Previous month:
February 2013
Next month:
April 2013

The QR Code Controversy - Are They Dead?

Recently B.L. Orchman wrote a piece for Ad Age Digital with this
headline and tagline: QR Codes Are Dead, Trampled by Easier-to-Use Apps - New Technology Can Make Almost Any Product Interactive, No Download Needed." Whew!  That would make you think investing in a smart campaign that correctly uses QR Codes might be a waste of time.  But hold on there...all is not as it seems. QR Code Video

The article makes a big deal out of how new technology can make products "come alive" by simply "touching your smartphone to a product".  Trouble is...each of the tech items mentioned requires a download.  And, because there are three different technologies highlighted...that is three downloads. (Never mind that the tag line says you don't need to do.)

QR Codes are far from "dead".  While many consumers still have not figured out what they are and how to activate them, QR Code use continues to increase.  And, if you are smart about explaining what they are and how to use them they will make a difference in driving traffic to where you want consumers to go.

BTW one of the downsides of an app is that you, as a business, have the cost of creating the app and then marketing the app to consumers whom you HOPE will take the time to download your nifty new contraption.  Meanwhile, out side of some proprietary code readers, a QR Code reader is free and so too is the conversion from a url to a QR Code.  One and it's done.

So, before you order flowers for the funeral it might be a good time to re-think QR Code use.  Need some help?  We're here.

If you want to read the Ad Age article, here is that link.




If you would like to comment here, feel free.  And/OR let's connect on our advertising agency Twitter Stream and/or our agency Facebook Page which is right here.

The Scary Buying Cycle

Woman FearInformation, which is ready at a mouse click, can lengthen the buying cycle. Think of it.  Twenty, even ten, years ago instant information was not at the fingertips of the vast majority of consumers.  The ability to shop, compare brands and inquire from other consumers was limited to our friends, family and the occasional Consumer Reports publication.

That's all changed and that change has resulted in a much longer buying cycle that can be scary to brands not using technology. Why, because YOU are no longer in control.

Today consumers who are interested in a product or service can find out what others are saying.  Learn what their shopping experience was like.  Compare pricing, warranty issues and availability all without ever coming into contact with a sales person.  No longer do consumers say, "I want/need that _______." They now spend time learning from friends, family and other consumers who post reviews and information on-line.

Think of it, people are talking about your brand, product, service and unless you are engaged in that have no idea how their new "word of mouth" marketing effects  your sales.

Scary huh?

Scary to think that your advertising dollars have less and less impact than what they did a decade ago.  But, it is true.

How do you...engage?  Your product/service/brand must join the social conversation or be left in the dust.  But, just how do you do that?  Here are four simple suggestions:

  • Because consumers trust other consumers it is critical that you encourage the conversation by sharing in the social media circles dominated by your demographic;
  • Expand your voice by communicating with your base.  Encourage buyers to share their experience on-line, offer them a chance to rate your sales and service.  Communicate with them long after the sale is complete;
  • On-line sharing is great but, as a brand, you can expand your voice in your brick and mortar store.  For example: QR Codes that link to product videos/testimonials and "how to" use can be valuable. Use comments from your on-line adventure as point of purchase memos from satisfied consumers.  Get mobile so that shoppers can interact with your brand while in your store. 
  • Be a responsive brand by sharing stories, images and responding in a very timely manner to people asking questions and seeking product information.  Consider live chat especially if you are selling on-line...

While technology has lengthened the buying cycle you, by your actions, can foster a great experience among your customers by using technology to help the buying cycle to become less...scary and much more FRIENDLY.




You might want to post a comment here or follow us on Twitter @InsightADV or here is our advertising agency Facebook Page.  Thanks for coming by!

Social Media Club of Des Moines

Over the years I've made lots of friends in the world of new/social media. MPL SMC March 2013 Some are practitioners of the craft others are business people who value the personal interaction of communication. The Social Media Club of Des Moines is one of those gems that keeps popping up in my life.

Started several years ago the group continues to be a mega-networking opportunity for folks who love new/social media in all forms. 

This week I had the pleasure of presenting "Five in Twenty-Four - Five things a business can do in just twenty-four hours to improve sales and marketing." For those of you across the country who have seen this presentation we've added some personal stories at the front-end.  It helps, I believe, in making a solid connection with...friends.

"Five in Twenty-Four" came from a realization that often a speaker gives to his/her audience some lofty ideas but, when faced with a busy life, those ideas get put off and then forgotten. This presentation is different in the fact that it's intended not to overwhelm business people with too much information.  The intent is to have business choose one, two or three projects they can accomplish in just a few hours but can have a major impact on consumers.

Fun...and thanks again to the Social Media Club of Des Moines for the opportunity to share practice new stuff. (Photo - Brent Isenberger Photography)



If you would like to connect with a comment here, feel free.  Or let's get together on Twitter @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here. Thanks for coming by.

Social Media Blow Back

What one person finds "funny" may very well prove to be cruel and insensitive to others.  It's always been that way but, up until the world of social/new media few people had the opportunity to respond and call a company on being...dumb.  KGAN Bears Horses

Welcome to the new world where you need to be careful, very careful when you're a company hoping to appeal to the masses.  Here is a prime example:  Television station KGAN CBS 2 based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa thought it would be "cute" to post on their Facebook Page an image of two bears riding two horses and then have viewers caption the image.  Trouble is the image pissed off a bunch of people...including us.  Not so much because the image is a slap in the face to the thousands of folks who are "animal lovers" but because it's just...stupid.

Sure, this will cause a stir and, perhaps, that's what the management of KGAN CBS 2 want...but we doubt it.

Why bring on a problem that you could have avoided?  We dunno, perhaps you have an answer?




If you would like to comment here, feel free or let's connect on our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV and our agency Facebook Page is right here. Thanks for coming by!

What Do You Do...

when no one seems to be listening? Shout louder?  We don't know but we're finding out, quickly, how many business people don't pay attention

Three times in the past week we've met with small business owners regarding any number of things from how to do social media to web development to creating a mobile version of an existing website.  Three out of three said, "We'll think about that..." and went on doing business like nothing has changed.

We find it...amazing and a little frightening that these folks prefer to let their competition win while they...exist.

For a refresher:

Social/New Media is not going away.  Daily there are new and exciting ways to enhance your brand by sharing who you are with those millions of people who are connected.  Again, it is not always free because it takes time.  Time that many business people say they don't have.  Sometimes it's easier to spend $500 to $800 a month on Yellow Page advertising...we guess.

The 1999 website is old. What happens when a consumer goes to a website and has a lousy digital experience?  They don't come back.  We wrote about this years ago (2009) in a post about a consumer study.  What part of 97% don't folks understand?

"65% of the respondents said they had a digital experience that either enhanced or diminished their opinion of a brand. Hint:  If you have a first generation website or lacking information or something that  Good luck making that impression. Mobile graph

Of that group that had a digital brand experience, get this:  97% said their experience influenced if they would purchase the product or service.  Yep, 97%."

Mobile delivery is of your brand is critical. As this graph shows mobile searches will outpace desktop searches in the very near future.  Like this year.  Do you honestly wish to be out of touch and unavailable? 

We, frankly, don't get it.  We've considered the fact that many business people simply don't wish to grow.  They already have enough business and they are willing to stay with the status quo. 

Odd...but it may be a fact of life.

As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts.




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

Living With Social Media

"I don't know what to write.", "I am not a "Tech" person.", "Nobody will  Woman Frustration Laptop find what I have to say interesting.", "I don't have time!", "We're going to have my daughter do the social media.  Will that work?", "Facebook? I already have a Facebook but that's just for friends and family." And on it goes...

Just a sample of what we hear each week from business people whom we attempt to get interested in building their brand using "new" or "social" media. But, in the end they fail.  At the same time we watch as hundreds of brands, large and small, work at their social media branding  What's the difference?

Dedication & Learning & A Plan

The brands that work their social media program well and expand their brand figured out that before they sit down to punch that first key-stroke they must have a plan.  "What are my branding goals and who do I want to reach?"  While we can guide a business along it ultimately becomes the companies responsibility to make sure they have a plan and it is followed.

Living with Social Media requires:

  • Thinking - What is it your brand/business wants to accomplish and who are you trying to reach;
  • Understanding - What social media platforms will work well with your key demographic and how do you know where your demographic is;
  • Commitment - The business must commit the necessary time and resources to building the plan and then working it...daily;
  • Reality - Each social media platform is different and the way in which a business engages consumers will vary with each;
  • Recognition - Social/New media is not broadcasting yet "reach" and "frequency" play an important role.

If you think you're frustrated with the process you are not alone.  However, if you commit yourself to a process and understand it as a process you'll win.

What other things much a business know to be able to better engage in New/Social Media and be effective?




If you would like to comment here, feel free. And we can also connect on our Twitter Stream @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.