Why Direct Mail? The Pros, Cons, and Proven Results

By | advertising, branding, design, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing, full moon design group, marketing, strategy, Vicky Gouge | No Comments

Direct mail is one of the most cost efficient and effective marketing tools businesses can use to reach their customers. For a small investment, direct mail reaches a large number of people, gets information directly into the hands of its audience, builds brand awareness and incites people to take action. Direct mail can offer incentives and discounts, educate the public, and can also promote other marketing incentives and tools at the same time (think website, social media badges, special online only offers, etc).

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5 Quick Marketing Tips for Gaining Market Share on a Tight Budget

By | advertising, branding, corporate branding, full moon design group, marketing, social media, website | No Comments

We know that money is tight. But does that mean you should stop talking to your clients or looking for new ones? NO! Times like these are your opportunity to stand out from the competition. While your competitors are crawling into the corner, you should be stealing the spotlight!  Here are a few tips that will help you gain market share and shine even brighter now.

Tip #1:

Attend networking meetings.

royblumenthal

royblumenthal

The best business relationships start face-to-face. Plus, most networking meetings occur during meal time…and since you have to eat, you might as well be meeting prospects as well. Networking opportunities surround you! The first place to look is your local chamber. Then you will want to ask fellow members where else they network and interact with other businesses owners. Another outlet is to find something that you have a passion for, like a non-profit group or arts group. Get involved and build those relationships. You could network morning, noon and night if you really wanted to! But don’t forget, it’s all about who YOU are (See Tip #4) and what YOU have to offer.  What you get in return will soon follow.  NetworkInAustin is a great Austin resource to find networking opportunities around town.

Tip#2:

Matt Hamm

Matt Hamm

Utilize social media outlets. Currently, most social media sites are free. This is a great time and place to establish yourself as an industry expert. First, most companies are still not using these outlets to reach their customers.  Those that are, may not be direct competitors. If they are direct competitors, then that’s even more reason to make your presence known.  Second, you have friends and colleagues and they have friends and colleagues, and so on. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. are all great places to share your knowledge and they are where most people (2010 stats and facts) these days reside online. People are hungry to learn – hungrier now than they’ve ever been before and they usually turn to their immediate networks first to find the information they seek.  Make sure it’s you that they are getting their knowledge from! (and having a presence on these sites actually helps your SEO!)  Not sure where to start?  Call us:  512.428.9072.  We can help.

Tip#3:

Ask for referrals. This is something that we all forget to do and it should be the easiest task of all! Pick out your top clients – especially if they are always raving about your products or services – and ask them if they can introduce you to some more prospects. You will find that your happiest clients are more than willing to help you in growing your business…You just have to ask! Quality referrals most often come from those with whom you have already done business.  Full Moon Design Group knows this and we are rewarding those who think of us and send business our way.  We recently launched our 2nd Annual Referral Reward Campaign.  Our rewards prove to our clients that we appreciate their confidence in us.

Tip #4:

Ensure that you have a memorable identity.

matthew solle

matthew solle

It’s simple – marketing is consistently getting in front of prospects with a consistent look and feel on a repetitive basis. Your business brand or identity is the foundation that you will need to build credibility in the marketplace. If you are going to seek business from your competitors, you better make sure that you look like you have a business. No self-designed business cards that you have printed on perforated stock from your local office supply store…nope…not allowed! You need exceptional quality assets to let your audience know that you can provide that same quality in the products or services you offer.  Not sure what I mean by brand/identity? Take a look at Full Moon Design Group portfolio section to give you more of an idea:

http://www.fullmoondesigngroup.com/portfolio.html

Tip #5:

Make sure you have a website. If you don’t, now is the time. The web is no longer a luxury for businesses…it’s a must. Times are changin’ folks and your website is no longer your online brochure. It’s a place where people are looking to learn more about you, your clients, your culture. They want to interact and learn from you. Blogging, videos and pictures is what’s hot for websites now. The time and money that you invest in your website will pay off in the end. Think about it…your site is working prospects when you are busy at that networking lunch (see Tip #1) or sound asleep in bed! But websites aren’t cheap, you say… Or are they?  Full Moon Design Group has websites starting at just $500 – sites that you can change content on your own (and we’ll show you how!) and blog and feed into those social media outlets of which you are now a part (re: Tip #2).  Take a look at a few samples below:

www.jbaustin.com/
www.austinecofence.com/
www.hillcountryhomeimprovements.com/

2013 Online Marketing Trends

By | advertising, Direct Marketing, marketing | No Comments

2013 as a year brings about a slew of new online marketing techniques. When marketing for a small business, it is always wise to consider what the effective, inexpensive option is.

One trend that has been especially popular is the designing and redesigning of many websites. It is no secret that design matters a lot to a consumer. They would be much more likely to do business with a company that has a clean, interesting website, rather than a company that operates on a website that looks like it came out of the Jurassic period. Small businesses should look to companies like Apple, which, keep in mind, sells just a small assortment of products, but the products they do produce are well designed and easy to navigate. Even their website is aesthetically pleasing but it is extremely hard to get “lost” while navigating it. Want to look more attractive to future customers? It’s time to revamp that default website into something that looks like a masterpiece.

Another developing marketing trend in 2013 is the use of video in advertising. Let’s face it — a ton of videos are watched online everyday (about 4 billion every day….whew that’s a big number) If you scroll down your Facebook feed just for a second, then you will see that one of your friends probably shared a video link with the rest of the world. Actually, about 68% of video watchers share video links, which only means more exposure from a marketing standpoint. It also helps that people remember information from a video much better than just seeing an image or plain text. So, you wanna be remembered by your audience? You’d be nuts not to implement videos in your advertising campaigns.

Worldwide, there are about 5 billion mobile users and about 1.1 billion of those are subscribed to some form of a smartphone. The world went and still goes bonkers for products such as the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, iPad, and HTC Evo. Many companies are creating mobile versions of their websites to allow for ease of access while on a mobile device. They are also creating campaigns that apply to smartphone users only, such as an app on the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. It’s time to get mobile and appeal to one of the biggest markets in the country.

Lastly, one of the biggest trends developing in online marketing is the use of “loyalty marketing”. Everyone knows that it is more costly to attract a new customer than to retain a regular customer. With the rise in social media, customers can now feel “connected” to a company they are doing business with. They feel free to share their opinions on a new product or a new feature on the company’s website. As a result, a customer feels “included” with the companies decisions and announcements. Businesses now are trying to find creative ways to reward customers for their loyalty. They want to ensure that their customers feel appreciated and valued. When considering marketing for a small business, it is now almost imperative that you consider how the customers feel like they are being treated by said business. Ensuring that they feel more included with the company makes them feel more loyal to the company, which means they will continue doing business with you.

2013 is more than halfway over, but there is still plenty of time to create an innovative and successful marketing campaign. When advertising for your small business, be sure to consider the trends of the year listed above. More importantly, be sure to contact Full Moon Design Group and let them help you develop a lasting marketing campaign.

2013 as a year brings about a slew of new online marketing techniques. When marketing for a small business, it is always wise to consider what the effective, inexpensive option is.

                One trend that has been especially popular is the designing and redesigning of many websites. It is no secret that design matters a lot to a consumer. They would be much more likely to do business with a company that has a clean, interesting website, rather than a company that operates on a website that looks like it came out of the Jurassic period. Small businesses should look to companies like Apple, which, keep in mind, sells just a small assortment of products, but the products they do produce are well designed and easy to navigate. Even their website is aesthetically pleasing but it is extremely hard to get “lost” while navigating it. Want to look more attractive to future customers? It’s time to revamp that default website into something that looks like a masterpiece.

                Another developing marketing trend in 2013 is the use of video in advertising. Let’s face it — a ton of videos are watched online everyday (about 4 billion every day….whew that’s a big number) If you scroll down your Facebook feed just for a second, then you will see that one of your friends probably shared a video link with the rest of the world. Actually, about 68% of video watchers share video links, which only means more exposure from a marketing standpoint. It also helps that people remember information from a video much better than just seeing an image or plain text. So, you wanna be remembered by your audience? You’d be nuts not to implement videos in your advertising campaigns.

                Worldwide, there are about 5 billion mobile users and about 1.1 billion of those are subscribed to some form of a smartphone. The world went and still goes bonkers for products such as the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, iPad, and HTC Evo. Many companies are creating mobile versions of their websites to allow for ease of access while on a mobile device. They are also creating campaigns that apply to smartphone users only, such as an app on the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. It’s time to get mobile and appeal to one of the biggest markets in the country.

                Lastly, one of the biggest trends developing in online marketing is the use of “loyalty marketing”. Everyone knows that it is more costly to attract a new customer than to retain a regular customer. With the rise in social media, customers can now feel “connected” to a company they are doing business with. They feel free to share their opinions on a new product or a new feature on the company’s website. As a result, a customer feels “included” with the companies decisions and announcements. Businesses now are trying to find creative ways to reward customers for their loyalty. They want to ensure that their customers feel appreciated and valued. When considering marketing for a small business, it is now almost imperative that you consider how the customers feel like they are being treated by said business. Ensuring that they feel more included with the company makes them feel more loyal to the company, which means they will continue doing business with you.

                2013 is more than halfway over, but there is still plenty of time to create an innovative and successful marketing campaign. When advertising for your small business, be sure to consider the trends of the year listed above.

Email Marketing – Can it still work?

By | branding, email marketing, marketing | No Comments

Did you retweet that from her?  Just a second, let me add her as a friend. Instagram that picture!

The above are phrases that have become almost every day terms. Social media now almost dominates the internet, so it’s not silly to assume it dominates the online advertising field. It leads many to wonder: “Is email even still alive?” Many businesses now wonder if email marketing is even effective anymore, as teens have grown away from it and gravitated towards other social media outlets.

Hold the procession line – stop the bagpipes; email is not dead.  In fact, email is very much alive, as it not only has territory on the internet, but on mobile phones as well. It is no secret that email has lost its appeal with teenagers, as the percentage of teens with email accounts dropped from 84% to 73% in the last eight years, but email still remains very effective in reaching adults and senior citizens. In fact, 75% of internet users aged 64 and older use email as their primary source of communication. With the addition of smartphones into the market, email has become much easier to access – some could argue it’s much easier to access and navigate than certain social media websites.  In fact, over 80 million people access their email through the phones EVERY DAY. The world is becoming more mobile day by day, so this number should continue to grow throughout the years.  Although it seems somewhat old-fashioned, email is still the primary source of communication for millions of people across the globe.

With its simplicity, accessibility, and speediness aside, email still has many positive qualities that make it a reliable advertising medium.

First off, email is direct. A facebook page for a business can easily get crowded with nonsensical comments. Email, however, can’t get crowded with anything except information. Some may argue that many emails are simply spam; however, many people are still out for the deals that the “spam” contains. Even in deleting the email, most email users will remember the business name in their unconscious mind, which is a powerful asset in the advertising industry.

Email is also very personal. A facebook page or a twitter feed with thousands of followers lack the originality that an email could produce. Since the business email is sent to YOUR inbox, you are more likely to respond to it, as you feel like the business has gone out of their way to email YOU.

Finally, email is extremely adaptable. It has outlived every single one of its social media competitors. The problem lies in the fact that many social media websites thrive off the “fad” effect, meaning they are extremely popular for a short period of time before they eventually fade out of existence. (Remember MySpace?) Email has lived this many years because it provides the one thing still needed by the general public: functionality.

Businesses, when you are looking for an inexpensive and reliable source of marketing, always consider email. It may lack the glitz and glam that many social media sites produce, but it still remains a humble giant in the advertising agency because of its simplicity, speed, and accessibility.

So you can see there is a lot to know about email marketing before you hit the send button.  Full Moon Design Group can help you achieve your goals while avoiding costly errors.  We can ensure that your message goes out at the right time, to the right people, and with the best possible outcomes.  Building an effective email campaign isn’t easy, but we make the process easy for you.  We integrate it with your overall marketing campaign to gain maximum exposure for your business and your brand.  There is a right mix of elements and we can help you determine what the right mix is for you.  Give us a call. 512-428-9072

So, can I have your email?

2013 Color Trends

By | branding, corporate branding, design, Graphic Design | No Comments

One of the biggest factors in determining an effective advertisement is its color and the message it conveys. For example, being in a baby store with bright red and aqua might make you a bit uncomfortable, while the typical colors of pastel blue and pink are much more soothing and comforting, which is the desirable atmosphere while shopping for your littlest one.

Different colors convey different messages. Red, one of three primary hues, is one of the most powerful and emotion-evoking colors. Reds can feel sweet and innocent when mixed with white to create pink tones or bring about sharp responses when used in the pure form. With the addition of black, reds can create a darker emotional response, such as anger or convey passion. Light reds can represent fall or color change or even romance, while darker reds represent more passionate emotions. Blues often bring a very serene, calming environment. It can also represent cleansing and renewal.

An advertiser’s choice in colors is often a telling factor on whether the advertisement will be successful or not. Some companies will use vivid, bright colors in order to convey an excited, enthusiastic company. Toy companies are probably the biggest example of this, as they use bright colors and whacky animations to create a fun, youthful atmosphere. An upscale clothier, however, would use more neutral colors to ensure that the focus remains on the products at hand: the clothes themselves. Also, neutral colors like blacks or whites often create a very serious, classy mood, something which very upscale companies aim to do. All of this can be accomplished by simply choosing the right color.

With all of this color talk, most of you are probably now questioning “What IS the color of the year?” Usually, there isn’t a set answer, as opinions will always vary; however, marketing experts can often agree to choose a couple standout colors. Probably the most talked about color is emerald green. If you look on store shelves or at online websites, you will see emerald green just about everywhere, and it’s not at all for St. Patrick’s Day.  Green, specifically emerald green can be used to create a wide array of emotions. One of the strongest feelings that green conveys is balance and harmony, as it is almost always associated with nature and more natural ideals. A company that uses green to brand its items will appear to be more natural, thus seeming more “people-oriented” and “in touch.” Also, green conveys a very safe and secure environment. Dollar Bills are dark green and are associated with security, specifically financial.

When choosing colors for future advertisements, you should always consider the current color trends. Although emerald green is currently dominating the marketplace, it will eventually shift to something new, as all previous color trends have. Choosing a color for a brand is almost as crucial as the product or slogan, as it can convey a sometimes unconscious message to potential buyers.

The Importance of Direct Mail and Email Marketing in the Social Media Age

By | branding, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing, full moon design group, marketing, social media, strategy, Vicky Gouge | No Comments

I have had quite a few posts recently touting the benefits of social media.  While still in its infancy, social media and social networking are incredibly powerful when executed properly and when companies use them to bridge the communication gaps between themselves and their customers, clients, and core audiences.  But while just about everyone is at least dipping their toes into social networking these days, it is important to realize a couple of important things about those old tried and true methods: direct mail and email marketing.

1.  The social market is just one more component in the Wheel of Persuasion. Direct mail and email marketing are

Marketing Wheel of Persuasion

tools on the wheel as well, and in order to have an effective campaign, all elements must be considered,utilized and executed properly, and then measured to receive the maximum ROI.

2.  While there is a mass migration to social media and so many companies are advertising and selling their “wares” on social media sites, they are forgetting about direct mail and email marketing; thus these avenues may actually become more effective.  Direct mail and email marketing can also be just as cost effective as a properly planned social media campaign.  By using all of these avenues to reach your targets on multiple levels and multiple locations you are reinforcing brand recognition and messaging, and creating a stronger campaign as you go.

3.  Email marketing may seem easy, but there are a lot of very strict laws out there that prohibit businesses from sending unsolicited messages.  If you are caught doing this without following the rules, it can be costly on a number of levels.  (A.)  You can be given a pretty steep fine and in this economy can anyone really afford this?  (B.)  You lose the trust of your audience.  When you send spam, you are bringing your company and your campaign down to the same level as those businesses (is that what they really are?) that send out the latest discounts on male enhancement drugs.  Is this really the category under which you want your message to be filed?  No.  Marketing professionals are very aware of these laws and it is in your best interest to consult with them before you try to send anything out.

One thing to remember about using social media to promote your business is that it takes time to develop relationships and gain the trust of those people you are trying to reach.  Then once you reach them, often the messaging is not perceived in the manner in which you intended it to be conveyed.  But remember, perception is reality from each person’s standpoint.  Full Moon Design Group is experienced in reaching audiences using techniques that limit those variations in perception and truly get across the meaning in the light our clients want to be seen in.

Consistency is the key. Direct mail, email marketing and social media can actually be used to cross promote each other.  The point being is that marketing effectiveness does not happen in a bubble.  They should all be a part of your overall campaign.  They strengthen your brand, your image, your message and get you in front of your customers.  Let us help you develop a strategic overall marketing campaign and design the right mix of all of these elements that is right for your company.  Contact us today: 512.428.9072

Full Moon Design Group Owner Joins Promise House Board

By | full moon design group, News, Newsroom, Vicky Gouge | No Comments

Dallas, Texas, October, 2012 – Full Moon Design Group, Inc. proudly announces that Principal, Vicky Gouge was recently voted onto the Promise House Board of Directors.  Gouge will be the Chairperson of the Marketing committee for Prom Squared and will be assisting the internal marketing department with various needs, support, and guidance.

“I am truly honored to have been invited by Promise House,” said Principal, Vicky Gouge.  “Working with teens and young adults is a passion and I look forward to helping contribute time and marketing assistance.”

The vision of Promise House is that every teenager has a safe and nurturing place to call home. Promise House embraces homeless, runaway and at-risk teens, giving them individualized support, skills, encouragement and hope to live a better life. They accomplish this through: Crisis Intervention, Emergency Shelter and Long-term Housing, Case Management and Counseling Services, Education Services, Advocacy, and Outreach.

For more information on Promise House and volunteer or donor opportunities, please visit www.promisehouse.org.

 

About Full Moon Design Group

Founded in 2004, Full Moon Design Group, Inc. is a fully custom graphic design firm specializing in the creation and production of competition-devouring marketing materials.  From logos to Websites, Full Moon Design Group creates and produces concepts that clearly state your message in a simple and concise manner.  Founders Katie Osborne and Vicky Gouge, and the rest of the Full Moon team, believes in maintaining a standard of quality with a steadfast commitment to customer service and satisfaction.

 

For more information about Full Moon Design Group, please visit them online at www.fullmoondesigngroup.com.

Hotel ZaZa – A Branded Success

By | advertising, branding, corporate branding, design, Direct Marketing, full moon design group, Graphic Design, marketing, Promotional Marketing, strategy | No Comments

A little over a month ago, I headed to Dallas with a very good friend. Since it was a girls’ weekend, we decided to pamper ourselves and stay at Hotel ZaZa. I had not heard of the boutique hotel before this trip, but after staying there for two nights, I’ll never forget it! From the interior design of the hotel, to the coasters in our room, to the vibe at the pool, Hotel ZaZa made sure you remembered to “Stay ZaZa”.

Chandeliers filled the hotel

>From the moment I entered the lobby I was engulfed by youthful luxury and style with magnificent chandeliers, velvet curtains, marble floors and vivid colors. Our room had a balcony filled with oversized furniture and overlooked the pool. I felt comfortable and spoiled!

When exiting the lobby for dinner and drinks that evening, we were met by the hotel’s very own car service. It’s a sleek black SUV with their “Stay ZaZa” tagline on the side doors and the skull of some horned animal on the grill. Complimentary car service again offers a luxurious and carefree feeling.

Hotel ZaZa’s Car Service

Having a room booked at the hotel that night was like having the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. We were automatically VIP status…or as Hotel ZaZa puts it “ZZIP”. The pool and restaurant area turned into one of the hottest night clubs in Dallas and we had front row seats! Once again, the hotel was a true destination.

Urban Oasis

Saturday brunch was incredible in their elegant restaurant. When it was time to pay the check, we were handed a promotional card that featured quotes from media write-ups about the hotel and a “Stay ZaZa” pen.

Pen, Matchbook & Promotional Card

While walking out, we found a matchbook and mini notepad once again with the famous tagline reminding you to “Stay ZaZa”.

Daytime at Urban Oasis was definitely the place where you went to be seen. Poolside cocktails and a free popsicle made me a happy camper! As the day went on, the pool grew smaller and smaller as more and more people joined the party. And Hotel ZaZa likes to host a party.

Balls of Fun at Hotel ZaZa

Around 2:30pm beach balls started flying from a 2nd floor balcony. I can’t believe how crazy I went over a beach ball. I even tried to take my new prize back to the room and was stopped and ask to leave the ball behind. When I inquired as to why, I was told that they were protecting their brand and didn’t want their logo to “end up somewhere they didn’t approve.” I respectfully gave up the beach ball!

As someone that discusses the importance of branding daily and as a business owner that is working on our very own brand, I was thoroughly impressed with Hotel ZaZa and all they had done to enforce their brand and image.

I’ll be back…and I might take my little dog too!

All Dogs Go To ZaZa

Full Moon Design Group wins MAX award by the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin

By | Direct Mail, full moon design group, Newsroom, Vicky Gouge | No Comments

Austin, Texas, June 14, 2010Full Moon Design Group, Inc. proudly announces that a direct mail campaign designed for Sterling Custom Homes wins a MAX Award by the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin.

Principal & Co-Founder Vicky Gouge who designed the postcard campaign was very please and excited. “I was surprised and honored that the campaign Sterling Custom Homes submitted was selected as the winner. The goal of Full Moon is to provide as much exposure as possible for our clients through professional design services.”

Sterling Custom Homes has been a client of Full Moon Design Group since 2004. Other client award recipients were Gayle Berkbigler (Realtor of the Year), and Eric Olsen (Best Remodeled Project $100,000-$150,000).

About Full Moon Design Group

Founded in 2004, Full Moon Design Group, Inc. is a fully custom graphic design firm specializing in the creation and production of competition-devouring marketing materials.  From logos to Websites, Full Moon Design Group creates and produces concepts that clearly state your message in a simple and concise manner.  Founders Katie Osborne and Vicky Gouge, and the rest of the Full Moon team, believes in maintaining a standard of quality with a steadfast commitment to customer service and satisfaction.

For more information about Full Moon Design Group, please visit them online at www.fullmoondesigngroup.com.