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Marketing Matters

MadAveGroup has provided marketing services to tire retailers and automotive aftermarket clients for decades. And lately, Tire Review Magazine has been tapping into our experience.

For the third time in 16 months, the trade mag has published an article featuring input from a member of our team. WebArt's Director of Digital Marketing Brad Timofeev is featured again in the abridged piece below. Take a look. 


Myth #2: Once in-store shoppers begin looking at their smartphone, the store has lost their attention.

Fact: Stores can grab consumers’ attention through search results and a retailer’s mobile site or app.

Consumers look at competitor sites, but a greater percentage look at search engine results and the retailer’s website/app. Forty-two percent of in-store consumers conduct online research while on location via:

• 64% - search engines
• 46% - retailer’s website/app
• 30% - a different retailer’s website/app
• 26% - another type of website/app (coupon site, review site, etc.)

This means stores should optimize their online presence (including search results, website, app, and mobile ads) to engage consumers while they’re inside the store. According to Brad Timofeev, Director of Digital Marketing for WebArt, a digital marketing agency with locations in Ohio and Virginia, this involves putting together a strategy with a deep understanding of the customer journey and how you can move them through it more smoothly.

“Potential customers look to your website during more stages of the buying cycle than any other touch point,” he says. “They might visit you online during the discovery, evaluation, conviction and action stages, so the website is where you should invest the most dollars and time.”

Timofeev recommends content marketing to attract visitors at the initial stages, as dealers can craft content based on consumers’ specific search intent. (For example, “What’s the best oil for my type Online Sourcesof driving?” or “How to know when you need new brakes.”)

“However, before creating content, you should perform a basic search query for your topics to see which types of content show in the search results,” he notes.

“Mobile apps are a great tool for existing customers to use and for you to retain them,” Timofeev adds. “Your app really only needs to provide service reminders and a way to schedule appointments. The app should push those reminders to your customers’ mobile devices, along with information about why certain services are so important.”

Myth #3: Online research has limited what consumers expect from stores; they really just go to stores to complete a transaction.

Fact: Consumers still visit stores for more than just transactions, but they now expect more out of any place they shop; they want informed, customized experiences.

According to the study, 69% of consumers used physical stores for information during different phases of the purchase process:

• 32% found inspiration - the time they realized they wanted or needed a particular product.
• 33% did research - the time they actively looked and researched the purchase.
• 55% bought - the time they purchased the product.
• 14% post-purchase - any behavior they participated in after the purchase

Consumers polled said they would be more likely to shop in stores that offer personalized coupons and exclusive in-store offers (85%) as well as recommendations for specific products to purchase (64%).

Tire dealers can take advantage of these tendencies by delivering customized offers and recommendations right to consumers as they search on their phone or by integrating them into the in-store experience.

“It’s important to realize that not all of your customers are at the same stage in the buying cycle, so they’re going to have different tendencies when shopping in-store,” Timofeev says. “For instance, if a customer comes in for scheduled maintenance or to buy tires, he’s already chosen to do business with you. At that point, it’s your job to retain that customer by providing a great experience and adding any value you can. But there’s also this possibility: A customer comes in for scheduled maintenance and, after inspecting his vehicle, you tell him that his car requires more work than he expected. He might pull out his smartphone and start shopping around for that additional service while he’s in your store.”

He adds that while the in-store experience includes everything from the shop’s appearance, cleanliness and aroma to colors, signage, displays, furniture and the music or TV, so much of customer retention is dependent upon your staff and each customer interaction.

“They should be trained extensively in communication of your brand promise,” Timofeev says. “They also need to drive customers to specific actions: using the mobile app; signing up for your monthly email flyer or social media pages, and taking advantage of the resources on your website, such as coupons and tire selectors. Your waiting areas should reinforce those messages, too, through digital signage, in-store audio, table stands, pull-down banners and geofencing notifications.”

Rather than marginalizing the value of in-store shopping, Google’s research shows that smartphones and online information offer an opportunity for stores to enhance consumers’ shopping experience.

“It’s important to make it easy for customers to find the information they want and need, whether it’s on a well-designed mobile website that’s intuitive and easy to navigate, or an uncluttered store that features helpful POP displays, audio and video,” Timofeev says.

“At every point of contact, make it easy for customers to choose you,” he adds.

RELATED POSTS: Brad Timofeev Featured in Tire Review
MadAveGroup CCO Interviewed for Tire Industry Trade Mag

Thursday, 02 March 2017 13:12

MadAveGroup Agencies Win ADDY Awards

ADDY Awards

Our branding and design team, d2i, earned a Silver award at the 2017 ADDY Awards ceremony.

Designers Terry Lesniewicz and Greg Stawicki teamed up to create a winning poster series for The Mad Ave Collective (above left).

“The Collective’s logo inspired the posters,” said Stawicki. “We used elements from the logo to create strong, simple graphic messages that would engage viewers.”

“We took a contemporary minimalist approach with this project; very simple, very little copy,” said Lesniewicz. “It’s an attitude, and the response so far has been ‘WOW!’ especially from a lot of younger people who have responded to the work. It was fun to be the first agency in this area to adopt this style.”

Lesniewicz is a nationally known designer who’s been elevating brands for more than five decades. His work has been featured in magazines, award shows, even a museum, and has been seen by countless millions of people.

The d2i crew also designed the collateral for the ADDY Awards, including the call-for-entries poster, invitation and winners' booklet (above right).

BusinessVoice, our caller experience agency, received a Bronze ADDY for a humorous On Hold Marketing production they created for Arrowwood Lodge in Baxter, Minnesota.

BusinessVoice has won more awards for its work than any other OHM provider in the industry. The creative team specializes in developing Humor On Hold™. Listen to their winning entry in the video below. 

Friday, 13 January 2017 20:41

Thanking Our 25-Year Clients

25 Year Client AwardIn 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.

Yes, TEN.

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.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 18:41

Jerry Brown Inducted into Hall of Fame

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 Jerry Brown EBE Hall of Fame Inductionthat 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. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 16:09

MadAveGroup Takes Four 2016 MarCom Awards

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

SensoryMax Website

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.

“Very funny!” wrote Andy Hedberg.

Andy was a judge at the 2016 MARCE Awards, the On Hold Messaging Association’s annual celebration of the industry’s best work.

He was describing “Interviews,” a humorous On Hold Marketing production our BusinessVoice team created for Binkelman Corp.  

“Really well written, and the voice actors were spot on,” his notes continued. “I laughed several times.”

That’s not the type of reaction most callers expect to have after they’ve been placed on hold.

But it’s a response we often elicit after creating Humor On Hold - a marriage of comedy and marketing. It’s humor that sells, says Scott Greggory.

“More than two decades ago, we started using the on hold channel to present our clients’ messages in a way that would encourage the audience to listen actively,” said Greggory, MadAveGroup’s Chief Creative Officer.

“Humor On Hold represents a choice we made to turn the ‘nothing moment’ of holding into a fun and memorable experience. It usually includes working the client’s marketing messages into the mix in a very palatable way.”

The experience BusinessVoice created in “Interviews” was fun enough to earn the Judge’s Choice trophy. It’s the sixth time BusinessVoice has received that particular honor over the MARCE Award's 12-year history. 

Listen to the winning production in the video above.

Judge Rachel McGrath noted that the work featured "great voice acting by the men, creative writing, and great use of sound effects."

"I really had to put some thought into finding something to criticize," wrote judge Emmett Andrews. "There's nothing perfect and there's always something that could be better, but in this case, it's a challenge to find."


Communicator AwardOf the more than 6,000 entries submitted to the 22nd annual Communicator Awards, only 16 were chosen as Gold award winners in the Audio category.

Ours was one of them.

BusinessVoice - our On Hold Marketing agency - received a Gold Award of Excellence for a piece called "Interviews," an OHM production we created for Binkelman Corp. Listen to the humorous piece in the video below.

"Interviews" also earned a 2015 MarCom Award, as well as our internal On Hold Marketing of the Month award for August 2015. Read about the inspiration for the piece and some of the production elements here

"The work entered in the Communicator Awards serves as a benchmark in gauging the innovative ideas and capabilities of communications and marketing professionals around the world," wrote Linda Day, executive director of the Academy Interactive and Visual Arts, the organization that presents The Communicator Awards.

BusinessVoice has earned more awards for creative and marketing excellence than any other On Hold Marketing agency in the United States.

Ready to look at your caller experience differently? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 419/724-7311. 


RKG BrochureMadAveGroup agencies won two bronze awards at the 2016 ADDY Awards, presented February 25th by AAF / Toledo.

Our advertising and design agency, d2i, won in the Brochure category for work they created for Reichle Klein Group. Terry Lesniewicz and Jack Bollinger teamed up to produce the winning entry, seen at left.

Our SensoryMax team earned a bronze award as well for a video called "Toledo: It Matters Where You Make It." Michael Seay served as the project's producer and director. Watch it below.  

Can you imagine another company within your industry sending new business your way?

That's what happened to our On Hold Marketing agency BusinessVoice in late January 2016.

Arrowwood Lodge is a vacation destination in central Minnesota. Carolyn Bare is the location's General Manager.

When Carolyn began looking for an On Hold Marketing provider, she was searching for a company that could deliver an "out-of-the-box On Hold experience. Our [previous] on hold messaging was very ordinary; not at all what we wanted," she wrote. "We wanted something that would help guests remember us."

The first company Carolyn contacted produced a custom demo for Arrowwood, but it left her wanting more. That's when the company realized that they might have trouble fulfilling Arrowwood's desire for unique and creative On Hold Marketing.

So, they graciously suggested to Carolyn that she call BusinessVoice.

Within days, Arrowwood was a BusinessVoice client and our Creative team was on the job.

"We developed a concept that allows callers to hear someone flipping through TV channels," said Andrea Poteet, lead writer on the project. "The quick clips of the shows include humorous references to Arrowwood Lodge."

(Listen to the finished production in the video above.)

"This production absolutely fulfilled what we were looking for," wrote Carolyn. "We asked for something original, and you went above and beyond."

What did Carolyn like most about the work? "It was something that we had not heard before. We gave you free reign to do something unusual and fun, and you hit the nail on the head!"

"This is a great example of how BusinessVoice is different from others in the On Hold Marketing world," said BusinessVoice Director Steve Evert. "We believe your On Hold Marketing should receive the same type of attention and consideration that your digital and broadcast marketing do. In fact, we think that the impressions you make on hold are more important than those you may make with many forms of outbound marketing."

To learn more about that philosophy or discuss your marketing needs, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 419/724-7311.

Visit the Humor On Hold page at


For her February 2016 article in Tire Review Magazine, Senior Contributing Editor Denise Koeth looked to Website Marketing expert Brad Timofeev for his insight on digital advertising. 

While the piece is directed at America's tire dealers, Brad's thoughts can be applied to many types of companies. Read an abridged version of the Tire Review article below. 

Learn how we can use digital advertising to grow your business. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. here or call 866/473-9000. 


Tire Review Magazine-Brad Timofeev

Brad Timofeev, Director of Website Marketing for WebArt, an agency of MadAveGroup, [says] that a tire dealership's website needs to clearly communicate what sets the shop apart from others in the same market.

"What sets you apart is not the tire brands you carry or the size of your inventory, or the words 'quality' and 'service,'" he explains. "Consumers have lots of choices, so why should they pull into your shop? What do you offer that's better, different, more valuable?"

Set your shop's website up for success by including strong calls to action, Timofeev says, adding, "If you're going to buy advertising that directs people to your site, make it simple for those people to become customers. The best way to do that is to give them easy access to free estimates, special offers and online appointments."

"Once you have a strong website, the most effective type of digital marketing for tire dealers is low funnel," says Timofeev. "That means marketing in order to see quick results: search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising and local directory profiles / advertising."

Timofeev [recommends creating] different messages for different audiences, referring to a low-funnel, mid-funnel and high-funnel model. Consumers generally move from high-funnel, in which they are unaware of your products or services or do not have a need yet, to low-funnel, in which they have a need and a desire to make a purchase. While high-funnel marketing (think general branding) often includes TV, radio or online display advertising, low-funnel methods include search engines and local directory websites – Yelp, tire manufacturer dealer locator sites and, he notes.

"A majority of tire dealers start at the low-funnel channels online because it returns the most, and as they get more customers in the door, they then begin to feed their online advertising budget to support more of the higher level forms of online advertising," Timofeev says. "We've found that low-funnel customers want to know how they can save money with you and that you've been in business a long time, so your ads should address those needs."

"If you haven't dominated the organic search engine results for keywords related to service or tires, use Google AdWords until you can start ranking naturally in the search engines," Timofeev says.

For limited budgets, Timofeev recommends skipping social media advertising and display advertising, as well as hiring an agency for social media management.

For larger budgets, he suggests a comprehensive strategy that includes creating strategic messages for all levels of the marketing funnel: low, middle and high. "That means you'll be reaching potential customers at every stage of the buying cycle, from those who might need tires in a year to those who are ready to pull the trigger today," he notes.

"Online advertising is not cheap, but it doesn't have to be an additional investment," Timofeev adds. "Many of the tire dealers we work with have completely eliminated their Yellow Pages spend and invested all of that money online. None of our clients lost any business doing that; in fact, they all increased business by up to 300%."

He recommends dealers evaluate all forms of marketing, stop the ineffective methods, and put that money toward more advanced strategies of online advertising.


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