All posts by Derrick Wadsworth

Putting The “Social” Back in Social Media

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the trend started, but too often businesses become singularly focused when considering Social Media content.  That focus is usually on driving sales.  While that seems like a good plan in theory, the results often lead to the consumer eventually ignoring a company’s ads or turning their backs on opportunities to engage with the company.        

The fatal flaw comes from not following the 80/20 rule of Social Media.  Simply put, the rule encourages 80% of content be a mix of outside information and your own highlights (articles, tools, resources, humor) with NO sales objective.  There is value in engaging a consumer and building that relationship.  You want to create content that makes a person think, learn or laugh.  You can then spend the remaining 20% of your time asking for the sale or lead.  

Every business has a different goal for Social Media.  Generate fans, create brand awareness, improve customer service or sell a product… whatever the objective, Ad Spark can help. 

If you need further assistance, Ad Spark is available.  We offer Social Media Management, Content Creation and Ad Placement.      


Emotional Money

Having recently completed our summer vacation, I’m a self-proclaimed expert about emotional money. What I’m referring to is the effect being on a “vacation” has on your pocket book and what are the factors in our mind that make us spend more freely.

Let me give an example. When I’m at home I don’t go out to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the same day while also buying snacks, taking a harbor cruise on a whim or buy $40 worth of ponchos you use once to take a ride that may get you wet. Maybe that’s an extreme example, but it’s things that happened while I was on vacation.

So, what changed in my mind to make the guy that cringes on buying a new shirt so footloose and fancy-free? Best I can figure is, and I’m not a psychiatrist, but it’s the “emotions”.

I wanted everyone to be happy and feel satisfied that we had the best trip we could have. I wanted to provide experiences for my kids that they would remember the rest of their lives. I really wanted for my son to get the Darth Vader hat, my daughter to get the Mickey Mouse earrings, and of course, everyone needs ice cream and Dole whips. And you know what…we had a great time and have the pictures to prove it and remember it by.

Have you ever watched Say Yes to the Dress? My wife watches it all time, so therefore I do too. Women drop thousands of dollars on a dress they wear once. The dress shop builds a buying experience around these high dollar dresses that families and friends come to so that they can hear her say yes…to the dress. They have changing rooms and then another room for the families and friends to pick apart the dress as the bride stands on a pedestal for everyone to see.

Sure, they could go look at the dress racks themselves, but they want to describe their perfect dress to a professional and have them search. They want a seamstress to place darts and provide a custom experience. And for this entire experience, they are willing to pay more.

Ever had the mission to find your child the perfect gift or gifts for Christmas? Do they need it? Not necessarily. But you want the jaw dropping experience of surprising your child with a something that maybe they didn’t expect or even something that even makes your kids cry in appreciation. You’d spend more to provide that wouldn’t you?

I give all of these examples to ask the question: How does your business capture your customer’s emotions to give them warm feelings about your product?

Yours doesn’t even have to be a large purchase. I spent $4 on a cup of coffee today and it was worth it. I was greeted warmly, provided a product that met my specification in a timely manner, and then provided a location with free wifi to work in. The smells and ambiance I have found are conducive for writing and working plus I feel really cool working out of a Starbucks every once in awhile.

Think about the environment you create around your products.

  • Is it a fun experience looking at your products?
  • What are things that you can change to make it fun or to increase the perceived value?
  • How do you greet customers online, on social media, in person?
  • How does your physical location look?
  • Would you want to be there if you didn’t work there?

This is the point where I always like to say we can help…but truthfully, all we can do is guide you. And we’ll be happy to do that. But in the end, to increase your customer’s perceived value of your products and develop a positive emotion purchasing experience – there must be a culture shift that starts at the top.

It can start right now, today – contact us and let’s get it started.

Image Or Results

Don’t be deceived by the title. You don’t have to choose. But for small business owners, you must prioritize. When faced with this balancing act we encourage you to return to what drives your business forward.

Many local businesses miss the mark of connecting with their audience because they choose trendy, over-polished and often vague creative instead of identifying and then building off their already solid reputations. It can’t be stated enough that to succeed YOU MUST BE YOU. That means your creative needs to continue to tell your story in an effective manner. If that requires a more “local” or “unpolished” feel to do so. We say jump in head first.   Not every advertising budget is created equal. Not every company is Nike or Apple where a simple swoosh or icon is all that’s needed to create familiarity.

Work within yourselves to create, project and brand your company in a way that will not only connect with your target customer, but will generate significant results. That should be daily goal of all advertising. Because, in the end, it’s only creative if it works. Creating a buzz is great, but what we really want to see is an increase in profit. Our advice: NEVER sacrifice actual results for a perceived image.

Rudy – Rudy – Rudy

Most of you are familiar with the 1993 film “Rudy.”  I must admit I have lost many afternoons of productiveness due to stumbling upon the movie while channel surfing. Rudy’s goal is to play football for Notre Dame, but before that’s possible, he must get accepted into the university, a task that will require extreme dedication and hard work. After several attempts, Rudy realizes his dream may be slipping away. While in conversation with a priest that had been counseling him, he asks the question, “Have I done all I can?”

I wonder how many business owners can truthfully answer “yes” to that question when it comes to promoting their company. Just like Rudy they’ve dedicated themselves to achieving something special only to leave a disconnect between their services and the potential customer.

Advertising has no blueprint, no set of Cliff’s Notes to guide you. Even if there were, how quickly would it become outdated in the ever- evolving world of branding and marketing? That is why The Ad Spark and other like-minded agencies are of benefit to many business owners. Our services and philosophies allow them a choice beyond the 2 most common and often detrimental options; 1) Handle the advertising decisions themselves. 2) Pay a high-cost agency to handle the advertising on their behalf.

I know many business owners want a say in how their ad dollars are spent, some even enjoy the marketing process. In my spare time I enjoy checking out homes and floor plans, I even have suggestions that would improve them.  But when it’s time to build or design, I want to hand over my suggestions and advice to those that have specific expertise in the field. Thus a true partnership is born.

So, in my discussion with business owners about their advertising, if I’m ever asked, “Have I done all I can”, my response would be, “who have you partnered with?”

Let’s work together to have potential customers chanting your name!

The Value of a Like

You want me to pay to reach the people I’ve already reached? That’s what businesses have been asking these past couple of months with Facebook’s newest roll-out for delivering content to your News Feed. It seems as though a person simply liking a page no longer ensures they will ever see content from that page.

There’s just too much competition for a person’s News Feed. Enter Promoted Posts, which is essentially pay-for-placement advertising. But is adding and steering businesses down this path essentially devalued a business’ Page Likes? The answer can’t be found in a definitive “yes” or “no.”

If Facebook has taught us anything it’s that they will continue to evolve (for personal and business use) and that we must continue to adapt in order to continue reaching the consumer. In our opinion, the value of a like hasn’t been devalued – it’s been revalued. The pieces of the puzzle have just been moved around and it’s going to take some getting used to for a lot of people. It’s not as easy as it once was, but there is still great branding/results opportunities within the confines of Facebook.

If you’d like to learn more about Social Media Plans for your business, please contact us today.