Creative Tells the Story

Tideline Ocean Resort and Spa is a unique client. They have a strong sense of self, understanding what niche they want to fill for their clientele: a chic, boutique hotel experience with exceptional amenities, offering ocean view banquets and weddings and al fresco dining in West Palm Beach. Unfortunately, their changing ownership and management companies, along with a deflagging from a franchise hotelier left them without a usable logo, identity system or creative assets.

In addition, they needed a web presence worthy of the property itself. The vast majority of their reservations were taking place with online travel agents (OTA’s), and unnecessarily sacrificing margin to those third party entities. The return on marketing investment was untraceable, as the technology was not being used to its potential. In short, this resort needed an identity and a campaign, quickly.

Our team first performed a market analysis of competitive properties in the area. Our review included all that would appeal to the core customer of Tideline Resort, rather than focus on like-sized or properties with similar entities. What we discovered: The property’s beach was exceptional, better than the competition in space and size. The dining offerings were fresh and desirable, with a credible sushi chef and sought after brunch buffet. The spa offered traditional services, specializing in bridal groups. All of the pieces were in existence, the hotel simply needed to generate the creative assets to tell the story.

The Advance 360 Creative Team then came on site to collect video and still photo assets, staging hotel spaces, vignettes, and amenities in order to capture just the right pieces of the story.

From there, a new website/digital environment was produced and launched, as well as a campaign to generate lift in brand awareness and site visits, and reduce third party booking agents.

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Creative Examples

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Technology Changes the Nature of Online Giving

Understanding your audience is the sacred piece of any puzzle. Who are your donors, and what drives them to engage with your organization? What characteristics can you count on your donors to have, and how can you strategize to find more like them? As the digital agency of record for a large mid-west nonprofit organization, Advance 360 began with these questions.

But there were real goals to solve. Donor relations is becoming even more important, but with resources waning, the hand-to-hand nature of these relationships is being eclipsed by a desire to drive transactional gifts. These automations, when done well, can still feel personal, allowing staff the time to concentrate on the kinds of relationships that might still require them to be present.

Such was the case for our client.

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This activity was generated in Q4, 2017, and compared to the same periods of the prior year.

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Creative Strategy

These results represent a creative shift as well. With the personal connections missing, it became increasing important for the creative to generate the emotion that might have been conveyed by discussion. Stories about how contributions served individuals in the community became the currency of the engagements. Multiple stories were tested, and determinations made on the value of each based on their conversion metrics. Optimizations were performed in accordance with the best performers, amplifying the work of single stories and pieces of creative over time.

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Notable

As is often the case in nonprofits, budgets must be fluid based on audited revenue from previous years. In Q4 2017, the organization needed to decrease spending by 20% over 2016. Even with this decrease, the Return on Investment (ROI) improved by 2.8 times.

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Influence Sales by Measuring the Right Things

You achieved 1,000 calls in your BDC. Do you know how many of them were initiated in your VDPs? You got 50 test drives last week. How many can you expect to move on to negotiate and buy? Last month your dealership sold 200 cars. Of those new purchasers, how many will transition into regular maintenance programs with your service department?

If you can readily find this information or can call these numbers to mind, congratulations, you are better than most. If not, you have a distance to go, but can rapidly make improvements on how you view your sales funnel and ultimately, can influence new buyers.

Your sales funnel, path to conversion or decision journey: these synonyms all describe the natural events that occur in order to generate a sale. It looks something like this:

  • 1000 people visit your website, which generated 4,500 VDP views.
  • Of those VDP views, 1.25% initiate contact.
  • Of those that contact, 50% make an appointment.
  • Of those, 25% will perform a test drive, and
  • Of those, 50% will buy from your dealership.

Do you know and understand how each of these points along the funnel can be amplified or improved? If you know the conversion metrics, you are better than most. If you’ve identified ways to optimize your VDP’s for more points of contact, you are in the top 2%. Use what you know to generate more sales!

For more on this topic and to download a funnel worksheet, click here.

Our market research team routinely analyzes trends in automobile purchasing, identifying where people are buying, what they are buying and from whom they are buying. We use this research to locate your customers wherever they are online and deliver targeted messages to them. The auto buying process is no longer linear. We use data to find auto intenders online based on of their online behaviors, and are able to deliver targeted messaging directly to them across multiple channels, delivering the right message to the right customer.

How Do You Engage Students Who Don’t Always Apply During the Traditional Periods?

With factors like value, influencers, available information, and well-timed communications, any university can make an impact at the end of the decision-making journey. For higher education marketers, this means that the last few weeks before deadlines are a critical time that some universities may be missing out on.

Read more about the last-minute student recruitment measures, outlined by our friends at Advance Ohio.

Accelerate Intent for Prospective Students

Imagine the Admissions Department of a four year college that can name their desired admissions yield.

Picture an online MBA course that fills to the desired capacity, semester after semester. Envision an ongoing education department that attracts business leaders and keeps them in the pipeline long enough to engage them in returning to school an finishing their degree. With Intent Acceleration, these become reality for the Education industry.

Intent Acceleration is the process of guiding your audience from initial awareness to decision with speed and accuracy.

It’s the process we deploy, the art of combining relevant media, marketing and financial principles to create the most effective and cost-efficient solutions for your marketing team and stakeholders. We integrate science by conducting extensive audience exploration across multiple media and data sources to know your audience from an emotional and logical perspective.

Intent Acceleration blends compelling content, creative design and 360 degree media exposure with effective frequency to influence decision.

 This effort:

  • Pinpoints a consumers exact location within the decision journey
  • Serves the precise creative message at the appropriate time
  • Delivers the optimal call to action to advance the consumer in their journey
  • Clearly convinces consumers to take action in their decision
  • Functions progressively (iterates to adjust) in an ever forward fashion

Manufacturers: Your Customers are Decision-Ready

The rapidly changing B2B marketplace should be serving as a wake-up call for those in the B2B manufacturing industry. In the past few years, we have seen a shift in how B2B buying decisions happen, who the decision makers are in the process, and where these decision makers are getting their information.

Since the advent of the advertising industry, marketers have fed information to customers and customers have made buying decisions based on this information. it was a linear path – people saw an ad, they were interested in the product, so they went to the store and bought it. What’s changed is now, customers are finding information on their own. It is now the marketer’s job to pull that audience in by creating a personalized experience that resonates with the potential customers. The path to purchase is no longer linear – it is a collection of moments that influence a customer to purchase your product. 

There’s no question that everyone is online these days, including B2B audiences. In fact, 94% of B2B buyers conduct some kind of online research during the buying process, and 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. Customers are educated and informed, and are looking for vendors who understand their pain points and know about the industry.

Customers are already 57% of the way down the path to a decision before performing an action on a website. Customers are being influenced from many different touch-points, whether it’s through your website, social media, mobile campaigns, or traditional marketing methods. That makes it important for manufacturing marketers to reach their audience through a variety of methods well before the audience reaches out to them.

Profiling Gen Z In the Education Space

The big buzzword is Millennial, these days. But let’s not avoid the up and coming Generation Z! These are the students our educators are looking to recruit, and know nothing of “life before internet.”

The Basics
Born between 1998 and today, 69 million strong — they fill nearly a quarter of the U.S. Population.(1)

Fully Digital
The first generation with no knowledge of LBI — life before the internet, they average 3+ hours per day staring in to a screen.(2)

Practical
79% want internships and professional experience in college; 85% want skills such as financial planning.(3)

Frustrated by Obstacles
82% say finding the best college for them is an obstacle; 63% cite the application process.(4)

Entrepreneurial
63% say entrepreneurship should be part of the college curriculum; 72% say students should be allowed to design their own majors.(5)

Sources: 1. “What if I told you…’Gen Z’ will be larger and more influential than Millennials” http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/macroeconomic-insights-folder/what-if-i-told-you/report.pdf 2. “Everything You Need to Know About Generation Z,”http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-generationz-born-in-the-digital-age-2015-2 3. Northeastern University Portrait of Generation Z survey, 2014.http://www.northeastern.edu/innovationsurvey/pdfs/Innovation_Summit_GenZ_Topline_Report.pdf 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid.

Developing Healthcare Strategies

Every day, hospital and healthcare clients are running dozens of parallel tracks with their marketing strategies, each with its own purpose, but feeding the overall goals of the institution. At Advance 360, we understand that these plans need to be integrated and in sync to deliver results for our clients.

As such, we segment our strategy and campaign to mirror these parallel tracks within the organization — each with their own key performance indicators that dictate performance success;  from positioning the institution’s expertise to customizing the message, targeting different geographies and audiences.

Learn how we’ve crafted successful campaigns for our healthcare partners.

PRACTICUM: AN ILLUSTRATION ON HOW STRATEGIES ARE BUILT

Client: Community Hospital 

Statement of Need, Provided by Client: The hospital, employing 1100 staffers, was suffering from years of disjointed marketing, high turnover among the c-suite staff and vanishing public trust; all of which was punctuated by the lowest employee engagement scores that the institution had experienced, creating poor morale. Not surprising, market share was slipping and profits dropping.

Research and Analysis: We performed a scientific sentiment analysis to understand public perception and trust for the brand and also identify their top competitors for consumer mindshare. We also implemented web, social media and SEO audits, along with an intensive review of creative. Analysis was performed
on employee communications including email open rates, engagement numbers were researched extensively and we analyzed trends over the past five years. Workflow in the Human Resources Department and Marketing Department were reviewed and the onboarding of new physicians was studied. We built a market share analyzation tool to show dips in performance and emerging trends in real time. Six branding workshops with all levels of hospital staff were performed, and sentiment collected. Analysis of influence-able areas (noted from market share tool) was scrubbed against population data to identify priority service areas. Material researched by third party firms over the last 12 years was studied and cataloged.

Findings: The hospital had hundreds upon hundreds of incredibly talented front line staff that were all present for the right reasons. But, long-term unrest around an unstable leadership team had taken its toll on morale and the vast majority were disenfranchised. Service lines that were found to be a priority by the board were confirmed by Advance 360 as those that would create the lift required: neurology, oncology, orthopedics, general surgery. Physician on boarding contained numerous disconnects between new and old staff. An understanding of the “why” of the people inside the hospital and the hospital itself was established. Sagging recruitment had to be revitalized. The website experience contained unfriendly user experience, and the SEO tactics employed fell short of best practices. Paid search was nonexistent. In short, every piece of the hospital’s work was in need of refreshing. Our work needed to be precise and swift, and generate a lift of 7% revenue growth overall (a number determined by the board of directors.)

Action Plan:

  • Advance 360 developed a strategy and campaign for three key segments: internal (staff), external (public) and recruitment (public / conquest) including:

Internal

  • New templates for employee communications and emails.
  • Agenda flow, and production of the annual all staff meeting.
  • Internal staff interviewed and featured in social media, the staff section of the website, and publicly in front of peers.
  • The “speak up” program was revitalized.
  • Infographics and other creative elements were generated to tell the story of the hospital’s community engagements.
  • Employees were pixeled using communications and contesting, and remessaged all of the above information with a purposeful frequency.

Recruitment

  • Website was built to accommodate new traffic.
  • Landing pages established by posted job.
  • Job postings retooled and new placements made.
  • Other community hospitals of similar size were targeted with display campaigns as “feeder locations” for staff.
  • Creative established, using diverse imagery and positions, and placed appropriately to the audiences. In nearly all cases, “high tech” images as well as “emotion/staff subject matter” were A/B tested to maximize impact.
  • Materials were developed for the on boarding process to create the necessary lift.

External

Each service line was assessed and materials developed to achieve the desired lift, for a blended revenue gain of 7%. These included, but were not limited to, infographics, video, whitepapers, sponsored content, articles, blog entries, social media vignettes and photo galleries. Doctors were featured. Overlap with the staff videos from internal campaign were reused in a public sense, based on the service line for which the staff person was employed. Display campaigns were developed with emotion, credibility and logic touch points in mind, and A/B testing was deployed in nearly every instance. Nothing short of a “collection of goods” describing the assets of the hospital, the talents of the staff, procedures that could be provided, and each and every piece pixeled, placed and analyzed.