Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Most Important Ad You'll Ever Create For Your Practice or Firm

Creation of a great tagline should be considered the first and most important ad (better termed marketing communication) a company does. Ideally, it should be created in conjunction with naming the business and logo design. Taglines define your company, practice or firm, its attitude, and how the public and your employees will view your business in the shortest concise manner possible. That being said,  developing your tagline should not be something you come up with shooting the breeze with your family and/or friends over a few beers.  It is an important element that defines who you are as a company and should not be created carelessly.  A lot of our clients come to us to help course correct this situation once they are ready to take their business to the next level.
If you choose not to hire a professional marketing agency initially when developing your tagline, you need to have a few factors in mind:  What is your position in the market place? What is your brand personality?  Who is the target consumer that you are trying to reach? Once you have answered these questions; you now have some foundation to begin the creation of your tagline. There are several other elements but these will provide you a minimal foundation. If you just make up a tagline because you think it sounded cool or your mom liked it; how do you know it will create a positive space for you in the mind of your consumers.  If you choose to hire a professional, be sure to choose a marketing agency like Reformation Productions 
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that focuses on brand development and not simply a graphic designer or webmaster. Few graphic designers or webmasters realize that taglines create a first impression and communicate just as much -- if not more -- than a fancy home page or brochure. The best taglines separate you from your competition, express your personality and add to your branding and marketing campaign. A tagline should tell not only what your company does; it should also make it clear how you are unique compared to your competition.
So imagine you've done it. The business partners have agreed on a new tagline. Maybe you came up with it in-house, or maybe you spent money hiring a professional marketing agency. Either way, getting it approved was not easy. Simply deciding on a new tagline isn't enough. So use it! Your tagline should be incorporated into all of your marketing. It should define the way your company, practice and/or firm does business and should give clients a reason to hire you. It’s a mission statement. A reason to be. Don’t let it go to waste.
However, it’s not enough to slap your new tagline on your logo, place it on your website and business cards and leave it. Embrace the new tagline and incorporate it into your daily messaging is just as important. Develop marketing campaigns around it, find a way to incorporate it into the way your gatekeepers answer the phone, and make it a part of your company, practice and/or firm’s essence.

If you are ready to take your company, practice or firm to the next level call Reformation Productions. Our team looks forward to helping you Think in Straight Lines when it comes to marketing your brand.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Atlanta Marketing Agency Reformation Productions with client NGBC

The founder of Reformation Productions, B. Zachary Bennett on RadioX joined by Master Director of the North Georgia Business Connection, Rob Donahue

Understand who and what Reformation Productions is all about and what we can do to help business owners create their brand position in the market place.

Reformation Productions is an Atlanta marketing agency, call for a consultation today. 678-825-8086 X104

Monday, March 10, 2014

Target - No Aim

Target - Your Customer     No Aim - Wrong Marketing Strategy
Target - No Aim
Right Consumer, Wrong Strategy

First quarter is soon behind us, it's time for many businesses to kick start their marketing into high gear. Even the thought makes you frustrated, yet you know it is necessary. Frustrated because you know your target consumer, though for some reason with every effort and dollar spent trying, you're not reaching them. It's possible that what you may have is the right consumer target but you're using the wrong strategy messaging or creative to reach them. Learning how to see the differences in the desires of your targeted customers and how to reach them using the right creative or the correct marketing strategy is often a missing link that causes frustration in marketing efforts, not to mention the disappearing "bottom line" or ROI. "Guessing", "hoping" and "winging it", when it comes to the "what" and "how to's" of reaching your target is like shooting from the hip with little or no aim.  Instead, aim! Follow the 4 steps to strategically aim at your target consumer:

1. Identify - know who you are as a brand, outside of the product/service you sell.
2. Listen - know who your speaking to. Rather than worrying about "selling" your product/service; understanding how your customers are going to deploy the products and/or services they buy from        you; how will they use it to enrich their lives.
3. Think - know what you need to say based on who you are and who you are speaking to.
4. Speak - know how you are going to convey your message creatively with the marketing tools you put in front of your target consumer.

Now your marketing efforts are aiming in a Straight Line. This is the goal of every business owner's marketing efforts, a straight shot to your consumer. So the next time you need a website, print collateral, logo design, video production, photography, or any other communication tool you may need, THINK IN STRAIGHT LINES.

Reformation Productions is an Atlanta marketing agency, call for a consultation today. 678-825-8086 X104

Friday, March 7, 2014

Noisy Marketing

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Art of War

marketing strategy that allows you to clearly demonstrate who you are as a brand, how your brand is different, how your brand brings value, and who makes an ideal client for your business is the most important element of marketing. Developing a solid marketing strategy often begins with conducting market research to determine who you are as a brand, the wants and needs of your intended customers. Businesses without marketing strategies may find that they have focused their marketing efforts on the wrong audience, using the wrong communication tools, and often times conveying the wrong messages to the wrong target. Ultimately, their tactics will be hindered by lack of focus and direction provided by a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is NOT setting goals, your objectives or even your mission. It is a clear concise explanation of how (not where or what) your stated plan of execution is to reach your marketing objectives. In order for a business to achieve a measure of success, an effective strategy must be in place before any set of tactics make sense....a straight line to your consumer begins with a Marketing Strategy. Contact Reformation Productions today schedule a Marketing Critique to identify where your marketing efforts have fallen short or where you are right on target. 

Reformation Productions is an Atlanta marketing agency, call today 678-825-8086 X104

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Marketing Idiot


Using tools, no matter how sophisticated, is more about the person and process using them than the tool. Give an idiot a high-powered circular-saw, and he’s going to do some damage to the work-piece and/or himself. But in the hands of a master craftsman, you get impressive results.
Same goes for the tools you choose, no matter how great the marketing tool is website, print collateral, social media platforms, etc. if you do not understand how to create them in a way to speak to your consumers in a way that they will respond positively or you do not follow the proven marketing process, you may end up doing more damage than good; wasting your time and hard earned money.

Don't be a marketing idiot. Consult with a marketing agency to create a proactive plan and begin using tools that will give you the impressive results you are seeking.  Reformation Productions is an Atlanta marketing agency, call for a consultation today. 678-825-8086 X104

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Marketing + Sales = Results

Selling is not Marketing -- Marketing is not Selling
Marketing + Sales = Results
Most small businesses have not establish a formal marketing process. Their marketing ideas come from their own ideas, competitors or advise from other business owners and often "wing it". Such businesses equate marketing with selling; they don’t conceive of marketing as a broader way to position their company. As they grow to a larger more successful company, the management recognize that there is more to marketing than setting the four P’s: product, pricing, place, and promotion. They determine that effective marketing calls for people skilled in branding, targeting, strategy, positioning and creative. Once companies hire a marketing agency with those skills, marketing becomes a function inside sales, and a sales function inside marketing.
Reformation Production, an Atlanta marketing agency, will help you take your company to the next level. Guiding you through the marketing process.  We call it Straight Line Marketing. Why? Because the fastest way to get from Point A (Your Product/Services) to Point B (Your Customers) is a straight line.  So, the next time you think marketing, think in straight lines! Contact Reformation Productions today and take your company to the next level. 678-825-8086 X104

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Understanding our space; what is a marketing agency?

There is a lot of confusion in the local, small, and regional business arena as to what a Marketing Agency actually does. This is mainly because of the exploitation of several "buzz words" by companies that seem to claim to do the same things that an actual agency does. For example, your local signage store than tells you they can help brand your company or the place where you order your promotional items, like pens and mousepads with your logo on them, saying that they are a branding specialist. It's also the newspaper that tells you they can design your ad for free or for a little charge when you buy space in their paper or the t-shirt printer that tells you that ordering your shirts printed from them includes doing the art work. It's the guy that bought a video camera from Best Buy telling you that he can shoot a web video for you by himself for cheap or a sales rep from a print shop telling you that they also do collateral materials such as brochures, folders, and point-of-service materials and design is just a $100 more. These buzz words are being used to help these companies obtain business in a difficult economy, I get it. But they are also misleading business owners as to what true marketing, branding, and advertising really is. Unintentionally, maybe, but it's happening and business owners are confused and misled by it.

A marketing agency, aka a marketing firm, is a company the specializes in bring your product or service to market using the most efficient and effective means possible. They do not sell products or tools for getting your product or service to market, though they will definitely use several to do the job. Their function is primarily to counsel their clients in the best ways to bring their product/service to market and creating the strategies and tools to do it. Their expertise is what their clients pay for.

Reformation Productions is a marketing agency like BBDO, McCann-Erickson, Ogilvy & Mather, Shelton Communications, JWT, etc. We happen to focus on small and regional business and are much younger than these which is why we are the least expensive marketing agency in our area. But we are a full service marketing firm just the same. You've seen the movies "Like Father, Like Son" and "What Women Want"... that's what we do. We obsess over the best, most efficient, and effective ways to market your product/service. Most people have no idea the detail, research, and thought that goes into bringing products/services to market... nor do most cognitively appreciate the brilliance that is behind things like the subliminal, forward pointing arrow that's hidden within the red, white, and blue Federal Express logo. But that is what marketing agencies do. And, yes, we get offended by others that claim to play in the same sandbox we do but don't put the same care, detail, and thinking into what they are doing but rather try to "make a quick buck". When confronted, most will admit they they don't and can't do what a marketing agency does but that hasn't stopped them from misleading and confusing companies. This is how companies can be in business for 15 years and still think their brand is their logo or their slogan. They've trusted someone who told them something that simply wasn't true. And, yes, that offends marketing agencies also. How dare you abuse the trust that companies put in professionals that claim to do marketing simply because you never "really said" that you did real marketing. It's what my grandfather used to call "talking the talk but not walking the walk."

Marketing Firms get into the origins and personality of a company then dive into the mind and heart of the company's consumers only to resurface with a smart, comprehensive strategy for bringing those two entities together in a mutually beneficial relationship that will last. We determine the best most applicable tools and methods to reach your customers then we build the creative elements necessary, based on what we've learned your customers will respond to, to carry out those strategies through the tools..whatever they may be. It's not about 'do we build websites' or 'manage social media' or 'conduct consumer research' or 'design ads and brochures' or 'buy media to place your ad in'... it's about the thinking behind those things and ensuring that everything falls in line perfectly and proactively according to the thinking that was uncovered.

So yes, we do web design, social media, radio spots, web videos, tv commercials, business consulting, branding, consumer research, print ad design, campaign development, billboards, vehicle wraps, direct mail, etc...all of us do. That's where the full service part comes in.... but it's not what marketing is all about. It's only a small piece of it. And if you are considering working with a company that does some of, part of, or things in addition to these elements... beware, you may not be working with a marketing agency at all... but someone who dabbles in certain pieces of it.

All marketing agencies use print shops (because we aren't printers); newspapers, radio stations, and tv networks (because we aren't media); signage companies (because we don't manufacture signage), etc. It's not these these companies are bad people. But they are...what they are... at their core, what do they do? Would you use a pediatrician to conduct ovarian surgery? Both are in the medical field and both have to do with children? No? Why? Because it's not their core function. We are here, in the small & regional business arena, to help growing companies reach professional marketing; to use all the thoughts, principals, theories, and schoolings of the marketing firm arena; for businesses that may not be able to afford to larger, older corporate agencies. But yes, we are more expensive than the print shop that says they will layout your brochure for you, but then again, they don't do what we do... if you call up BBDO, you'll find we are MUCH more inexpensive :) And besides, you've worked your life into your company, isn't it worth more than "who's cheapest"? Try this, the next time one of these vendors or media reps ask for to design your ad in their paper, ask them who you are. Ask them who your customers are. Ask them how your customers think? Ask them why someone would want to do business with you or buy from you. Ask them if they can match consistency across all your marketing materials. Then compare the level of work. Smart and effective or just getting by?

We, the marketing agencies, are also not a design firm. I know several colleagues who get upset when their clients tell them how to design their ad, brochure, etc. You see, marketing agencies are their to serve your company's brand and to do what is best for it... not to design something according to how a client personally likes it. Their job is to tell their clients what they should and should not do when it comes to creative and strategy. "Don't I get some input?" of course you do! Heavens yes! It's your company! But there is a level of trust and respect that must be there between and true marketing firm and their clients for the partnership to truly work. Using a marketing firm as a design house is simply wasting your money. Then again, so is hiring them to consult you on what's best then you going out and trying to find somewhere to create what they've built because you think it's less expensive (it's also offensive to the marketing agency)....because it won't be right, most of the time, and they'll have to rebuild it anyway or tell your other guy how. Remember, you pay them to know what to do to best serve your brand...and cutting corners won't be part of it. Efficient spending and wise decisions, yes. That's the goal of marketing... to find the most cost effective way to bring your product to market in a way that is reflective of your brand and that will work (connect with your consumers). Your marketing agency wants you to be successful because if you are successful, they are successful. Their work and your work are the same. You are partners and success is mutually beneficial.