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Gianfagna Strategic Marketing / Blog  / Creative (Page 8)

10 Ways to Boost the Marketing Value of Your Website

Are you getting the results you want from your website? Whether you’re a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) marketer, a great website is essential for a smart marketing strategy. Here are 10 ideas to boost the marketing value of your website through higher traffic, better search engine rankings, and more effective engagement with your customers and prospects. ...

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How Cleveland Marketing Agencies are Winning Big Accounts

You’d expect marketing agencies on Madison Avenue and Michigan Avenue to be producing world-class work for big companies. But how about marketing agencies in Cleveland, Ohio? Major marketers can choose agencies anywhere in the world, yet more and more are selecting marketing teams in Northeast Ohio. Top executives from three regional agencies and a large Midwestern bank explained why global brands and other market leaders are “Choosing Cleveland” at a NOCA (Northeast Ohio Communications Advocates) Forum at the Cleveland Plain Dealer on April 27. Here’s how these local firms are landing prestigious accounts...

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To BRC or Not to BRC? The New Direct Mail Strategy Question

Take a look inside the next direct mail package you receive and you might discover something’s missing: The reply card. Business reply cards (BRCs) and reply forms with postpaid envelopes (BREs) have been core elements of direct mail since the medium began. But they’ve been notably absent from some recent direct marketing campaigns I’ve received. Is this a new trend? A test? A fundamental shift? Here are some insights for your smart marketing strategy....

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How Adding a Blog to a B2B Website Boosted Traffic 562%

Nearly every marketing consultant is advising their clients to create a blog. Why? Because blogging is one of the best ways to increase website traffic and improve search engine rankings. But let’s be honest: Blogging can be a big commitment. A smart marketer has to ask, is it worth the time and effort? Can someone prove that it really works? And what can you do to increase your odds of success, especially if you’re in business-to-business (B2B) marketing? Here’s how traffic to my website skyrocketed in one year thanks to the addition...

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Boring! The 11 Most Overused Creative Themes in Marketing

A fresh creative concept is crucial for effective advertising and a smart marketing strategy. But too many advertising and marketing campaigns recycle the same, tired creative themes and copy phrases over and over and over. This is more than annoying. It’s a guaranteed audience turn-off and a misuse of the marketer’s resources. Here’s the 2011 edition of my annual list of the most overused creative themes in marketing. How many do you recognize?...

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How Great Direct Mail Helps a Retailer Win Back Customers

Direct mail is often used to reactivate lapsed customers, but few direct marketers do it well. Instead of a powerful, personalized appeal that rekindles the relationship, they turn the customer off with a generic message, irrelevant content, and a “so what?” offer. But when a direct marketer gets it right, with a highly personalized, data-driven message, a compelling offer, and a warm invitation to re-engage, it’s a thing of marketing beauty. Here’s how a major women’s retailer – Chico’s – nailed it with their customer win-back direct mail campaign, and...

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40 Questions for a Smarter Marketing Strategy

Are you getting a good return on your investment in marketing? Could it be better? One way to find out is to conduct a top-to-bottom review of your entire marketing plan to determine what’s working and what isn’t. This process is sometimes called a marketing audit. I’m often asked to guide audits as an independent marketing consultant and I recently shared advice on how to do an audit effectively. What specific factors should you assess in a marketing audit? Here are 40 questions I recommend for evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing and...

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Which Super Bowl Ads Were a Smart Marketing Strategy?

Super Bowl XLV is history and so is the advertising that generated so much buzz and discussion before, during, and now, after the game. Best and worst ad lists are everywhere after a Super Bowl, and there generally is agreement among marketing experts about the winners and losers. But when you look more closely at Super Bowl ads, a smart marketer has to wonder about their strategic marketing value. According to the Wall Street Journal, marketers spent $2.8 million to $3 million for a 30-second spot during this year's matchup. Did the...

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Talkin’ About My Generation? Using Cultural References in Marketing

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” I heard a marketing consultant say in a recent meeting. I knew he was quoting the scene from The Wizard of Oz when Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal that the Wizard is just an ordinary man. But judging by the puzzled looks on their faces, the twenty-somethings in the meeting had no idea what he was talking about. Situations like this don’t just make you feel your age. They painfully illustrate the fact that cultural points of reference are constantly shifting...

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What Makes Bad Advertising So Bad? It’s Not Believable

When an advertising campaign is so bad it makes you groan out loud, there’s usually a simple reason: It’s not believable. The worst offenders are campaigns that attempt to portray real-life situations. The dialogue often is so forced or the setup so phony that your only reaction is to roll your eyes and think, “Yeah, right.” But lack of believability in advertising is more than annoying. It’s a waste of the marketer’s money. Here are two ways to achieve believability in your advertising and two examples of smart marketers, including one in Northeast...

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