Faster Alone, Further Together

Faster Alone, Further Together

Mark Zuckerberg once said, “Move fast and break things.” For a while this was a motto that you could find on my lips daily. While I do believe that there is still a lot of value in breaking things, I am rethinking some of my thoughts on speed. 

This does not mean that delivery to clients on time is not valuable or that some things need a hyperfast turnaround to be effective. Rather, I’m rethinking what it means to be successful in the long run. 

An African proverb reads, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” At the beginning of our business, I was alone and lots of things happened quickly. But even with my propensity to work hard for a long period of time, there is only so hard I can work and only for so long. There is a point of diminishing returns.

Additionally, while I am good at many things, I am great at very few. When breaking into a new service field with lower rates than others, there is room for services of varying quality. To improve the quality of our service and the quality of our products, other people who can SPECIALIZE and FOCUS on things more than I can are essential. 

“Specializing” and “focusing” are two themes that have become increasingly apparent to me over the course of 2020 and 2021. The theme for 2022 reflects this: Faster Alone, Further Together. 

For Adelsberger Marketing to become both The Best Place to Work  in West Tennessee and the Premier Creative Agency in West Tennessee, I have to embrace this thought that we can go further together. The sprint of starting a business leads to the emphasis on speed, the building of a company and leaving a legacy, requires a team working together over a marathon. 

Points of emphasis on our theme in 2022: 

Additional training and delegation to the team. 

Making intentional choices to bring team members on things that would normally be a solo activity. 

More transparency and inclusion in leadership and business development decisions. 

New Avenues may be started alone, but will be planned to expand to the team as part of the planning process. 

Are you still trying to go faster alone or have you transitioned to further together?

Conclusion

Conclusion, References, and Suggested Materials

Ideas are (expletive deleted), execution is the game.” – Gary Vaynerchuk. 

This book contains many thoughts on marketing. They are thoughts we use to grow our client’s businesses. They work because we put them into action. We execute on these ideas. Many people have great ideas for content or marketing, but they fail to execute. 

I hope you enjoyed this work, but more so hope that you will execute some concept from this book. Start with who you are and define it. Understand who your customers are and where they are in the process.  Build the pieces you need to communicate with the world. Then, get someone’s attention and motivate them to take your call to action. 

If you found this valuable, consider leaving us a review on Facebook or Google. If you know you need to help with marketing, send me an email: kevin@adelsbergermarketing.com

Thank you for your time and attention and don’t forget how valuable both of those things are. 

Kevin

References and Suggested Material:

I love reading so I prioritize it in my daily life. I find it’s a great way to keep thinking about things that are helpful and also a great way to wind down from the day. Here are some of our top marketing books we recommend: 

Juicing the Orange: Fallon- A great book talking about how a big deal advertising firm approaches creative. 

Permission Marketing: Godin- In my opinion, this is the seminal book that shifted marketing from interruption to permission-based. Very formative. Also, just read everything Seth Godin has ever written. 

Building a Storybrand: Miller- An excellent book on how to treat marketing writing to engage the reader and sell products. 

Attention Merchants: Wu- A startling look at how businesses have been selling our attention for decades, and increasingly so

Ask Gary Vee: Vaynerchuk- Gary Vaynerchuk is the leader in social media marketing in my eyes. His books, including Crushing It, are excellent resources for anyone considering marketing in the modern era. He also has an enormous online presence and gives away a lot of information. He often sets the pace in online marketing.

The End of Advertising: Essex- A thoughtful look from inside the big ad system about how the system will change in the near future. 

Breakthrough Advertising: Schwartz- A classic, but be warned, it’s expensive online. It’s insightful on the human condition. Originally published in 1966, some of the examples are dated but the core truths are applicable to all humankind.

Customers for Life by Carl Sewell- My favorite book on customer service. In the book Carl talks about how he used customer service to build his dealerships. I can personally speak for these services and how we were treated as out-of-towners in one of his dealerships.

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Introduction

Our Pillars of Marketing

I wanted to make note of what we have done to market Adelsberger Marketing. We have had success since opening in 2015 and as a marketing company, it is something we think about all the time.

One reason for our immediate success is that we came on the scene at the right time. Our affordable video options were something our market needed. Fulfill an unmet market need and your business will be set up for success. To realize that success, though, we had to market our marketing agency well. We have used a variety of builders and drivers to help grow the business. But we have really leaned on these three areas: community, expertise, and building stark raving fans. 

1.Investing in our Community. Working with local organizations and nonprofits is great for serving your community by helping them do better work and promote themselves. It also exposes you to their base of support and board of directors. It’s a great way to make connections. We support Madison County CASA because it is close to our heart.

We work hard to stay involved with nonprofits in our area. Sometimes our involvement is as customers and sometimes as donors. In our earliest days, we did nonprofit projects for free. Today we often offer them discounts on services. I am also a graduate of the Leadership Jackson program and have remained active in it for years. Recently, we were able to strike a deal to become an annual sponsor of the program which gives us great visibility with many of the business leaders in our area. 

2. Demonstrating our Expertise. We love the opportunity to educate people and help them grow their business or understanding of marketing and entrepreneurship. Very regularly we have had the opportunity to visit with and teach at theCO’s Co.starters program and the Economic Development day with Leadership Jackson. These give us opportunities to meet a lot of folks who become potential friends and customers. Additionally, we have had the opportunity to teach at different events and Chambers of Commerces across West Tennessee. Each one of these opportunities gives us the chance to meet new contacts and expand our business. 
 
3. Building Stark Raving Fans. The most important thing we do for our marketing is building stark raving fans. Stark raving fans will tell others about your business which creates invaluable word of mouth. How do we do this? We strive to treat people right. Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you will. Under promise and over deliver. If you make a mistake, make it right, even if it costs you money. Sometimes eating some cash to help correct a mistake is well worth the long run relationship that you have with clients. Always play for the long term. Short term gains can sometimes sacrifice long term success. If you nickel and dime customers, you will leave a bad taste in their mouths. We want to leave every customer with a great experience to encourage them to talk about us with their friends and be repeat customers. Think of each customer as a long term opportunity.
 

 This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com

Introduction

Experiential Marketing  

(This chapter is written with a pre/post COVID-19 world in mind. Clearly, in-person events have been affected by COVID-19 but it’s unclear if they will be permanently affected.)

There is a difference between seeing and experiencing. Experiential marketing gives people a chance to go beyond seeing and get to know your product in a tangible way. This often happens when a friend shows you a product and you decide you want it, too. Recently my wife has considered getting an Apple Watch. She’s seen me wear it and tried it out herself. Sam’s Club, or “the Club” as I have heard it referred to, has been doing this for a long time. Walking through their store on a lucky day will give you the opportunity to try various different food products they are promoting. There have been multiple occasions when I have purchased the item I sampled.

When thinking about how to include experiential marketing into your plans, you can start somewhere small like a sample kiosk or delivering sample trays to businesses. Or you can go big like hosting an enormous conference such as (the conference formerly known as) Chick-fil-a Leadercast. Consider these questions when implemented these tactics: 

  1. What’s your budget? Giving out samples at the store or setting up a popup tent at a local fair can be really affordable. Putting on a branded event for 100 people could be expensive. What you decide to do will be determined in part by your market value and your type of product. Maybe it involves sponsoring an event for a nonprofit, which would increase the cost but add social value. Will you need to bring in a partner organization like a food provider or a marketing company to help things be successful? 
  2. Does it align with your mission? Don’t just do anything. Make sure it also aligns with your mission and company values. Our company invests almost exclusively in issues regarding foster care for children. So it might be a little outside our wheel well to host an event regarding animal welfare. But if your organization has a cause at its heart, you can combine the marketing of your organization with an event to benefit those things you care about. 
  3. Can you do it with excellence? If you are branching out into experiential marketing, can you do it well? A well executed event can add value to your brand. But if you invite 100 people for a test drive and the cars do not work right, you are potentially ruining the market for yourself. Do whatever it takes to ensure execution excellence. The more complicated the event, the more likely something will go wrong. Consider steps like rehearsals and dry runs of the event to help work out bugs. Hiring a professional event planner can be a worthy investment for companies. 
  4. Will it really promote your product? When planning an event, ensure that you don’t forget to promote your product/service. I am sure you will not do that on purpose, but if your event overshadows what you are trying to do, or if it causes enough controversy to distract what you are trying to promote, you should rethink your approach. 
  5. Do people care? Consider this event from the perspective of someone who is an outsider to your business. If you are in a fun industry, this can be easy. But not everyone is. So do people care? You have to make it attractive to people who don’t yet care. Try reaching across the aisle with a shared interest that can bridge the gap between your product and other people’s interests. One of the best ways for a restaurant is to simply get a test bite into someone’s mouth. If you produce food worth eating and give someone an opportunity to eat it, they easily become customers. 

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Introduction

PR – Press Releases

Even though local media outlets have lost some of their marketing shine, it still pays to get free press for your business. Local media still touches a wide demographic but mostly older people consume it regularly. There is also a bit of clout that comes from newspaper coverage. Anyone can post on Facebook, not everyone can get in the newspaper. If your organization has something newsworthy, it’s a good idea to put out a press release. You can find templates for press releases all over the Internet. Keep in mind the goal with all marketing is to get someone’s attention. If you write press releases about non newsworthy things or write them in a boring way, you are likely going to be ignored by the press. 

Press Releases are essentially news summaries for media outlets to review and consider. News  organizations will republish press releases and some use it as a starting point for their content  and will schedule an interview with your business. Any organization that might want to send press releases should start and update a list of potential media outlets to send press releases to. Since time is usually of the essence with the news, you will want this ready before you need it. In our small local market, we have lots of turnover in media staffing, so it’s important to periodically update that list. 

Relationships help get press releases covered. If you have provided good news events for outlets in the past, they will be more likely to work with you in the future. If you send pointless press releases regularly, it is more likely that you will get passed over or ignored in the future. Journalists work under demanding deadlines, so you may have to relax your expectations and work with them to get your press release published.

Also, look at other local organizations that might help you push out your press releases. Check with your local chamber of commerce. These organizations regularly share press releases from member businesses.

In the broad realm, a well placed story on a major news outlet or blog can turn someone’s business fortunes quickly. If you earn exposure in a local news source, you usually get three coverages: The story in print/video, an article on their website, and a post on their social media page. Research the writers you want to contact and identify them by looking at their topics and see how you can contact them in a way that is meaningful to them. Consider what social media they use or things they care about. If there are multiple reporters to work with and one of them cares about dogs and our topic is about dogs, focus on that.

A lot of people want to talk to journalists, so make yourself stand out. Approach them via email/social/phone call with a concept for a story they can write about, or something that makes it unique. Be prepared for them, with time to talk, images they can use, or quotes they can pull. 

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com

Sponsorships and Community Involvement

Sponsorships and Community Involvement

A great way to promote your company and invest in your community is through community sponsorships. These range from sponsoring a nonprofit 5k, supporting your local Chamber of Commerce, or even helping the school system provide needed supplies for teachers.

Why should you spend your company dollars this way? 

1. You are successful because your community purchases from you. Reinvesting with them is a sensible thing to do unless you are a robber baron (industrialists whose business practices were often considered ruthless or unethical). Reinvesting in your community allows the community to survive financially. 

2. It allows you to activate an audience that cares about a topic. If you donate to a nonprofit that a subset of your community cares about, you are likely to build a relationship with that audience and increase word of mouth advertising.

3. It can be a way to help motivate your team. People care about more than just profitability; everyone has a social cause that they care about. If you can involve your team in the donations or at least sell them on the mission of the donation, it can help team morale, retain talent, make your organization an attractive place to work, and give them something to be proud of in their work. It is likely that you will get lots and lots of requests for sponsorship dollars. Consider what you care about to help winnow those requests down. If you are not passionate about music, maybe avoid giving to the orchestra, but if you are passionate about the visual arts, donate there. For example, Adelsberger Marketing works with CASA because my wife and I have been foster parents for years and are passionate about it.

A second way to be involved in the community is to allow your team members to serve on committees or boards. While there might not be a direct financial cost, sharing the brain and hands of your team with organizations that need it is important. Boards are a good way to give back and a nice way to network. Because everyone is there for the same reason, networking is natural in these situations. Networking can lead to new relationships, referrals, and talent acquisition.  

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com

Legacy Marketing

Legacy Marketing

Legacy Marketing includes things that have been around for more than 20 years … before the Internet became widespread – things like newspaper ads, TV ads, billboards, and radio ads. These traditional media options for advertising remain strong while undergoing huge changes. 

1. Advantages of Legacy- Demographics often decide for you whether to go with legacy or digital marketing. Traditional media outlets tend to perform better with older people. Traditional media can also address people who are online and people who aren’t at the same time. If you are needing to target a very wide segment of the population, traditional marketing may help you achieve that. 

2. Disadvantages of Legacy: Some of the weaknesses of these media have to deal with cost and tracking. Traditional media in most markets is still overpriced for the attention they deliver to advertisers. Digital is generally cheaper and faster to execute than traditional advertising. Lack of trackability with traditional advertising proves challenging. With digital, you can make your activity extremely trackable with URLs and pixels. Traditional methods lack these features. Also some of the legacy metrics they do use can be confusing or misleading. Just because a newspaper has 30,000 subscriptions does not mean that 30,000 people saw your ad. But when you hear 30,000 you tend to think that many people saw your ad. In some smaller markets, TV and radio ratings are controlled by journaled markets. This means they rely on humans to write out their viewing behavior to see how things are performing, which is not as accurate as a Youtube view. 

3. Future of traditional:
Two things will happen to legacy media in the future: 1. It is going to get cheaper. As the digital revolution rages on and the markets move away from focusing on traditional media, the cost per ad will need to decrease to be competitive. Over time, costs will decrease, making traditional advertising a better investment. The attention will match up with the cost. 2. For many of these media properties to survive they will get more digital in its capabilities like TV going digital and Newspapers turning into apps. Then it will make more sense to invest in those platforms as well.

 

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is the standard in advertising these days. More and more of the budgets from major companies are being focused on digital marketing. Digital marketing is excelling for a few reasons. The main reason: It is where people’s attention is. People are on their computers and phones more than ever; their attention is on their devices. Whether that be on Youtube, Facebook, the weather app, or their bank, so much of people’s lives are seen through their devices. Additionally, digital marketing allows targeting in a way that legacy marketing (advertising options that existed before the internet) options never have. Being able to target someone by travel habits or the information they express other places online is a revelation to marketers. Lastly, it is very affordable. Because of the scale,specificity of the marketing, and its ability to change quickly, the cost per purchase of advertising is a fraction of most legacy media. It is possible to create an ad campaign on Facebook for $10. Not so with legacy media.

1. Google Ads- One of the most powerful forms of advertising in the market is Google Search Ads. These ads appear when you do a Google search for something. At the top of the search list, an ad appears for a related product. While the ads are just text in this portion of the search, they can be very helpful. Why? Because the advertising is intent based. Unlike other forms of media, where it is largely demographically based, Google ads allow you to talk to someone as they are searching for your industry. It captures someone’s attention in a moment when they might be prepared to make a purchase. 

2. Social Media Ads

Social Media advertising is popular for a few reasons. 

a) Big Brother Is Watching: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. know a lot about you as an individual. They track everything you do on their platform – every video you watch and every image you linger on. All of this data gives them a robust profile of what you might want to purchase so they are able to serve you up ads on things you are interested in. 

b) Social Proof: When ads are successful, you are able to acquire likes, comments, and shares that will travel with the ad on some platforms. These engagements show potential customers that other people like what they are seeing and that your company is legitimate. Additionally, some platforms can run ads that show a post with a comment above such as “Lauren also likes this page.” Showing that other people interact with this brand can help bring validity. True story: this is one reason I started using the Best Self Journal years ago. Social Proof is similar to Word of Mouth because it uses the credibility of your friends to help convince you to buy a product. Best Self Journal used Social Proof on Facebook ads that help convince me to give them a try. I have now been using the journals for years!

c) Cost: The cost online is very scalable. The flexibility of the spending and the ability to turn it on and off yourself is attractive to small and large businesses alike. 

d) Trackability: The old quip goes, “half my marketing works, I just don’t know which half.” One of the difficult aspects of marketing is showing your successes. With digital marketing in general, you are able to get very precise data about the reach and effectiveness of your advertising. The more digital your call to action is, the more you are able to track that ad to its conversion. This is one of the biggest reasons why people love digital marketing. 

e) Retargeting- Remember going to a retail website and looking at an item like a shirt or a refrigerator and then seeing ads for it on Facebook later that night? That is called retargeting. Digital marketing allows for Retargeting in a way that allows companies to make sure people see their ads multiple times which helps create conversions. 

f) Native Feeling- While some forms of advertising are obviously not part of the content you are there to consume, other forms look like the content they surround. In the industry we call that Native Advertising. When you scroll through Facebook, you’re not there to look at ads. But sometimes those ads look like something a friend might have shared. When ads look like content on the platform, that’s called Native Advertising. Social media makes most of its advertising feel like native ads to make the messaging more effective. 

3. Banner Ads and Geofencing

Banner ads are about as bold as it gets in digital marketing because they completely interrupt the user’s experience. On your local news website, a banner might expand to cover the entire home page. On the app you use for free, it might suddenly stop what you’re doing and take over the entire screen with a full screen spread or divide up the content you are there to see with bright colors or motion.

While they have some of the tracking and targeting capabilities of social media ads, they lack some subtlety that we feel hinders their effectiveness. There is no confusing them for native content and most of the time they are annoying. Because the ads are connected to the app that you are using, the permissions of the app you have such as GPS data is shared with the advertising. This allows for geofencing. Geofencing allows advertisers to draw lines around a map, sometimes as small as a singular property and only show advertising to people who have entered that geographic square. We do not generally endorse banner ads due to most people finding them annoying. However, the advantage they offer is that they are not tied to a social media account so they are able to reach people who are not on social media. 

4. Influencers- Influencers are much like local news and radio stations. They use their content to build an audience of subscribers and viewers. They then use this audience to direct attention to advertisers. Advertisers enjoy this because they give access to very niche audiences of viewers. And when they advertise for brands, they give them a personal touch. It’s like a radio DJ talking about a product (known as an adlib) as opposed to a prerecorded ad.

One of the odd things about the media is that if you consume someone’s content enough, you get to feel like you know them or that you are friends. This, of course, is a completely one way relationship. The physiological term for it is “parasocial interaction.” But this relationship makes these ads more effective than ads disconnected from those same people.

5. The Others- There are more and more options for advertising online like Spotify, podcast sponsorships, Waze ads, sponsored content, etc. The key to each of these is to contemplate where your audience directs their attention. 

6. Future Of Digital Marketing; At the time of writing this, the future of digital marketing is robust but cloudy. In the coming years, there will be an increasing focus on privacy online. The European Union led this direction with release of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This was the first major domino to fall in the wild west of digital advertising. GDPR made it hard for businesses in the EU to track and market to people. California has recently passed a GDPR inspired law called the CCPA. It is likely that the California law will inspire other states to follow.

What are likely to be as disruptive, if not more, are privacy moves by companies like Apple. As they said in a keynote recently, “the future is private.” Many companies make money off our data, many that you and I have never heard of. Influential companies like Apple are in a unique position to directly affect this market by the technology they release. The next generations of Apple technology is likely to make their phone a data privacy machine rather than a data mining machine. And while most non-Apple people do not like to admit this, Apple generally sets the tone and standard for the future of the phone business.
What will the fallout be? It is hard to tell since marketing technology will not sit still as Apple and others make this move, they will counter attack. But likely some of the immense targeting options that currently exist will be hampered, especially those not tied to social networks, like banner ads. Also, privacy will become a premium product that will give companies like Apple a competitive advantage. 

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Introduction

Advertising (Driver) 

While most of our builders are designed to convert incoming leads that come to you, sometimes you need help generating more traffic. This is where advertising comes into play.

Advertising is a paid opportunity to use networks other people have created to draw attention to your company. Newspapers and TV are classic examples of advertising. They create content people want to read, listen to, or watch and then charge advertisers a premium to get their message in with that same content. Facebook is no different. Facebook gives people a place to connect and express themselves, then capitalizes on the interaction to sell ads to advertisers.  When we think about advertising, it is important to go back to our customer personas: Should we run ads for senior citizen targeted products on Instagram? Well, maybe not. But maybe we should run some ads on Facebook and in the local newspaper.

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.

Making It Happen

Making It Happen 

Creating content is hard to do. For many organizations, it falls on the backburner when the business gets busy. 

1. Make a Calendar- Look at a calendar setup to put content on a schedule that allows you to plan ahead for seasons when you may have more or less going on. Also, this can help you think through content that may have some seasonality to it. 

2. Make someone responsible- Make sure someone knows it is their job to make this happen. This is an area where working with an outside firm can be helpful because they will help ensure things happen in a timely manner. 

3. Set Reminders- Even something as simple as setting reminders on your phone can be helpful on a day to day basis.

This blog post is a portion of Attention and Action. The book walks you through the marketing process that Adelsberger Marketing follows with its clients. You can read this book for free as a blog on the Adelsberger Marketing website or purchase on Amazon.com.