Category

Direct Marketing

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).

Read More

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.

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

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 – My All Access Pass to SXSW

By | Direct Marketing, Random Thoughts, social media | No Comments

I know that this is a bit late since SXSW has already come and gone, but I really was amazed at what I experienced this year. I am not one that will buy a SXSW music wristband. I have never been that person. I will, however, jump on any bandwagon of free shows that the craziness brings to town. This year was better than ever for a poor person without that VIP pass.

I started reading blog updates and following different Twitter feeds in January. The goal was to see who was coming to town and when I might be able to catch some free shows. One of my friends had even started her own blog for all of the free SXSW parties with food, free booze and some kick-butt music. By February, I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of “underground” conversations and insight I was finding on the internet.

Basically, with a little bit of blog research, following Twitter feeds and signing up to receive sponsor updates, I was able to be “in the thick of it” this year. I ended up taking Friday off to enjoy the day parties and follow my mobile updates for more schwag and food. Friday night was reserved for the newly famous Fader Fort party. There was big news that Kanye West was going to be hitting that venue, but nobody knew what day. By keeping up with all of the Twitter feeds and blog posts, when the news broke, I was going to know!

Friday came and went. Still no Kanye. That was okay by me since there was still one more night at Fader. There were a few more hyped parties that I wanted to hit, but unfortunately, the stars weren’t aligning. During the day on Saturday we hit the Do 512 party, The Big One 2009. All I had to do was RSVP on the website and I got free Sweet Leaf Tea, LoneStar Beer and good music..seriously, who can ask for more than that?

Knowing that the rumors were flying about Kanye’s appearance, we knew we had to hit the Fader Fort party pretty early to make sure that we got it. After only half an hour in line, we made it and all of the rumors were true! Not only Kanye West, but Common, Erykah Badu, Kid Cudi and MORE! I had such a blast and am doing it again next year.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen with all of the wristband buyers because it seems to me that you don’t have to pay VIP prices to have an all access pass. You just need to find those that have gone viral! Next year I’m starting earlier so that perhaps I can make it into those coveted parties that I didn’t make this year…and I tried, believe me, I tried!

Direct Mail Offended by “Junk” Reputation

By | Direct Mail, Direct Marketing, marketing | One Comment

We all get them, almost every time we go to the mailbox; those little postcards, fliers, coupons and free trials that we lovingly refer to as “junk mail.”  However much we complain about that mail, we always feel good that there is something in our mailbox when we open it and we all actually find ourselves perusing the “junk mail” to see what is out there.

“Junk mail” is a slang term for the most common form of direct marketing in use today, Direct Mail.  Direct mail, by definition, is a communication delivered by the post office to all postal customers in an area or to all customers on a list.

Direct Mail has Super Powers

Direct mail is a very powerful tool in your direct marketing and is an ideal way to reach a targeted audience vs. advertising.  You can direct where offers or “call to actions” are going and who they are reaching.  You can also test different offers on different parts of your target list and you can see which one does better, allowing you to design your marketing efforts to be the most effective.  Finally, it is inexpensive and easy to keep changing.

Direct Mail Points to Ponder

by Vards UzvardsRemember, to get the most out of your direct mail campaign, you need to make sure that you follow a few guidelines.  One of the most important things to do is to make sure that you have a proper and smart target list.  For example, if you are a pet grooming service; including residents of an apartment complex that doesn’t allow pets is probably not the best use of your time, money and resources.

Also make sure that your message and design is clear, concise and attention-grabbing.  Most Americans, it seems, suffer from a case of constant attention deficit and you need to get your message across very quickly.  If you include a call-to-action, it should be simple and easy to track by you and your staff.

Finally, if you have any questions about how to incorporate an effective direct mail campaign into your marketing efforts; pick up the phone and give us a shout and we will do our best to give you answers.

*Photo by Vards Uzvards