Category

advertising

Promotional Items = Walking Billboards

By | advertising, branding, marketing, Promotional Marketing, strategy | No Comments

Take a second and look around. You are probably at your desk reading this blog post or you are reading this on your phone. My bet is you have a few promotional items around that you may not realize are there anymore, but for one reason or another you kept it nearby. Me? Just at my office, I have an acrylic cup from one of my favorite vacation spots, a cup from the World Championship Goat Cook-Off, a couple of coasters, one representing my Longhorns, koozies from numerous clients, a client’s calendar and too many pens to count! At home, I have so many chip clips that I am never hurting for one when in need! Do I use them all? Yes! That’s what makes them effective. Even the notepad that I love so much I use it daily has the company’s logo on it.

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What are QR codes and Why Should you be Using them in your business??

By | advertising, Direct Marketing, Graphic Design, marketing, Vicky Gouge | No Comments

Many of you (hopefully most) have seen these little box codes start popping up everywhere. What most of you don’t know is that these Quick Response (QR) codes have been around for some time now. They were invented in Japan in 1994!! But, like most new technology, it has taken years for these little codes to emerge. Now they are widely used by businesses to market themselves.

Now how would you use a QR code in your business (take a snapshot of this code and find out)? QR codes allow you to directly market specific areas of your business. For example, a real estate agent gets a new listing; Full Moon Design Group creates the new listing flyer for them and includes a QR code on it. A home buyer picks up a flyer and takes a snapshot of the QR code on the flyer using one of numerous smart phone QR code reader apps. It then opens up a unique url address that provides the potential home buyer additional information that can’t be found on the flyer or the MLS sheet (ie: the url sends them to the virtual tour).

QR codes can be used to promote specific areas of your website, a phone number, SMS, or text. With emerging technology and the use of smart phones, consumers can click on a QR code to retrieve a coupon or special that a business is offering. Businesses can use them to drive traffic to their websites for promotions. It’s all at your fingertips.

Want to generate a code for your website? Go to http://qrcode.kaywa.com/. Just type in your information and the code will generate. Right click on the code and save to your computer. Insert into your marketing materials. Be sure to track your hits/page views and/or leads specifically from the code.

Let Full Moon Design Group create and insert QR codes into your marketing campaigns.

The Written Word – Making a Comeback

By | advertising, branding, Direct Marketing, email marketing, Graphic Design, Promotional Marketing, website | No Comments

I’ve noticed more and more lately that writing is sort of “last week.” It’s old school. Blame it on technology, if you like. Pick one: whether it’s cell phone texting,  word processing auto correct,  or spell check they’ve all contributed to the slow demise of a basic skill. Sometimes I wonder if a person realizes that they’ve sent me a business email that ignores the basics of spelling and grammar. When I get those emails IDK. I’m def not ROTFL. It’s okay to smile, we’ve all done it.

When is the last time you sat down and wrote something? Some of us write daily emails to clients, friends and colleagues, but are they well written? Do they sound professional? When is the last time you sat down and really tried to put your thoughts down, or explain something clearly and concisely? Well, the same technology that may have stolen our ability to write is also pushing us back in that direction.

As a graphic artist, I’m often asked to design logos and even web pages for entrepreneurs who are ready to launch their new dream businesses. They’ve got an idea and are so enthusiastic and passionate about getting started. When I ask what their web content will be like, their eyes glaze over for a second and then you can see it dawn on them that they’ve got to come up with (zoinks!) content? Panic! Words? Write something?

Do you blog? Do you keep your websites dynamic? Are search engines finding your page? Do you have printed marketing collateral like brochures? Do you need to send newsletters or sales letters? Do you need help?

Thankfully, there are still people who like to write and do it well. It’s a resurgence of the copywriter. These professionals can write just about anything. It’s what they do. Many of them are small entrepreneurs just like you. They’re easy to work with and can really make a difference for your business. We know the best and most creative folks who feel as passionate about what they write as we do about what we design. Ask us for referrals if you need help with a big job, or a small one.

Marketing: All Wheels need to be in orbit.

By | advertising, branding, corporate branding, design, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing, email marketing, full moon design group, Graphic Design, marketing, Promotional Marketing, social media, strategy, Uncategorized, website | One Comment

Introducing the Lunar Cycle: All marketing wheels need to be in orbit!
*Note: Our model is to serve as a summary of good marketing practices.

To be successful in business, you have always needed a marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy has always needed to promote your brand while protecting it at the same time. And the result of a truly successful marketing plan is a well recognized brand of a profitable business! Smaller businesses struggle daily to keep up with their marketing and branding. It’s easy to get focused on one particular method and forget about the rest. I am writing this blog today to stress that marketing strategies have not changed and as a business, you can’t survive on just one approach!

Full Moon Design Group’s Luna Cycle

Print doesn’t substitute your networking activities and web doesn’t substitute your print materials and social media does NOT substitute for all of it! Instead, you will want to make sure that they are all working together, in unison, promoting your brand and communicating the same message.

There are five different marketing wheels and each one orbits around your brand. Each of the five, have their own moving parts. We will be expanding this blog into several posts in an effort to start the conversation of each of the wheels and the components it is made of.

It all starts with your Company Culture. Developing a strong company culture will ensure that your company’s mission is brought to the forefront and that you are getting the Word of Mouth marketing that you want.

Next, you have your Activities. These activities consist of Special Events that you hold as a company, Charities or Non-Profit organizations that you and your company support, local Chambers that you are a member of, Professional Associations that make sense for your company and employees, Sponsorships that promote your brand to the right audience and Tradeshows that will help you get in front of your audience.

Your printed materials will consist of creative Ads, Direct Mail, Stationary, Brochures/Flyers/Pushcards, Promotional products and Presentation Materials. When engaging in your Activities, it’s always helpful to have printed material to support your brand. What printed material you have at each activity should be relevant and impactful.

Moving to the digital world, you now need to have a website. Your website should be clean, inviting and engaging to your current clients and prospective ones. Features of your website that should not be overlooked include a Blog, Newsroom and Email sign up form for your newsletter. In your Blog, you’ll be the expert and offer advice, your Newsroom will keep people abreast of the “goings on” in your company, and your Email newsletter will be a place for special offerings and information.

Expanding into the digital world, we find Social Media and boy does it get complicated and overwhelming! Social Media is an all access pass to the world. It’s a free medium for you to engage strangers, communicate your thoughts & ideas, and invite people in to really “get to know you” as a business. Social Media is now the gateway to higher rankings from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Ask. To keep it simple, we’ve grouped Social Media into several descriptive categories…and this just scratches the surface!

The most familiar outlet is the Lifestreams/Microblogs which include Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Within these Lifestreams, you will find Location Based applications like Gowalla, Foursquare, and Whrrl…great ways to promote your business and interact with the public. When blogging or offering useful white papers, Social Bookmarking is a great way to make sure people find you. Popular methods are Delicious or Stumbleupon. Moving on to more fun stuff, you’ll find the Media Sharing sites like YouTube, Ustream and Flickr. For businesses, it’s important to participate in Business and Niche Networking sites like LinkedIn, Ning & Spoke. And last, but not least, you have the Review based sites including Yelp, Google & Yahoo.

The sixth component of the Luna Cycle is Public Relations. Your public relations strategy should be coordinated with your marketing strategy and pushing the information out to the public. Full Moon Design Group has strategic PR partners in place that we work with frequently to ensure our clients get exposure in all aspects of their business, in as many places where their audience resides.

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.

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

Social Media: Ready… Set… Now What?

By | advertising, branding, corporate branding, full moon design group, marketing, social media, strategy, Vicky Gouge | No Comments

So you are taking the plunge.  You’ve heard it over and over and you are taking the first steps toward getting your business in the social media / social networking realm.  Ready… Set… Now What?

Thoughtful planning and consideration need to go into the process, but the effort can be daunting and outright overwhelming.

Here’s a good solid approach that just about any business can follow and be successful with when entering social networking.

by Robbert van der Steeg1. Make the commitment and decide your time commitment. How much time you are willing to commit to be consistent with your participation?  The benefits of social media do not happen overnight.  They take time.  Making this commitment and sticking to it is the only way to ensure success.  Be realistic.  If you think you can only commit to an hour a week, then a blog may be the way to go (We like WordPress).  Got 2 hours? Why not establish a Facebook page as well.  As you become more familiar with each new site, you will find natural efficiencies occur and you will have more time to add more sites to your repertoire.

2. Monitor and listen and follow. Sometimes this is the easiest step and it will get you used to what is being said, by whom it is being said and the intricacies of engaging in those conversations.  This is often overlooked, but can be one of the most important steps you should take.  It gives you insight to your audience and will give you opportunities to be involved before you start blasting your message.  Technorati is a great tool for finding who is talking about what.  It’s free and you can search just about any term or group of terms and get a list of blogs or blog posts that pertain to those terms.  You can even find blog rankings and other pertinent information so you know who the industry influencers are no matter what industry you are in.  Follow the people who you find interesting.  Find industry experts and follow their conversations.  Learn what they do, what they talk about, who they follow and follow those people as well.  The more people you follow, the more you will learn.

3. Define your objectives and determine your measurements of success. What do you hope to gain by becoming active?  Brand awareness? Better customer service? Increased sales?  Specifically state your goals and you will have a way to measure them and determine if your efforts are worth the time.  Will you measure success by the number of “followers” or “fans”? or will measure success by the number of posts or comments to your blog?

4. Do your research. Who is your audience? Where (which sites) do they reside? Why should they listen to you (i.e. what do you have to offer)?  Without this prior knowledge and understanding, you are basically taking a shot in the dark hoping to hit your target… oh after you’ve been twirled around until you are almost sick with dizziness.  Yep. That’s a good analogy. If you start spattering off about nothing in particular to no one (or everyone) in particular, the chances of people taking your seriously are pretty slim.  Or they may just tune you out completely.  Take your time to develop the right ideas, but hurry up already…  The world is waiting.

5. Establish a strategy or game plan. Don’t just start blasting anyone and everyone with no process or purpose.  Develop a schedule.  Develop a theme. Get organized.  Brainstorm topic ideas that you have knowledge of, have an opinion about, or want to learn about.  This last one is important, because not everything has to be about what you know.  It can be about what you don’t know!  There is nothing wrong with asking for advice from your audience.  This can lead to trust and open communication because people want to feel needed and they like to offer their “solicited” advice.

6. Monitor comments/conversations. It’s not just about your message.  It’s also about what other people are saying and topics they are discussing when it pertains you or your business.  And there are always dissenters out there that need to be addressed.  The only way you are going to know about these is to keep an eye on what is happening on the sites where you have a presence.  There are easy to use monitoring tools out there. Check out Hootsuite.  It’s a good one for monitoring and integration (plus a lot of other really cool tools.  We’ll get to this in a later post).

7. Determine time frame for measuring success. I’ll say it again: The benefits of social media do not happen overnight. However, you must track your progress as you go.  Remember those goals?  You have a starting point.  Now, how fast are you going to get there with the relation to the time commitment to which you have agreed?  What is working?  What is not?  What is necessary for consistent imaging of your brand?  Will you measure each of these by the week, by the month, by the quarter?  No matter what measurement scale or time frame you decide, make sure you are consistently measuring the same thing over a longer period of time.

8. Adjust as necessary. Not every site works for every person or business.  Only you can determine how best to use your time and how effective that use of time is on obtaining your goals.  Don’t be afraid to start something new, but think twice before you stop participating on a site.  Make sure you have used it effectively and for an adequate amount of time.  Most importantly: make sure your audience isn’t left hanging.

Of course, not everyone has the time to get in and get started or keep the time commitment to an appropriate level.  Full Moon Design Group has professionals that are experienced in helping clients engage with their customers on a variety of platforms.  We can help integrate your social media strategy into your overall marketing strategy, no learning curve involved.  We can guide you through each step or we can manage your strategy from start to finish.  We take your comfort level into consideration and develop the right plan for you and your business.

Want to get started?  Give us a call.  512.428.9072