Oh Those Banner Ads

We're not fans of banner ads mostly because the actual click through rate is lousy and, for the most part, banner ads are major distractions.  And, now Error 404 that some outlets are focusing on "pop-up" banner ads it's really distracting.

However, they are revenue.  And, for folks who create, sell, and push banner advertising we understand.

Our recommendation is that unless the media company is GIVING you the banner ad to make the sale.  Forget about it.  Here's why:

There are better ways to getting consumers to notice your product or service:

  • Engagement - Advertising/Marketing takes work. Simply buying an ad (any ad) can be a waste of time and money if you don't have the engagement behind the advertising.  Talk to your customers...more;
  • Video - When we look at click through rates (CTR) for banner ads it comes in at about 0.11 %. However when you look at the CTR for mobile video a staggering 11.8 %.
  • Native Advertising - This is organic marketing that simply engages the consumer and feels "natural" in the digital stream. We like a bunch and when combined with video...it rocks.

Basic to all of this is that you must know to whom you are marketing. If you know your consumer you can drive more in that direction.  And, in this case if you are selling a specific into a specific market perhaps banner ads will work.  Know thy customer!

Here's a link to the Click Through Rates in Digital Advertising.

Thanks for reading!






Mobile Doesn't Matter?

Being able to connect your message with your target consumer has never My Emma Opens Desk vs Mobile been easier or more complicated.  We've got all sorts of tools from email campaigns, traditional media, social media and so much more. That's why these latest statistics are so important.

We've been telling our clients, and anybody else who might listen, that having the ability for your message to be seen and understood by mobile devices is so critical. And, I've got proof (I know, you like the proof part.)

We do a weekly newsletter that highlights our guest list for the daily business broadcast, Insight on Business the News Hour.  The percentage of people who open the email is pretty good, averaging about 34%.  How they are getting the email is even more astounding:  About 36% of the folks who open the newsletter do so on...wait for it...mobile.

Mobile is responsible for over a third of our readers.

So, how about you?  Can your message be seen by your target market? Can your website be used by your target market?


Mobile Matters...

Need some help getting there?  Ask your local advertising agency or give us a call...love to chat about the opportunity! 



We've Got Work To Do...

Yesterday I had the pleasure of addressing 40 leaders from the world of Woman work to do
tourism in Central Iowa. The program was 5 in Twenty-Four "Five things any business can do in 24 hours to maximize its brand."  These are all low cost to no cost proven methods of marketing.  And, yes, they work.

When I got to the part regarding social media and asked how many in the audience had incorporated a blog into their marketing strategy seven hands went up. Seven out of forty.

There is work to be done and here are four solid reasons why blogging should be one of your marketing tools:

  • Blogging Gives You "Voice": Sure you have a website but what is your "back-story"?  What nuggets can you share with visitors poking around on the Internet that will drive traffic back to you?  We think...plenty.
  • Blogging Offers Another "Touch Point": Again, you should want to maximixe the ways in which you reach out to consumers. A well crafted blog does just that.
  • Blogging - A Quick Alternative: We get it. Changing your website two or three times a week is a pain.  However, creating a blog that tells the story only you can tell is quick, easy and interactive.
  • Blogging Improves Your Skills: You have a story to tell and by sitting down and sharing those stories you will improve your story-telling skills.  And, remember, people react to...stories.

Thank you, Central Iowa Tourism Region for your warm reception!

If your business, for profit or non-profit, isn't incorporating a blog into your marketing efforts you could be missing out on...opportunity.  What do you think?


Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in the Des Moines Metro and the fuel that powers Insight on Business, The News Hour. Our Twitter Handle is @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here.

Thanks for reading!



Consumers Ignoring Your Marketing Message?

The published study from Pure360 in the United Kingdom titled, Man Noise"Confessions of a Shopping Nation" tells us that three-quarters of UK consumers actively ignore all types of marketing messages and 59% feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of marketing information.

Those are pretty big numbers.  But, it gets worse.  The study also found the vast majority of consumers, 64%, said that social media and the Internet in general have very little influence on their purchasing decisions.

What's going on?


Noise because most companies have really no idea on how to connect with consumers.  We see it everyday. Each Tweet or each Facebook Post has a "sales message" attached to it. There is very little creativity in the message.  Zero ability to understand organic marketing. It's all...noise.

At the end of the day it is no surprise, to us, that consumers are tuning you out.  They don't want to be force fed...noise.  They want a brand they can trust, real people they can communicate with. They want a product or service that isn't shouting but...helping.

How do you do that?  Three suggestions:

  • Stop Selling - Start Engaging:  If over 20% of your social media posts are about selling something you are creating noise.  Stop it...today. Tell the back-story of your business. Share interesting images, video and stay light;
  • Share Information:  If consumers are seeking information about a wide range of products and services become a voice of assistance and not a carnival barker.  Move your blog to one of helping folks better understand your area of expertise;
  • Do It Well: Just because you know everything about "Self-Weasel-Winding Torque Inducers" does not mean that you know how to market them.  Get some help for crying out loud. Marketing/Advertising companies do this every day. 

There are dozens of ways to connect with consumers but noise is not one of them.


Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in the Des Moines Metro and the fuel that powers Insight on Business, The News Hour. Our Twitter Handle is @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here.

Thanks for reading!


Recruiting & Retaining

There isn't a day that goes by where we don't hear some business person bemoaning the fact that they can't find highly qualified employees or Radio Dial grumble about losing a great worker.  And, if you're in business you know this to be true.

But, there is an answer that is so simple and works so well...that, well, we're surprised that you'll be surprised when we share. Ready?


Why?  Because it...works.  Think about it for a moment. Most really good employees are already working.  How might you lure somebody to even think about working for your company?  How about broadcasting the news that you've got a great company and you are seeking great people for a specific job.

What's really cool about this method is that you don't compete against thousands of job postings on a "job board" and...you are polishing your business brand at the same time.  Who wouldn't want to work for a company that tells others, "We're a great company to work for".

And, on the retention side...why not celebrate employee longevity and dedication...publicly with a well crafted radio message?

Look, people purchase radio ads to encourage consumers to buy products and services.  Why not use the same medium to recruit and retain outstanding employees and build your brand at the same time?



Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines and the fuel that powers the business news broadcast, Insight on Business the News Hour.  On Twitter we're @InsightADV and here too is our Facebook Page.  Thanks for reading! 

Brilliant Marketing

When a business recruits "Brand Warriors" and those people say positive things about the product/service it's not only rewarding but also a brilliant way to extend the brands' reach. Iowa Wild HS Dance Team

The Iowa Wild Hockey Team has done just that and it is...(I'll use it again...) brilliant.  

Former hockey clubs had "Dance Teams" made up of very attractive young women who would entertain between periods.  When the Iowa Wild came to Des Moines they made a big deal out of being "Family Friendly" and shelved the dance teams then replaced them with high school dancers, high school bands and singing groups from all over the state.

What does that do?  More people from outside the Des Moines Metro are introduced to AHL Hockey.  More people start to talk about it, share images on social media channels and more butts in the seats because you know Mom and Dad want to see their kid perform in front of thousands.



Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is also the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour the only local, live, hour-long business broadcast in the region. Monday - Friday from 5PM to 6PM on 1350-KRNT, Des Moines

Why Is Business Fascinated With Facebook?

Last week I was in a meeting with a well known company.  They had  Facebook-logo called our firm for a "brain picking session".  What that means is we go in and ask questions, give them some solid marketing ideas (just to show them we know what we're talking about), shake hands and leave.  Then the people we visit with will do nothing.  It's not like we're jaded it's simply the truth.  Most business people would rather "stay the course" than adjust and grow.  New is often difficult.

At the center of their discussion was social media and at the center of that was Facebook.  Business is fascinated with Facebook.  They hear stories of how well known businesses have thousands of followers and think, "We would be successful if only we had thousands and thousands of followers!"  But...that is bunk.

Thousands of followers is nice but do they impact your ROI?  If so...great.  If not let's adjust.

I asked, "So, tell us, what percentage of your marketing budget is spent on out-bound advertising?"  After some thought we were told 16%.  "And, what constitutes your largest percentage and how much is that?"  We were told 50% goes to special events and internal promotion.

In other words...they are talking to themselves rather than attracting new customers.  When we suggested they reverse that number...and why...they were shocked.

Bottom line:  If you keep doing things the same way you can expect the same results even when you incorporate new tools (Social Media). If you are pushing the wrong message to the wrong people the ROI won't be there even if the tools are "free".

Your take?




Connect with our advertising agency on Twitter @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here.  Also, Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour the only local, live, hour-long business broadcast in the region.  Here is a link to that podcast and more about the broadcast.

Just Say "No"

It's a blog about advertising, marketing and communication for business from our business Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications. How about that...

Last week we were visiting with a young marketer from a well known Man Undecidedbusiness in Des Moines who told us, "We're pulling all of our traditional advertising in favor of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM)."  That's right.  No television, radio, print, billboards...nada.  Going all digital.

Great Idea or Train Wreck?

While we love SEO and SEM we also believe that putting all your eggs in one basket is a train wreck in the making.  Why?

Because pulling everything from traditional media leaves your existing customers lost.  While we would all like to believe that every consumer is sitting down in front of a PC, tablet or smart-phone surfing the world for stuff they need/want...it isn't reality.

We would have advised, had they asked, a complete review of what traditional media the company has been using and what media outlets fit their specific demographic.  Cut out what does not fit and then use those marketing dollars to work the SEO/SEM side of the business.  That way you don't lose the top of mind awareness of your existing customer or the "almost customer" who needs the priming to make a buy.

Feel free to leave us a comment here or let's connect on our Twitter Feed @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here.



Make It Fun Again...

It was a discussion I was having with our son Aaron about the business Man Clown Make Up of advertising and marketing.  On a drive to Randell, Iowa we were visiting about a perspective client who made the decision to...not make a decision regarding a working relationship with our advertising agency.  It bothers me a great deal when business owners/managers/marketing directors "think" they can continue to do the same thing and expect better results.  Sometimes I show it.

"What you need to do is get back to making your business fun again", said Aaron.

He's right.

I wonder how many of us just keep turning the wheel and find little "fun" or "excitement" in what we do.  In my world "creative engagement" is what makes our work fun.  Finding new ways to boost a clients business through consumer awareness is not only challenging but also...fun.  And when a client or perspective client is "just turning the wheel to get by"...it no longer becomes a challenge.

So, yes.  Time to search out business people who really want to move forward and wish to become aggressive with their marketing.  That would be...fun.




If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free.  And/Or let's connect on our Twitter Stream @InsightADV or our Facebook Page is right here.  Gosh, wonder if the "M" is for...Marketing?

Does Your Business Belong on Facebook?

Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications and our answer to the Facebook Question:

The answer to that question is a sound..."Maybe!".  Like all advertising   FacebookLogo and marketing decisions you need to examine your goals and know your consumer before you head into Facebook Land.

For example if you are selling regional fertilizer products to farmers or concrete to builders a Facebook Page may not work out well for you.  The universe is simply too small and the interaction less than a mass market consumable.

We know of several small "Mom & Pop" bakeries that have thrived on Facebook and consider the social media channel their "very best form of advertising".  We also know of several organic fertilizer companies who also have had outstanding Facebook results.  

Why?  It's not a secret that females dominate Facebook interaction with women accounting for 72% of Facebook users and these users tend to have a higher income stream than users of other social media outlets. It's then not surprising that bakeries do better than B to B concrete companies.

So, some key points to consider before you spend time on Facebook:

  • What is Your Goal? - Is it sales, brand recognition...what do you want to accomplish?;
  • Be Realistic - Unless your business is already a well known and respected brand don't expect to go from zero to thousands of "friends" in a few weeks.  It will not happen;
  • Budget Time - Just because Facebook is free does not mean it is "really free".  While a small business can build and maintain a Facebook presence know that you'll need to spend about an hour a day interacting with your friends.
  • Graphic Ideas - Spend some time with a graphic designer to build out your "look".  This is an extension of your business so make it look nice;
  • Is Your Customer Here? - It's a simple question that you've got to know before you launch.  If your core customer isn't here...why spend the effort?

Bottom line is that Facebook is not the answer for everybody but if it is, and you should know, it is a great way to interact with consumers who become your...friends.




If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free. Or let's connect on our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here