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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.
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 yellowpages.com, 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.
In the digital age, does print advertising still work?
That's the question that writer Denise Koeth put to MadAveGroup's Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory.
Koeth's article appears in November's special Purchasing Guide supplement to Tire Review magazine. (Scroll down to read the plain text.)
Building a Media Plan
By Denise Koeth, Senior Contributing Editor
When it comes to advertising, strategies are endless, mediums are constantly changing and advice is often conflicting.
Doing something is better than nothing – results are results, even if they are lackluster – but funneling a shop's dollars into an ineffective ad campaign is a mistake no one wants to repeat.
To take some of the guesswork out of planning your media buy, we talked to several marketing experts and tire dealers to boil down the basics of four popular advertising mediums.
Some Print Still Works
Print advertising still holds an effective place in the majority of tire dealers' markets – but the right channels and strategies must be used. For example, phone books like Yellow Pages are a thing of the past.
"Display ads in telephone books are so expensive; because they're not targeted to your specific audience in your part of town, they can be very wasteful, too," says Scott Greggory, chief creative officer of Madison Avenue Marketing Group. "We work with tire dealers who have good luck with ValPak direct mail coupons. We've also used sponsored maps, postcards and a few other direct mail pieces to target families with multiple vehicles."
Because he says phone books are closed 99.9% of the time (or more), Bruce Bryan, president of B2C Enterprises, an agency in Roanoke, Va., advises that print ads in publications that have solid circulation, are priced right, and are timely are a much better choice.
"Gone are the days when dealers had to list every single tire size and price in the sports section," Bryan says. "A display ad that interrupts and gets the attention of the reader will accomplish the same results or better. Then, provide the address to a responsive website where shoppers can find all the information they need on a smartphone."
"To find out if newspaper or direct mail works for you, test it, measure the results, and then repeat, changing one aspect of the ad (the offer, the price, the image, etc.)," Greggory advises. "That will help you see which version of your ad performs best. Be prepared to commit to the channel, though. Running just an ad or two is not likely to produce great results."
To gauge the effectiveness of a print campaign, always include a coupon with your ad to spur sales, then track the coupon's redemption, according to Rod Frysinger, brand consultant for Madison Avenue Marketing Group.
Stand out from the print crowd by presenting readers with a simple, clear and compelling idea or offer that lets them know why they should do business with you, Greggory notes.
"That typically means using a lot of white space. Most of the time, newspapers and coupon circulars are so jammed with ad copy and images that nothing really stands out to readers," he says.
Conserve your ad dollars by looking into co-op opportunities with the brands your shop sells, says Greggory, adding it may help to hire pros to design and write ads that are more effective.
"A lousy ad will waste your money, but a great ad campaign can generate revenue for months or years to come."
Bryan says there is almost no need to buy a full-page ad in a newspaper. "A 3/4- or 1/2-page ad has a similar recognition value and will cost much, much less. Run ads early in the week; they're often less expensive than those that run late in the week."
The MarCom Awards are presented each year to recognize excellence in the concept, writing and design of print, visual, audio and online marketing and communication materials.
Here's the breakdown:
• Gold Award - NAPA Auto Parts / Real Deal On Hold Marketing
• Gold Award - Binkelman On Hold Marketing / Stream of Consciousness
• Honorable Mention - Binkelman On Hold Marketing / Interviews
• Honorable Mention - The Spirit Services Blog
We developed humorous content for all four winning entries.
MadAveGroup Creative Consultant Andrea Poteet conceived and wrote the copy for the NAPA On Hold Marketing.
Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory wrote the Binkelman OHM copy and created the copy and images for the Spirit Services blog.
Listen to our winning On Hold Marketing in the videos below.
NAPA Auto Parts - Real Deal
Binkelman Corp. - Interviews
Binkelman Corp. - Stream of Consciousness
- Logo Design / Identity Packages
- Branding / Integration
Bearing Distributors Inc. (BDI) had a need: attract more qualified job candidates; people who would grow with the company and become BDI's next generation of leaders.
So, they came to us.
We told their story through video.
"BDI wanted to differentiate themselves from other employers, convey the personality of their organization and show who they are," said MadAveGroup's Michael Seay. "The video series that we created for them captured that. It gives potential employees a chance to feel engaged with BDI."
Kim Burk agrees. She's a Human Resource Generalist at BDI. "The videos are great," she said. "We've heard very positive comments from both internal staff and job candidates."
The series includes a company overview, as well as videos about specific positions that the company needs to fill.
"Many recruitment platforms are now accepting video, usually at no additional cost. So, it's a great tool to engage candidates and add personality to your company."
Watch a few of the BDI videos we produced below.
BDI Corporate Overview
BDI Inside Sales / Warehouse
Unique, personal insight about the marketing and creative industries, presented by seasoned professionals. That's what Shop Talk is all about.
The first season of this monthly program featured writers and designers, agency owners, a Hollywood filmmaker, a former newscaster, a voiceover talent, a college professor and others. (See the poster of our guests below.)
Each of those speakers drew from their successful careers to provide valuable advice for both our live audience and online viewers. (Watch several Shop Talk videos here.)
And now, season two of Shop Talk has begun.
We invite you to attend any or all of the sessions. They begin at noon, typically on the fourth Thursday of each month. November's Shop Talk is held on the second Thursday, and there is no presentation in December.
The location: The Mad Ave Collective at 1600 Madison Avenue, Floor 2 in UpTown Toledo. There's plenty of free parking at Madison and 17th, and free light grazing is provided by All Crumbs Artisan Bakery.
Check The Collective's calendar for upcoming speakers and topics.
Hope to see you at Shop Talk.
Think about the months after you graduated from college.
What if you could've had a personal mentor to teach you about the "real world" you were about to enter?
Someone who had worked for decades in your chosen field.
Someone who provided valuable insight that you could not have learned in a classroom.
Someone who gave you an advantage when looking for a job.
The Keep Toledo Creative Scholarship Program was established to do all of that: give aspiring creatives the additional knowledge and experience they need to distinguish themselves and help them succeed.
In the video above, several KTC mentors and students talk about the need for the scholarship program and what it's brought to their lives.
The MadAveGroup's demo reel is a fast-paced overview of several of the videos we've produced.
The projects include recruitment videos, an online welcome video, humorous instructional videos, even a music video, as well as tradeshow and promotional videos.
With our in-house writers, directors, videographers, editors, musicians and voiceover talent, we can create the videos you need for a variety of environments, including television, your website, social channels, and on-site / in-store applications.
For more details, call 419/473-9000.
Since the On Hold Messaging Association began presenting Judge's Choice Awards as part of its annual MARCE Awards ceremony in 2009, there have been nine Judge's Choice trophies awarded.
Our latest Judge's Choice win came at the 2015 OHMA conference in New Orleans.
The winning entry was an On Hold Marketing production we created for MyOpenHouse.com.
Conceived and written by Creative Consultant Bob Seybold, the piece includes four scenarios, five music beds, several sound effects, and more than a dozen voices. (Listen to the production in the video above.)
The work earned very high scores from two of the three judges: 99 and a perfect 100. Those judges also shared a few comments:
• "This was creative and [made] good use of the voices. It gets the point across for the caller..."
• "Good mixing on this one. The goals [that were] stated were met."
The MARCE Awards is an annual competition that recognizes marketing and creative excellence within the On Hold Messaging industry.
BusinessVoice is the nation's most-awarded On Hold Marketing agency, having won 100 local, regional and national awards for its work.