Tag Archives: promotion

Food For Thought: Businesses Need a Marketing Plan

Life is a series of $64,000 questions. Here is one for your scrutiny: “Can you sell steak to a vegan?” Try this one: “Does Your Business Really Need a Marketing Plan?”

Think about this. No matter what it is, things function better when they are planned. If a course of action is ineffective, correcting it is navigable because options are anticipated and already planned — introducing effective solutions negate potential business setbacks.

A formal marketing plan is a smart move because it can prevent wasting valuable dollars chasing the wrong customers with the wrong message. Statistics reveal that around one-half of small businesses do not have a formal marketing plan. Careful attention to marketing can be critical to your business’ success.

We in the creative field will hammer clients senseless with the fact that business plans aren’t as important because they are static. Business plans are goals and objectives: “This is what we want to do in this particular market.” It assumes that variables will not factor into the growth of the business. Well, that’s wrong because every day there’s always a dog waiting to pee on your pants leg. On the other hand, marketing plans are organic and flexible.

Thus, a business owners attitude becomes, “I will achieve my goal, as adjustments require.” Small businesses survive if they can advertise to consumers that will likely purchase a brand and create revenue. This doesn’t happen by accident. A good creative agency researches casual factors of market penetration. It should combine a strategy statement with a solution-laden marketing plan. For us, it’s an art form, not pure chance.

Every business can benefit from a formal marketing plan in the following ways: Marketing plans force intentionality; Clear brand messaging; Measurable results. Data is compiled regarding marketing results, weighing the benefits of multi-layered marketing and advertising. Marketing plans expose the “good,” the bad,” and “the ugly.” They are without personality and emotion, yet give insight, and direction regarding market penetration and growth. Informed decision making.

As a business grows, marketing plans are useful in measuring staff performance and is the common denominator when it comes to who should be promoted, as well as what strategies need implementing.The mistake business make is to go for what’s popular instead of what works. If you own or manage a business, remember, waste is avoidable. Marketing plans are conduits to success because they are preemptive.

Bernard Alexander McNealy, President

CDM Digital Advertising Agency LLC

http://www.cdm-digital.com

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

New Beginnings: This Pitch Has Something For You, People

AMC produces a show about advertising agencies called: “The Pitch.” The premise is interesting and reflects what the average person does not know about advertising agencies. We compete against each other for business, although it is not like in “The Pitch.” In that program, two agencies are summoned to a briefing by a business like 1-800 Flowers, Little Caesars Pizza, Tommy Bahama, C. Wonder, Marriott Corp. and a few others. Some of the owners of the agencies act like God is waiting for them with an axe to chop their balls off.

They are in the same room and given a briefing at the same time. Like real life, the agencies are given a short period of time to come up with an idea that the business will buy and enter into an agency client relationship.

I’m fascinated by what drives a company to hire an agency. Last season, Jo Muse of Muse Communications head of a multi-cultural agency talked about losing the “chemistry battle.” He felt the business owners and the other agency got along better, and hence overcame the first necessary ingredient: “chemistry.” Both the client and the rival agency were white. There is something to be said about that.

Jo Muse ran a commercial during the show called “White Spaces.” The premise of the commercial was true because I have observed exactly what the commercial claimed. Carson Dunn Media Advertising is a small company. We are considered as a “dark horse,” meaning, there are certain business that we will not get to take us seriously because our size. But it could be worse… you guessed it. I run into the “white space” mentality. Madison Avenue acknowledges the trillions of spending dollars in black, Latino and Asian communities, but we are seldom part of the decision-making process in the boardroom. That’s where it’s decided what agency will be signed to a contract.

When I went into business, I wanted an opportunity to fail. What that means is that I wanted the same opportunities other people got. It is the greatness of this country that I can have a chance to run a business. But, the “fail” aspect deals with having the same view that my firm is confident directed at me… my ethnicity notwithstanding. Is it disheartening to look at website after website and see that all of the faces are nearly all white? Depending on how one’s personal makeup is, it can be.

I choose a look at it this way. Those trillions of dollars in the so-called minority, are fast becoming the majority — they control their fate in business. They need to take a look at the products they buy and ask what was prevalent prior to 1964 Civil Rights Act: “What about our businesses. What about the ones we control?”

This should not be an empty argument. I’m afraid when one looks at the so-called black culture, one is struck by music and dancing. Very little media coverage is given to anything else. Magazines such as Black Enterprise will address the issue, but I’m afraid believes Global Hue is the only black agency worth mentioning. In fact there are many. What media coverage we can muster should be directed towards us. That means as an agency, I have responsibility to introduce myself to the publishers and broadcasters involved.

One has to understand that control of the media means controlling perception. All the singers, dancers and rappers don’t make a whole hell of a difference in the lives of people who need to be told that they are worth something. If you listen to the “songs” they are not affirming but denigrating.

Creating our own media is one way of dealing with the wrong message being thrown out there. That takes money. There are a lot of people of color that could solve this issue — but how does it help, Tyler, Oprah, Bob Johnson and others. They aren’t going to anything unless they see a reward — money overnight.

To do less means that we will never control dialogue as to what is hurtful and appropriate for black people. Our children will continue to be statistics like Travon Martin, or the countless millions of black men in jail. Agencies also need to take a second look at black graduates in communications and English, just as the graduates should look at a black agency for employment. People, it can’t hurt.

Parenthetically, I have had young black people at my agency for a day. They gave nothing, contributed nothing because they had been believed that a black-owned agency offered little in the way of opportunities. So, they either didn’t show up for work, or have some lame excuse for being late.

I can’t help but think that if I was one of those smiling faces on those white websites, if things would be different. Just a thought.

Check you later,

Bernard A. McNealy, CEO

Tagged , , , , , , ,

WEIGHING OPTIONS: Avoiding the Ticket to Obscurity

I took a few months off from blog writing. I thought expressing the creative focus of Carson Dunn Media had become a task best left to others. The future will determine the wisdom of this, but suffice to say, I am back.

 In my hiatus a wonderful writer and former art director of Carson Dunn Media, Kimberly Bautista took my place. As usual, Kim wrote with cogency and communicative skill.

 My intent is to speak to issues relative to marketing, public relations & advertising; the wisdom of hiring an agency if you are involved in either. I am biased – a client cannot do what we do with the efficiency and skill necessary to promote them to profitability. Creative agencies tend to be a revolving door that remains open. It is my fondest hope that our most talented colleagues will always remain allied with CDM. It makes sense because if we are to achieve our destiny, those men and women helped paved the way.

 Thanks Kim.

 Let me share something about how people go about the effort to promote themselves on their own, they make often career ending mistakes. The test is on the welcome page of our current website, but let me retell the story here.

“The big billboards had been around for years, mainly in Hollywood.  On it, the face and impressive torso of a woman were displayed. Time revealed that she wanted to be a movie star.  Intuition told her that the public and ultimately studio moguls would be drawn to her. Calls and fame would follow. Neither happened. At great expense the billboards were taken down, and then put up again. Still, there were no calls. 

 Her efforts lacked the basics of promotion.

She never consulted anyone, or really targeted her audience. The ads only bore her first name, but no information of her background and talents. Not surprisingly she did never did anything significant.  Misunderstandings public relations and advertising got her two things:  an identity as the woman with the huge breasts; and, a ticket to obscurity.

Public relations and advertising are more than notoriety. Employing the most effective avenue to reach receptive consumers equate to success.  Carson Dunn Media will insure that a client avoids becoming the person on the big billboard.”

 That’s it. It isn’t funny, just ironic and sad. I cannot speak for any other agency but I have a gentle warning to our potential customers. Do not engage in marketing, PR, or advertising without knowing the terrain. Promotion is Carson Dunn Media’s métier. Whether it is broadcast, print, online ads, Twitter and or Facebook campaigns, CDM strives to be thorough beyond expectation. It is what we do – and very well at that.

Sometimes avoiding fading to obscurity and losing a dream comes about because a person just does not want to pay a fee for professional guidance.

 Bernard A. McNealy, President

 

Tagged , , , , , ,