Professional Development

Advertising, Market Information, Professional Development, Timeline, Velocity News

Digital Casino Marketing

Let’s face it, marketing in the ad-saturated world of 2017 is difficult, but marketing a service that depends on people spending money with the risk of seeing no tangible return can seem almost impossible. However, just as the gaming industry has endured various periods of adjustment and difficulty in the past, gaming endures through and with the digital age. In years past, casinos often relied on the flashy styling of their gaming machines complete with graphics and flashing lights. Luckily for the gaming industry, the internet and digital casino marketing are perfectly suited to continue this tradition of flash and glamour.

Nevertheless, it is important for casinos to remember that well designed ads are just as important as bright lights and flashing signs. When we talk about design we are talking about more than just selecting the right color. For example, websites built around certain keywords, ads that are targeted to specific audiences and graphics that convey a point are all a part of an advertising campaigns overall design. In addition to conveying a point, casinos can use online advertising to offer incentives such as giveaways. However if you choose to run such a campaign, always make sure you are clear on your state’s laws as well as all federal laws  and regulations pertaining to online contests and their advertising.

Online casino games have become a booming source of revenue for many companies. Thanks to modern advances in technology, a person can experience the fun of a casino from the comfort of their homes. While this may appear to be a threat to brick-and-mortar casinos, the use of online games also serves as a way of promoting the casino’s brand. Used as a sample, online games can help show gamers all the fun casinos have to offer.

It may be too early to tell what kind of an impact digital casino marketing will have in 2017, but if the past few years indicate anything it’s that the online market is only expected to grow. With the rise of online games, online integration should be understood as part of the path to keeping the glitz of the casino industry alive and thriving.

 

Advertising, Market Information, Professional Development, Timeline

Medical Marketing: Fresh As Ever

Marketing is an inescapable feature of the free market with millions of ads and promotions for various products flooding our everyday lives. Regardless of the industry, marketing is responsible for keeping businesses afloat; the medical field is no different. Despite the importance of health care, medical providers still need to rely on marketing to help attract new clients. While, the medical field can at times seem overly complex, medical marketing is just as susceptible to the latest digital trends.

Marketing for healthcare can be toughThe Health of Health Care Marketing

Like marketing any other product, medical marketing approaches the subject by isolating a product and determining a target market. By analyzing these factors, providers can best assess consumers’ needs, allowing them to better reach out to potential patients. For example, the CDC’s breakdown of health marketing explains the steps of segmenting a target market through the example of promoting diabetes testing on individuals ages 17-24. Rather than working on a massive, indeterminate sea of different needs, personalizing the audience can produce a returning crowd of clients and patients in need of a particular type medical assistance.

However, there are significant differences between promotions for medical care and consumer products such as cars or TVs. Unlike these targeted products, medical care applies to the widest demographic in the world: people who need doctors. Therefore, medical professions cannot afford to focus on only one form of marketing to reach clients. Although medical marketing must use the traditional standard of target markets, a study by Gold Medal Marketing shows that professions (ie. doctors)  must use a wider range of marketing strategies compared to regular products in order to ascertain what works for them.

The Amazon Effect

The marketing group Skyword, notes the emergence of a trend known as the “Amazon effect” among companies. More specifically, the effect refers to the latest hike in customer demand for “Amazon-like” efficiency as technology provides clinic pricing, selection, and value at the tips of their fingers. In this case, healthcare must constantly strive to keep their marketing fresh and their content up-to-date. However, keeping content fresh can be difficult outside of digital mediums and studies suggest that healthcare professionals prefer to utilize print medium over digital.

Safety in Digital

Still, just because medical marketing is not used to utilizing digital medium doesn’t mean that marketing agencies can’t try to direct medical professions toward newer forms of media. Various new social media sites make for good new opportunities to experiment with advertising. Even updating the look of a website or developing a Facebook page can go along way when it comes to keeping potential clients updated and engaged. While working with a new platform can be daunting, commitment to digital integration ensures that health professionals can achieve marketing success in a continuously changing world.

Marketing or even advertising for health professions seems like an unusual development but, in reality, it maintains a significant portion of the field just like any other business. Velocity Agency has years of experience working with those in the medical professions to help strengthen their marketing and build a larger client base. Fill out the form below to schedule a meeting with one of our marketing experts.

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
Professional Development, Velocity News

Advertising Agencies & Your Business: An Important Relationship

 

Velocity ProductionWhen you think of your business’s advertising needs you might find yourself thinking about graphic design, print advertising, and TV commercials. However, it’s near impossible to obtain a high level of any of those things if you don’t have a good relationship with your advertising agency.

“The benefit of having a long term relationship with a trusted production partner like Velocity, is that it offers us peace of mind that the show will consistently be well-produced…”

The relationship between a business and the team that handles their advertising is almost as important as the actual advertising materials produced. Just think about it. If you had a choice between an advertising agency that only communicated with you via email and one that had the opportunity to meet you in person, come to your shop, and stand by your side as you grow, which would you choose?

Ann Wills Public Relations knows a little something about the benefits of having a long term personal relationship with an advertising team. Ann has been partnered with the advertising and production team at Velocity Agency for over four years. If you ask Ann, she will tell you that there are some real positives in having a long term relationship with the people she trusts to produce her show, “The benefit of having a long term relationship with a trusted production partner like Velocity, is that it offers us peace of mind that the show will consistently be well-produced; knowing they will treat our guests as well as we treat our guests; and that they will continually strive to meet and exceed our high standards and expectations.’  

One of Ann’s clients is the United Health Foundation. Since 1999, the United Health Foundation has been helping to improve the health and health care of communities all around the world. In 2012 Ann brought the foundation’s television show “Community Health Heroes” to Velocity Agency and she hasn’t looked back since.

“…they will treat our guests as well as we treat our guests; and that they will continually strive to meet and exceed our high standards and expectations.”

The show, which shoots on Velocity Agency’s own stage, serves as an example of the agency’s impressive ability to produce high quality content from within its own walls. Perhaps, more importantly the show represents what can happen when you have trust between a business and a marketing agency.

No matter if you’re actively looking for a new agency or just looking to see what other options are out there, it is important that you talk with whomever you choose so that you can feel confident in the people who are going to run your advertising campaigns.

Find Out If Velocity is Right For Your Business 

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
Professional Development

The Power of Focus

The Power of Focus

 

My pastor recently sat down and had lunch with Jack Nicklaus, and he asked him how he became such a great golfer. Nicklaus said he actually wanted to play football when he was young, but realized his hands were too small to be a quarterback. He also wanted to run track, but he was too slow. It was through this process of elimination that he got to golf as the sport he was going to play.

Nicklaus had many choices available to him, but he chose to focus on the one where he had the greatest chance of success. Peter Drucker says, “Concentration is the key to economic results. No other principle of effectiveness is violated as constantly as the basic principle of concentration … Our motto seems to be, let’s do a little bit of everything.”

The world’s best businesses focus relentlessly on becoming the best in their field. The Ritz-Carlton focuses on being the best hotel chain in the world through a best-in-practice Service Excellence Culture; this legendary service model has resulted in engaged employees and customers through the concept of empowerment. When you try to do too many things, you end up losing focus on a core-competence – becoming mediocre at an array of things rather than the best in the world at one.

If you are going to become the best at your job, vocation, or hobby, choose to focus on your strengths. We all have weaknesses, but time spent improving weaknesses will yield far fewer results than time spent focusing on strengths. If you are a great salesperson but bad manager, focus on being the best salesperson in the office and turn down a promotion to sales manager. If you are great at golf but mediocre at baseball, step off the diamond and spend your time on the green or driving range.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Seth Godin, “Just about everything you learned in school about life is wrong, but the wrongest thing might very well be this: Being well rounded is the secret to success.”

Market Information, Professional Development

WIRED TO CONNECT

Woman using an iPhone while sitting at her Mac with a USB key on the MacClients and potential clients continually ask me what industry is our specialty. From here, I know it is going to be an uphill battle in shifting perception. Lucky for me, shaping perception (for any industry) is my specialty.

Healthcare, Consumer Packaged Goods (“CPG”), Retail, Travel, Tourism, etc. all face the same problems (opportunities). Almost all industries are becoming more consumer focused and experience-driven, which creates a consistent set of marketing needs across all industries.

This means that we have to go back to a re-examination of the traditional 4-P’s of marketing – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion (one of those few things I remember/found useful from college) – and make a complete paradigm shift to the 5 C’s of digital marketing.

 

The evolution of data, technology, and communication, along with the changing dynamics in most industries is gradually putting the consumer at the center and in full control. The ecosystem is starting to respond to consumer’s emotional and functional needs. As is evident from the past, technologies and innovation do not disrupt categories, but consumers do.

Most brands are now aiming at an always-on, seamless, omni-channel experience that will inspire behavioral change and participation. The term “omni-channel” may be a marketing buzzword, but it refers to a significant shift: marketers now need to provide a seamless consumer experience, regardless of channel or device. Consumers can now engage with a company in a physical location, an online website, a mobile app, or through social media.

Digital marketers across all industries can achieve success if they focus on the 5 C’s of digital marketing in an era that can be best described as the ‘convergence era’.

The 5 C’s:

  1. Consumer
  2. Context
  3. Content
  4. Commerce
  5. Convergence

“We need to always place the CONSUMER at the center, both in strategy and execution. CONVERGENCE is needed at all levels to overcome the challenges of fragmentation and silos. The two channel agnostic pillars of a seamless experience is CONTENT and CONTEXT. If executed properly, these 4 C’s will organically drive COMMERCE,” said Mayur Gupta, Senior VP and Head of Digital at Healthgrades.

1. CONSUMER – The consumer is connected, informed, collaborative, social, and more empowered than ever before. The consumer is the extension of your brand. The consumer’s persona, buyer’s journey, and experience must be at the center of your strategy. You can replace consumer with customer or client – bottom line, behind every B2B or B2C, there is a person – the consumer of your content, products, and services.

2. CONTEXT – the power of contextual intelligence is the ability to personalize your engagement with the consumer. Context is about knowing and understanding behavior at any point in the relationship, across all touch-points, at all times. Context is about knowing the who, what, where, when, and most importantly, why the consumer wants something, and then delivering just that, at the right time and channel of preference.

3. CONTENT – Content must be influenced, inspired, and driven based on context – relevant and useful information that is delivered just in time, pervasively across the ecosystem (channel, device, and touch-point). “Content without context or context without the ability to inspire and influence content is both meaningless and will never drive behavioral change,” said Gupta.

4. COMMERCE – Anticipating the needs of the consumer and making it easy and fast to purchase is key. Ultimately, convenience always wins.

5. CONVERGENCE – The final C, and perhaps the most challenging for marketers is convergence. By placing the CONSUMER at the center of your strategy and execution framework, marketers must find ways to drive alignment across the business and the ecosystem by constantly and vigorously championing convergence. There are hundreds of marketing technology vendors that are focusing on the art of marketing convergence using CRM, marketing automation, communities, analytics and social networking.

I suppose now would be a good time to talk about what Convergence truly is:

  • Convergence: 1. an act or instance of converging. 2. A convergent state of quality. 3. The degree or point at which lines, objects, etc., converge.

Technology has come a long way since the early days of the 21st century. As it advanced, each type of media has evolved to become more portable and interactive. These different types of media and platforms have also quickly merged together. It’s a logical progression, feeding our insatiable appetite for technology and for progress.

As technology has advanced, so have the worlds of advertising, marketing, branding, PR, public affairs, content, publishing, and business strategy. Brands and marketers are now looking for ideas that are deeply connected to culture, which can align with societal changes and help shape them. As a result, companies are starting to converge to offer a new model and to enjoy the same benefits. It’s a natural result of the media convergence we have seen happening for decades.

In my business, the edge is the complete opposite of the traditional advertising agency. It is a new approach based on a new model for marketing in revolutionary times. And we’re not alone. Businesses throughout the world are discovering that convergence is fast becoming a key business model – one that will help them to stay lean, focused, and as profitable as possible without compromising on quality.

The biggest challenge, as marketers, is the journey from strategy to execution. With the consumer at the center of this ecosystem, strategy alone is not enough; the consumer demands real and tangible experiences. This is where we need to get real and deliver a seamless experience for the consumer, keeping his or her interest, needs, and desires at the center as a human being, not a segment.

Today’s consumers are empowered and their expectations are changing; transparency, authenticity, intelligence, and accessibility are the keys to success. Businesses and marketers must now focus on arguably the most important C-word in business – culture.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” said Maya Angelou.

In today’s on-demand economy, relevance is the most important currency in business. To stay relevant, businesses must adopt a customer-first culture, knowing that the path to scale is a committed, common-sense approach with competent and confident employees who exhibit the character that inspires customer loyalty and advocacy. It may sound cliché, but smart businesses and marketers recognize the only constant is change. To stay relevant, you must have the courage and discipline to strategically change and evolve to mirror an ever-evolving global culture.

We, as marketers, can learn the ins and outs of any industry. Spend some time with me, give me the time to research your business and your financial statements, and I will understand your competitive (strategic) advantage and profit margins. Therefore, clients shouldn’t pay us for being experts in a specific industry, but rather experts in the human experience. The heart of all business and commerce is people, and we need to make them feel something.

Businesses need to stop looking for so-called “industry-specific experts” and focus on finding an agency that understands the ever-evolving consumer landscape. Moreover, businesses need to find an agency that understands the human experience and specializes in social connection.

Market Information, Professional Development

Bridging the Gap in Digital Marketing

offlinevsonline

With the prominence and importance of digital marketing in the marketplace today, the #1 question you may be asking about your company’s online efforts is, “am I doing it right?” Your website, social media, email marketing, online reputation, PPC, SEO, ….the list goes on and on…. are all so incredibly important right now that you may be losing sleep. If you are like most businesses you are counting every like, retweet, subscriber, click, follow, and positive Yelp review as an amazing personal victory! As well you should. These achievements are digital currency that can benefit your company in many ways. However, as these transactions become a bit more normative, you – especially if you are the owner of a terrestrial business – need to be thinking beyond your digital assets and begin asking, “how are my online activities translating to offline transactions?”

So many businesses tout their social numbers as a proof of actual currency. The truth is, if you are only interested in social numbers, there are a host of questionable services that will trade you “likes” and clicks for dollars. What results is a hollow following with no potential for any offline transactions. With every resource that you put into your digital strategy you should be able to gauge your ROI by placing equal value on having a prominent online presence AND on how it trickles down to your bottom line. Do not allow your online efforts to simply remain there on the web. Get them in the door!

Here are a few concepts that may help:

  1. Try to devise ways to use your message to incentivise actual visits.

  2. Focus more on the quality of your following and not just quantity. Active local followers are 10 times more likely to turn into a conversion.

  3. Balance your “calls to action” to include both growing your following, as well as, nurture store visits. “Sign up for our newsletter” should hold equal footing with “Visit Us” or “Call Us.”

  4. Pair your online offers with codes that can be redeemed in-store so that you can benchmark your message’s effectiveness. Use A/B testing to see which message generated more in-store traffic.

  5. Make sure your online messaging is consistently worded and branded with any print/radio/tv so that uniform brand recognition exists with all of your outreach.

Of course, you should also be doing everything you can to get your in-store guests to engage with your online presence. We will save that for future posts.

 

Professional Development

Epic Marketing Fails

Sometimes, you’ll see an advertisement isn’t very well-thought-out. Maybe their placements are unfortunate (or is highly unfortunate), or their logo isn’t well designed (or is poorly designed). Every now and then, you’ll release an advertisement that you’ll regret immediately and will become the butt of jokes all over the internet. Below are some examples of why you should think, really, really hard, about making sure your ads convey the right message.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.57.54 PM

Given the picture, 75% sounds like a pretty reasonable discount.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.57.36 PM

At least one of these ads had a clear and concise message.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.58.17 PM

Let’s be real, the name “mama’s baking” probably didn’t do the design team any favors.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.57.05 PM

Definitely a tough choice.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.58.30 PM

If you can’t see the joke immediately, look closely at the heads and arms of the dancers.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.58.08 PM

To be fair, they didn’t claim to be auto care experts.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.57.12 PM

I’m glad we found marketers whose ads don’t beat around the bush.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.57.23 PM

Hey, can’t say they didn’t warn you.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.58.39 PM

A reminder of how important the ‘space’ key is.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.57.44 PM

Halls and Trojan are certainly targeting relevant markets with this one.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 2.55.58 PM

There’s nothing that would make me want to travel via Turkish Airlines more than an image of their plane headed downward in a 45 degree angle.

Market Information, Professional Development

Why Non-Profits Should Utilize LinkedIn

Oftentimes, a non-profit spending “too much money” will give it a bad rap. This is for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is the argument that non-profits need to limit their overhead costs in order to have more of the donation’s revenue left over to directly help the cause. In English, non-profits take some of the money that one donates (usually most of it) and use it to cover the costs of the business, such as payroll of employees. The perception is that advertising is another cost that will drain the amount of money left to contribute to the cause of that organization.

However, such notions are misguided. First, in the case of non-profits, associating the terms “overhead” and “advertising” would be misleading, because one has nothing to do with the other. Advertising for a non-profit has goals of reaching out for donations and educating the public about an important social issue. That’s not “overhead” by any definition- that’s a fundraising and program expense. But that’s not a common belief held by donors.

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 3.21.00 PM

 

(Chart by nonprofitquarterly.org)

While United Way only spends 2% of gross revenue on advertising, Red Cross and YMCA spend far less than 1%. According to a CMO Council survey, the vast majority of business owners spent less than 4% in gross revenue on advertising and marketing costs, and the remaining 42% of businesses spending more than 5%. An interesting point to the contrary is that Wounded Warriors Project spends a reported 35% of its resources in advertising and has become among the most well known veteran services organizations out there, now serving over 83,000 registered members, has offices in nearly 20 locations, and has a line of clothing by Under Armor worn by 3 college football teams. Therefore, if a non-profit (and a non-profit’s donors) is serious about growing for the purpose of raising a greater awareness for its cause, they would advertise more than they are now.

When you think of relatively inexpensive ways to advertise a non-profit organization, and when you think of social media platforms that have more than enough space to facilitate advertising with limited competition, the mind automatically wanders to LinkedIn. The professional networking social media application’s membership has been on the rise in recent years due to the millennial generation setting its footing in the workforce. While its functionality is more limited than Facebook’s, there are reasons why advertising on LinkedIn can make a lot of sense. First, you can “follow” specific companies and non-profits, which will allow you to see their posts directly on your newsfeed. There’s also a “Volunteer” section near the bottom part of your profile page that you can edit to show the broad causes that you’re interested in by editing “Causes You Care About.” For example, if I was interested in “Disaster and Humanitarian Relief,” then Habitat For Humanity could place an ad on my home page the next time I log in.

A user can directly show which causes he/she cares about which will lead to ads of suggested non-profits. And this would have more positive consequences for the organizations than solely fundraising. It would raise awareness of actual hands-on volunteer opportunities and even possibly career opportunities for those interested in the industry. For those concerned about the financial implications for non-profits using LinkedIn to promote itself, LinkedIn also offers the flexibility to set a budget, meaning the maximum amount that the organization would want to spend in one day. Lastly, advertising on this platform will grant organizations exposure to a millennial generation that is career driven and socially conscious, meaning that its users are a good target audience.

Advertising is the epitome of what it actually means to “spend money to make money.” In the case of nonprofits, the phrase should be edited to “spend money to make money to help people”. And today’s digital age allows for these organizations to promote their causes flexibly and inexpensively. While more non-profits hopefully follow Wounded Warriors Project’s model and become less fearful of investing in their advertising campaigns, using LinkedIn as a test run would not be a bad start.

Professional Development

THE WORLD OF WEB DESIGN

evolution

I entered the world of web design by default. A Journalism & English major with a shrinking interest in current events and a growing disdain for poverty, I sold my creative soul to corporate America for a retirement plan, paid vacation and the occasional barbaric rush of cubicle warfare.

I was a copywriter, a butcher of the English language, grinding prime cut prose into chuck for the masses. Branding, call outs, call to action, proof points, tag lines, I wrote the words behind the smiling faces on brochures for everything from timeshares to proper hand washing techniques. I began to view the world in 150 words or less. Life had become a series of tag lines, marginalized and boxed into bite sized chunks, no knife, no fork, no thinking required.

It was easy, it was mundane, it was boring. I had a no sense that what I was doing was ever correct because like any assembly line, productivity was the objective. Keep it short, keep it simple, make it snappy. I had become skilled in the art of compartmentalizing and organizing what would otherwise appear to be gibberish and one day I was asked to expand those skills to content writing. This was my first foray into the world wide web.

1_0_How_the_World_Wide_Web_Works

So vast, so unchartered (keep in mind this was 2003), I was in the wilderness with a set of skills I equated to a set of sticks to rub together for survival. Up until this point I used the internet for reference, music and directions. It never occurred to me there were real people writing online. I guess I assumed it was all scanned printed material managed by gnomes.

I had no computer skills outside of Microsoft Office and HTML code was an esoteric language invented by the Aztecs. I started off using text fields (WYSIWYG editors) to upload my content. One day the graphic designer in the office asked me to add some photos and a banner I had written copy for to the header. Seeing my tagline in bold digital splendor sparked a creative volt that had been dormant since my first slice of office birthday cake.

I was interested again, engaged. Here was a medium that combined my new skill in organizing words as calls to actions and quick bits of information within an art form. Organizing blocks of content as shapes rather than simply paragraphs. I learned to utilize HTML and CSS as tools rather than a language. Once I understood how to use these tools to organize the world of web design was illuminated. I was hooked. Here was a way to communicate to the masses with creativity, a way to organize ideas through an ever expanding digital world.

web

I went back to school for graphic and web design and found that the years I spent copywriting were integral to organizing web content. As time went on email newsletters, blogs, and social media became the new communication. Its hard to know where a job will lead. What skill is important and what is a menial task. But as long as your world remains large and there is an eagerness to explore it, there will always be a new possibilities.

Market Information, Professional Development

SEO Building Blocks

Consistency is the key to success in conducting SEO for businesses, both local and national. In order for your business to succeed in SEO, you must be consistent in the multiple building blocks of digital marketing. Overall, in the early stages of SEO, there are five basic building blocks to follow. Emphasizing and mastering these building blocks will provide a basic guideline and establish a consistent online presence for your business.

seoheader

Building Blocks:


k eywords:

Keywords are the most important aspect of establishing your online presence because they allow your business to consistently appear in the appropriate areas of focus. Keywords remain important anywhere from web development to brand awareness. When creating advertisements, you can target your desired consumers via page titles, meta-descriptions, and title/alt image tags.

c ategory:

Along with relative keywords, you must also establish a category for your business. This is easier said than done. This shouldn’t be one of the  broad categories that people use to describe certain products or services; it needs to be tied into the keywords that will optimize search results. Identify a category of business for tools such as Google Places, and use that category to find keywords that will help synchronize consistency and optimization.

l ocation:

The physical location of your business should appear online first and foremost so customers can locate you in person.  But you must also make sure that the addresses of your location(s) are consistently placed online across all third party search engines and websites. Your business can lose out on potential customers if directories feature incorrect location information.

l2 istings:

Referral website listings for a company are crucial to the “networking” aspect of your company and getting your company’s product or service through related sites. The more popular the referral websites, the better opportunity your company has for brand awareness. When establishing an online presence, your company must attach itself to more established sites to better build your online reputation.

i nteraction:

Lastly, once you’ve established your company’s online presence through keywords and listings, you must engage in social interaction. Social interaction is important for the early stages of optimization because of the consumer experience. Consumers are becoming more and more demanding, looking for personalized relationships with not only family and friends, but also with businesses. In the beginning, your responsibility is to reach and out and respond to your customers.

0
Connecting
Please wait...
Call Us Today! (504) 834-8811

Or send us a message!

* Your name
* Email
* Phone
* Company Name
How can we help you?
Call Us Today! (504) 834-8811

Or send us a message!

* Your name
* Email
* Phone
Company Name
Call Us Today! (504) 834-8811
Feedback

Help us help you better! Feel free to leave us any additional feedback.

How do you rate our support?