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Phil’s 2020 Letter

Have Cord Cutters Killed Regional TV Advertising?

Happy New Year from Condron Media!
January is underway, and we are excited for yet another year serving our partners and clients.
The following is a note from our founder, Phil Condron.

We had a client who was interested in reaching a broad 10 county area in Northeastern PA.

We suggested TV should be a cornerstone of the media plan.

The client responded, “Who watches TV any longer?”

The reference was to the “cord cutters” or “cord stackers.”

A cord cutter is one who no longer subscribes to cable or satellite (linear) TV but watches streaming programming through various devices. Cord stackers are those who retain connected (linear) TV service and also view streaming programs.

The streaming process is known as Over The Top (OTT) and is delivered to viewers through a variety of devices including HDMI sticks (Amazon Fire, Roku, etc.), smart TVs with built-in apps like Netflix & HBO Go, game consoles, internet-enabled smart Blu-ray/DVD players and streaming boxes (Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, etc.).

connect tv

The latest J.D. Power study shows about 60% of streaming customers are cord stackers; 23% are cord shavers (those who still subscribe to TV but have downgraded their service package); 13% are cord cutters (those who have recently canceled TV service); and 4% are cord nevers (those who have never subscribed to pay TV and only subscribe to streaming video services), according to IP Carrier.

So, does that mean advertisers can’t reach the cord cutters?

Not at all.

In fact, video messages can be finely targeted to specific audiences by geography and lifestyle through OTT. So, the targeting of commercials is much more specifically directed in this process than by broadcast or cable TV programming.

And at the end of an OTT TV campaign ad exposure results are available showing where and through what programming the commercials were viewed.

So of course, the answer to our client’s question about current TV viewers is that there are still over 80% of households who view TV as it originates.

That’s almost a half million TV viewers in our market.

OTT is a growing video medium and will affect advertisers with increasing impact in the coming years.

But TV viewing is still alive and well.

-Phil Condron


Note: Phil’s 2020 letter first appeared in our January newsletter.
If you want to subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to read news like this, head here.

What is Social Listening and Why Does it Matter?

Wouldn’t it be great to know what your customers really think about your business?

What are people saying about your company? How about your competitors?

If you’re not performing social listening, you’re missing out on these valuable insights and more.

 

illustration of connections made through social media networking

What is social listening?

Social listening is the practice of observing your online presence by monitoring, tracking, and analyzing conversations about your business or brand on various social platforms.

It’s about gauging the collective online “mood” and analyzing those insights to better integrate your social media marketing strategy.

Social listening is a two-step process:

First, monitor social media for mentions of your brand.
Then, analyze what people are saying to find actionable ways to evolve your social strategy.

 

Why does it matter?

Practicing social listening helps businesses manage their reputation, track growth, identify new opportunities, and develop a strong, loyal fan base.

Social listening also allows you to take small actions, such as replying to customer comments or addressing issues and complaints, or large actions like changing your marketing efforts based on customer feedback.

You may even be able to identify an entirely new customer pool based on the data you collect.

Let’s say, for example, your target audience has always been Demographic A. However, it turns out Demographic B has been tweeting great things about your product!

After monitoring what Demo B has to say, you take action by adding segmented messaging to your next ad campaign that targets Demo B specifically.

Voilà! You’ve just used social listening to acquire an expanse of new customers that were previously off your radar.

 

Tips for getting started

Here are a few tips for businesses that want to start or improve their social listening process:

– Develop a go-to reference list of keywords, topics, hashtags, phrases, or competitor names.

– Periodically monitor your keyword list across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, and anywhere else people might be talking about you.

– Insights & metrics are offered through many social platforms, so check them often. Facebook’s Insights tab will even recommend up to 5 competitor pages you can track as “Pages to Watch.”

– Set a Google Alert for your business, products, or competitors to easily find blog posts or news coverage about your company.

 

Monitoring the digital sentiment around your brand can help you gain real, valuable insights into what your current and potential customers want from your business.

Put your findings to use. Remember to take actions will allow your company to improve the customer experience, open doors to new opportunities, and continuously shift your strategy to fit your current need.

 

Looking for other tips and tools that can help your small business?
Reach out to us! We’d love to hear from you at hi@condronmedia.com

4 Tips for Marketing Your One-Day Event

One-day events are a great way to promote your business and get people in the door.

An open house, a ribbon cutting ceremony, or a one-day sale might be the catalyst that sparks extra foot traffic, new customers, and increased sales.

#1. Start your messaging early

The key to a higher turnout rate is letting your audience know about your event early and often.

Start displaying your marketing message while there is still plenty of time to build public interest. Two weeks might suffice for smaller events, but consider marketing over a month ahead of time for bigger events.

Your customers should have your messaging in the back of their mind well before the event takes place. Periodic reminders in the weeks and final days leading up to the event will also help with customer recall.

#2. Use social media to promote & share news about the event

Social media is an effective complement to traditional advertising outlets like television commercials, billboards, or print ads to announce the details of your event.

Use it to your advantage! You might consider creating a public Facebook Event with a small budget to “boost” it in order to reach more people.

Or, create shareable graphics to help spread the word.

Your followers will do some of the heavy lifting for you when they repost the images on their own social feed. Encourage users to tag their friends who may also be interested in your event.

#3. Let your customers know what they can expect

Write detailed and attention-getting descriptions about your event to let your customers know exactly what they might get from it.

Special discounts, limited-time product offers, refreshments, or exclusive group tours might be the perfect incentive to get folks in the door, so don’t hold back. Tease the things that attendees would want to know about ahead of time.

#4. Follow up after the event

If your event was a success, let the world know!

Collect contact information from your attendees to build an email list and thank everyone who helped make the day a smash hit.

Share pictures of your happy customers and be sure to invite them all back for your next event.

From grand openings and press tours to college open houses, our team is ready to help market your next event for the ultimate customer experience.

If you’re ready to start using events to build stronger relationships with prospects, contact hi@condronmedia.com. Let's get started planning your next one-day event!

Making It Stick: Frequency in Advertising

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What’s the key to effective frequency?

In advertising, the term “effective frequency” is the number of times a consumer must be exposed to an advertising message before the marketer gets the desired response, whether that be a product purchase, name recognition, or some other result.

Research has proven that messages are more effective and actually perceived as more truthful when they are repeated.

One study concluded that prospects must see an ad 9 times before they become a customer.

Another method claims the magic number is 7.

Some marketers argue that your message should be repeated up to 20 times.

So, how many times must a prospect see your marketing message to transition from a state of total apathy to purchase readiness?


The 1st time people look at an ad, they don’t see it.
The 2nd time, they don’t notice it.
The 3rd time, they are aware that it is there.
The 4th time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it before.
The 5th time, they actually read the ad.
The 6th time, they thumb their nose at it.
The 7th time, they get a little irritated with it.
The 8th time, they think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
The 9th time, they wonder if they’re missing out on something.
The 10th time, they ask their friends or neighbors if they’ve tried it.
The 11th time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
The 12th time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
The 13th time, they start to feel the product has value.
The 14th time, they start to feel like they’ve wanted a product like this for a long time.
The 15th time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
The 16th time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
The 17th time, they make a commitment to buy the product.
The 18th time, they curse their poverty because they can’t buy this terrific product.
The 19th time, they count their money very carefully.
The 20th time prospects see the ad, they buy what it is offering.

-Thomas Smith, from his 1885 book “Successful Advertising”


In truth, there is no universally correct answer. Frequency breeds familiarity, and familiarity breeds trust. But other factors come into play when determining the right frequency for your message.

How well-known is your organization? Are you trying to change public opinion with your message? What’s your overall goal? What do you hope to accomplish with your message?

Ask yourself these important questions when considering how the frequency of your message will affect the desired outcome of your ad campaign.

Don’t end the campaign too quickly.

It can take months or even years for some messages to connect with consumers. Avoid changing your messaging too soon, even if you’re feeling bored with it.

Repeated exposure to an opinion makes people believe the opinion is more prevalent, even if that opinion is only from a single source. When consumers remember a statement that gets repeated, they are more likely to believe it. Eventually, they begin to think it is the popular opinion.

Let’s say that 9 times is the right frequency for your message. For every 3 times you expose your prospect to your marketing message, it gets missed or ignored 2 of those times. This means your message must touch the consumer a total of 27 times in order to make those 9 impressions stick.


Wondering if your marketing strategy is missing something?
Condron Media can help.
Drop us a line at hi@condronmedia.com.

Want to be Successful in Business? Try This!

Emails, text messages, tweets, group chats, messaging apps… digital communication seems to have removed every barrier that previously limited our connections to our clients, coworkers, and customers. Our networks have substantially expanded and our communication is instant thanks to countless digital messaging tools.

It’s fast, but is it effective?

Has online communication replaced face-to-face human connection? Here are 3 reasons why in-person customer service is not just important, it’s necessary for business.


Less room for error

Interacting with a client or coworker in person means better, more effective communication. You can read each other’s body language, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues to fully understand the meaning behind the message.

How many times have you sent an email and the receiver only skimmed part of it, or missed your message completely? There’s less room for mixed signals or incorrect interpretation when you can see and hear the other person in the conversation.


Make the sale

People don’t buy what you’re selling, they buy why you’re selling it. Meet with your clients in person to make your pitch and let them see exactly why you’re the best solution to their problems. Being in the same room allows for an authentic, trust-building encounter with a certain personal warmth that a digital message just can’t replicate.

According to Harvard Business Review, face-to-face requests were 34 times more likely to be successful than email requests. Selling yourself, your company, or your cause in an email is far more difficult than having an engaging, in-person conversation. It’s hard to beat good ol’ fashioned face-to-face communication.


Keep customer relationships alive

You can prove to your clients how important they are when you visit them in person. Stop by their office or meet them for lunch and let them know, face-to-face, that their business is important to you.

It’s tempting to type up a text or an email and quickly send it off, but meeting with your clients in person can keep your business relationships happy and healthy.

Don’t get us wrong, our office at Condron Media takes full advantage of digital tools for both internal and external communication.

Who doesn’t appreciate the convenience of mobile communication while you’re on the go?

But when you get to the core of the customer relationship, nothing beats human connection.

Which is best for your business? Facebook Page vs. Website

Have you ever thought, “Why do I need a website when I can use social media to promote my company?” Or perhaps you’ve invested in a website and are left wondering, “Why bother getting my business on Facebook?”

With pros and cons to each platform, which should you use?

hands on a computer keyboard

Having your own website means…

You control every detail.

Your website can be customized in ways that Facebook could never allow. Looking for a pop-up window to collect emails? Why not feature special products on the homepage, or start a blog? The choice is yours and the options are unlimited when it comes to a website that you control.

You have a professional appearance online.

There is nothing more professional than a website that is modern, mobile friendly, and easy to navigate. Your credibility and the digital ‘first impression’ of your company will help you stand out.

Using a Facebook Business Page instead is…

Easy & cost effective.

Facebook profiles and business pages are free to create and use. It’s easy to upload photos, videos, posts, and other information from your phone, tablet, or computer. Facebook also makes it easy to find friends and invite them to “like” your page.

Great for sharing content.

News, updates, and other information can spread like wildfire among your Facebook fans. Your audience on social media is most likely active and engaged with your business already. The platform is designed for sharing.

Facebook


The downside

Compared to Facebook, a website is more complex to design and update, and has costs associated with running it. You’ll have to pay for your domain name and other features if you want a custom design or certain security tools. There are also recurring costs for hosting and maintenance that come with a website.

Your visitors will never get your full brand experience from Facebook alone. You’ll have a hard time reaching people who don’t use social media, because they won’t be able to access your information as easily. You are also competing against other businesses and the algorithm, fighting for space on their newsfeed.

So which is best?

The verdict – a healthy mix of both!

Your organization can thrive in the digital space with a professional, modern website and a Facebook Page that mirrors it. You’ll expand your reach across social media without sacrificing the consumer trust that comes with a professional website.

5 Questions to Ask Before Rebranding

Is a rebrand right for your organization?

Here are the key questions to ponder before deciding…

1. Have your products or services changed over time?
Are you in a different business than you used to be? Do your potential customers understand your current offerings?

2. Have consumer expectations changed?
Do your current customers believe your organization has kept pace with best practices in your field?

3. Has your target customer changed?
Do you now appeal to a different customer base? Different age, income, education, geography, or lifestyle?

4. Has your competitive landscape changed?
How do you stack up to your competitors? Are you falling behind them with industry, technology, certifications or relationship innovations?

5. Are you lost in the 80s?
Does your organization look like it’s out of touch with the second decade of the 21st Century? Does your firm look like your parents are running it?


If you answer “YES” to these questions you may want to consider rebranding your organization.

We say “may” because a proper rebrand requires resources: time, money, commitment and cooperation.

Rebranding goes deeper than changing the logo or colors of your business. Since your brand is the experience consumers receive from interaction with your firm, rebranding requires adapting that experience at all levels.

Are you up for it?

Phil’s 2019 Letter

Time to Assess the Year Ahead

Here at Condron Media, we began another great year serving our partners and clients with a note from our founder, Phil Condron:

As a new year dawns, it’s a great time to reassess our business and personal goals.

We should: Assess. Identify. Find. Attack.

We’re not referencing New Year’s resolutions. They often lose their luster and fade into oblivion by early February.

We’re discussing an assessment of where our business objectives stand, which accomplishments should become priorities during the next 12 months, and what personal steps we should undertake to ensure those goals are achieved.

How to start?

In order to look ahead, we need to look at the spent year and assess our strengths and weaknesses. In order to set achievable goals we have to be honest and objective. Landing the McDonald’s corporate account may be a stretch for most of us. So knowing what we have to work with and where opportunities exist gives us the map points to plan our yearly journey. Yes, that’s a simplistic SWOT exercise I’m suggesting.

Matching current resources with realistic goals leads to identification of holes in our business that either have to be filled or covered to move ahead. Often it’s additional people skills that are needed to support renewed growth.

The next step is to determine if those resources should be rented or purchased. Do we need them full time or merely for specific projects? There are truly accomplished pros that prefer operating as independent contractors who offer valuable corporate skills to fill holes on a temporary basis.

So that’s the plan.

-Assess our status.
-Identify new horizons.
-Find the best skills.
-Attack the challenge.

Now don’t just read this. Do it.

-Phil Condron


Note: Phil’s 2019 letter first appeared in our January newsletter.
If you want to subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to read news like this, head over here.

Happy Holidays (and big news) from Condron Media

Happy Holidays!

Condron Media is unwrapping BIG NEWS for the holiday.

That’s right – we’re moving!

New year, new digs.

We want to wish our clients, partners, and friends a happy holiday season.

Condron Media will be ringing in the New Year from our new home in the Abington Forum building in Clarks Green.


As of January, 2019 you can find us here:

120 North Abington Rd
Clarks Green, PA 18411


Our address will be new, but some things never change.

You can still call us at 570-344-6888, and you can still expect the same dedicated service and creative marketing solutions from our team.

We’ll be ringing in the new year from our new office, so remember to update your address book and stay tuned for Phil’s annual letter next month.

We want to thank you for your business.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

A Beginner’s Guide to Google Ads

Consumer expectations are constantly changing across all industries. People expect fast, accurate information at the touch of a button, and customers are searching for products and services in more ways than ever before. Few have the patience to dive any deeper than the first page of search results, which is why results rankings are so crucial for brand exposure online.

So how can your business stay ahead of the competition and in front of the consumer’s line of sight? Your organization can gain increased brand awareness, website traffic, and conversions by appearing on the first search results page through Google Ads.

What are Google Ads?

Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords, is an online advertising tool that allows your business to gain exposure across numerous devices and networks. The unique network options that Google offers include graphic display ads, YouTube video ads, text-based search ads, or in-app mobile ads, giving you plenty of ways to reach your target customer.

If you use Google like the rest of the world (Google holds 74.5% of the global Search Engine market share, processing 3.5 billion searches everyday), you’ve probably seen sponsored search results before. They appear at the top, side, or sometimes bottom of the results page and are denoted by a small green icon that indicates you’re viewing a paid ad.

How Does It Work?

Ads are intent driven. Your ads can appear if the words people type into the search bar match your list of pre-set keywords. Your keywords need to be relevant to the search term to appear.

So, an effective Ads campaign relies heavily on understanding the customer journey and recognizing the intent behind why a customer might be searching for a particular keyword.

Setting Up

Campaigns need a few basic elements to be effective. First, each campaign requires at least one Ad Group. An ad group organizes your campaign by containing only ads that share a common set of keywords. You determine the keywords you wish to target.

For example, let’s say you run a local coffee shop.

You might have one ad group for “beverages” and another ad group for “breakfast menu items.” Each ad group should then contain multiple ads that target the same set of keywords. The beverage ad group might target coffee, tea, and juice, while the breakfast menu items ad group targets bagels, egg sandwiches, and donuts. The keyword list in each ad group tells Google’s system to show ads for these products only in searches related to them.

While you do have the freedom to lump all of your ads into just one ad group, your campaign will stay more organized and your results will be more effective following a segmented structure with multiple ad groups and multiple ads. We recommend creating at least three rotating ads per ad group. Remember that different ad groups should target different sets of keywords.

The effectiveness of a Google Ads campaign is also based on the quality of the ad, the relevance of the ad copy, the landing page on your website, and your budget.

One of the best budget-friendly features of an Ads campaign is that it follows the pay-per-click model, meaning that the total ad spend is based on clicks, not impressions. This means you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad to get to your website. Each dollar spent drives traffic to your site.

Ads campaigns are most effective when they are managed consistently and adjusted properly over the life of the campaign.


Don’t Let the Details Scare You!

Maybe our Google Ads breakdown made perfect sense to you, or maybe it seems like we’re speaking Greek. We get it. Ads is a fully-customizable tool that certainly has its intricacies.

Don’t let the process scare you away from a potential opportunity to grow your business! Google Ads is a fantastic addition to any digital advertising campaign. Let Condron Media help your organization navigate through the fickle world of search networks and keywords with our digital marketing services.

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