The MadAveGroup Blog
Terry Lesniewicz has been creating memorable images and effective work for brands since the early 1970s.
And as the creative leader of d2i - our brand, design and advertising agency - Terry is still makin’ it happen today, as both an impactful designer and a mentor to the next generation.
On April 19th, 2017, Terry and a few other area designers were featured in an informal retrospective called The Poster Show. Check out the images of Terry's work below.
We’re very proud of the influence that Terry has had on advertising and design, and we’re very excited that he shares his talent, perspective and vast experience with our team and clients every day.
"It's been a pleasure working with the up-and-coming designers here at d2i, including Greg Stawicki. He was instrumental in the work for the Mad Ave Collective poster" (middle row left below).
Usually, advertising takes.
Pre-roll videos, radio and TV spots, print ads: they all interrupt or delay what people want to see or hear. So, by their very nature, those types of advertising take.
They take the audience's time. They take their attention. They can even take the momentum and enjoyment out of the entertainment experience.
But what if advertising were used to give?
Here’s an example.
About 97% of people are not in the market for a new vehicle at any given time. And because Americans own their cars for an average of 6.5 years, most drivers won't be looking for new wheels anytime soon.
Yet, radio and TV commercial breaks are filled with car dealer spots, sometimes back-to-back. And so often, the “take-oriented” message in those commercials is about price or specific vehicles - information that will no longer apply when the majority of the audience is actively shopping for a new car.
So, what if a car dealer were to use his advertising to provide unbiased advice on purchasing a new vehicle?
Or tips on how to keep your current vehicle running its best?
Or the six steps to maintaining your car’s paint job?
Or a few facts that would help you choose the right engine oil?
Or suggestions for cool weekend road trips?
Or specific examples of how buying an American-made model benefits you and your community?
Or stories of how the dealership has gone above and beyond to care for their customers over the years?
Oh, and, by the way, “please think of us when you need a new car.”
What if that car dealer used his air time and ad space to focus on you, rather than himself and his products? To give you valuable information? To prove to you over and over again that his company is worthy of your trust? To build - in a way - a relationship with you?
Not only would you come away from that advertising a smarter consumer, you might develop a fondness for the company responsible for it.
As a marketer, you can't change the interruptive nature of certain channels, but you can change your content - from self-focused to audience-focused; from taking to giving, with the goal of creating a valuable, long-term role in the lives of your audience.
Many years ago when I lived in another town, I used to visit a farm stand during the summer months.
The lady who ran the stand didn't have nearly the selection of the local grocery store, and her produce was even a bit more expensive than the store's.
But she knew my name. And she used it every time she saw me.
She was friendly. She put an extra apple in my bag now and then. And every time I left the stand, she sent me off with a warm "thank you" and an invitation to come back soon.
I didn’t get any of that from the grocery store.
Yes, the store was fancier and air conditioned, but I never walked out with the sense that I had just been cared for.
The lady at the farm stand quickly earned my loyalty by making me feel important, showing her appreciation for my business, and giving me added value.
Can you see how that approach could go a long way toward helping you win and keep customers?
It’s much easier, less expensive and more profitable to sell ten different products to one happy, loyal person than to sell one product to ten relatively disengaged people.
So, consider making account penetration a higher priority: increase your share of each customer, rather than increasing your share of the market.
Meeting that goal requires strengthening relationships with your most important customers; learning their wants, needs, pains and goals, and actively looking for opportunities to care for them.
When you take a legitimate interest in helping your customers succeed, when you serve more as a consultant and less as a vendor looking for a quick sale, when you truly work on behalf of your customers’ interests, you’ll earn the type of loyalty that's necessary for deeper relationships to prosper.
Partner with your best customers. Find ways to get more involved with their businesses, and let them into yours. Develop ways you can work together for the betterment of both companies. As a partner that delivers real value, you become much harder to shake when cheaper competitors move into the market.
Finally, the customer whose business consistently nets your company a million dollars per year is more valuable to you than the customer who spends a couple thousand dollars once in a while, so why treat those two customers equally?
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply the basics of good service to every customer, but committing the same resources to the smaller client can't possibly yield the same return.
And if your employees believe there is no difference between customers, they’ll have no incentive to provide preferential treatment to those who deserve it.
However you choose to measure their importance to you, your more valuable customers should receive an even higher degree of service. After all, they pay for it every day with their loyalty to you.
In the world of marketing and advertising, there aren't many agencies that have served a client for a quarter of a century or more.
But we're a bit different. Ten of our clients have been with us for 25 years or longer.
And they represent a wide variety of industries, from automotive sales, HVAC, building materials and contractors, to non-profits, healthcare, senior care and rehabilitation.
So, to thank our longest-term clients, we went on a little tour. We visited each company to present the management with a personalized, locally made, hand-blown glass memento like the one on the right.
The inscription acknowledges “our 25-year relationship and [our client's] dedication to delivering exceptional customer experiences.”
What a privilege to have the loyalty and trust of so many people. We never take our responsibilities to them or any of our clients lightly. And we are truly thankful for their support throughout these many years.
By the way, the numbers are even nicer for our 20-year clients: We've been serving 83 businesses for two decades or longer.
We're looking forward to giving out many more of these beautiful thank you gifts in the coming years.
Thank you for reading this blog post. Truly, it means a lot to me that you’re investing the time.
And if you’re a client of ours, thank you for allowing us to serve you, and for the trust you place in us. You are the reason we get to do what we love to do.
There are other ways we express our thanks, too. We train consistently. We improve processes frequently. We work to expand our outlook and sharpen our work every day.
We do that for you and our other clients.
As a way of saying “you made a good call when you chose us.”
As a way of reinforcing that we’re committed to your long-term success.
Now, as I often do in this blog, I’ll challenge you with a few questions.
How are you expressing thanks to your customers or clients? Is it a strong, company-wide commitment to literally say “thank you” at the point of sale? Is it a rewards program? Is it providing extra special added value to long-time buyers? Is it a simple, meaningful handshake?
Consumers have a lot of choices. A sincere thank you can go a long way toward earning their loyalty.
On November 10, 2016, MadAveGroup CEO Jerry Brown was inducted into the Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence Hall of Fame.
The hall honors those who have successfully grown their ideas and businesses in northwest Ohio and/or southeast Michigan.
Since founding his first marketing agency in 1989, Brown has led the development of a family of specialized marketing agencies, all of which fall under the MadAveGroup umbrella.
“Making money is certainly important for any business,“ Brown said, “but what I really love is building something of value, whether it’s our agency and all the different things we can do, or helping our clients grow their businesses. That’s the challenge. That’s the thrill.”
The MadAveGroup leadership team was in the audience to watch the award presentation, including VP of Account Management and Fulfillment Valerie Likens. “Jerry is passionate about his work,” she said “and he’s able to communicate that passion and pass it along to his team.”
“There are tremendous challenges that come with starting and growing a business, AND trying to maintain a culture that’s both fun and focused,” said Scott Greggory, MadAveGroup’s Chief Creative Officer. “Jerry has done both wonderfully well, and managed to keep a great enthusiasm for life, for people and for the work we do here. He’s a very special guy, and completely deserving of this award.”
Watch Jerry's acceptance speech in the video above.
Have you heard the good news? There’s an amazing pillow you can buy that eliminates insomnia, sleep apnea, acid reflux, even cerebral palsy!
The only problem is it doesn’t fix any of that stuff.
So consumer protection officials in California slapped the makers of MyPillow with a $1 million fine for making those false health claims in their advertising.
It’s no secret that, over the years, more than a few marketers have stretched the truth a bit when describing the products they sell. But I encourage you to fight that urge should you start to feel it.
Here’s a quote from one of the internal training videos we produced for our new Creative Consultants - our writers:
“First and foremost - don’t lie. Don’t ever lie with your copy. Don’t even exaggerate. People will figure out very quickly when you’re full of bologna and when your copy is misleading just to get them in the door. We don’t want to be those folks. Instead, shine a light on what is real, what is unique, what is valuable about that client. We’re not here to try to fool anybody, because it’s just not going to work, and it’s going to come back sooner or later to haunt the client.”
That honest approach to marketing and communication will endear you to customers.
It may also force you to examine your company’s value. The reason: If you can’t develop a message or create content that paints an appealing picture of your product without resorting to wild assertions and hyperbole, you’ll need to ask yourself why that is.
Then, maybe, instead of spending time and money to advertise exaggerated claims, you can commit those resources to building a better product, process or experience that’s more likely to sell itself.
TV and Online Video Campaign - Revere
We created a series of ten commercials for Revere, a new player in the digital communications world. The content takes a humorous approach to the needs and frustrations of small business owners. Nick Heath, a Commercial Sales Rep for Revere, said, "I think the commercials are brilliant!" Revere President Jeff Ansted liked them, too: "They're all funny, and I think they'll get people talking." Watch four of the spots below.
Giving Campaign - St. Paul's Community Center
This end-of-the-year push for support included billboards, social media, multiple press releases, and a partnership with a local radio station. Joe Habib is St. Paul’s Executive Director. He wrote, “Thank you for everything you do. This is good work. I love the Change Jar idea. It is new and keeps people talking.”
The MadAveGroup creative team took away a nice haul from this year’s MarCom Awards: four awards total, including two platinum trophies and a gold. Take a look at the work and a few details below.
Platinum Award - SensoryMax Website
Designer: Greg Stawicki
Copywriter: Scott Greggory
Developer: Charley Hobbs
Platinum Award - Binkelman On Hold Marketing / “That’s Pretty Hot”
Writer: Scott Greggory
Voices: Scott Greggory and Amy Scott
Recording Engineer: Don Binkley
Gold Award - International Translating Company On Hold Marketing / “Talented Tongues”
Writers: Cody McCloskey and Scott Greggory
Voices: Scott Greggory and Bob Seybold
Recording Engineers: Don Binkley
Honorable Mention - Arrowwood Lodge On Hold Marketing / “Flippin’ TV”
Writers: Andrea Poteet, Cody McCloskey and Scott Greggory
Main Voices: Scott Greggory, Bob Seybold, Amy Scott, Ed Hunter and Steve Lovvorn
Recording Engineer: Chris Zaharias
The MarCom Awards honor “outstanding achievement by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of marketing and communication materials and programs.”
MarCom judges review about 6,000 entries from 34 countries and 300 categories related to print, web, video and strategic communications.
Can you recall the last time you overheard a member of your sales or telemarketing team calling a prospective customer?
Or the last time you dialed into your main number and navigated your Interactive Voice Response system?
Or the last time you mystery called one of your locations to see how well the front-line phone staff cares for callers?
Once you have systems and employees in place it's easy to take for granted that everything is running smoothly. And everything might be running smoothly. But is your team providing the type of caller experience that converts cold calls into customers?
Are your incoming callers treated so wonderfully and efficiently that they tell others about your company and look forward to calling back themselves?
Are your automated systems making it very easy for customers to get what they called for?
If you didn't answer 'yes' very quickly and confidently to all three of those questions, there are a few blog posts you might want to check out.
“Is Your Calling Style Costing You?” recounts a few bad phone calls I've received recently, and how similar approaches to outbound calling can hurt your top line.
“Why Telephone Etiquette Training is Worth the Investment” reinforces the idea that you have an opportunity to build customer loyalty with every phone call.
“IVR: Interactive Voice Response and The Human Touch” is a reminder that, as amazing as digital technology can be, it still requires thoughtful input to make it effective.
For all things related to caller experience, please call our BusinessVoice team at 800/473-9005.