The Business of Color

Are you using the color wheel to your business’ advantage? Ninety percent of an assessment for trying out a product is made by color alone! We are all visual people and the colors you use in logos, packages, advertisements, website, etc, can generate strong loyalty or, in a worst case scenario, steer people clear of your product. Color is subconscious and it can help to establish brand and image without even saying a word.

Is your market male, female, youth, teen, senior, a particular ethnic group, an industry group? Colors can have different meanings depending on the culture, the industry, and your target market. For example, women tend to like blue, purple, and green. Men favor black and blue. Interestingly, both men and women dislike brown and orange so marketers may want to avoid those hues.

The Logo Company came up with a great infograph on the psychology of logo colors and what the majority of people feel about certain colors. An easy one is the color green; it is universally associated with nature and ecology and is therefore used in campaigns for medicine, science, and tourism.

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The use of colors on a web page or in a mobile app can make a difference when a marketer is attempting to change certain consumer behavior. HubSpot conducted a study where consumers were prompted with an action button titled ‘Get Started Now!’ Consumers were given the option to select a green or red button. The screens with the red button had a 21% higher click rate. Red stirs excitement and passion in people and in this case something as simple as tweaking the color of a button changed consumer behavior!

Most purchasing decisions are made emotionally and then after are justified by logic. It is essential that you are aware of both the positive and negative impact and response of each color on consumer emotions. Remember, color psychology is not an exact science and there are not right or wrong colors; however, there are colors which may get a better response than others from your target market.

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Traditional + Social Integration Tips

As we talked about last blog, having a balanced marketing mix of social media and traditional advertising is important to the health of your company. Bringing your audience online allows them to interact, increasing the impact of your message and branding. In order for this to work, both traditional advertising and social media channels need to work together.

Before we start with some guidelines on integration, make sure your social media channels are well put together and convey your brand’s image.

likeus An effortless way to integrate is to include a social media call to action (CTA) on your traditional media. A successful call to actions is clear, simple, and minimal; not to overwhelm the consumer. “Visit us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, Follow our Instagram, Add us on MySpace, Follow us on Pinterest” all on one print ad is way too much. Focus on what audience you are specifically reaching with that advertising and use a specific call to action that will truly speak to them. For example, if you are advertising in a craft magazine, a Pinterest call to action would be perfect.

Show your customers that you are the same company on social media that you are in traditional media. Place a Facebook logo in your print ad with a call-to-action such as “Like Us on Facebook for Exclusive Coupons!” Or, share your TV commercial on Twitter and other social media the same day it hits the airwaves. Make sure it is loaded on your website or YouTube channel as well. If you have a product that requires directions, how-to videos are great. You can advertise your YouTube channel on your packaging and ads to direct people for instructional videos.

In essence, social and traditional media should be used to assist each other. My advice is to consider every other aspect of the marketing mix first and to plan your social media campaign as a complement to existing communications. It is important to interlace your traditional advertising and social media to help further communicate your branding message to the consumer.

Traditional Advertising Meets Social Networking

Where do you, as a consumer, obtain credible information? In the US, the majority of people say friends and family (word of mouth), publications in general, newspapers, and TV. If you notice, these are all traditional forms of media. While recently, all the talk has been all about social media, websites, and blogs. In this wave of ‘new’ media, I think some businesses have forgotten that traditional media is just as important. The key is to take an integrated marketing approach. Let me explain why.

When you know who you are trying to reach (your target market), you should know what shows they watch, publications they read, events they go to, websites they visit, apps they use, etc.

wom In order for consumers to be educated about and have a connection to your business and products you need to inform them and tell your unique story. It is important that your advertising and marketing stand out from your competition, and a story is the best way to do this. People love stories, and the best stories are told across various platforms such as TV or radio, on your website, in print, and with social media (adding photos and videos).

Word of mouth, which is considered the most credible form of advertising, is well supported by social media. Social media is essentially word of mouth in the fast lane. Facebook allows us to show our friends what companies or brands we “like” and to share news with our followers; Linked In provides an excellent platform to spotlight particular skills and experience; Twitter allows users to share experiences (whether good or bad) in real time and for businesses to share news; and blogs provide an opportunity to write more in-depth stories and to provide a real service to consumers by sharing your expertise.

In these scenarios, social media can work together with your traditional marketing. Integrating your online/social marketing efforts to fully support your traditional marketing effort is the best use of new media. Check back next week to get more tips on how to do this.

The Value of Traditional Advertising

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Sixty two percent of consumers described online advertisements as “annoying”, while almost half said they were “invasive” (45%) and “distracting” (44%). Just a small group said online ads were “eye catching” (13 %), “clever” (12 %) or “persuasive” (8 %). One can’t help wonder, though, if all ads were created and designed well, would many of those people who found them invasive switch sides to finding them clever or persuasive? As with any advertising, if you are sending the right message to the correct audience, they will be interested.

While consumers primarily use online search for finding information, there’s still nothing like traditional advertising for creating awareness among your target market. Used cohesively, traditional and digital advertising provides you the opportunity to engage customers directly and effectively. Brands that successfully integrate both traditional and web advertising will ultimately achieve a greater return on their objective.

Today’s marketing landscape is multidimensional and one best traversed by employing a well-developed blend of both digital and traditional messaging.

Promote Your Social Media: 7 Steps You Can Do Right Now

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The key is making it simple — simple, simple, simple … and easy for your consumers to follow and interact with you using social media. Here are seven tips to get started:

1. Blast an e-mail or e-newsletter using your consumer database. Make it easy for them to click and ‘Like’ you on Facebook, etc.

2. Use social media buttons and plug-ins on your website and blog.

3. Include social media links on your business cards.

4. Include social media links in your e-mail signature.

5. Include social media info on invoices and receipts.

6. Since radio spots are easy to update on a moment’s notice, update your social media CTA’s frequently so listeners are encouraged to join your different networks.

7. Add a ‘Like,’ +1, or Share button on your website’s content to enable and encourage your visitors to distribute your content with their friends.

Encourage consumers to act on your social media call to action (CTA) by inciting them; have exclusive offers or information for people who follow you in Twitter or ‘Like’ you on Facebook. Make it beneficial for consumers to follow and interact.

Nonbelievers are warned: Television Advertising is STILL Effective

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What if I told you that more than half of Americans still turn to television for current events? Are you shaking your head is disagreement? Most THINK internet is where people get their news. Here are the facts: 55% turn to TV and only 21% turn to the Internet. For now, TV reigns supreme in the news world, for all age groups. So what does this mean for marketers?

Let’s start by how the world experiences TV, because it has fundamentally changed. We no longer watch TV as a silent partaker, rather as an active contributor. When people watch something on TV, they like sharing the experience; 32 million people in the U.S. last year tweeted about TV programming. Marketers are realizing they can join together in this new consumer behavior. The idea is not to compete with social media, but to use it so that televised shows, events, and advertising campaigns win more audience, and audience participation, with social media. The reason some commercials go viral: Companies are connecting with viewers on multiple platforms.

More and more TV ads include a call-to-action to social media or a hash tag to start conversations and seek consumer involvement — extending the story beyond the thirty-second spot. With that said, TV advertising is not dead; it is evolving into a stronger, more efficient marketing tool.

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It seems I am professing my love for television advertising. It all starts with that thirty-second spot; BUT not as the sole medium for all of your advertising. I have a love for all advertising- traditional, mobile, radio, etc. I am just saying TV advertising is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Birthday Promotions

I love this month – my birthday month. I cannot help notice which brands have been sending me emails and coupons. Some are just too great to pass up. The ones I liked the most had brand personality and ease of use for obtaining my birthday ‘gift.’

So why use Birthday Marketing? People are in a celebratory mood on their birthday so they will spend more money when they are out. People love freebies, discounts and talking about their birthday; free word-of-mouth and branding tool. “This place is so awesome; they gave me free dessert for my birthday!”

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A great sushi place in NYC sent me $20 to use on my next visit. A free meal for me, how could I pass that up? Most people will be celebrating their birthday with a group, so even though my meal is covered, the rest of the group is paying full price for their meals. Haru has got birthday marketing right- luring me and my friends to spend my birthday dinner at their restaurant.

Sephora also has a great birthday gift for me — what is even better is I can choose from a few options. What I like about this is that the gift is clear and valuable, mascara and moisturizer, instead of 10% off or some other vague offer. It is a limited offer that expires two weeks after my birthday, so I need to act soon to redeem. I can get my free gift online, but I would have to purchase something to receive it. My other option is going into the store to redeem it, which is smart. They are getting me to come to the store, where I will most likely purchase other items that catch my eye. Finally, I admire the seamless redemption. The offer is preloaded onto my Sephora loyalty card, so no coupon required. When I go up to the counter, they know it is my birthday.

Personal communication goes a long way in making your customers feel valued, especially in a birthday greeting. I have definitely felt the love from some of my favorite companies this month!