it seems that whenever a new buzzword enters the room, probably introduced by an 800-pound gorilla, everyone embraces it. Instantly, it’s global.

Is there a jargon mill somewhere? A high-security Navarone where young guns working in secret think up these little gems of corporate-speak then push them out into conference rooms through the ventilation systems?

Core competencies aside, it takes a certain degree of—dare I say—insecurity to be a regular buzzworder. Seems it fills an unconscious void by making users sound more authoritative than they really aren’t. It’s an ego-empowerment device. Like verbal elevator shoes.

After all, who doesn’t want to be the smartest guy in the room?

Buzzwords range from frivolous replacements for common words to cleverly concocted buzz phrases.

You see, common words are, well, common. Common is boring. Boring is not good. Heck, who wants to call or talk or even analyze when you can reach out or engage or deep-dive? Boring, not boring. See what I mean?

For buzzwords to catch on, they have to, by definition, create buzz. That means newly minted words or uncharted expressions now have to be seamlessly integrated into our meeting lexicon. That takes repetition. That means everybody has to get on board.

To be fair, buzzwords, jargon—however you want to frame it—peppers other forms of communication too. It colors language in news, sports, and feature writing and announcing all day, every day.

So why does its usage invite post-meeting chuckles in the business arena? Because it seems so, if you will, pretentious. So out-of-the-park. So bleeding-edge.

But you can’t discount the entertainment value jargon provides. It injects levity, even reverie, into long, taxing meetings infused with serious discussion, supported by reams of data, delivered in PowerPoint. (The more slides the better.)

Infused in a presentation, jargon gives us a bio-break without leaving the room. We can travel to another place to revel briefly and deliciously in the beautiful nonsense of these mindless jewels. Even spout a few of our own, just for fun.

So bring them on. Let us not go quietly into the next meeting. Let us go boldly forth, prepared to dazzle the minions, armed with real-time next-gen benchmarks.

At the end of the day, it comes down to this simple metric: He who has the most scalability wins.

Before we put this subject in the parking lot, join the conversation. What are your favorite meetingisms? Be sure to include the translation so we all can engage.