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What Makes You Different?

Today’s blog will address a question at the core of the advertising industry — what makes you different? If you haven’t seriously considered how your brand should answer this question, now is the time to begin.

Why is it important to know what makes you different? Because competition for any business in today’s technological market is intense, and you have to stand out. After all, that’s why you market in the first place — to attract customers and build good business relationships. This is how you earn a greater percentage of the available market pie, detracting from your competitors’ slices. Cutthroat, I know, but true nonetheless. In order to convince your customers of why they should choose you over someone else, you must first know why yourself. You can start by taking a closer look at your brand story.

When GO2 Advertising underwent a change in branding, which was truly a change in our company identity, the entire company pitched in. Our research department surveyed every employee. They asked us a wide variety of questions about our experiences within the company and our feelings about various subjects. They also researched our competitors to see what was generally popular in the advertising industry. With this information, they were able to create a name, logo and value proposition to support the development of a unique brand that embodied our core values as a company and communicated them to our public. We are GO2 Advertising, where strategy empowers creative.

So, what makes us different? Well, we hope it’s communicated in our statement. We value strategy here. Not only do we employ top-notch creative experts, but we also pour our energy into researching our clients, their competition and their cause. We devote plenty of time to reaching a deep understanding of our clients, so we can produce the best, most effective work possible. We are also committed to staying innovative. Our experts master technology like augmented reality and mobile text message (SMS) marketing as it emerges, so we can offer our clients the latest and most exciting advertising tactics.

This is what GO2 values. This is what makes us different. What makes you different? If this is a question you can’t easily answer, chances are your customers won’t be able to answer it either.

It’s well worth your time and effort to consider the elements that make you different — your brand, your company values, your value proposition, how you engage with your employees, shareholders, investors, customers, etc. The list is as extensive as your company.

 

Research: A Necessity

In my last blog post, I’d talked about why consumer psychographic profiling is an important step for any advertiser or company to take when beginning the process of ad or campaign creation. After discussing the article with a few clients, I realized it might be beneficial to our readers to get a more general overview of why research is important, and certainly not something to be overlooked. If you have a limited budget but a little bit of time to spare, research can help you create an effective, creative, successful ad the first time around, saving you money and pleasing your customers.

Advertising research serves many purposes. Thorough research about a company’s customers, target markets, competitors, etc., has become critical to the creation of an effective integrated marketing strategy in today’s ad-saturated market. Consumers are more educated and inquisitive in their purchases, as information is so readily accessible on their computers, cell phones and tablets. Consumers are empowered with knowledge like never before. Creating informational, attention-grabbing advertisements that will stand out to a consumer is difficult, considering that they are constantly being bombarded by solicitations and appeals of every sort. Advertising research is not just for companies looking to promote sales, but also for charities, brand awareness and improved product or service recognition.

Considering all this, advertising research serves the purposes of identifying the consumer profile that will be most receptive to the products or services in question and determining how to approach them, what marketing communication will be most effective, and through which media and channels the message would best be communicated. Not to mention discovering how successful a design or campaign idea may be on a test market or evaluating how effective the campaign was in real life. If it was not successful, advertising research can help pinpoint which aspects of the ad or campaign might be at fault.

In order for an advertiser to accomplish its goals, it makes sense to begin by evaluating the probable psychographic profile of ideal customers. Then the research must be used to guide the hand of the creative designers and copywriters to best appeal to those customers’ preferences and tastes. After an ad preview has been created, it is wise to measure the effectiveness of the ad with a test group, or through a variety of other testing methods commonly used to gauge probable consumer response. Then, after the ad has run for a period of time, the advertiser must evaluate ad success through sales increases, consumer perception of product or brand pre-ad to post-ad or by any other applicable means.

Ask yourself — has your company invested properly in research to understand how your brand is perceived, what consumers prefer and how to best communicate with them? If the answer is yes, keep it up. If the answer is no, then it is worth considering how much revenue you’re losing in sales as a result of not understanding and communicating your messages clearly. Think Coca-Cola, Apple, Disney. One reason these companies are so successful is that they invest in the research and creation of outstanding advertising. They understand how consumers perceive them and consistently work to improve their position. Do you?

Consumer Psychology and Your ROI

Are you investing in marketing but feel like you’re not getting the return on investment you were hoping for?

Lately, I’ve been working with a lot of clients who come to me with questions as to why their current marketing initiatives haven’t been as effective as they had hoped. The first questions I ask the client in these situations are:

  1. Who is your target market/s?
  2. What research have you conducted to support this information?
  3. How much do you really know about your customers?

Why is this information important?

Consumer psychology is an extremely crucial concept that marketers, advertisers and companies must understand in order to be successful in today’s modern, ad-saturated market. Consumer psychology studies how people’s psychographics affect their purchasing patterns and their feelings toward advertising in general. It can explain why certain people buy specific products over a competitor’s products. By studying consumers’ attitudes and responses toward certain advertisements, while simultaneously considering various factors of their physiographic profile, such as age, income, education, brand awareness, innovativeness, price consciousness, etc., marketers can better understand which types of marketing communications will resonate with their target markets and will therefore be the most likely to influence purchasing decisions.

Consumer psychology is a critical part of the convoluted recipe needed to create a successful marketing campaign.

In order to better understand the complexities of consumer psychology related to marketing communications, I wanted to discuss which psychographic characteristics affect advertising receptiveness, as well as the importance of using that knowledge to create a strategic, integrated marketing communications campaign.

The first step to take when beginning the research process is to identify your target markets. Some companies may have multiple target markets, with sub-markets in those.

After the target markets are determined, the company must discover which psychographic characteristics are prevalent traits to those particular consumers. Are they health conscious? Environmentally conscious? Are they outdoorsy? Obviously, these questions can vary greatly and are determined based on your products and your customers. If you don’t know which questions to ask about your customers, then it’s time to invest in surveys and other information-gathering technologies. Once these are defined, research can be used to gain insight into those consumers’ preferences.

Understanding this information creates a solid foundation on which to build a successful marketing campaign. The relationship between consumer psychology and marketing communications is one of extreme interconnectedness. It is much like understanding a consumer’s purchasing history. If we understand a consumer’s purchasing history, we can often make fairly accurate assumptions concerning what types of products, and what types of advertisements, they are likely to respond to. This concept can be taken a step further to gain greater clarity into the consumer’s preferences, which is ultimately the key to helping a company or marketer cater to those preferences in an attempt to maximize the return on investment of marketing dollars and increase sales and revenue.

Comprehending the motivation behind why the consumer responded to that particular ad, or why the consumer bought that particular product, is that further step. If the concept is thoroughly examined, understanding of the emotions, feelings and process behind consumers’ buying decisions can be discovered. Once they are discovered, marketers can better combat negative stereotypes and unfavorable opinions that their ideal customers may have.

Likewise to understanding a customer’s feeling and emotions toward advertising, it is important to understand which medium the customer “trusts” more. Knowing which medium is the more commonly accepted and trusted form of communication with your target market can save marketers from wasting capital on the many other various media available today. According to Richard Bagozzi’s The Social Psychology of Consumer Behavior, “Competitive positioning in the context of different markets and industries, at different stages of their life cycles, has become the focus of much interest.” And marketers who take interest and understand this concept have succeeded.

Marketing of the modern age has developed, advanced and is far more complicated than it was 30 years ago. Understanding, embracing and using this knowledge is paramount to beginning a journey to comprehensive, integrated, successful marketing communications construction. In order for a company to create resonating, effective marketing communications, they must understand that consumer psychology plays a huge role. Psychographic traits provide a window into understanding, and effectively using, what we know about our consumers’ preferences and dislikes in the creation of successful marketing communications that will reach them despite negative opinions and stereotypes about advertising in general.

Get to Know GO2

It’s 2014, and GO2 Advertising’s New Year’s resolution is to make it easier for you to get to know us. So we thought it might be useful to tell our readers a little about what makes our company a great employer, a great agency, and an invaluable resource for our clients.

I’ve been with GO2 for going on 5 years and I can tell you that it has been a very exciting and interesting ride. I’m on the business development side of agency life now, but I wasn’t always. I started in proofreading, and with the support and careful nurturing of my colleagues, was able to gain experience and knowledge that enabled me to go after my ultimate goal of working hands-on with our clients. Who knew my journey would land me here! I often tell my co-workers that work shouldn’t be this fun.

My days include nurturing and developing relationships with some of the most prominent, successful companies in the market today! When someone asks me what I do, I say it depends on the day. Some days I’m a:

Spy — gathering information and precious intel concerning our clients, and equally as important, their competitors.

Storyteller — spreading the word about the company I believe in and telling our story.

Adventurer — traveling to new places, meeting new people and engaging in the cultures of our clients’ companies.

Professional consultant — knowing that the work we do affects our client’s bottom line reminds me that I’m helping my clients — my friends — reach their personal career goals as well as their corporate benchmarks.

Investor — because every company I invest my efforts and time in, every relationship I build with the next potential partner, is GO2’s investment in that company’s success. We don’t take that lightly here.

Aside from the variety of tasks and responsibilities, one of the best things about our company is that there is usually something for every type of person, especially in a full-service agency like GO2. There is room for your career to grow here. Our employees wear multiple hats, whether they’re in business development or account services. Our employees fall into any one of the following departments. So whether you’re creative, a leader, methodical or overtly social, there is a position for you.

Copywriting

Proofreading

Account Services

Design/Creative

Interactive

Support Staff

Business Development

Of course, not every day is a walk in the park. Deadlines, budgets, repetitive projects, are all inevitable in an agency setting, and none of these are particularly fun. But having a motivated, employee-owned company keeps things lively and contributes to our overall success. GO2ers have a personal stake in the success of every client’s project, every art design, every website, and EVERYTHING that comes out of this agency. The term “We’re in this together!” is never far from mind, creating a cooperative atmosphere with a strong peer support system.

When asked “What do you like about working for GO2?” our employees said:

“The fast pace of advertising means that no day is average.” Becca Hill, Account Coordinator

“I love working with local non-profits, lending our talents to further causes that I care about.” Carrie Williams Vaughan, Copywriting/Social Media Specialist.

“I get to work with some of the most dedicated and talented people. It doesn’t get any better than this.” Janet Minnieweather, Imaging and Mailing Services Director.

“I feel valued and respected here!” Amy Timco, Account Executive

“Free parking!” Loretta Vaxman, Client Operations Director

The verdict is in! Those at GO2 are passionate about what we do here and love doing it. Whether you’re interested in learning more about life in an agency, or curious about the world of advertising in general, we’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you love about the advertising industry if you’re in it? Share with us what you admire about your current employer, whether you’re in advertising or not, because we are always looking for ways to maintain a high level of positive company morale. Feel free to comment below!