The latest from GO2
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GO2 wins 4 American Graphic Design Awards!

GO2 Advertising earned 4 Certificates of Excellence from Graphic Design USA’s American Graphic Design Awards™. This highly selective national award show recognized only 15% of the nearly 10,000 entries from design firms, ad agencies and corporations.


nucleus logo

The work that was recognized was our Nucleus logo for the Comcast Business division’s new asset management portal. Additionally, the judges also honored two Nucleus posters that were designed to build awareness for the new portal.

Nucleus
Nucleus

Feed Your Vision

GO2 also garnered awards for two projects for EyeMed, a division of Luxottica. Our Changing Reality direct mail campaign targeted insurance brokers and promoted the client’s vision benefits network. The other piece that received recognition was a poster promoting eye health and EyeMed’s eyesiteonwellness.com site.

Changing Reality
Tips for Directing Voice-over Talent

Communicating effectively with voice-over talent is not a task for the underprepared. Talent and studio time are expensive. Going over budget is something you don’t want to explain to your supervisor. Not getting the read you want from your talent is even worse. With this in mind, I’ve been involved in hundreds of recording sessions over the years. Having a successful session is part art, psychology and skill. So here are some tips.

  • Hire the right talent. You hire James Earl Jones to deliver a James Earl Jones-type read. Asking him to be a light-hearted character isn’t exactly his forte.
  • stopwatchRead your script out loud while timing it. Read it in the style that your talent will be reading it. You need to allow time for performance. Sure, you might be able to fit 70 seconds of copy into 59.5 seconds if you’re John Moschitta Jr. from the legendary FedEx fast talker spots, but if that’s not what you’re looking for, start cutting. Also, allow time for sound effects.
  • Format the script. Make it easy to read in 12-point type and double space it so the talent can write in those last-minute changes.
  • Know what you want the read to sound like before your session. Part of this goes back to hiring the right talent. Reference a read on the talent’s demo reel to give him or her a good starting point. Discuss the target audience with your talent.
  • Don’t overdirect. Nobody wants to be overwhelmed with information. Before you hit the talk back button, think about what you want to get across to the talent. Be clear, concise and specific.
  • parrotDon’t feed your talent lines. Reading a line and asking the talent to feed it back or “parrot” it is something that talent pretty much hates. Give specific direction.
  • You’re not alone. Get the most out of your production by getting input from the audio engineer, producer and talent. They all want the session to be a success.
  • Be positive. Let the talent know that they’re effectively communicating your message. After all, everybody likes positive feedback.
  • Have fun.

If you’ve got tips on directing voice-over talent, we’d love to hear what works for you.

Digital Asset Management and Distribution

Your sales force is scattered across the nation or even the globe. They need promotional items, PowerPoint presentations, print collateral and even mailing lists. And like everything else, they need these assets at the speed of life.

The answer: you need an interactive storefront or digital library that lets you store, manage and distribute assets on demand. Your password-controlled e-store keeps all your digital assets in one place, well organized and easy to access. The days of warehousing pallets of brochures are long gone because it’s a digital world.

The e-store allows you to control branding, eliminating the risk that an associate will go rogue and start creating their own materials. You also control shipping while delivering customizable material to your sales team. Delivery options include print pieces, downloads or electronic delivery via email.

Advantages of digital asset management:

  • Organized files are centrally controlled
  • Branding is tightly controlled
  • Eliminate cost on shipping pieces
  • Smoother inventory management
  • Data on usage of items

Other advantages include inventory reduction, since digital versions can be kept current. Your printing costs are also lowered because runs are typically small and on demand.

The key to creating an interactive storefront is centralization. Spreading digital assets across multiple locations leads to confusion, redundancy and frustrated associates wasting time searching for materials.

Tracking the numbers is another important factor. Knowing what’s being printed or downloaded gives you a better idea of what’s working in the field, what should be cut from your digital library, or what should be updated.

GO2 Advertising has created front end user interfaces that made it easy for Sherwin-Williams’ sales force and Comcast’s sales team to access assets.

nucleus home

nucleus inside

Comcast’s solution, Nucleus, is a full-featured Content Management and Delivery system. Shown here are the login page and the initial landing page.

Our team developed sites that allow their associates to have access to the most current marketing materials with just a few keystrokes.

GO2 Advertising can create a custom-built site to your specifications and requirements so that everybody on your team has the right materials every time, all the time, while increasing your corporate efficiency.

Optimizing SEO on Your WordPress Site

WordPress powers approximately 25% of all websites in the world that use a content management system (CMS).1 It dominates the CMS market and continues to grow at a phenomenal pace. Everybody from individuals to corporate giants, including Time Magazine, the NFL and MLB, all use their platform.

That’s because WordPress makes it easy to build a site, customize it and get it up and running in no time. But what about traffic? Rankings? The world falling in love with your new site?

With any CMS site, SEO does not take care of itself. No CMS site – even one from WordPress – is search engine optimized, even though many CMS firms claim that they are.

Sure, WordPress is search engine friendly. However, you or your agency is responsible for maximizing search engine visibility. So where do you begin?

First, load time is a crucial search factor. WordPress can sometimes be slow loading. Using cache plugins greatly accelerates site loading. You can also look for a fast-loading theme with streamlined code. Additionally, most of the new themes are HTML5, which are best for SEO.

Next, make your URLs more search friendly. Out-of-the-box WordPress sites have default permalink settings. These are not optimized and must be adjusted.

You also need to create an XML sitemap to help optimize search.

If all of this sounds a bit daunting, turn these tasks over to a developer. However, there is plenty that you can do to help optimize your site if you live by these three words:

Content is king.

Creating high-quality content is crucial to your site’s success. Plugins were mentioned earlier. These enable you to do SEO by making it easier to customize your site. However, a plugin might claim to optimize meta descriptions, but you still have to write them.

Once you’ve created content for every page of your site, create more content. That means Evergreen content, blogs, guides, tutorials and even videos. Create as much of this as you can. Also, be sure that your Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ profiles are complete and connected to your site.

Remember, a top-ranked site doesn’t just happen. It’s up to you to create a truly optimized site. Even with WordPress, you need to enhance its optimization.

If you’re not sure if you’re up to the task, consider an SEO consultant like GO2 Advertising to handle the complexities of maximizing your WordPress site’s SEO. We can develop and optimize your site to attract visitors, turn them into buyers and build your business.

1 http://www.techtimes.com/articles/104519/20151109/wordpress-is-so-big-25-percent-of-all-websites-in-the-world-run-on-it.htm

Does a thriving small business need an agency?

Customers. Every business needs them. Now, you might have the greatest product or service in the world, but if customers don’t know who you are, what you do and your reputation, don’t expect many sales.

Acquiring and retaining customers is the biggest challenge that any business faces. To grow, every business – even a thriving one – needs to have a marketing plan that effectively reaches the target audience with branded messaging, because great communication leads to growth.

A strategic marketing plan developed by an agency ensures that branding messages are consistent across all media.

With that being said, creating a marketing strategy needs to be left to highly trained specialists. After all, do you really have the time to master research, strategy, branding, writing, graphic design, video production, social media, analytics, user experience and web development? Most likely not.

Even if you hire a marketing specialist, it is extremely unlikely that this individual will possess all the necessary skills needed to create and execute a marketing plan. At some point, your hire will have to outsource tasks. The “too few people wearing too many hats” approach just doesn’t work.

To put it simply, you can’t do it alone or even with one or two hires. Hiring an agency provides substantial value by saving you time and money. Think about recruiting, training, investing in software, and the additional overhead expenses of bringing someone on.

Using an agency to develop an effective marketing strategy will have a profound effect on a business. It is crucial to growth. Considering businesses are judged by the profit they generate, building a strong brand is a vital investment a business should make. Plus, every business can benefit from an outside perspective.

GO2 Advertising is an employee-owned agency where strategy empowers creative. We all work hard in creative ways to elevate your brand because we’re invested in ours. We work with Fortune 500 clients and small businesses looking to make it big.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Opportunity Knocks: On-Door Direct Marketing

How do you connect with consumers? How do you make your brand stand out when your target audience is bombarded with 5,000 advertising and brand exposures daily – One every 11.52 seconds*? On-Door Direct Marketing or Doorhangers.

Sure, they’re not high tech. Yet, they deliver high results. Doorhangers generate results that direct mail, inserts, newspaper ads or any other media program cannot come close to equaling.

Depending on the strength of the promotion, response rates of 8% to 15% are the norm, not the exception. How is this possible? Your message never gets lost in the clutter. Doorhangers actually force interaction and make your target audience pay attention to them. In other words, they’re hard to ignore.

Besides helping you stand out against intense competition, on-door direct marketing optimizes your budget with exceptional cost efficiency. Here are the advantages of on-door direct marketing.

  • DHmapDelivers the lowest cost per inquiry and higher readership
  • Provides more reliable promotions with higher redemption rates
  • Superstar solo performer – your message stands alone on the homeowner’s door and never gets lost in the clutter
  • Target-specific ZIP codes or multiple Designated Market Areas (DMA)
  • Saturate the market on the days you want; U.S. bulk mail has no guaranteed delivery date
  • Costs no more than a direct mail piece
  • Requires no additional budget
  • GPS tracking for delivery verification

Whether you’re targeting a single ZIP code or multiple DMA, GO2 Advertising excels at driving business results with on-door direct marketing. We also excel in the ease of implementing your trackable program.

From the distribution strategy, creation and design to fulfillment, GO2 can handle the entire process. Contact us today to learn more about On-Door Direct marketing.

* http://sjinsights.net/2014/09/29/new-research-sheds-light-on-daily-ad-exposures/

Why Successful Relationships Take Time

In real estate, it’s location, location, location. When it comes to agencies and clients building long-term partnerships, it’s relationships, relationships, relationships.

We’re all probably familiar with the building a solid agency/client relationship marriage analogy. It’s about trust, having open and frank dialogue and believing that the relationship will get stronger. Actually, marriage is easier than building an agency/client relationship.

Nearly all advertising and marketing executives (98%) say that the best work comes when clients trust their agencies, collaborate (94% agencies, 100% clients), and maintain long-standing relationships (84% agencies, 81% clients).*

However, while nearly all agencies (90%) say they understand their client’s businesses, only 65% of clients agree.*

So how do we close this shocking gap? How do we avoid becoming suppliers and build long-term relationships?

Step up the interpersonal communication. There’s no such thing as over-communicating when keeping clients informed. Let’s face it, advertising is a people business.

Be a useful resource. Offer more value so clients come to depend on you by sharing information that they may find useful. Clients like it when you’re thinking about them.

Always be honest. A long-term relationship will not develop if both parties aren’t honest with each other.

Meet your deadlines. Any time you can relieve a client of a worry it helps build trust.

Avoid surprises at all costs. Keep clients in the loop and informed about any developments affecting a project.

Be an active listener. When asked why they’re leaving their current agency, clients rarely cite the work. Instead, they cite the frustration of the process and not feeling heard.

Clients are people, too. Recognize that the client is a person and not just a revenue stream.

Ultimately, to build a successful relationship, both groups must get behind a shared vision. They must collaborate. Respect each other’s expertise. And recognize that great work will build brands.

Trust me on this.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on building long-term agency/client relationships.

*http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/228284/missing-ingredient-in-agency-client-relationships.html

Do creative types make good leaders?

According to the study “Creativity and Leadership Perceptions,” researchers found that perceptions of prospective leaders as “creative” made them less likely to be thought of as strong leaders.*

Creative types can be seen as unconventional, unorthodox and nonconformists – traits that are seen as not being an effective leader. So how do we deal with this creative bias?

You would think that an organization would want creative leaders. Surely, taking an organization in a new direction calls for creativity and vision. Studies show that leaders who are more creative are better at effecting positive change in organizations.**

Steve Jobs would be considered a creative and strong leader. He had a vision of what he thought was right. To realize his vision, Jobs knew he couldn’t achieve it on his own. He had to bring people with him. He had to lead.

He inspired and convinced others that his vision would bring a better future. Found and developed talented ambitious people. Encouraged people to think for themselves. He allowed time for creativity. However, one of Jobs’ greatest leadership traits was being a creative curator. The ability to inspire others to see the germ of an idea and then actualize it.

Another key to his success was his charisma. Charismatic leaders like Jobs and Richard Branson wipe out the creative leader bias.

To recap, people who have creative ideas are considered effective leaders if they’re perceived as being charismatic. Few of us have Jobs’ and Branson’s charisma. So how do we address this disconnect between being creative and being an effective leader?

We at GO2 would like to hear your thoughts on this topic.

* http://www.thnk.org/2011/02/do-creative-minds-make-good-leaders/
** http://99u.com/articles/7261/the-bias-against-creatives-as-leaders

Internal Training Video Tips

Corporate videos. We’ve all seen our fair share of them. Some have been screen gems. Others, well, have been snooze fests.

So what separates the good from the bad? Here are some thoughts.

Keep it short and make it memorable. Being concise and getting to the point helps hold the attention of viewers. Start rambling or delivering too many ideas and your audience will tune out. A video with too many goals, will not end up meeting any of them. So don’t waste time and cut the fat!

Know your audience. Your message must be crafted to the exact concerns of a defined audience. Remember, you’re not the focus of the video, your audience is.

Tell a story. Take your audience on a journey. A great story, told in a compelling manner keeps the audience’s attention. All the beautiful shots in the world with a great voiceover won’t cover up the lack of a compelling story.

Think “E”. Create a video that’s engaging, entertaining, educational, emotional and has good energy.

You’re not creating a Hollywood Blockbuster, but production does matter. Concepting, writing, lighting, shooting, graphics and editing a video are all skills and an art form. Plus, good production makes your brand look better.

Ultimately, every effective video starts with an idea. Make sure that you have a good one to begin with and the rest should fall into place.

We’d love to hear your tips on creating awesome videos.

Working with Creative

Creative and marketing. Oil and water. Cats and dogs. They just don’t mix. Right? Well, my three dogs and nine cats get along, so anything is possible.

The struggle between creative and marketing tends to be more about who’s going to be the top dog. So here are some tips for building greater teamwork between departments and delivering better work.

Nail the creative brief.

Letting creatives “run off” on their own is pretty much always a bad idea. That means the creative brief needs to be highly detailed: what the client wants to achieve, target audience, number of concepts needed, brand guidelines, budget, every little thing that will make the project run smoothly.

Are they the weird ones? Or is it us?

Creatives try to be flexible and be team players. However, we tend to have independent streaks. There will also be those occasions when our social skills fall far short when dealing with marketing. We’re not trying to be difficult and this may stem from the fear that creative will be blamed for poor sales if the project fails.

Originality takes time.

We’re not magicians. It takes time to deliver quality work that exceeds the client’s expectations. Everybody has to deal with a rush job on occasion, but is it really urgent? Is there any flexibility to the deadline? If you do have a tight deadline, creative will work with you to produce the absolutely best work possible in the timeframe given.

My spouse doesn’t like green.

Wonderful, but your spouse isn’t the target audience. Marketing’s responsibility is determining the target audience and how to reach them. It’s not determining a package color.

Don’t second-guess.

Since we can’t look into the future, it’s virtually impossible to predict what will be successful. “I’ll know it when I see it” or design by committee, usually runs counter to what’s in the creative brief.

Let’s talk more.

We’re in the communication business. Feedback is important. Is the client happy or unhappy? Did the creative achieve the client’s goal? Let us know. We take great pride in our work, and if it isn’t right, we will fix it.

Ultimately, we’re your partners who want the same thing as you do – producing great work that achieves results.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how creative and marketing can work better together.