Bringing Balance to Your Marketing: Loyalty vs. Acquisition

Scale with money
In the Star Wars prequel trilogy, it was believed that Anakin Skywalker was the Chosen One destined to bring balance to the two sides of the Force. When it comes to your marketing, are you balancing your existing customers with your quest for new customers?

More than 10 years after the Star Wars prequel trilogy concluded with (spoiler alert!) Anakin becoming Darth Vader, people still debate about what "bring balance to the Force" actually means and whether Anakin/Vader fulfilled the prophecy or not. The debate over whether customer loyalty or customer acquisition is more important has been just as cloudy, leaving business owners wondering how to balance the two — or if they should be balanced at all.

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each side of this marketing debate and how we can bring balance to the brand.

Customer Loyalty


Pro: The 80/20 rule has been around for more than 100 years and has been used to claim that 80 percent of a company's sales come from 20 percent of its customers. The rule is the cornerstone for many customer loyalty programs that are designed to make sure the customers who purchase the most continue doing so. If your most loyal customers are a crucial part of your revenue stream, why wouldn't you offer them incentives and make them feel valued?

Con: When you're planning on launching a loyalty program, be sure you know the associated costs and if the potential revenue is worth the investment. Does an expensive app that occasionally gives away a free product, prize or discount lead to more revenue? Depending on your industry, loyalty might not mean what you think it does.

Byron Sharp's book "How Brands Grow" was released in 2005 and used data to dispel some of the notions businesses have long had about customer loyalty. More recently he said, "We are loyal switchers. We don't feel disloyal to Kellogg's if we buy another cereal." Basically, don't put all of your cereal in one bowl when it comes to who you're targeting — because they won't always purchase from you.

Customer Acquisition


Pro: While loyal customers might be the cornerstone of your business, you can't make your building bigger without adding more bricks. New customers are still a critical revenue stream whether they end up being hyper-loyal or not. You didn't get that loyal 20 percent without acquiring new customers to begin with. Plus, new customers are needed to sustain growth.

Con: Acquiring new customers is expensive compared to retaining existing customers. Because you've already earned their trust, existing customers are much more likely to buy from you, reducing marketing expenses in the process. According to the book "Marketing Metrics," the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20 percent. That means you'll probably see less return on your marketing campaigns targeted at new customers.

Finding Balance


Maintaining loyal customers is important, but as you can see, balancing who you target can be a critical part of growing your business. While conventional thinking and research indicates that there's more revenue to be gained from loyal customers, you simply can't ignore future revenue streams, and loyalty programs can be expensive. Loyalty can also be fickle even with incentives.

To find the balance that works for your marketing, be sure you know where your revenue is coming from. Track incoming calls and web traffic from your various campaigns and sort them based on whether you were targeting existing or new customers. Once you know the value of each and every conversion, you can better balance your efforts.

Have you brought balance to your marketing? Have you lost loyal customers at the expense of discounts and deals offered to new customers? Let us know in the comments.

[INFOGRAPHIC] A Journey Through the World of Visual Content

Have you ventured into the visual marketing world? If not, check out this infographic from Marketo to see what type of visual content would be best for your marketing.

Journey Through the World of Visual Content [Infographic]

What Does Your Favorite Vacation Say About Your Marketing Style?

As the summer heat intensifies, so do our vacation fantasies. However, it seems the “perfect vacation” varies from person to person;  some people love the beach, while others prefer a hike in the mountains. 

Crystal blue seaThis got us thinking about how some vacation choices actually resemble some common marketing strategies. What does your perfect vacation say about your marketing strategy? 


An Adventure on a Budget


If you love an affordable, adrenaline-filled vacation like visiting Teton Range in Wyoming or the Sierra Nevada in California, you’re an adaptable risk taker. You use your vacation as an opportunity to seek beautiful views, chase an adrenaline rush or find a waterfall at the end of a tough climb. Every decision on your trip is focused on accomplishing something unforgettable.

These tendencies match what is used in the marketing strategy known as growth hacking. Growth hacking requires making informed but risky decisions based on marketing research. Like choosing to enjoy a hiking trail rather than spend a big chunk of change at a resort, growth hacking uses low-cost alternatives to traditional media to achieve growth. Its creative affordability makes it a popular method among startups with tight marketing budgets.


Traditional With a Personal Touch 


If a mountain trek doesn’t pique (or shall we say "peak"?) your interest, perhaps you’re among the many loyal fans of Disney World Resort. Despite being a common (and insanely crowded) choice, Disney World makes you feel like you’re personally cared for by offering exceptional service, personalized name badges and trip suggestions based on your family’s preferences. The relationship Disney World builds with its customers is a lead reason for the 70 percent return rate of first-time Disney visitors.

Similar to the personal touches Disney World presents, networking events give your business the opportunity to form lasting relationships with customers. Industry trade shows attract your target market and allow your business to meet with potential customers face to face. These events are an opportunity to identify market trends and gain knowledge of competitors in the market.

A Little Bit of Everything


For the family who needs a versatile vacation that can satisfy the adventure seekers as well as those desiring personalized treatment, a cruise is the usual choice. Cruises have the ability to adapt to the needs of the guests by offering various excursions that appeal to different tastes, like shopping in a local village or rappelling into a cave. The integrated benefits of a cruise make it the perfect vacation for a family that wants it all.

If you appreciate the adaptability of a cruise, you may prefer an integrated marketing strategy as well. You can integrate several techniques such as growth hacking, networking events and search engine optimization so your company will appeal to its target market in a variety of ways. Leveraging the advantages of various marketing strategies also enhances your inbound marketing, attracting customers with meaningful website content and personal relationships. 

Whether or not a cruise suits your fancy, an integrated marketing strategy that uses several strong methods to deliver a well-rounded marketing approach can generate qualified leads and strengthen customer relationships.

Which vacation style matches your marketing approach? Let us know by commenting below!

Shark Week: Chomp Down on These Marketing Tips!

What was that? You think there’s a more action-packed, informative and wildly fascinating week of nonstop entertainment on TV? Bull Shark! Just as sharks are the apex predators of the ocean, Shark Week is the apex Primetime event of the year.

Great White sharkThis is the one week out of the year when every ordinary couch dweller can be a marine biologist; it’s the week that even the most ocean-fearing viewers can turn into total shark fin-atics.

Our favorite week is back on Discovery Channel — this time earlier than ever — and we couldn’t be more excited.

Needless to say, this week’s frenzy of shark facts got us thinking about a few tips that will launch your marketing out of the water.

Streamline Your Approach


Sharks are, without a doubt, the most superior predator of the sea (ask any of the seals on Seal Island. RIP). They have the ability to propel their massive, two-ton bodies upwards of 30 mph through the water, making them near-perfect hunting specimens. How do they generate such impressive feats of speed and raw power? Their streamlined bodies help them glide through the water with minimal resistance, allowing them to torpedo towards their prey.

Likewise, streamlining your marketing activities is essential to improving your ROI. In doing so, it’s important to gauge the success of each of your marketing campaigns so you can limit the ones that prevent you from reaching your marketing objectives. Tracking customer response rates is an effective way to monitor which campaigns are producing the best results and which are just taking a bite out of your budget.

Adapt for Success


To increase their success rate when hunting their favorite prey, Great Whites have adapted their tactics significantly. Since seals can change directions in the water faster than sharks can, the sharks learned to use their strengths (straight-line speed and power) to surprise the seals from below. To fin-ish off the incredible display, the sharks launch their entire bodies out of the water to stun both their prey and every Discovery Channel viewer.

Similar to how quickly seals change directions in the water, markets and industries are ever changing. As a marketer, your target audience may stay the same over time, but using the same approach won’t always remain effective. Specifically, in today’s digitally driven world, social media and digital advertising have replaced the likes of newspapers and print media as the most popular forms of advertising. With 2.55 billion social media users projected in 2017, your company should adapt to the changes to increase its success.

Use All Your Resources


To add to the seemingly endless array of striking shark facts, sharks have not five (like humans)… not six… but seven senses. We don’t know how M. Night Shyamalan — writer and director of “The Sixth Sense” — didn’t see the potential for an epic sequel featuring sharks. We digress.

Sharks use each of their seven senses when hunting prey. With the ability to sense electrical pulses and both vibrations and changes in underwater pressure (in addition to our five human senses), sharks are some of the most resourceful predators in the ocean. No wonder they're at the top of the food chain!

Just as sharks use all their senses when hunting, we encourage you to use as many resources as possible to adapt your marketing strategy and give your company a competitive advantage. From online-to-offline analytics to trackable phone numbers to mobile marketing solutions, the list of marketing tools available to you is limitless. By maximizing these resources, you can ensure that your business stays on top of the corporate food chain.

Do you have any more jawsome marketing tips? We want to hear! Tweet your responses to @whoscalling and don’t forget to mention @Discovery and #SharkWeek!

What 'Finding Dory' Can Teach Us About Improving Sales and Marketing

Dory speaks to an octopus
Image courtesy Pixar
Grab some tissues and get ready to experience a whirlpool of emotions when you see "Finding Dory" (don't worry, this post is spoiler free).

Whether you're a 10-year-old kid or an experienced marketing manager, we hope you're as excited as we are to watch Dory's unforgettable journey — that she'll probably forget.

Not only does "Finding Dory" promise to be as epic as "Finding Nemo," it also seems to contain a few pearls of sales and marketing wisdom. Pay attention (and maybe take notes), because we don't want you to forget these helpful tips.

Look For the Ones You Lose


"Finding Dory" follows Dory's journey to find her family, but with her poor memory, it seems as impossible a task as searching for customers who get lost in the blur of busy phone lines. Dory might be pretty helpless without her memory, but finding a customer who hung up due to a busy line is even harder (you can't have memories of someone you haven't talked to).

Since 72 percent of first-time callers who hang up won't call you back, it's important for your sales team to be able to call them back as soon as possible. Call tracking software should be able to notify you of missed calls so you can keep those potential leads from getting swept away in the current. A missed call notification system should capture a caller's information — whether the call goes unanswered, receives a busy signal, or occurs after hours — and alert your sales reps that they need to follow up with the caller.

Remember That Your Memory Isn't Perfect


Dory's memory is laughable until you forget something important from a sales call at work and you totally relate to her pain. No matter how great of a memory you have, the workday is full of conversations and distractions. Relying on your memory for critical sales calls is a risky move. A program that records calls would help you with those "Dory moments" when you can't remember the details of a call.

Recording incoming and outgoing calls improves employee productivity and accountability. Information gained from reviewing calls can also be used to find lost sales opportunities or to personalize training for individual employees. Targeted training will help your employees more effectively communicate with customers over the phone and improve customer satisfaction.

Don't Forget to Keep Track of Important Info


Dory needs a ton of help finding her family, and not just because she doesn't know where to go. In one of the trailers (which you can watch here) Dory is seen "sleep-swimming." Marlin and Nemo have to keep track of Dory when she's awake — just in case she forgets where she's going — and when she's asleep, so she doesn't sleep-swim into some trouble.

Keeping track of Dory at all hours is a bit like tracking online-to-offline conversions. With technology these days, it's easy to track online prospects because they practically happen in real time. But what happens when those online visitors call a phone number on your website (as they are likely to do)? Do you attribute the phone lead to your website or does it go much deeper than that?

Pay-per-click (PPC) call tracking makes it possible to track a customer's online and offline activity together, measuring how effectively certain keywords and digital ads generate calls. Tracking your customers' journeys is important for understanding how to best serve them and helps you make decisions about which digital marketing campaigns are successful.

Are you as forgetful as Dory when it comes to lead data? Let us know in the comments how you keep everything in your sales and marketing departments swimming in the right direction!

How to Keep Your Marketing (and Customer Service) Rocking With Call Tracking

Old rockers remembering the glory days
The 1970s and 1980s are known for introducing the world to unforgettable trends like bell bottoms, lava lamps, big hair, cult classic films and an excess of neon. But perhaps the greatest gifts of the ’70s and ’80s are some of the greatest rock songs of all time. 

Reminiscing about the glory days got us thinking about some of the business lessons we can learn from our favorite hits.

If you’re someone who takes a good, hard look at your business and thinks, “Hmm, we could definitely stand to improve our marketing and customer service, but how? Can someone show me the way? Can anyone gimme three steps?” You’re in luck, savvy businessperson. We’ll give you not three, but four steps on how to increase your marketing ROI and keep your customers happy. Pay attention, because you don’t want to miss a thing.

Decide What Is and What Should Never Be


When it comes to marketing, you always want to hit [the target market] with your best shot. Right? Well, there are always campaigns that produce better results than others. The problem is determining which marketing activities are performing the best, and which are just bad medicine. Luckily, there are ways to improve your overall marketing effectiveness.  

Research indicates that about 66 percent of small businesses recognize phone calls as their most beneficial form of incoming lead, so call tracking is a great way to analyze your marketing performance. Applying unique toll-free numbers (TFNs) to individual campaigns and tracking the resulting calls can give you a direct indication of how productive your various marketing campaigns are. This allows you to focus on your best campaigns, and, of course, go separate ways with your underperforming marketing activities. 

Recover Opportunities You Thought Were Already Gone 


Thump. Thump. Thump. Another one bites the dust. Do you ever notice some of your leads disappear? Whether it was just something that happened in the heat of the moment or a recurring issue, your employees are losing leads you can’t afford to lose. Where are they going? If you can’t answer that question, your customers might go crazy on you, and your company will begin free fallin’ fast.

The solution? Use the services of call evaluation professionals to screen your employees’ calls for potential lost opportunities stemming from call handling errors. Any calls deemed mishandled are flagged and reported to supervisors. From there, the supervisor can notify the appropriate employee and attempt to recapture the lost lead.
  
Wooaaaaah, we’re halfway there. (You knew that was coming.) 

Make Customer Service Your Pride and Joy


As a manager, it’s natural to assume your employees are performing at their best all of the time. Sadly, you know that every rose has its thorns, right? Even if you think your customer service is already stellar, it can always improve. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to improve customer service so that you can have some peace of mind.

If you have a car dealership, a highly interactive training program aimed at improving employees’ telephone skills can really enhance your customer service and even your bottom line. With the help of calls recorded by your call tracking software, professional instructors should be able to provide customized exercises to develop your employees’ selling skills and teach them to build trust with customers.

Chase Down New Leads With the Eye of the Tiger


Beat it. Just beat it — the competition, that is. Whether your business has already established itself as a leader among its competitors or your company is still learning to fly, rival companies will frequently be burnin’ for you and your customers. In order for your business to continue maximizing its success, it’s imperative that you chase down new leads and capitalize on them.

Using a program that automatically scans calls for predetermined keywords can help you determine your top marketing campaigns, pinpoint any mentions of your competition and help you acquire new leads. Taking advantage of these services will allow your company’s ROI to continue to grow.

If only all business activities were as easy as quoting classic rock songs. We can all dream on about that. Comment below to let us know how your company is takin’ care of business!

How to Listen in If You're Not a Secret Agent

Spy rappelling with suitcase
Look at you, all dapper in your black tuxedo (or stunning in your dark evening gown). You're an international man (or woman) of mystery, sneaking your way into your own office so that you can find out what your employees have been up to on the company phones. After all, they have jobs to do and they need to be doing them well. You're just the spy to find out what their secret organization has been planning.

Whoa. Wait a second. Secret organization? Your employees aren't planning to take over the world. And what's with the get up? Who do you think you are? James Bond or Miss Moneypenny? But then again, you are strangely uninformed when it comes to how your employees are handling calls to your business. There has to be a way to review calls and improve training without sneaking around in your best formal wear.

Here are some alternate ways you can keep tabs on your employees' phone skills (and maybe even rescue some lost leads) if you're not a secret agent.

Leave Phone Tapping to the Experts


When a secret agent is trying to find out how a global crime organization is planning to take over the moon, one of the least violent ways to see what they're up to is to tap the phones of several key members and listen to their conversations. It might surprise you how careless global crime organizations can be with their secret plans. These kinds of things get discussed on landline phones (at least in the movies).

Of course you're not really listening in on a global crime organization. You just want to be able to listen to some of your employees' phone conversations with customers so you can tailor your training to weak points or find missed sales opportunities. Leave the wiretaps in the briefcase, Mr. Bond, and use call tracking to record your business's calls so you can go back and review phone conversations at any time.

Don't Forget to Call for Backup


It might also surprise you how incredibly mundane the leaders of a global crime organization can be. Dr. Malicious is plotting to steal the royal jewels, but he also likes to call his mother a few times a day just to see how she's doing. Secret agents don't have time to listen to every call. That's why every secret agent has a team of people at headquarters who can listen for evil plots through all the noise.

Reviewing your employees' call recordings is a crucial step toward reacting to mishandled situations or improving your phone training program, but there's no way around the fact that some calls won't provide any insight. You don't have time to review everything. That's why you should use a call review team of professionals that can listen to your employees' call recordings and send you the calls that need attention.

Follow the Rules


In spy movies, most secret agents frequently skirt (or outright break) the law when performing their duties. James Bond famously had a "license to kill" that probably wouldn't hold up if he was captured by a foreign government and tossed in a tiny jail cell. In fact, Mr. Bond was captured by his adversaries quite a bit in the movies. We assume he kept forgetting his license in his other pants.

While James Bond might flout the law whenever it suits him, you should always make an effort to follow the laws with regard to recording calls to and from customers. Some states only require one party of the call to consent while others require both parties to consent. To protect your company from potential issues, record a message to play before a customer reaches a representative such as, "This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes." This will put you in compliance with the rules regardless of your state's laws and shield you from potential fines.

How do you check up on your employees' calls without acting like a secret agent? Let us know in the comments.

Marketing Strategies We’ve Learned From Meredith Grey

Meredith Grey from the popular TV series Grey’s Anatomy offers several blunt truths about life, most of which she concludes after a series of trials and errors, much like marketing.

Meredith Grey
Image courtesy ABC 
Meredith goes through quite a few traumatic events (we’d give examples, but we don’t want to give away any spoilers) and comes to realize that making mistakes is often essential to finding a strategy that works when dealing with difficulty.

As marketers, we make mistakes. But Meredith offers us ways to not only improve our outlook on those mistakes, but also ways to prevent them from happening again. Here are a few marketing tips we can take from Meredith.

Find “Your Person”


As defined by Meredith Grey, “your person” is someone you’re connected with and committed to — in her case, her best friend Christina Yang. We’re not saying you should become best friends with your clients, but there is a way to connect with them and commit to them from a marketing standpoint.

Find your person — er, your lost customers — by using a call monitoring service. A professionally trained staff will review your call recordings to identify mishandled calls that result in a lost customer. They’ll then notify you of the missed opportunity so you can call back the customer and recover the sale.

Learn from Mistakes


If anyone knows a thing or two about making mistakes, it’s Meredith Grey. A typical phrase fans may say when watching an episode is “Why, Meredith?” Marketing is the same way. You may often find yourself asking, “why?” when you or your staff makes a mistake, but those mistakes can teach you valuable lessons about customer service.

By recording incoming and outgoing calls from your business, you can improve staff accountability and find training opportunities to ensure those pesky mistakes don’t happen again. Call recording enables you to uncover training opportunities and be quickly notified of calls that need attention.

Know When to Let Go 


Meredith learns a lot about letting go over 11 seasons. From people dying to people walking out of her life (no spoilers, as promised), she becomes acclimated to setting things she loves free. If one of your beloved marketing campaigns isn’t pulling in leads anymore, it’s likely outdated and needs to be let go.

To determine which marketing campaigns aren’t working for you anymore, you can assign a unique toll-free number (TFN) to each campaign. With the help of an inbound lead tracker you can record how many phone calls each campaign yields. Once you’ve decided which campaigns you’re in a love-hate relationship with, you can redistribute your budget to commit to the ones that love you back.

What are some of your favorite Meredith Grey marketing tips? Let us know in the comments.

Read These Tips Before Your Business Joins Social Media (or After — It's Not Too Late)

Young people using mobile devicesSo you want to use social media. Great! Social media can be a valuable part of your marketing strategy. It gives you an easy way to interact with customers directly and gets them thinking about you more frequently.

But with pins, likes, favorites and follows, how can you keep all these social media channels straight? How are you going to know which platforms give you the most bang for your marketing buck?

If you're diving headfirst into the world of social media marketing, here are some tips to help you get what you want out of your new adventure.

Get the Voice Right


It's easy to look at social media and think that participating on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter requires a fun attitude. After all, just look at the way big brands like Pizza Hut and Coca-Cola interact with customers on social media. They share a ton of fun pictures, videos and GIFs, and people love them.

However, having an uninhibited voice on social media isn't right for everybody. A company that produces medical supplies wouldn't benefit from a goofy Twitter persona. In fact, LinkedIn might be a better fit than Twitter due to the seriousness of the company's life-saving products. When you're planning which social media platforms to use, be sure you know what kind of tone you need to use to convey your message.

Avoid Emoji Overload


We Heart our customers and enjoy Smiley with them through our not-always-serious blog. Would you believe that we're planning on doing a blog post where we talk Pizza, Taco and Cake? We're just kidding, of course (maybe not about the cake).

Society has really embraced the usage of emojis, especially among millennials. It's like they prefer Egyptian hieroglyphics to written words. While using emojis in your social media campaigns can be a good way to connect with the people who use them the most — check out the Domino's pizza-ordering emoticon — you can still go overboard. Chevrolet's mysterious emoji press release for the new Cruze is a perfect example of how you can go too far with them. If you're going to use emojis, just be sure you don't use so many that nobody can decipher your message.

Know the Value


So you've figured out what tone fits your company best and you're trying really hard not to Heart emoticons too much, but what does it all mean? How does social media help your business? Sure, you can see how many times you've been liked, shared, pinned or retweeted, but you need to know if those individual digital cheers are making you money, let alone making the investment worth it.

Social media marketing can be a valuable tool in building brand awareness, but it can be a money pit if you and your staff are focusing time and effort on your social media presence but customers aren't ultimately buying from you. If your social media marketing is generating leads, you need to know about it. That's where an online analytics tool that tracks online-to-offline conversions would come in handy. Once potential customers click through your social media ads to visit your website, you'll know exactly what they viewed on your website and can then trace their phone calls back to the social media ads that drove them there.

If you're ready to hop on the social media bandwagon, you need to know about potential social media pitfalls. Read our post "What We Can Learn From These Social Media Disasters."

How to Take Advantage of 2016 Mobile Opportunities (Spoiler: Track Calls)

hand grabbing digitized money symbols
If you don't read anything else in this post, read this: To take advantage of mobile opportunities this year, you need to track your calls. Trying to take advantage of mobile opportunities without tracking calls is like trying to take a selfie without a selfie stick. It can be done, but it takes more work.

We've always said that tracking calls is important, but this year, it's more urgent than ever. This year, calls from both smartphones and landlines will be influencing more than $1 trillion in consumer spending. At least, that's what BIA/Kelsey analysts have predicted. To put that in perspective, that's about 15 percent of the total amount spent on offline products and services.

Now listen up, advertisers. Mobile is where you want to focus your advertising dollars. According to BIA/Kelsey's predictions, there will be more than 100 billion phone calls to businesses from mobile devices this year. If you don't already have a call tracking and analytics platform in place, get one now! If you do use call tracking, here's what you need to focus on.

Online-to-Offline Conversion Attribution


When someone finds your business online and places a call, you need to be able to figure out what advertising source generated the call to get a complete picture of your advertising. That's where an online-to-offline conversion comes in handy. One of the best ways to see this type of conversion is to use Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) technology, which automatically assigns a unique toll-free number to a guest when they click through an ad to your website. That unique number is displayed on your website, so when the visitor calls it, you'll know immediately what ad source generated the call. (You can read a little bit more about how DNI works here.)

Side note: If you're nervous about the negative impact to your local search rankings on Google when using different phone numbers on your website, don't be! The numbers aren't hard coded into your site but rather automatically generated by a snippet of JavaScript code, which Google doesn’t crawl.

Local Targeting


BIA/Kelsey also predicts local advertising will be a huge opportunity this year. Of the total mobile ad spend, 38 percent of advertising will be location-targeted. By 2020, that number could be as high as 43 percent! That's not surprising. With smartphones offering location services, it's easier than ever for consumers to perform a search on their phone and quickly pull up a list of local businesses that can meet whatever need (or want) they have.

Operational Improvements


Call tracking and analytics will not only help marketers with attribution but also with improving operations. By tying in leads to a CRM, for example, marketers can see which types of advertising are leading to customers. They can then cut out ads that aren't effective, decrease wasted ad spend and increase ROI. In the call center, call recording functionality will help managers review agents' customer service skills (or lack thereof), and intelligent speech-recognition technology will scan calls for important keywords (e.g., product names, cuss words) that can help identify areas for improvement.

Don't miss out on your piece of that $1 trillion pie. Track your calls and make the most of mobile advertising.

What's your mobile advertising strategy this year?

Three Great Marketing Tips from These Super Bowl Ads

It's easy to see why marketing teams put so much effort into their Super Bowl commercials. After all, you have millions of eyes watching, and many of them care more about the commercials than they do the game.

From humorous to emotional to just plain weird — Puppymonkeybaby anyone? — this year's Super Bowl commercials had a little bit of everything. Here are some of our favorite ads from the big game and what we can learn from them.

Pantene's Heartwarming Dad-'Dos

Girl rocking her Dad-'Do
Image courtesy YouTube

Football players are tough, but that doesn't mean those big, burly athletes can't give their daughters precious hairdos. Pantene rounded up several NFL players to show off their "Dad-'Do" skills — that is, how they do their daughters' hair — and to send a deeper message about the importance of being a good father.

Pantene didn't directly feature its products in the ad, but instead focused on the message "Strong Is Beautiful" and directed viewers to its YouTube channel to see separate videos of each dad. This approach makes the company's ad more memorable because it focuses on the message rather than one of thousands of hair care products. Using a strong, emotional message in your campaigns can get more attention than generic product advertisements.

Amazon Crashes Alec Baldwin's Super Bowl Party

Dan Marino, Alec Baldwin and Missy Elliott walk through a house party
Image courtesy YouTube

Who knew Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino was such a rude party guest? Well that's nothing Alec Baldwin's Amazon Echo can't handle. The voice-activated device helped Marino and Baldwin take jabs at each other's career and helped rapper Missy Elliott "release" a new song during Amazon's first-ever Super Bowl commercial.

Amazon made its Super Bowl debut memorable with Baldwin's star-studded party, but it's really aiming to shake up the way people live with its new device. If you're bringing something new to the market — something that will change the way people operate on a day-to-day basis — you have to really get your audience's attention. Seeing Jason Schwartzman lob an empanada at Marino got our attention. And had us rolling on the floor.

Heinz Gets Cute With Stampeding Hot Dogs

Dachshund dressed as a hot dog
Image courtesy Heinz

Did you think we forgot about the dogs? We LOVE dog commercials. Though Budweiser didn't bring back those adorable puppies from years past, Heinz gave us some puppies that ranked high up on the cuteness scale. How can you forget the image of a herd of Dachshunds dressed as hot dogs galloping through a field?

These hot dogs were so adorable and memorable that the commercial was ranked the second-best Super Bowl ad by USA Today readers. It might not have been a tear-jerker like Budweiser's recent puppy commercials, but it still elicited a mass "awww" from us. However we know this cuteness might not be for everyone. When it comes to planning your campaigns, be sure you know what emotions you want to evoke and that your audience will respond favorably. Otherwise a cute ad for a serious product could fall flat.

What were your favorite Super Bowl commercials? Let us know in the comments.

Which Starbucks Beverage Describes Your Marketing?

Following the seasons of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Peppermint Mochas, it’s hard not to develop a healthy obsession (oxymoron? Nah.) with Starbucks.

As we sit at our desks sipping on our lattes, it’s easy to see some similarities between these drinks and our marketing practices. So what beverage describes your marketing?

Caramel Macchiato


anatomy of a caramel macchiato
Image source
You may or may not know, but a caramel macchiato has several layers of texture and different flavors, so it packs quite a punch with every sip. Although it has about five different components, the Caramel Macchiato comes together into one silky smooth cup of joe. Ever heard of a little thing called multichannel marketing?

Multichannel marketing is the Caramel Macchiato. This practice demands the use of several platforms to reach consumers, but you have to convey one cohesive message. That’s not the easiest task, considering every marketing medium has a different audience. But, like a Starbucks barista, by using the right ingredients and best practices, you can achieve one great drink — er, campaign.


White Chocolate Mocha Latte


anatomy of a white chocolate mocha
Image source
Called a “White Mocha” for short, this delectable and indulgent beverage is jam-packed with sweetness and white-chocolaty goodness. Sometimes it feels more like dessert than coffee, but who ever said that was a bad thing? If your consumers feel like they get a treat any time they see your marketing, you just might be the White Mocha.

What kinds of treats, you ask? Take a look at Google. You may not realize it, but almost every time you visit Google’s home page, you see its marketing. The Google Doodles (especially the interactive ones) are there to differentiate Google from its competitors. These doodle treats inspire brand loyalty — just like that delicious White Mocha.


Caffé Americano

anatomy of a caffe americano
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Ah, the bold, the original: the Caffé Americano. It’s straightforward and simple; it doesn’t need any sugar or flavored syrup to grab attention and cause a stir (pun intended). Sometimes people just want to see your product in its simplest form. But just because you don’t add anything extra doesn’t mean it’s boring.

In fact, one of the greatest campaigns of all time (“A Diamond Is Forever” by De Beers) doesn’t have any bells or whistles — just diamonds. De Beers made a bold move by showcasing its product for exactly what it is, and it worked. If you follow in De Beers’ footsteps and boldly display your product with no distractions, call yourself a Caffé Americano.

Now that you know what type of coffee your marketing is, check out this infographic to learn what type of coffee you are as a person.