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Services

Marketing Consultation

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Let us sit down with you and look over your marketing plan. Do you have questions about your current plan? Do you have an upcoming project that needs a marketing push? With a consultation, we can get you on the right track.

Marketing Plans

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Every business needs a sound marketing plan in order to survive. Starting from an understanding of your target market, we will develop a plan with easy to follow steps.

Marketing Push

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There will come a time in your business or personal promotion when you need some additional help with marketing. In addition to long-term marketing support, we can be available for extra hours during new releases and other important events.


Media Types: Radio

 

Radio Broadcasting

Adult Alternative    See Alternative


Adult Contemporary    Includes broad appeal, current pop hits.


Adult Hits     Promoted as "Play what we want" with playlist that draws from music from 70"s forward.


Adult Standards     Easy listening or Beautiful music.  Largely from the 40's through the 70's.


All News     All news/information.  Little or no phone talk.


All Sports     Commentary by experts and phone call participation with all types of sports.  May or may not program play-by-play sports broadcasts.


All Talk    Talk shows of general interest or varied topics.  Can include call in or  straight  interview.


Alternative     Also known as Progressive.  May include many different types of music, especially those not found on conventional music stations.


Classic Hits     A blend of rock and pop music of the late 60's through early 80's with an emphasis on rock and a total absence of dance and pop music in this period.


Classic Rock     Rock music of the past, especially the 60's, 70's and the 80's.


Classical     Symphonic, chamber opera and solo performances of works from centuries past or of recent origin.


Contemporary (CHR)      Current, lively, upbeat, soft rock or rock-flavored; most popular current hits, often called top 40.


Country    Wide-ranging treatments of country music - a mixture of heartfelt ballads, contemporary and classic songs.


Gospel     Traditional gospel music and spirituals.


Hot Adult Contemporary  (Hot AC)     Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI) does not currently measure Hot AC as a distinct format.


Hot Country      Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI) does not currently measure Hot Country as a distinct  format.


Hurban      A blend of Spanish and English urban music.


Jazz     Vocals or instrumentals ranging from Dixieland and blues-influenced ballads the 30's and 40's to the electronic, new age and sophisticated sounds of the current era.


Kid      Station that appeals to children ages 6 to 16.


Latin     Any music, news or informational programming in the Spanish language.


Modern Rock      See Alternative


News/Talk       Features news and information programming and programs featuring call-in and talk shows hosted by personalities.


Oldies       Former CHR, AC or Soft Rock Hits and other popular vocal or instrumental music from past decades (primarily 50's through 80's).


Public Radio      Public Broadcasting is funded by the public rather than through commercial advertising.


Religions      Music, information or teaching with appeal to a wide variety of audiences.


Rock      Mainstream rock as defined by the artists that appear and have appeared on the "rock" charts in the music industry trade publications.


Soft AC      Light, easy, relaxing current music, but often encompassing material from the 70's  and 80's.


Spanish Talk      Spanish language talk shows of general interest or varied topics.


URBAN      Mediamark Research Inc. (MRI) does not currently measure Urban AC as a distinct  category.


Variety      Broad selection of programming appealing to different audiences.  Usually a full  service station with news, sports, music, information and cultural shows, personalities, strong local coverage.  Often college or university-ran stations. 

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Media Types: Television

 

Broadcast TV


The TV landscape has changed dramatically in the last 10 years.  Unscripted programs and reality shows saturate the airwaves, while our favorite sitcom characters and Survivors are using everyday brands within  the content of the programs.  Gone are the days of canned laughter.  Today, viewers are encouraged to interact with programs by calling in to vote for their favorite American Idol, or participating in an on-line poll to vote for their favorite best-dressed celebrity on the red carpet.

 

Advantages


Mass Appeal:  In addition to the 98.2% penetration rate among U.S. households enjoyed by television in general, 79.0% of these homes are multi-set households. (Nielsen Media Research, 2006)


Reach Vehicle:  TV reaches 90% of the population on a daily basis. (Television Bureau of Advertising, 2006)


Big Events:  Programs such as the Super Bowl or popular series finales can reach a large mass of audience.


Visual appeal:  TV has the ability to capture attention through sight, sound and motion.


Water-cooler appeal:  Broadcast has the ability to generate next-day conversation about nightly programming, especially popular programs.


Disadvantages


Fragmentation: Marketers distinguish between Broadcast TV and Cable TV because of the differences in the way they are bought.  Broadcast TV is generally sold locally by one staff for one station.  Cable TV
is typically sold locally by one staff for all the advertising-supported cable channels.  On the other hand, viewers do not differentiate between Broadcast TV and Cable TV channels.  Time spent viewing Broadcast TV
is being divided among Cable TV channels.


Diminished:  Consumers' broadcast television time is being further diminished  by video On Demand (VOD), video games, Internet video downloads, and Internet browsing.


Disinterested Viewers:  According to Western International Media's Advertising Receptivity Study, 11% of TV viewers said they are "mostly or fully attentive" during commercial breaks in programming. 
(TV Dimensions, 2006)


Commercial Avoidance:  TV household penetration of DVRs (digital video recorders) reached approximately 11% in mid-2006, equaling some 12 million homes.  According to research firm IN-Stat, some 87% of
consumers who own DVRs fast forward through commercials. (Business Week, 2006)


Commercials Clutter:  Clutter, particularly on ABC, CBS and NBC during primetime hours, has risen noticeably over the last two decades.  In the early-1980's, 19% of TV content was devoted to commercials. 
By the mid-2000s, it had risen to 24%. (TV Dimensions, 2006)


Escalating Costs:  It is estimated that one :30 in the 2006 Super Bowl cost advertisers $2.6 million.  Apart from one-time programs or large special events like the Super Bowl, one average :30 can cost
double or triple the amount of one :30 in Radio.


Production Costs:  The American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) said that in 2005 production casts for a network TV commercial averaged nearly $400,000.  Producing quality commercials
significantly impacts ad budgets.


At-home Medium:  TV is primarily an at-home medium.


Seasonal:  TV usage is greatly affected by vacation and weather cycles and the effects these have on viewer interest and availability.  Usage is lowest in the summer months.  (TV Dimensions, 2006) 

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Media Types: Outdoor

 

Outdoor


Anyone who regularly drives the nations streets and highways - particularly those workers with time-consuming daily commutes - knows that billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising are an inescapable fact of life.

Most advertising media operate in an age of ever-increasing specialization, focusing on their ability to deliver more and more narrowly-defined segments of the population.  Outdoor advertising, on the other hand, remains the champion of the mass media, touting it's ability to reach large, undifferentiated audiences. 

 

Advantages


Attention Grabbing:  The combination of size, color and illumination attracts attention.


Strategic Placement:  Billboards can be placed in high-traffic areas or other strategic locations, while transit signs can be affixed to the backs and sides of buses, in bus stops, and in rail stations.


Low Cost:  Outdoor's cost-per-thousand is significantly lower than that of any other advertising medium - in some cases by a factor of 10 or even 20.


Building Word of Mouth:  Billboards can generate curiosity in "teaser" campaigns. 


Full-Time Audience:  Outdoor's message can appear year -round.  For additional fees, outdoor advertisers can purchase evening lighting - or in some cases, even 24-hour illumination.


Directional:  Billboards can be used as directionals, guiding consumers to the location of a given business.

 

Disadvantages


Brevity:  The very nature of outdoor advertising demands that the commercial message be brief and relatively simple.  Therefore, it is difficult to communicate product details, competitive advantages, and
specific consumer benefits.  Billboard companies generally recommend no more than seven words on a billboard, or people speeding by will not have time to read the message. 

 

Limited Availability:  Prime outdoor locations (in high-traffic areas) often are controlled by large, long-term advertisers.  Construction of new billboards is restricted by costs, space availability, and
sometimes-rigid municipal codes and environmental regulations.


Lack of Effective Measuring Tools:  Unlike other advertising media, outdoor advertising has no truly reliable method to measure its effectiveness.  A few studies have been done, but they mostly apply to
limited geographical areas and employ widely varying methodologies. 


Low Recall:  Commuters behind the wheel and other potential customers are exposed very briefly to outdoor messages, minimizing message retention.  Such adverse conditions as heavy traffic or bad
weather also can limit message impact and recall.


Ugly Image:  Because of growing environmental concerns, many communities have eliminated, reduced, or limited the volume and placement of outdoor advertising. 


Inflexible:  Once a message is up, it generally stays up through the duration of the contract, even if the advertiser's needs have changed.  In addition, printing a new message is expensive, possibly taking
weeks to produce and additional time to have it displayed.  

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Media Types: Newspaper

 

Newspaper


Despite flat ad revenues and a declining - not to  mention aging - readership base, the newspaper has managed to hang on to its position as one of America's leading  advertising vehicles. Either from habit
or a sometimes-outdated perception of its effectiveness, many retailers believe they can't survive without advertising in the local newspaper.


Advantages


History:  One of the oldest, most highly regarded media in the U.S. Among its loyal readers and advertisers, it enjoys a high degree of familiarity, acceptance, credibility and respect.


Visuals:  The newspaper's combination of text and graphics, when used effectively, can create visual appeal that reinforces the messages of its advertising.


In-Depth:  Newspaper ads have the ability to communicate lengthy, complex or detailed information and descriptions.


Mass Audience:  Newspapers reach a relatively large mass audience throughout the market with a single exposure.  A single ad in the newspaper typically can create more impressions than a single commercial on television, a single radio commercial, a single outdoor billboard, or single insertion in any other medium.


Ad Variety:  The medium offers a variety of ad sizes that allow advertisers to meet their budgetary constraints, from a one-column-inch ad to two full-page ads side by side called a double-truck.


Ease of Tracking:  It's relatively easy to track response, primarily through couponing.


Lead Time:  Advertisers can place orders and copy with a relatively short lead time.


Exposure:  The reader controls the amount of exposure to a given ad.  They can spend as much or as little time with an ad as they like.


Geographic Targeting:  Zoned editions of newspapers in large metro areas allows for less than full-run
advertising. 

 

Disadvantages


Decreasing Penetration:  Gone are the days when almost every American household subscribed to at least one newspaper.  Today, newspaper's household penetration is right around 50%.
(RAB Newspaper Performance Reports, based on ABC data, are available for most U.S. markets.)
(Editor & Publisher, 2005)


Ad Clutter, No Separation:  Ads account for more than 60% of the space in the typical newspaper.  Your ad placed next to your competitors' can only be an advantage if your price is absolutely the lowest. 

 

Passive:  The paper provides information once consumers decide to buy, but it does not build brand awareness or create product demand.  Newspaper advertising thus works mainly for comparing prices.


Browsers, Not Readers:  Most people don't read all sections of the paper every day.  Ads in a given section reach only those who read that section.


Can't Target:  It's difficult to accommodate selective approaches that improve your cost efficiency and enhance frequency against clearly defined, high-potential customer segments.


New Competition from Outside:  One of newspaper's ad categories (classifieds) is under attack both from Internet sites and savvy Radio stations.
 

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Media Type: Internet


Internet


Once thought of as no more than a niche player in the overall scope of advertising, the internet is quickly emerging as a viable advertising medium. Dot-coms, have become a competitor to the nation's traditional media. Due in part to the relative newness of the category (the first Web banners appeared in 1994), online advertising has enjoyed several
years of eye-popping growth. But advertising on the Web has also proven to be a profitable alternative for a growing number of products and companies.


Advantages :


Direct Response: With the Internet, you can reach highly educated and affluent consumers who are able to purchase your products or services with a click of the mouse.


Interactivity: The Internet allows your customers to communicate directly with you; they can tell you what they do and don't like, what they want, and what they will buy. They spend as much time as they
choose with any amount of information you provide.


Tracking: Internet technology allows you to measure exactly how many people saw your message...and how they responded.


Immediacy: Thanks to online commerce, your message can reach consumers just before they buy online...and offer detailed information to shape the buying decision.


Flexible: The Internet allows you to change your message frequently; in fact, Internet experts suggest that you must continually change your offerings to keep them fresh.


Enhanced Capabilities: As more and more households upgrade to faster broadband Internet connections, advertisers will be able to incorporate rich media formats, which include streaming video, into their ads.


Disadvantages :


Perception: Advertising is becoming more accepted on the Internet. However, the flip side of increased acceptance is decreased awareness. Many Internet users simply tune out ads or even block them with software designed for the purpose.


Consumer Concerns: Legitimate ads are hard to distinguish from those that are malicious. Individuals using the Internet for spreading viruses or electronic fraud have created worries among Internet users. Phishing (pronounced "fishing"), where apparent legitimate businesses ask for credit card and security information, gives rise to identity theft.


Time: Although broadband penetration among residential Internet users is expected to exceed 75% by the end of 2006, there will probably always be a core base of dial-up Web subscribers. Hardware bottlenecks make navigating the Net a slow, tedious process. Many users, turned off by the time it takes to view graphic-heavy pages, move on quickly when they don't think the site is worth the wait.


Infrastructure Problems: As an increasing number of consumers access the Internet looking to shop and buy, sites that don't prepare for the growth in traffic (particularly around the Christmas holidays) will be plagued by painfully slow loading times or outright crashes. Moreover,  e-traders are very dependent on timely shipping, a possible weak link that could break down just when it's needed most. Loss of online visitors means your advertising will be less effective.


Rising Costs: Much of the advertising on the Internet is being sold on a bid basis. The higher the advertiser bids, the better placement of the ad. Premium positions are often higher ona Cost-per-Thousand basis than Radio.


New Technology: The Internet, with its rapid advancements in hardware and software, creates confusion among consumers who turn away from many of the newest attention-getting forms of advertising.
 

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Media Type: Yellow Pages

 

Yellow Pages


While not as high-profile as most of the "proactive" forms of advertising, the Yellow Pages are still an indispensable part of many Americans' lives. Used primarily as a reference tool by a large percentage of shoppers, the Yellow Pages enjoy one advantage over several other categories of advertising: People who consult them are usually already motivated to buy.


Advantages :


Widespread: Ninety-nine percent of U.S. adults are familiar with the Yellow Pages. (Yellow Pages Association, 2005)


Emergency Reference: Consumers often rely on the Yellow Pages during emergency situations.


Targets Consumers: Ads primarily target consumers already interested in purchasing a product or service.


Traditional Acceptance: Having a listing in the Yellow Pages has historically been a "must" for retailers.


Disadvantages :


Limited Exposure: Just over half of U.S. adults (53%) refer to the Yellow Pages during an average week. The other 47% will not see your ad. (Yellow Pages Association, 2005)


Minimal Consumer Awareness: Since the Yellow Pages typically are consulted after the decision to buy has been made, top-of-mind awareness must be built in other ways. As product continue to proliferate and the retail business becomes saturated, you must create demand for your products before the buying decision has been made.


Ad Clutter: Your ad is lumped in with all the others for the same product, where shoppers can compare.


Inconvenient: Phone books tend to be bulky, hard to store, and not readily available to consumers outside of the home or office. Their availability is limited to the locations where most purchases are made. How many pay phones have you seen that have a complete book? (Indeed, with the ever-increasing use of mobile phones, how many people even us phone booths anymore?)


Inflexible: Most directories are published once a year, and advertising must be purchased well in advance of the publication date. You can't make corrections or changes resulting from dynamic business conditions or opportunities.


Too Many Books: In many communities, there are several different directories all competing for listings. Who reads them all?


Encroaching Competition from the Internet: Yellow Pages-like services on the Web are appearing more often. They can offer a more logical organization of data, and the capability to update information more often.
 

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Media Type: Direct Mail

 

Direct Mail


Hardly a day goes by that the typical U.S. consumer doesn't receive at least one direct mail offer from a credit card provider, mortgage broker, insurance agent, or water purifying company. Consequently, it's been estimated that three-fourths of all direct mail ends up in the trash can - unopened. But as the saying goes, what is one person's trash can be another's treasure. In this case, the "other" person is the American retail community, which continues to increase its direct mail spending each year.

Advertisers love direct mail because it helps them focus and target consumers by virtually any characteristic - location, education, age, sex, purchase history, and so forth. Direct mail also can be very useful in tracking consumer response, with a format that allows for the distribution of product samples along with coupons. In addition, advances in computer database software and computer hardware, combined with only small increases from the US Postal Service over the past several years, means direct mail costs have been managed to a degree.

 

Advantages :


Targetability: With direct mail, an advertiser can target potential customers by geographical area, product affinity, previous purchases, and potential interest based on accumulated or purchaed databases.


Reach: The medium potentially can reach every household in the market, or at least every consumer the marketer wishes to target., usually through mail-merge options where multiple advertisers are combined in a single envelope or package.


Maintenance: Direct mail can be helpful in building and reinforcing existing consumer relationships through personalized mailings.


Tracking: The response rate is easily measured, and can be tracked through coupon redemption and return-card/call-back options.


Precision: Direct mail allows an advertiser to convey highly detailed information about their product or service, as well as deliver product samples for consumers to try.


Disadvantages :


Low Response Rates: With an average response rate of less than 3%, most of the people you market to will reject or ignore your offer.


Attention: When consumers actually do read their direct mail, they tend to read mailings from advertisers they know and like.


New Customers: Direct mail is less effective in attracting prospects than in reinforcing existing customers. For any business whose future depends on expanding its consumer base, this is a significant liability.


Consumer Perception: Most consumers refer to direct mail as "junk Mail" - and they have an even lower opinion of the most cost-efficient mail-merge packages that combine pieces from a number of different advertisers in one envelope. 


Outdated Mailing Lists: Even among consumers who are not actively trying to have their names stricken from direct mail's rolls, there are many who move each year, making it difficult for direct-mail companies to identify and maintain accurate databases.


Growing Expense: Impending increases in postal rates, paper costs, production charges, and database fees could turn direct mail into one of the least cost-efficient of all media. 

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Media Type: Magazines

 

Magazines


In today's magazine industry, there's virtually something for everyone.  Whatever business category, cultural pursuit, leisure activity, sport, medical condition, etc., that you can imagine, there's probably a magazine aimed at that particular demographic.  According to the Magazine Publishers of America, 84% of adults read some type of magazine.

What are the most widely-read magazines in America?  Publications with the largest base of paid subscribers in 2005 were: 1. AARP, The Magazine; 2. AARP Bulletin; 3.Reader's Digest; 4. TV Guide; 5. Better Homes and Gardens; 6. National Geographic; 7. Time; 8. Good Housekeeping; 9. Ladies' Home Journal; 10. AAAWestways.  Magazines with the largest number of single-copy buyers in 2005 were: 1. Cosmopolitan; 2. People; 3. Woman's World; 4. First For Women; 5. In Touch Weekly; 6. O, The Magazine; 7. US Weekly; 8. Glamour; 9. National Enquirer; 10. Star Magazine. (Magazine Publishers of America, 2006)
Who is advertising in magazines?  To no one's surprise, Automotive led the way in 2005.  Following Automotive were: 2. Toiletries and Cosmetics; 3. Drugs & Remedies; 4. Apparel & Accessories; 5. Food & Food Products; 6. Direct Response Companies; 7. Home Furnishings & Supplies; 8. Media and Advertising; 9. Retail; 10. Financial, Insurance & Real Estate; 11. Technology; 12. Public Transportation, Hotels & Resorts.  Together, these 12 categories were responsible for 82% of total magazine ad expenditures during the year. (Magazine Publishers of America, 2006)


Advantages


Targetability:  With a range of titles that appeal to a wide variety of demographics, lifestyles and interests, advertisers can focus on those consumers that fit their needs.


Strong Visuals:  Magazine ads can be highly creative and aesthetically appealing through the effective use of photography, graphics, color and copy.


Portability:  With the exception of in-car reading, magazines can be carried by consumers and read almost anywhere, at any time.


Disadvantages


Competition: There are too many magazines - and too many choices.  Advertisers and consumers have almost 19,000 magazine titles from which to choose.  The proliferation in the number of magazines means audience fractionalization, and most magazines actually miss most of their avowed target audiences.


Time:  The average person spends only 5% percent of his or her daily media time reading magazines. (Media Targeting 2000,)


Clutter:  Magazines contain so much advertising that ad readership and recall is minimal.  In 2005, the ratio for consumer magazines was 47.2% advertising pages, and 52.8% editorial pages. (Magazine Publishers of America, 2006)


Inflexible:  Because of lead time, advertising must be prepared long before publication dates, prohibiting advertisers from responding instantly to changing market conditions. 

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Media Type: Poit-of-Purchace

 

Place-Based/Point-of-Purchase


According to the Poit of Purchase Advertising International organization, marketing at retail is "the point where products meet the consumer who has the capability and desire to buy. It is the last point where brand marketers can influence the consumer with ththeir marketing campaigns." And as anyone who's instinctively taken advantage of an in-store "50% off" promotion can attest to, point-of-purchase marketing can be very persuasive.


Advantages :


Placement: P-O-P advertising can be placed almost anywhere in stores - nest to merchandise, on shopping bags,at the checkout counter, even suspended from the ceiling or laminated into floor tiles.


Targeted: P-O-P is most effective when it is positioned to reach a clearly defined consumer target closest to the time of purchase.


Effective: Place-based advertising directly affects sales, brand switching, portfolio purchasing and multi-unit sales.


Influential: P-O-P advertising gives retailers the opportunity to influence consumers in a competitive environment.


Incremental Sales: P-O-P advertising can persuade shoppers to purchase additional quantities of a product, or to buy related products that are merchandised together.


Disadvantages :


Limited Reach: By definition, place-based advertising only reaches that small group of consumers walking past displays, waiting at the checkout counter, or carrying their bags to the car. Moreover, studies show P-O-P marketing works best when geared toward younger, single, less-affluent shoppers.


Product-Oriented: Place-based advertising influences what products consumers may buy, but not where they will buy them. Though often effective for improving product sales, place-based media inherently are limited in their ability to attract new customers, build traffic, and improve market awareness for retail advertisers.


Consumer Perception: Many consumers report that in-store TV monitors, electronic signs, and in-store broadcasting have little impact on them as they shop they also claim that these devices blend into the environment. 

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