Research And Why We Love It
Research in marketing is utilized to discover consumer insights which, in turn, drives business decisions and the strategy that is to follow. The world is quickly beginning to quantify and track EVERYTHING (and I do mean everything). This is fantastic news for marketing and advertising. We can use these metrics to our advantage. As a matter of fact, we better use them because it's adapt or die out there.
Fortunately, Mad Men Marketing is ahead of the curve. Not only did we become the first in our market to begin using Rentrak, (a wonderful little tool that lets us target the appropriate media buy to your target audience) but we also offer customizable research delivery and custom-tailored case studies.
Why case studies, you may ask? They explore CAUSATION to underlying principles which allows us to tweek our approach. It is empirical research that investigates real-life phenomena. So while every other agency is out there telling you to “trust them”, we do not remain static in our approach like so many others. We are not so overzealous to think we get it right all the time. NO! We are dynamic. We will get you results, quantify them, and show them to you. We will constantly refine and improve our approach, guaranteeing the highest level of efficiency possible.
In 1985 Michael Porter attempted to improve upon Ricardo's comparative advantage and suggested his own theory of competitive advantage. This emphasizes production, efficiencies, and the acquisition of attributes that can be utilized to outpace the competition. Think of Mad Men Marketing as your Swiss Army Knife or the ace up your sleeve because we are delivering our clients comparables, measurables, and demonstrating causative reasons for market change utilizing a number of inputs.
In short, when you perform research, and you can deliver the goods to your client, you're allowing them to track progress….no matter how small it may be. This keeps clients abreast of changing market conditions and keeps them competitive in their industry.
Get On The Bus, Or Get Left Behind!
It's as though he had some kind of perception that increasing the visibility of his law firm were somehow detrimental to his business plan. When reading what he wrote over and over, his words had the connotation that Morgan and Morgan and the rest of the big law firms that thrive via advertising, were somehow less than honorable for incorporating methods that exceeded word of mouth.
I read those words again. This time they seemed envious…like someone who feigned distaste for something simply because it was out of their comfort zone, their little bubble of what was familiar. The last time I read that lawyer's words made me think he was a child who wanted a toy that another boy had, and acted like he didn't want it just on the off chance that the other boy would stop playing with it long enough so that he could have a turn.
The world of legal representation is like any other. You're selling something you want people to buy, but in this case, you're selling your legal expertise. How will people ever like you….ever build a rapport with you, if they don't even KNOW you? I'm here to tell you that advertising in the legal industry WORKS. I've never needed an attorney in my life, but if I did, I would surely call one that advertises because those names immediately pop into my head, and my personal opinion is that one is just as good as another for any service I may ever need.
While I'm on this legal kick today, have you ever listened to a Morgan and Morgan commercial and noticed the emphasis on “FOR the people?” For them…..not against them. Why not “for the PEOPLE”? Farrah and Farrah really “gets it” in my humble opinion, because he portrays himself as a very affable “every man”. “Call me Eddie.”….and if I were ever in Mr. Farrah's office, I might feel comfortable doing just that, and I feel that he would make me feel welcome and not overwhelmed. I salute these two law firms for doing it the right way. Some of you may tire of the Morgan and Morgan, Farrah and Farrah, and Harrell and Harrell commercials, BUT I BET YOU REMEMBER THEM.
Are Companies the New Consumers?
Think about it. As advertisements push the limits and our patience, Company X needs to find some way to get our attention. That is the consumer's product. We offer brand loyalty. It's no surprise that this has always been the highly coveted goal for all companies and brands… but they used to not have to try so hard.
Now, they are among us. Having their own pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… interacting as though they were your friend or “part of your professional network”. They want, so badly, for us to like them. But, can you blame them? The consumer has what the brand wants… Time, attention, loyalty, and of course money.
As I said before, this is no new development, but it is an interesting concept to point out as companies explore new frontiers in advertising. The consumer has all the control – the choice as to whether to click on that ad, go to that site, or to type that company name they heard on TV into their preferred search engine.
So, how can companies counteract this choice? They need to be where we are, doing what we are doing, interacting with us to develop relevance to our daily lives. They can no longer expect a stand alone ad or TV commercial to get the job done. It has to be interactive. It needs a call to action. It needs to sync up with multiple outlets in order to 1. Get noticed and 2. Be seen as relevant. Companies can no longer stand by and expect the customer to come to them… They now need to be the active consumer, embarking on the world, living amongst their desired product – in order to understand it and work with it.
The more inundated people are with information and stimulation, the less likely they are to go looking for it. We talk a lot about consumer driven advertising, and this concept follows suit. Think about the consumer as being the driver of a bus… Not only do they get to choose what ad is placed on the side of their bus, but they get to choose where they stop and who gets on. So, Company X is at the mercy of Brand Y, with Brand Y being YOU.
Frequently Asked Questions
I will, however, provide some insight into the more common answers to questions we face, and in doing this, it is my hope that I pique your interest to inquire further. So, naturally, one would start with “What is an advertising agency?” Well, the answer is an ad agency can be many things… much like the question “what is a restaurant?” You know they all serve food, but what kind? Do they have a specialty or can you order anything you want? Mad Men Marketing is a full service agency, which means we can provide you with anything you might need. Basically, we can become your own personal marketing team. Only we won't ask you for a salary and benefits, including dental. Instead, we can make your media buys for you, help you with creative ideas and mock-ups, and consolidate your billing to make sure your advertising is running as smoothly as possible – and we do this at no extra cost to you!
SO, naturally, your next question is “Well then, how do you make money?” Valid question. I'm glad you asked… We make our money much like any other accounts services department, like any other company would. If you are placing your TV ads personally, there is a percentage of that spending that goes to the account executive, and the rest to the station itself… When you hire us, we enter as just another slice of the vendor's pie. They pay us 15% of whatever you are spending. We basically charge them to work with us instead of you.
Now, this brings us to the question of additional agency fees… Some agencies will charge you an additional percentage of your ad budget to spend it for you. We at Mad Men do not believe in this. We do have some additional services beyond those an “Agency of Record” would perform that cost us money such as SEO, website development, mobile sites and so on. These services take time and need to be developed, but that is the same across the board.
A common misconception is that working with an agency will cost you MORE money. This actually couldn't be further from the truth. In most cases, we ensure your budget would not need to change in the slightest; and, we can almost guarantee that in working with us – being experts in the field – not only can we save you time, we can also actually save you money – all the while generating better results while spending what you already have (or even less), more efficiently than ever before. Furthermore, because we now have perceived control over your entire ad budget, media outlets tend to be even more accommodating and in turn, provide additional incentives to work with their company.
Another fear companies have is, once they sign with an agency, they worry they will lose control of their advertising. Our services range on the spectrum of control. We will follow your comfort levels and direction to be as much or as little involved as you would like us to be. Of course, every decision is sent for your approval before we move forward, and all creative ideas are run by your team first. We are simply here to make your job easier, and take some time off your hands so you can focus on running your business, while we keep the customers walking through the door, or picking up the phone.
How about this concern: Will we be working with your competitors? That answer is simply, NO! Mad Men Marketing operates as category exclusive. We made a partnership with you, and we have become your advocates… sharing sensitive information and working hard to make sure your business excels in its field. While you are our client, we will not work with anyone else in your category, as we hope you would do us the honor of letting us be your sole full service agency.
So, now you might be asking yourself, “Do I need an agency?” or “Would working with an agency be right for me?” Well, that is a question you must answer yourself. But in my experience, the answer is almost always, YES! Every business is different, with individual needs, owners and infrastructures. But, if you want to make more money, grow your business, spread your ad dollars, consolidate bills, or expand… an agency is just the partnership to help you reach those goals.
With our collective expertise, we can assure that you get the most bang for your buck. We have done the research, we conduct additional research on your behalf, we have credible and already established relationships with media outlets and we know what we are talking about when it comes to consumer driven advertising. Give us a shot and let us be your pinch hitter… It doesn't mean you're completely out of the game – it just means you're calling in some help to give you that extra edge above your competition.
That's what an agency can do for you.
The Foreign Nature of Foreign Marketing
Case in point… The first advertisement that stood out to me in Italy was a HUGE ad for shopping mall outlet stores (keeping in mind that the entire ad was in English – which is a completely different topic altogether) it was on a drop cloth, suspended in the beautiful San Marco Square in Venice. It was brought to my attention due to my mother's complaints that the gigantic poster was taking away from the beauty of the square. She asked why anyone, in their right mind, would drape an enormous ad over the front of such a beautiful and historic building… I then noticed, as we looked closer, it appeared they were doing some restoration work on the building, so the facade was already covered. But this brings be to my point… the advertisers took this opportunity to use the already covered space and pay, what I can only assume would have been an exorbitant amount of money, to place their “English targeted” ad in the most touristy spot in Venice. Good show indeed – but interesting tactics – no room for your regular billboards there. With all that being said, I actually found myself almost ignoring the ad due to its size alone. And due to the fact that the square is so beautiful, my eyes were hardly drawn to the gaudy draping down at the end.
One effort that did catch my eye, however, was a picture hanging in one of the restaurants. It was a splendid example of a company using the surroundings to impart their message, in an entertaining and intriguing way – instead of an 'in your face' large draping that covers up half a building side. The black and white photograph showed San Marco Square (known for its many pigeons) with the large words Coca Cola, somehow shaped on the ground in the middle of the square. It was only when I looked closer, that the words were in fact spelled out by, none other than, the pigeons themselves! Coca Cola, cleverly, must have spread out bird feed so precisely, to entice these birds to do their flash mob style bidding. Now, that is resourceful advertising. No wonder Coke is the only American made soft drink I saw when in Italy…
Stay tuned for more observations from abroad…