How to Set Achievable Marketing Goals

When we’re creating a marketing strategy for a new client or presenting a new approach to a client on our roster, everyone feels the excitement about launching a new initiative. Successful marketing can really move the needle on brand identity, audience reach, and total profits. Clients who are ready to invest in marketing usually know their brand, are aware of their audience, and want to take their company to the next level.

While it’s tempting to dive straight into planning, it’s wise to take a beat and set marketing goals that are clear, measurable, and realistic. With these three components in place, you can lead your team to success.

Set Realistic Marketing Goals

One of the first things we counsel our clients on is setting expectations for a marketing strategy out of the gate. Like any first expedition into a new territory, an initial marketing strategy is exploratory. It involves assessing an audience, testing out different marketing messages and platforms, and identifying the approaches that work. It can even mean figuring out which metrics to track in order to confirm that the marketing strategy is having an effect. This takes time and patience, but the results are worth the upfront effort. 

Get Clarity and Seek Precision

The good thing about setting vague goals is they are hard to measure. How does anyone prove whether a restaurant does or doesn’t sell the “Best Burger in Town?”

On the other hand, if you can’t measure goals, how do you know if your efforts are truly paying off?

Instead, set marketing goals that can be quantified and measured. Rather than improving the company website, aim to improve website traffic by 10% and conversions by 15%. With numbers added, checking your progress and determining exactly how close you are to meeting your goal becomes much easier. 

When building your marketing strategy, setting deadlines alongside your goals is key. How will you know if you are making progress without a due date? Consider the website example above, which mentions improving web traffic by 10%. As it is written, the goal could be met at any time and still be considered a success!

For true growth, indicate a timeframe. As you get closer to that date, you can check your progress and make adjustments if you aren’t gaining the traction you need in the allotted time. 

Keep Your Budget in Mind

Although it’s essential, marketing is only one part of a company’s budget. Staffing, materials, technology, and overhead are all part of the balance sheet as well. It’s critical to consider what you can achieve with the resources you have, including time, staff, and budget. While marketing goals can be ambitious, they should also be realistic. A small non-profit may be unable to afford a media placement that costs thousands of dollars of media placement. Likewise, a two-person start-up can’t undertake a massive event marketing campaign that requires available staff. Success will look different for every business, so set goals that won’t overtax your budget or your team.

Connect with Leadership

We’ve all had the experience of pitching an idea to someone who was not as enthusiastic about it as we were! Help mitigate that response by connecting with leadership before setting your marketing goals.

Because leadership is responsible for directing the organization’s mission, vision, and values, they are always looking at what should be done. Having a solid understanding of your boss’s point of view can ensure you stay on the right track when setting marketing goals. 

Green Apple: Your Partner in Goal Setting  

Goal setting is a critical step in developing any successful marketing campaign. Green Apple Strategy can help you put the right plan in motion to meet your marketing goals. Our team has experience setting strategic goals, executing tactics, measuring progress, and shifting when needed to ensure the best possible outcome.

We invite you to learn more about how our strategic solutions and services can help your business grow.

How to Request Customer Feedback and Testimonials

woman in apron showing a tablet to a customer

When you run a successful business, your customers have stories and experiences to share about your company. Their feedback can provide valuable ideas for improvement and reassurance about what you’re doing right. But it can be difficult to access this valuable information without taking an intentional approach to collecting it. How can you ask customers for reviews in a way that’s efficient, effective, and provides the feedback you need? 

In our experience, it’s best to do so with a plan, armed with the right questions and tools to gather the data you need. This strategic approach can help your team make the most of customer feedback and that the information you gather does, in fact, help your business grow.

Make a Plan 

Before you ask customers for reviews, take some time to develop an intentional plan. The most important piece of this step is determining what you want to gain from gathering customer feedback: 

  • Are you curious about how a particular product is performing? 
  • Do you want to know if customers are happy with the service they are receiving? 
  • Are you ready to take action on a known customer pain point but unsure of where to start? 

Additionally, consider why you want to gather customer feedback. Is your goal to see how you stack up against competitors or to make changes to your product or process?  In other words, decide what action you will take with the data once you have it. Knowing what data you want to gather will impact how you ask customers for reviews.  

Ask the Right Questions 

Once you know what information you want, you can determine how you are going to ask for it. Asking the right questions is key to garnering the data you need for positive growth. 

For example, if you want to know about a specific product, craft open-ended questions that are specifically about that product rather than about the business as a whole. 

“Why did you purchase our nighttime moisturizer?” will get you more precise answers than “Why did you purchase our skincare?” Even “Did you like our skincare?” only yields a “yes” or “no” answer, which closes off the conversation as well as your ability to learn more about the customer’s experience. 

Finally, only ask questions that are absolutely necessary. Once you have a customer’s attention, it’s hard not to try and glean as much information as possible. However, you’re more likely to collect actionable data if you keep questions short and clear. Focus on getting the information you truly need instead of all the data you could ever possibly desire. After all, you can and should survey customers multiple times to get a broader sense of their overall experience with your business.

Choose the Best Tools

There are many cost-effective tools you can use to effectively ask customers to share their reviews. The ones that are best for your business will depend on your resources, both human and capital, as well as the demographics of the customers you want to reach. 


Sending a follow-up email after a purchase or service is an effective way to engage customers. When soliciting feedback via email, use a strong, enticing subject line and consider offering an incentive for participating. Pay attention to your email signature, too. Sending it from a team member instead of “Customer Service” will yield better results and provide a personal touch. 

Social Media 

Sharing polls on social media is an effective, efficient, and even fun way to get your customers involved in sharing feedback. The polls that perform best are short, sweet and to the point. 


With higher open rates than email, SMS messaging is one of the most powerful ways to request customer feedback. Many people are never more than a few feet from their phone, meaning they will see your text in real time and may reply just as quickly. Several of our clients use survey platforms such as Loyalty Loop or Delighted to capture customer feedback after a service call or other customer interaction. These platforms also offer the opportunity to track customer satisfaction over time through a Net Promotor Score data point.

Feedback Buttons and Forms  

Customers may want to leave reviews on their own terms. To facilitate this, you can add feedback options to your website or blog. On a website, an easily accessible feedback form allows testimonials to be shared at any time. Similarly, placing a “Was this helpful?” button at the bottom of a blog post can tell you if your content is relevant to your audience. 

More Pro Tips

Your customers are your most valuable asset; without them, you don’t have a business. With this in mind, be sure to thank them for their feedback. And don’t be overly concerned about negative reviews. Addressing these in a polite and professional manner will demonstrate to other customers that you’re willing to engage when something goes wrong. Simple, effective communication can go a long way in turning an unhappy customer into one that gives you rave reviews. 

Get Actionable Customer Feedback That Works

Green Apple Strategy uses responsive, well-designed tools to help our clients gather and analyze essential data points. If you need more insight into your customer experience, our team can provide you with the right data to make key decisions. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you gather customer feedback in a way that positively impacts your business. 

5 Ways to Maximize Your Q1 Marketing Analytics

The first quarter of the new year has passed. You’re gathering data from your marketing campaigns so you can use it to inform your next move. With so much data readily at your fingertips—from sales to social media interactions—it can be difficult to determine which data to focus on and how to use it to improve your marketing ROI.


Marketing analytics can help you assess the performance of your marketing campaigns, identify areas of improvement, and drive conversions. Now is the perfect time to assess your Q1 data and reports to reset or adjust your marketing goals for a successful 2023.


Different Types of Data

There are different types of marketing analytics insights that can be used depending on what type of information you want to gather. You could review data related to digital marketing efforts, content marketing, social media ads and interactions, customer preferences and feedback, and even competitor data. Each data source offers its own unique insight into the successes and challenges of your marketing campaigns. While data is immensely helpful to glean what worked and what didn’t, it can also help you identify ways to improve moving forward.


1. Know Your Sales Numbers

The first step in gathering any marketing analytics insights is to review conversions. Depending on your business, this could be leads generated or actual sales made. If these numbers are on track to meet your goals, it’s a sure sign that your marketing strategies are working. But if these numbers fall short, you can take a deep dive into your campaigns to find out what isn’t working and take the necessary steps to make a change.


2. Alleviate Customer Pain Points

Data from customer interactions such as sales calls, support chats, social media interactions, and onboarding calls can offer insight into your customers’ opinions about your product or service. Gathering this information can help you find out what your customers need to know in order to fully appreciate what you have to offer. For example, if they are upset over or do not fully understand a product’s complex features, you could create an informational campaign highlighting the area in question—and alleviating an otherwise frustrating experience in the process.


3. Beat the Competition

Digital marketing efforts make it easy to see what competitors are doing and the impact it has on customers. Take a look at your competition’s product reviews and social media pages. Make note of common themes among commenters. What do they like? What are their complaints? What type of content is getting the most interaction? Use your findings to fine-tune your own plans and stay ahead of the curve.


4. Determine Customer Preferences 

Knowing your customers’ pain points and assessing the competition also helps you understand what potential customers prefer. This can make it possible for you to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. Say your product has a feature that a competitor’s product does not. You know this is a feature that can meet an unmet need for your target audience. You can use this information to craft digital marketing efforts that position your product as a much-needed solution.


5. Optimize Your Website

When it comes to websites, customers like an easy, user-friendly search, shopping, and checkout process. But is your website set up to optimize customer experience, or are potential buyers getting lost along the way? Knowing how your customers navigate your website can provide insight into why they may not be taking the actions you want them to take. By determining which pages users are viewing and what links they’re clicking, you can design, update, and optimize your site to keep your prospects on the right track.


If you’d like help maximizing your marketing efforts, contact our team today. We’d love to help develop a customized, strategic approach for your business that gets you the results you want.

Marketing & Operations: 4 Keys to Successful Scalability

People sitting around a conference table with laptops

One of today’s business realities is that everything is marketing. Gone are the days when marketing and sales worked in their own silo. The effectiveness of your marketing department impacts other departments. At the same time, other departments have a direct impact on areas of marketing such as brand perception or customer experience.  

Over the years at Green Apple, we’ve found the connection between marketing and operations is one of the most important relationships in a business. On one hand, successful marketing should lead to more customers. More customers will naturally impact operational needs. On the other hand, many operations teams make decisions that directly impact marketing needs. Whether you’re the CEO of a company or a leader of a specific department, it’s essential to ensure both teams work together so that your company can thrive.

4 Keys to Successful Scalability with Marketing & Operations 

Here are a few specific ways marketing and operations can collaborate. That way, marketing is focused on the right areas of growth, and operations have what they need to scale the business:

1. Define your ideal customer. 

Operations are responsible for ensuring your company can fulfill the business it generates. Unfortunately, most marketing departments are only focused on generating leads… not how you’re going to serve them through the sales pipeline.  

When marketing and operations align, marketing understands the company’s capabilities and what it takes to follow through on what’s promised. This can help significantly when it comes to defining your ideal customer for better lead generation results

2. Align your technology and tools to optimize your processes. 

Most businesses function on an array of various technology platforms and software tools. In some cases, there might be more than a dozen platforms that support your marketing, sales, and operational efforts. While it’s not essential for there to be a seamless integration between all of your tools, it’s important to make sure the core components of your marketing technology stack are aligned with operational tools. 

When marketing and operations align in their technology strategy, they can run the race faster and farther for successful, scalable marketing.

3. Leverage data from both teams to make more informed decisions.

We have access to more data than ever before. Every marketing campaign provides dozens of analytics that can be measured. At the same time, the operations team has insights that can inform customer needs and marketing investment. But we all know there’s a difference between reporting on analytics and creating a data-driven culture for growing your businesses.

How can marketing and operations make sure they are collecting data in ways that can be used by everyone? Both teams need to agree on key business objectives and define which metrics are most helpful in evaluating success. 

4. Create open lines of communication between both teams

Effective communication breeds collaboration. That’s why consistent and candid conversations between the marketing and operations teams are vital. It’s not enough for marketing and operations to simply meet once a year or only collaborate if there’s a PR crisis. 

Instead, there needs to be a consistent feedback loop between marketing and operations. Operations can provide marketers with insight into what customers value. Marketing can inform operations about what’s being said about your business online. 

Need Help Getting Marketing & Operations on the Same Page?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past decade, it’s that you can’t create your marketing plan in a vacuum. As we work alongside clients to develop a marketing strategy, we’ve found that having operations in the room for important marketing discussions is key to building a plan that supports your entire business. 

A rising tide should lift all boats without causing one to capsize. If you’re struggling to get marketing and operations on the same page, our team can help. Schedule a discovery call to learn more about the specific ways our team can help you design a marketing strategy that supports every area of your business.

How to Strategically Think About Your Annual Marketing Budget

Overhead shot of a group looking at charts

Creating and getting approval for your annual marketing budget is one of the most important (and often difficult) tasks for an in-house marketing team. It takes a lot of time to analyze results from the previous year, gather anticipated costs for new ideas, and finalize a budget that works within the limits of your business. The challenge becomes even greater in seasons of economic uncertainty, and the threat of a recession can create budget cuts at any point.

Over the past decade, we’ve had the opportunity to walk with dozens of clients through the budgeting process. We’ve helped start-ups looking for creative ways to maximize their resources. We’ve helped million-dollar companies navigate uncertainty during the pandemic and make marketing budget decisions during a recession. If you think of an issue or question, we’ve likely faced it. 

How to Strategically Think About Your Annual Marketing Budget

For this article, we’ve asked Senior Client Relations Specialist Marcie Prescott to share the wisdom and insight she’s learned from decades of experience developing marketing budgets. Here are the four best practices that Marcie shared to help you think more strategically about your annual marketing budget. Her tips can help ensure you stay on track toward your goals: 

1. Make sure your budget is connected to your objectives, goals, and key metrics. 

Your marketing budget should be closely integrated with your annual marketing plan. Every line item in your budget should be connected to a tactic. It’s also important to identify the success metrics you’re going to use to determine if your investment was worth it. 

If you can’t look at your budget and answer, “What are we wanting to achieve with this investment?” then take a step back and clarify your annual marketing goals and objectives.  

2. Recognize the common pitfalls that sink your marketing budget.

A big part of managing your budget is knowing what obstacles and roadblocks to avoid. Here are a few common pitfalls that can sink your marketing budget:

  • Failing to identify your target market and audience. It doesn’t matter how big your marketing budget is if you don’t connect with potential customers. 
  • Putting too much effort into big budget marketing efforts. If you’re gambling with your marketing budget, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, it’s important to diversify your marketing spend so that you’re not putting too many eggs in one basket. 
  • Underestimating the amount of work involved in a marketing campaign. It’s easy to develop an annual marketing strategy and budget without recognizing all of the time, energy, and resources that it will take to implement. Before you finalize your budget, it’s important to ask, “Can we really do this?” Getting input from your team is also important.
3. View your marketing budget as a fluid asset. 

If there’s one lesson we’ve learned, it’s that your budget should be a fluid document that is reviewed and updated regularly. Neither your annual marketing strategy nor your budget should be written in stone. You can pivot your marketing without abandoning your entire strategy and make necessary changes to your budget. 

Fluid marketing budgets allow companies to redirect marketing to tactics that perform well and channels that suddenly offer new opportunities. This is even more important during a recession, when potential cuts may be required. 

4. Embrace a mindset of continuous improvement toward your strategy and budget.

Marketers should constantly be learning, testing new ideas, and finding ways to maximize the ROI of their budget. Rather than using last year’s budget or “institutional wisdom” to drive your decisions, embrace a mindset of continuous improvement to develop a marketing budget based on where your business is headed. Just because something worked well five years ago doesn’t mean that it’s the best way to connect with today’s customers.

You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to be more strategic with your marketing budget. Whether the year is winding to a close or just getting underway, it’s always a good time to think about your budget and consider how you can be more strategic with the resources you’ve allocated.

7 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in the New Year


The new year often provides a fresh start for people and companies. This is especially true for marketing. Many companies start the year with a fresh marketing plan (or at least a few adjustments from their current efforts). Most of the time, there’s a level of energy and excitement as you start the year with 365 days to achieve your marketing goals.

As marketing continues to evolve, it’s important to understand and implement the basic principles for earning attention and inspiring action. Failing to embrace the core principles of marketing might lead to mistakes that cause you to invest time, energy, and resources into marketing tactics that don’t move the needle. 

7 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in the New Year

After more than two decades in the industry, here are a few common marketing mistakes that businesses are prone to make in the new year:

1. Focusing on “tactics” rather than your strategy.

One of the most common mistakes business owners make is to focus too much on tactics and not enough on strategy. As a marketing agency, people often reach out to us and ask for help building a new website or a stronger social media presence. While these are admirable goals, they must be based on a strategic plan to truly return the best ROI for your business. 

If you’ve struggled to generate results and wonder why your marketing isn’t working, it likely has to do with prioritizing tactics over strategy. 

2. Getting comfortable with the status quo.

“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.” – Seth Godin

Doing things the way they’ve always been done is tempting because it’s safer. But in a world that’s changing faster than ever, sticking with the status quo only creates an opportunity to get left behind. 

It’s important for B2B companies and marketers to get out of their comfort zone. Embracing a mindset of growth and change is one of the best ways to ensure your marketing efforts continue to produce results year after year. 

3. Failing to recognize how marketing is interconnected with other areas of your business.

At Green Apple, we often say that “everything is marketing.” This is a mindset we bring to every meeting and every marketing strategy we create for clients. Failing to recognize how marketing impacts sales or operational decisions could quickly create breakdowns in other areas of your business. Additionally, developing a marketing strategy without considering other key initiatives in your company might lead to a lot of “spinning your wheels.” 

4. Being too rigid with your marketing plan and failing to adapt.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in recent years, it’s that businesses must be willing and prepared to adapt. In some cases, you can pivot your marketing tactics without abandoning your entire strategy. Sometimes, if there’s a major shake-up in your business or industry, you might need to overhaul your entire plan. 

5. Defining what your customers want without asking them. 

Marketing is all about helping customers understand how your business can help solve their challenges. It’s relational. And every good relationship is built on communication. If you want your marketing to resonate with customers, listen to them. Taking time to understand their challenges and create messaging built around their current reality is key to creating a more customer-centric culture

6. Talking about your products and services in a way that confuses an audience. 

Using complex phrases or industry jargon is one of the quickest ways to lose potential businesses. Customers will disengage if they can’t understand or relate to your message. 

If you work in a detailed industry, it’s important to find effective ways to explain the complex products or services that you offer. Making it simple for people to understand how they can become a client or customers is one of the easiest ways to gain potential business. 

7. Identifying the wrong KPIs or forgetting to measure results. 

Successful marketing initiatives often require the use of lessons learned from previous experiences. This means identifying the marketing metrics that matter most to the overall success of your business and developing the habit of measuring them on a regular basis. 

Green Apple Can Help Your Business Avoid Costly Marketing Mistakes

Everyone, from professional marketers to small business owners, makes marketing mistakes. But even if you make some mistakes, you should be ready to learn from them. If you’re looking for a way to take your marketing to the next level or simply need help managing everything that is required for reaching your goals, our team can help. Contact us to learn more about our unique approach and schedule a discovery call with our team. 


Setting Your 2023 Marketing Goals: A Guide

Setting the right goal is the backbone of an effective inbound marketing strategy. It can provide a foundation for how you develop your marketing approach. It can also help you identify milestones to track as you make progress toward important business objectives. 

While business leaders and marketing managers recognize the importance of setting marketing goals, defining them is often easier said than done. Where do you start? Which goals will truly help you move the needle? How much should you stretch while still identifying SMART marketing goals that are attainable? These aren’t easy questions to answer.  

7 Steps to Identify The Right Marketing Goals for 2023

After hundreds of conversations over the years, we’ve discovered a few best practices that can help you set marketing goals that align with your overall business objectives. Whether you’re just starting the process of defining your goals or finalizing your marketing plan, here are a few helpful steps to ensure you set the right marketing goals for the year: 

Step #1: Evaluate and Analyze This Year’s Goals 

Taking time to reflect on your experience over the past year is the best place to start. What were your goals at the beginning of the year? Were they helpful in moving you toward your ultimate business goals? Were you too ambitious in some areas? Were there certain obstacles that kept you from achieving your goals? Which goals would you keep and which would you jettison?

These are all incredibly helpful questions to help you develop smarter marketing goals for the following year. At Green Apple, we often encourage our clients to include other stakeholders in the process of evaluating goals. Whether it’s capturing anecdotal feedback or conducting a thorough SWOT analysis, it’s important to approach the conversation with honesty and candor.  

You won’t be able to improve if you don’t take the time to identify your current reality. This leads to the next step. 

Step #2: Define Your Current Position and Barriers to Growth

Defining the proper marketing goals requires an accurate understanding of your current reality. It’s important to consider your current growth level. You shouldn’t expect to grow by double digits (without a significant shift in budget or strategy) if you’ve averaged 2-3% growth. This also means making an honest assessment of your limitations. Every marketing tactic requires time, energy, and resources. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to set audacious marketing goals without the ability to make the necessary investment to achieve them. 

Step #3: Incorporate Your Business Goals and Initiatives into Your Marketing Goals 

One of the best ways for your marketing efforts to impact your business is to ensure your goal supports the overall direction of your company. This is an often overlooked but essential step in setting your marketing goals. As we partner with clients to develop their marketing strategy, we take time to identify any business objectives marketing should support. Often, this requires collaboration between the C-suite, marketing team, business development team, and even customer service and operations. 

The point is to understand what your company is trying to achieve so that you know where to invest your marketing budget.

Step #4: Identify Your Priorities

If you could only focus on three or four marketing goals for the year, what would they be? If you could only focus on one, what would it be? Asking these two questions can help you define your priorities. Biting off more than you can chew is a common mistake when it comes to setting the right marketing goals. 

Ranking your priorities can ensure you focus on what’s most important. It can also provide clarity if you’re forced to make budget cuts or other business decisions that might impact your overall marketing campaign. 

Step #5: Set Clear, Written Objectives and Key Results 

Based on the insights you gain from the first four steps, you’re ready to define your marketing goals. Writing your goals down is also important. According to research from CoSchedule, marketers who write down their goals are 376% more likely to report success than those who don’t. 

It’s important to have a timeline for each goal or objective. For example, 

  • Goal: Grow our social media following
  • Objective: Increase social media audience by 30% by April 1, 2023
Step #6: Detail Your Milestones and Metrics for Success

The best way to drive your results and keep your team motivated is to break down your annual goals into quarterly and monthly milestones. This can also be helpful if you work in an industry where certain times of year are busier than others. 

For example, if you have a Q2 sales goal that’s higher than normal, you might want to set a Q1 lead generation goal that can support it. 

Step #7: Determine How to Translate Metrics into Actionable Insights 

If you want to achieve your end goal, it’s important to be able to translate your marketing results into actionable insights. This shift in the way you approach marketing metrics can make a huge difference.  

If you’re struggling to identify the right marketing goals for your business, you’re not alone. We’ve worked with businesses in a variety of industries, and each has its own unique set of challenges when it comes to setting the right goals. 

Let Us Help You Achieve Your Goals

If you need help setting the right goals or designing a marketing strategy to help you achieve your business goals, our team is here to help. 

Surprising New Marketing Trends that Work

Every January, marketing pros come out with their “top trends” to watch for the upcoming year. These are popular and helpful resources since marketing always seems to be changing, and it can be difficult to keep up with all the trends. But we rarely take time to look back and highlight what marketing trends actually worked.  

At Green Apple, we’re constantly looking for new ideas or strategies that might help our clients achieve their goals. We also recognize that one of the most helpful tactics can be to stop and reflect on what’s working and what’s not. As we head into Q4 of 2022, we thought we’d take some time to reflect on the first nine months and highlight the marketing trends that have been most effective so far this year. 

7 Surprising New Marketing Trends that Work 

While AI, visual content, and personalization were all hot trends heading into 2022, here are seven tactics we found to be most helpful for our clients this year: 

1. Flexible Strategies that Pivot

Most companies head into a new year with a comprehensive marketing plan that lasts 12 months. The problem occurs when the strategies and tactics fail to produce results. Then what?

The one trend that everyone can depend on is that tactic effectiveness will change and shift throughout the year. We’ve found that developing flexible approaches that anticipate changes can be one of the most valuable ways to pivot your marketing efforts without abandoning your entire strategy

2. Surprise & Delight 

Consumers are seeking comfort and delight as they emerge from the pandemic. This year, we’ve seen incredible results from taking time to show appreciation and bring joy to someone’s day through surprise and delight strategies. These moments work as a brand differentiator, and they can also be a highly effective strategy for fostering long-term customer loyalty.  

3. Adapting Content Strategies to Meet Changing Consumer Habits 

The way people consume content has changed. While video-based content and social media were at the forefront of the discussion this year, it’s particularly important to consider your audience’s preferences when crafting your content strategy in 2022. A decade ago, most marketers focused primarily on written content, whether online or in print. Today’s businesses must consider the way content marketing and consumer habits have evolved

4. Promoting Your Corporate Social Responsibility Platform

As conscious consumerism continues to gain steam, many companies have made social responsibility part of their company DNA. On a large scale, we saw numerous companies highlight their plan to reduce their carbon footprint in 2022. But even on a smaller scale, we’ve seen the power of highlighting your company’s desire to make a positive difference in your community. 

5. Employee Engagement

In today’s digital world,  it’s essential to make an effort to know your customers on a personal level. Without it, your digital marketing efforts are likely to fall flat. Getting your employees involved in your marketing has become a powerful strategy. Shifting your marketing strategy from product- or service-centered to people-centered could be a helpful strategy as you look for ways to connect with your audience in Q4 and beyond. 

6. Micro-Stories & Bite-Size Content 

Tiktok and other video-based marketing channels were all the rage at the beginning of the year. And while they’re influence has undoubtedly grown, we’ve seen the “micro-content” trend expand to nearly every marketing channel. For example, we’ve seen incredible success in helping our clients reformat content into micro-infographics for media. In short, the easier we can make it for people to read and digest our content, the more likely they’ll share it. 

7. SMS Marketing 

Text campaigns were one of those surprising trends that no one was really talking about at the beginning of the year. And yet, it seems like so many companies have turned to SMS marketing as a way to reach customers. SMS messages have an open rate of 98%, making texts the superior marketing channel. While many B2C companies have used SMS for product alerts and promotions, we’re curious to see if there are ways B2B companies can utilize it to engage customers as the tactic continues to evolve. 

While you might not be able to predict which channels and tactics will really work next year, you can embrace the timeless principles and strategies that are behind them.

Is Print Advertising Still Viable?

Printing press

Let’s face it: It is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to stand out and earn attention in today’s noisy world. While most of our content marketing focus has gone digital, especially in the news and media industry, print advertising is still a viable tactic to consider. Here are some surprising statistics about the viability of print advertising that are important for businesses and marketers to know:

  • Print ads generate a 20% higher motivation response, even more so if it appeals to more senses beyond touch. 
  • There is a 77% higher brand recall for print ads vs. 46% for digital ads.
  • Magazines and newspapers delivered the highest ROI of advertising at 125% — more than other ad mediums, like TV and digital’s ROI of 87%. 

Print advertising isn’t dead. Depending on our clients’ target audience and goals, we’ve found that print advertising has some advantages over digital features.

4 Benefits of Print Advertising

Here are four unique benefits that print advertising offers for your marketing:

1. Print advertising can help boost brand awareness and reputation. 

Print can be a powerful ally in reinforcing the brand message, establishing brand identity, and raising brand awareness. In fact, the percentage of people who pay close attention to print ads has more than doubled in the past decade, from 23% in 2010 to 49% in 2020. 

2. Print advertising increases the longevity of exposure.

Ad view times are incredibly low online. When you invest in print media, you create an opportunity for your advertisements to stick around for years. Whether it’s in a magazine, newspaper, or other printed publication, investing in print advertising provides long-term exposure for your audience. 

3. Print advertising is often more memorable.

The internet can be a distracting place. This weakens the effectiveness of digital advertising. On the other hand, people tend to remember more of the print content they read, which could have a bigger impact on mindshare for your brand. A recent study found that 75% of people reading the print ad could retrieve the information on it, compared to 44% who saw a digital version of the same ad.

4. Print advertising helps create a more emotional connection with your audience. 

Creating an emotional connection with potential customers is essential for inspiring them to take action. According to a study conducted by the United States Postal Service and Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making, print advertisements initiated a more robust emotional response than digital. Printed advertising has the unique ability to engage all the senses, which, in turn, creates a more emotional experience.

How to Strategically Invest in Print Advertising

How can you make print advertising work for your brand? Here are a few key strategies to consider:

1. Identify publications that reach your target audience.

Knowing your target audience is an essential part of any marketing strategy. When it comes to print marketing, this is important because you need to know what publications will help you reach your audience and what advertisements will be most appealing if you want them to work. 

2. Make sure your advertising grabs their attention.

You want to make sure your print ads and marketing campaigns rise above the noise. If you want to grab your audiences’ attention, your print advertising should make a statement that instantly intrigues and entices your customer. You can do this by using things like a strong headline or compelling images.

3. Create an omnichannel experience with your print advertising.

Combining traditional advertising, like print, billboards, and direct mail, with digital ads has proven to be four times more effective than those just employing digital resources to generate consumer engagement. That’s why it’s important to consider how to drive your audience to engage online through your print advertising. It could be adding an enticing “hook” and driving people to your website or social media accounts. QR codes have also become an effective way to combine print and digital advertising. 

4. Find ways to track & measure your advertising performance. 

Print advertising can be harder to track than digital so you can never be sure about how many people you’ve reached. That’s why it’s important to find creative ways to analyze your investment. One of the best ways to track print advertising is by placing a unique URL within the ad that leads customers to a specific landing page just used for that purpose.

Developing the most effective print advertising campaign comes down to the basic marketing principles of knowing your audience, creating compelling content that inspires action, and constantly analyzing your efforts. If you’re looking for a new way to reach customers, consider the impact print advertising could make for your business.

Hiring a Marketing Agency: The 7 Questions You Should Ask

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Searching for the right marketing agency is a process. We understand—there are a lot of options. How can you know which one is the best? Like any relationship, they need to earn your trust, and you want to feel confident before selecting the right one. Before you grant them the power of connecting with your audience, spending your marketing funds, and accessing your client information, you need to feel assured in your decision. To make the process easier, we assembled the top seven questions you should ask your contenders before hiring a marketing agency.

1. What Are Your Industry Specialties?

Are you a B2B or B2C company? Do you have a niche? While some marketing agencies don’t promote specializing in one area, discussing their most popular industries or projects is worth mentioning. If you want to improve SEO, and the agency focuses primarily on media relations, be sure to keep your goals in mind and not settle if you want an agency that has more experience in your current priorities. 

Having conversations about common client types also allows you to ask if they are currently working with any of your competitors. Knowing possible conflicts of interest at the beginning will prevent potential development or implementation roadblocks that could negatively impact your service.

2. How do you Communicate with Clients?

One of the greatest benefits of working with a marketing agency is having insight into marketers’ perspectives. However, you want to be sure that these suggestions and ideas are being effectively communicated with you.

Even if you’re new to agency business, you have an idea of how often you need updates or what your communication preferences are. Asking for reporting and dialogue habits will help determine if that’s what you want in an agency partnership. Most agencies will listen and correspond to your preferences. That being said, it will be helpful if your priorities align. That way, both sides are comfortable, resulting in more effective processes and results. 

3. How Much Will This Cost?

Yes, talking about money can be uncomfortable. However, these conversations are necessary early on to determine your options. You don’t want to go with the least expensive option because they’re the cheapest, and you also shouldn’t proceed with the most costly if there’s no valid reasoning. 

Describe what you want and ask them what that range looks like, but continue to dig beyond that. Determine how pricing is structured, what resources they’ll utilize, what percentage goes toward efforts vs. billing, etc. Once you have the numbers you’re looking for, compare with a few other finalists and determine what seems the most valuable to you. 

4. What Do I Own before Our Contract Ends?

There are some instances where the client does not own any of the content that the agency developed for them. This could include photography, graphics, coding, or other branded resources that you may assume are yours. It is imperative to discuss this information upfront so that you know exactly what you are agreeing to. Just in case the relationship or project goes awry, you want to know what is legally yours to avoid issues. 

5. Who Will I Be Working with Directly?

Building a foundation with your leading account holder(s) is beneficial for communication, expectations, and trust. Asking who you will be working with allows you the opportunity to research the individuals on LinkedIn and discover their professional background, including experience and longevity. While newer executives shouldn’t be discarded, it may give you peace of mind to find senior team members who will assist you with your account.  

6. Can I see Your References?

Just like when you’re shopping online or deciding on a restaurant, reviews and photos give you what you need in your decision-making process. In your agency decision process, request case studies, testimonials, and examples that they find valuable. If ROI is important to you, ask specifically for projects with metric-centered results, like audience growth and CTA conversion. If you’re re-branding or need graphic design assistance, focus on visible transformations, like logo or website portfolios. 

7. What Are Your Expectations of Your Clients?

Is there a limit on revisions? Are there certain times that are off-limits? When is an appropriate turnaround time for approval? Talking about expectations for you as a client helps you distinguish how much or little you want to be involved or if your priorities coordinate. 

At the end of the day, you’re the client, and they are working for you. If their expectations aren’t reasonable for you, don’t settle. There are plenty more fish in the sea. 

Bonus: Ask yourself: What does my gut say?

We sometimes tend to ignore gut feelings, and we usually regret that. Maybe an agency looks good on paper, but you lack the chemistry with your account executive. Don’t dismiss your intuition, even if your brain is thinking something else. 

Throughout the process, you’ll learn the agency’s values, culture, and leadership, and you will quickly find out if there are certain details that you can’t get past. Trusting your instincts will only lead to better opportunities. 

Thinking About Hiring a Marketing Agency?

Hiring a marketing agency involves many factors, and it can be daunting signing the dotted line. We want you in the right marketing hands just as much as you do. Green Apple Strategy helps companies strategically tell their stories and successfully implement their goals through our comprehensive set of services. Schedule a consultation today. We would love to see if we’re the right fit for you!