I’m Advertising, But It’s Not Working – Help!

How many of your advertising dollars are being wasted? Do you really know?
The way to know is to track the performance of every dollar you spend so that you can make informed decisions about where and how to spend your advertising budget. Whether your advertising is a website, a billboard, magazines, or any other source, you should be able to examine how much money your are spending on each, and tie it back to revenue received from that source. If you cannot do that, then you are surely losing money to some degree because of it.
However you measure success, there is a method of tracking it all the way back to return on investment. Here are some suggestions that may help you on your way to tracking your success in advertising:
* Track visitors and their activity on your website; http://analytics.google.com is a good and free Website Analytics service. Create an account there, and make sure to install the tracking code on your website.
* Setup a method of tracking your customers’ phone calls to your business’ numbers. There are several services that allow you to track the source of a caller. http://www.calltraxplus.com has the ability to track callers by source and report it into Google Analytics or other Analytics systems.
There are other things that you can do to improve your effectiveness at advertising that are much more in depth than this article can cover. You should consider contacting a Tracking Specialist to assist you in setting up trackable return on investment for your business. Solving your tracking issues up front always ends up being the best investment, since you will then be in control of how and where to best spend your advertising budget.

The Critical Role Of Brand Statements

Branding statements communicate the essence of your brand. They reflect what your brand stands for and influence its reputation. They reflect what you want to be known for. They should communicate positive distinctions, characteristics, and, if applicable, achievements. It should also be a measure of differentiation.

Inclusions to consider regarding Brand Statement:

Your specialty — who are you?

Your service — what you do?

Your audience — who you do it for?

Your best characteristic — what are you known for?

What are you trying to communicate with your brand?

What are you trying to overcome with your brand?

Guidelines for Establishing an Effective Brand Statement

Guideline #1. Keep statements to bare essentials

Extremely short, simple descriptions often are the most powerful. Brand experts suggest keeping statements to one or two words, but this is often challenging to do. Volvo, for example, might be able to sum up its brand as “safety.” Southwest Airlines brands itself as “The Low Cost Airline”.

While there is value in developing more in-depth brand descriptions, short statements force you to identify your brand’s core essence, and they are easy to communicate and remember. Consumers do not have the capacity to remember lengthy brand statements, but they can remember quick, impacting statements about what your brand stands for, which is critical to any brand’s success.

Guideline #2. Address brand value

Consider whether the brand statement describes the customer or audience needs, and how it meets the need(s).
In summary, does the brand statement address:

Audience needs
Brand’s core attributes
How brand meets audience’s needs
Customers’ rational benefits
Customers’ emotional benefits
Guideline #3. Reality is a requirement

A tremendous amount of research and thought should go into branding. A brand statement should be supported by solid research and not simply “dreamed up”. Brand statements should reflect what is happening in the marketplace and customer needs, or else your brand is not supported by a solid foundation.

Do not use flowery language, buzzwords or empty superlatives (world-leading, cutting-edge). These types of statements, which are overused by marketers worldwide, are immediately dismissed by an audience. There is a lack of meaning and emotional connection.

Be sure your brand statement solves a real need or rely on quantifiable data (as opposed to “the only”, etc.).

Guideline #4. It must be shared (and resonate) throughout your company.

Everyone must be on the same page, and able to articulate and expand upon the brand statement. This is another supporting factor for keeping the brand statement short and memorable.

How much a company can integrate its brand depends on its priorities, resources and budgets, but a persuasive brand statement makes integration and awareness much easier to accomplish.

All touch points should reflect the brand statement, including collateral, interior design, and customer service.

Written by: Mandy Wettstein, Director of Strategic Alliances