The Strength of Each Media

With the end of another year quickly approaching, businesses spend a great deal of time reflecting on the previous year’s advertising successes and losses. Probably while chugging caffeine. When thinking about the improvements you want to make ask yourself this question: Have you updated your strategy and media tactics to reflect the ever-changing consumption habits of today’s consumers? If not, we know someone who can help. Spoiler: it’s us. Reach out.

Thinking specifically about your media mix, it’s important that a business give their consumers the right message in the right place at the right time. A balanced media mix is critical.

Television

Television is an inherently credible medium. It’s got the mass audience, the ability to engage a large audience and the dynamics of a visual medium. Plus, being on set means tons of free snacks. Aside from sugar rushes during shoots, the benefit of television’s broad reach can be outweighed by the complexities and heavy costs of production and media buying.

Print

Print continues to have a valuable place in media. It’s not dead yet, people. It’s a connection to the community, a time-sensitive medium with an “expiration date” — great for retail promotions and a direct injection into a consumer’s home. However, the audience for many print-media has dwindled and it can still be expensive.

Digital Video

Digital video is growing like mad. As a visual, creative and compelling platform, digital video is a very targeted and cost-effective alternative to television that can deliver a specified audience. When produced (which can be expensive) it can also be used in a variety of platforms — pre-roll, social media and more. It’s like grandpa’s Honda Civic — gotta lotta mileage.

Radio

Radio has changed more in the past decade than Lady Gaga’s hairstyles. With formats like digital, satellite and traditional broadcast, it continues to maintain strength in its frequency. Radio is a routine for listeners (morning, afternoon, commutes, etc.) and provides an advertiser with the opportunity for a great narrative. Buying for radio, however, is a little more complex, expensive and there is the minimal cost to record.

Digital Display/Retargeting

Display is another modern media platform. It gets your business in front of the right people online based on context, behavior, geography, demographics and more. It allows a consumer to link directly back to an advertiser’s site with the added benefit of tracking exactly how they got there.

It’s not as Big Brother as it sounds.

Creative is important here — you’re meant to attract a consumer’s attention and you have to be aware of where your ads appear. This media can be quite cost-effective but requires an added layer of responsibility.

Paid Search (SEM)

Paid search, search-engine-marketing (SEM), pay-per-click (PPC). Sound familiar? These are all ads tied to the delivery of impressions at no cost and require payment only for consumers who actively click on ads. Search is the perfect environment for reaching those consumers who actively seek for your product. It lands back on an advertiser’s site and is an essential piece to maintaining market share. It requires consistent monitoring but is well-worth the investment.

Social

Social is where content is top dog. A great platform for growing and/or small businesses, social was once considered “free” but has quickly become a pay-to-play environment. Social content creates a unique tie to its audience and gives any advertiser the opportunity to give a credible tie back to its product. With such a conversational nature, social media is where loyal customers can be very quickly gained or lost.

Outdoor

In the words of Disney’s Ariel, you want to be where the people are. Outdoor (billboards) provides mass appeal and statement. There are complexities in buying and production — so investing in someone with creative experience is very important. However, there are huge reach, frequency and credibility benefits associated with outdoor advertising. Bonus if there’s a traffic jam.


Video Production: Two Reasons Quality Matters, and One Reason It Doesn’t

We’ve all seen bad video production in advertising. Typically, these digital or TV spots are produced for a couple thousand dollars, and you can tell. Bad lighting. Poor acting. Terrible writing. They look like they’ve been shot with a camera phone from 2007. They’re among the spots that give advertising — and the companies they’re done for — a bad name. If you’d like to improve your video production quality, hire us.

In a consumer’s mind, poor production quality equals poor product quality. If your advertising for a car is bad, by association so is your car, and that harms your brand — your most valuable asset.

Dominion Energy, one of our clients, understands the need to have high-quality production. See this spot encouraging people to prep their furnaces for winter.

Your spot is all people see, so treat it like you would your personal social media. They’d much rather see (and you’d rather show) photographs of you in your Sunday best instead of pictures of you in your sweats eating Doritos from the bag. They’ll only see a beautifully shot commercial no matter how much planning, research and media buying you’ve done in preparation.

Unfortunately, this mistake is all too common. A company will spend $500,000 dollars in media, but only $20,000 on creative. It’s like putting tens of thousands of dollars into building a new car, but letting your five-year old paint it with a couple of spray cans.

So, production matters. But didn’t we promise to say how it doesn’t? Well, honestly, it always matters. So yeah, nothing really to add here.

Some of Utah’s most well-known brands use Faktory. You should, too.

If you’d like to up the production quality of your videos or TV spots (and it’s less expensive than you think), hire us.


The Power of a Good Visual

As humans, we’ve always been visual creatures.

In prehistoric times, we covered cave walls in orange and black paint to better tell stories about great hunts and victories. During the the Middle Ages, monks used imagery alongside written word to bring virtues and allegories to life. Currently, classic works have become cinematic trilogies and emojis fill text messages and emails across the globe.

Imagery, both static and video, has always helped us digest information. This is why it’s a critical component in the advertising world. Hire us to get it right.

Visuals matter. Like a lot. People process visuals about a billion times faster than plain text (okay, it’s actually about 60,000 times faster). With an ever-shrinking attention span, companies are clawing to sell their product.

Visuals work to your advantage because they are widely understood. To some degree, they even bridge language, cultural and demographic barriers. They help people feel comfortable if you’re using relatable imagery or feel excited if it’s exotic and extraordinary.

Here’s some tough love: If your content is being ignored, you are likely lacking visuals or need to re-evaluate them.

Visuals amplify your message. Online consumers only retain 10–20% of information they read or hear. However, when paired with a visual, consumers actually retain 65%. With easier access to screens in every demographic, the question isn’t “should I use visuals?” so much as “how should I use them?”

The true power of a visual shines best when combined with other content. There’s a saying in the design world that 1+1=3. It means that when an appropriate visual is combined with crafted content, the two items become more than the sum of their parts, transcend their original context and become their own entity.

It’s how a message about saving money on your gas bill combined with 25 cats doesn’t seem to make sense on paper, but in the hands of skilled creatives is a memorable reason to get a Home Energy Plan.

Side note: cats are awful at taking direction on set.

Utilizing the right kind of visuals for social, print, online, or video will not only get more views and engagement, it will attract the right kind of attention from your intended audience. Understanding this is exactly why you should hire us.


Why Do Media Buying Relationships Matter?

If you’ve ever seen the show ‘Mad Men,’ then you’ve seen a glimpse into the golden years of advertising. While the show was, well, a show, relationships with others were key to keeping the agency doors open. If that were the Iron Age of advertising, and we’re now in the Modern Age, relationships (with media buying and sellers specifically) would be the wheel — it’ll always be a part of advertising society. Mutual respect and transparency are key.

If you’re a media planner/buyer who just treats media partners as vendors, know that you could be getting more value for your clients. If you’re not developing meaningful relationships with your media partners, you’re risking everything.

If you’re a brand manager or agency client and are curious about what the media sellers in your market think of your media buyer, ask one of them!

Unsure about your media planners or buyers? They should:

  • Be responsive
  • Be respectful
  • Pick up the phone
  • Get out from behind the computer screen

If the report isn’t positive, have a talk with your ad agency and be sure they are working hard on your behalf. Here is what’s commonly at stake:

  • Better rates
  • Preferred placements
  • Preferential treatment for upgrades
  • Enhanced digital reporting
  • First offers for added value
  • Flexibility (with deadlines, editorial)
  • Honesty
  • Responsiveness

The world of media shouldn’t have drama of a popular television show, but it does.


Ways to Drive Internet Traffic You’re Probably Not Using

Your marketing team uses a combo of search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (SMM) and search and display ad strategies to send thousands of unique visitors to your company’s website every month (all very common internet media). Things are going great, right? But, what else could your marketing team be doing?

Video marketing. Mobile marketing. Music promotion.

Do you need help implementing these mediums into your company’s digital marketing strategy? Then hire us.

Video Marketing

People love video, especially on mobile. 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos per week, and over half of video content is viewed on mobile. It’s great for engagement, ROI, branding, increasing conversion rates, reaching large audiences, message retainment, paychecks and sleeping better at night. Who wouldn’t want that?

By 2019, internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer traffic. Your marketing team needs to use it in your company’s digital marketing strategy.

Did you know that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it? That means you won’t remember most of this blog post. Please, just remember who posted it.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile advertising is hot right now. Like fast food hot chocolate hot — the kind that still burns your tongue half an hour later. On average, more than half of any website’s traffic will come from smartphones and it’s growing every year. That’s a ton of traffic that your company could be missing out on if your marketing team isn’t utilizing mobile advertising.

To make the most of mobile advertising, responsive design and pinpoint copywriting are absolutes. Consumers will leave your company’s website almost immediately or become annoyed at an ad if it is not optimized for mobile. A mobile responsive website, great design and copy practices, and solid execution can take your digital marketing efforts to the next level.

Music Promotion

Looking to promote your next music record? Yeah, well that’s not what we’re talking about here.

We’re talking about using audio (like Pandora or Spotify) to drive digital traffic. People love music and listen to it everywhere. In their home, in the car, in the swimming pool (okay maybe that’s just the crazies) — you name a place and people probably listen to music there. This creates an ideal opportunity for your brand to connect with your audience through advanced targeting capabilities such as location, weather and time of day. Oh, and you can reach your audience on mobile and desktop (and the swimming pool).

If done correctly, mobile, video and music marketing mediums can be powerful tools in driving more unique visitors to your company’s website.


Creativity in Digital Video: Three Keys to Effectiveness

Digital content means measurable content.

To many creatives, applying best practices to reach KPIs means stifling creative thinking — that these “limitations” will ruin perfectly good ideas. We at Faktory, however, see them as a challenge — the final boss level on our ascent to marketing greatness. In other words, it’s a great way to showcase our creative problem-solving abilities for the betterment of our clients and their products.

The combination of best practices and creativity drives success.

Yes, in digital video, the first six seconds must contain your message. That’s not stifling; that’s simply understanding your medium. Good creatives get that.

The video below shows a digital spot Faktory did for Intermountain Connect Care, Intermountain Healthcare’s virtual doctor service. Creative, yes. But still within the 6-second best practice. Oh, and the completion rate was 38% (compared to 29% another campaign achieved for a similar-sized medical group).

Pretty stellar in the healthcare space.

The traditional TV story arc isn’t as effective in digital.

The conventional lead in/build/big reveal/offer/branding used in traditional television develops too slowly for a digital audience. Nobody has the time or patience for it. Replacing it is what YouTube calls the “Emerging Story Arc.”

You begin on a high note, follow with subtle branding cues, multiple peaks and a much quicker pace. Then, at the end, there’s more story if you want it. Below is an excellent example of an Emerging Story Arc spot from the masters of digital creative, Geico.

Create for digital first, then modify for traditional.

If your agency isn’t doing this, we will happily do it for you. Just a few years ago, the equivalent would be to create for outdoor first, then modify for print. Same concept.

An effective digital spot can always be modified to be effective TV (because let’s face it, they’re melding together anyway). But it doesn’t work nearly as well the other way around.

If done correctly, applying best practices such as these to great creative is a powerful tool in building effective digital content.


Going Beyond Good

“Go beyond good.” Three giant words emblazoned on the wall of our main conference room. It’s one of the first things you’ll notice when visiting Faktory. This phrase serves as our unofficial motto. It’s the underlying idea beneath every word we write, every piece we design, and every campaign we champion. As inspiring and somewhat sappy as that may be, at the end of the day, what does it mean? What defines “good” creative and what does it mean to go “beyond”?

Good creative paints the audience into the picture. It lets them be a part of something before they ever even buy into it. I remember after having Lasik eye surgery, I had the same thought pop into my head over and over again: Had I known how amazing this was going to be, I would have prioritized this purchase above everything else. Whatever priorities our audience may have, good creative convinces them that “this” now takes the top spot. On a small scale, it may push someone into an impulse buy, but good creative has the power to make lasting change. It convinces younger generations to vote, older generations to conserve, and everyone else to buy, sell, and do.

If “good” creative has the power to influence and act as a catalyst, then going “beyond” is realizing what weight this actually carries. Knowing that our work is often the first interaction our audience has with our clients, it puts into perspective how important that first impression truly is. Whether selling a car or convincing a community that healthcare is important, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is accurately conveying the values of those that choose to work with us. What matters most is making that proper introduction between consumer and client. What matters most is realizing that people will make life decisions based on the work that we create, and that is the power of going beyond good.


The first rule of advertising.

Mycollege advertising professor, the esteemed Jon Anderson, taught me this: the first rule of advertising is nobody goes out of his or her way to look at advertising. If that were the only thing I learned in college, then every dollar I paid for my education was worth it. (Well, except all the money I spent on pizza — both my wallet and my gut wish I had been a little more frugal there.) Only Super Bowl watchers and advertising geeks like me actually seek out the ads.

Well, unless those ads are special. A number of years ago, I wrote a radio commercial that was chosen by the prestigious Radio Mercury Awards as the best radio commercial in the nation that year. But I knew we had a winning spot long before a panel of judges told us so. One night I was driving home, listening to a radio station. The DJ was about to put a caller on the air because, in the DJ’s words, the “caller (was) requesting something that has never been requested before.” He was requesting that the station play our radio commercial. That’s when I knew it was a home run; someone actually liked the ad enough to call and ask a station to play it.

That should be the goal, right? Our consumers should actually want us to speak to them. It’s possible. How many of us have searched YouTube for Old Spice ads? Consider the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign; we share those videos because we love them. We now have a phrase for this phenomenon — “going viral” — but in reality, it’s simply that the great ads have overcome Jon Anderson’s first rule of advertising; they are ads people actually want to see.

So how is that done? First, you need a truth. What is inherently true about people’s lives that connects in some way to your product? Going back to the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign, they have tapped into a truth about how women sometimes see themselves. The online videos are riveting to watch, and those #RealBeauty sketches have been shared by millions. A truth deeply connects you with your consumer.

Second, you need an emotion. We rarely like something because it appeals to our logic. In fact, I would say we never do. Even in our purchase patterns (which advertising is trying to affect), emotion is the driver. We want to think we’re being logical — for example, I think I buy an economy car because it gets great gas mileage. But in reality, I buy an economy car because I want to feel smart for being wise with my money. Every great ad has an emotion. Personally, I have a closet full of Nikes and a 20+ year history with Apple because they both speak to me with emotions.

Third, you need a story. Don’t think of this in the traditional sense. I’m not talking about a linear narrative. I’m talking about something that engages and draws us in. Last year’s Old Spice #SmellLegendary campaign is an excellent example. And it’s not simply the humor of a guy playing tennis on the back of a whale, though dang, that’s funny. It’s because I have something that rewards me as I watch it. Not every brand should do Old Spice ads. But every brand can do ads with a story.

Three simple things that make people actually want to watch, read, listen to, interact with, et al, your ads. Seems easy, right? Well, maybe the hardest part is the fourth thing: don’t mess them up by trying to say or do too much. If you’ve done those first three things well, let them be. Otherwise, your ad will quickly be relegated to the all-too-humongous pile of ads people couldn’t care less about.


Being an Ariel in Advertising

I’m writing this post while pumping. It is the reality of this woman in the workplace. I reached out to female colleagues and asked a vague question about what their experiences have been as women in the workplace. Turns out, I gave women a platform. And in a small pool of experiences, there seemed to be a sisterhood of silence.


I learned at an early age that I had to be loud. I remember I cracked a joke that was followed by silence, only to hear a boy repeat it and receive hysterical laughter. No, it wasn’t my delivery. As a woman in advertising, I’ve stayed loud. I’ve been in countless meetings as the only woman. I’ve walked on set to find myself a minority. It’s recurring moments such as these that remind me it’s my responsibility to be a representative.

—Taylor, Senior Copywriter

Being a woman in the workplace feels like an eternal battle to be acknowledged by peers, superiors, and clients. In many instances, I’ve been outright ignored or steamrolled. These experiences are exhausting, but they fuel me. I’ve learned to take control of my professional career. I don’t have the luxury of being laissez-faire. I fight every day, in every single discussion and meeting, to make sure that my ideas are heard and my opinions are taken seriously. I ensure my voice is loud enough to provide perspectives that I know are important.

— Justina, Account Executive

I find the potential labels of being a woman in the workplace challenging. I’m either too bossy and emotional or too quiet and passive. I believe men are allowed, and perhaps even encouraged, to unapologetically express their opinions. I don’t think women have the same permission to be loud. At least, not without fear of being labeled.

— Brooke, Graphic Designer/Art Director

In a male-dominated industry such as advertising, women have a lot to say but feel as if they are shouting into the void. The problem is complex. I don’t have a grand plan that will solve world hunger and simultaneously eradicate sexism. I do, however, have actionable small-scale solutions.

▪ Listen. This seems easy, but has proven difficult. If you take one thing away from this post, it’s listen. Listening means you acknowledge her voice is important. Listening is allowing her to finish her sentence. Listening is being actively engaged in what she is saying.

▪ Include. Bring her into a meeting for a new perspective. Pointedly ask for her opinion. This isn’t about making her feel involved, it’s about recognizing the need to include a female perspective because it’s valid and should be valued.

▪ Support. If you’re in a position of power, provide plenty of growth opportunity. Be a mentor, or provide mentors. Build a welcoming environment. As a peer, be motivational. Set aside ego and encourage success in others, not just yourself.

▪ Hold others accountable. Perhaps you’re already a champion of women in the workplace. First off, yay. Second, insist others do better. Minding your own business has its place, but you should stand up when others don’t feel they have the ability. Spectators are complicit.

This is the part of the post where I motivate you to make real change in your daily lives to support women in the workplace. So here it is: step up.


Kudos to Ken Garff

Kudos to Ken Garff. Not the man himself (though I’m certain he also deserves it), but the auto dealer group he founded. That may seem like brown-nosing because we just happen to be Ken Garff’s advertising agency. But it’s sincere. You see, we’ve worked with them for a few years, but they were being smart long before we entered the picture. So yeah, can we get a round of applause for Ken Garff because:

  • They research the Hades out of their brand. That’s how you become one of the nation’s largest auto dealers. (Okay, it’s not the only reason, but as an ad guy, I’m gonna credit the advertising). Long ago, Ken Garff committed to doing binders full — subtle Mitt Romney reference there — of consumer research and to follow that research wherever it leads. That commitment continues.
  • They stick with things. A quick lesson in the world of auto dealers: if you broke every national sales record in existence last month, nobody cares this month. It’s the ultimate “what have you done for me lately” business. It’s easy to let that mentality affect advertising so it becomes reactionary and scattered with no dollars spent on building a brand. Ken Garff commits to long-term branding, knowing that over time a strong brand wins out.
  • They understand advertising is an investment, not an expense. Sure, advertising and marketing fall under the “expense” column on any company’s profit and loss statement.But we’ve worked with a few organizations who believe that dictates a need to constantly look for ways to cut dollars. Promotion is an investment in growth; there’s a reason Nike’s annual marketing budget is $3.58 billion (yes, “billion”). Spending more (in the right ways) equals growth.

So what’s the point of this blog besides to give a great client a public pat on the back? If you want to do effective marketing/advertising/promotion, give a listen (not-so-subtle brand reference) to how Ken Garff does it. 1) Do your research and let it lead you, 2) focus on the long-term, 3) see marketing as an investment rather than an expense. Oh, and if you need a new car, Ken Garff can help you there, too.