2016 Election: All About the Message

Mike HardmanMarketingLeave a Comment

When I last posted, I talked about the advertising lessons then-candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton offered to us. We looked at their strategies through the AIDA lens. Now that we have a winner, we can review the campaigns even further. Donald Trump crafted the winning message and, as Paul Ryan noted, heard something that nobody else heard. He acted … Read More

It’s All about the Results

Mike HardmanMarketingLeave a Comment

Having the most creative campaign ever doesn’t mean a thing if you haven’t achieved your goal. The classic case, of course, remains pets.com. That sock puppet was hilarious! But the site eventually went out of business. Measuring the success of a campaign is crucial to being effective. I’ve written about this before, and it’s so important that I think it … Read More

Data. Beyond the Numbers.

Mike HardmanMarketingLeave a Comment

What do we mean when we say data? For me, it means any and all information we can gather to help us know our audience and the market. Too many times new clients come to me with a list of failed campaigns. They ask what went wrong? What will you do differently? My answer often lies in the data — … Read More

The Differences Between Content, Publicity & Advertising

Mike HardmanMarketingLeave a Comment

I remember the days when it was simple: advertising was coverage you paid for while publicity was coverage you got for free. (And yes, “free.”) Then content marketing came on the scene. Where does that fit in? A lot has been said on the subject, and while there are certainly some overlaps, I find it helpful to keep it simple. … Read More

Maintain Brand Authenticity

Mike HardmanAdvertising, MarketingLeave a Comment

Your agency comes to you and says they have a campaign that is “out of the box!” “attention grabbing!” Great! That’s what you want — right? Maybe not. The answer depends on your brand strategy. In an atmosphere where web links serve not to provide good content but to get you to click (an actual tactic called “clickbait”) and single … Read More

Extending the Product Life Cycle; The Evolving Product Claim

Mike HardmanMarketingLeave a Comment

Surely we’ve all seen the Cialis commercial where two people are in a bathtub looking out at the sunset, hoping that the male won’t suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED). Then the ad calls out that the product can help manage benign prostatic hyperplasia (PBH). This got me thinking about product claims. When consumers compare products, what are they comparing? They’re … Read More

Content Marketing: Establish Credibility

Mike HardmanMarketingLeave a Comment

Content marketing, according to the Communication Advertising Marketing Foundation, was 2015’s most important digital marketing trend. As we close out the year, let’s look at this important marketing strategy. Remember that it is a strategy — or at least it should be. Marketing basics applies here too: what is your brand essence? Who is your audience? How will we measure … Read More

Who Are Your Customers?

Mike HardmanMarketingLeave a Comment

A client of mine recently told me who their customers were — “everyone!” This is a common response. And at first glance, it makes sense: who wouldn’t want to sell to everyone? We all do! But strategic marketers know that focus is a key to success, and that a successful brand defines itself at least partially based on target audience. … Read More