Timmons&Company President, Bob Kent

Timmons&Company President, Bob Kent, explains how his engineering background informs the ethos of the marketing firm.

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Marketing ROI: Think Inside the Box

How the big impact of a dimensional mailer can drive response rates and deliver lasting results.

In the digital age, direct mail is often considered an advertising avenue of the past. With response rates averaging from 2-4%, combined with expensive printing and postage costs, many marketers have moved on to more “cost-effective” mediums.

However, dimensional mailers still deliver high ROI. Research at Baylor University shows that dimensional mail outperforms flat mail by huge numbers. It has 20 times the penetrating power of flat direct mail, boosts response rates by as much as 75% and scores 80% or better in generating positive opinions among recipients.

With those kinds of results, perhaps you should think inside the box for your next marketing campaign.

Must-Open Appeal

One thing that separates dimensional mailers from flat mailers (and even many digital mediums) is their must-open appeal. Dimensional mailers tap into our natural curiosity and beg to be opened. Face it, when someone sends you a box, you’re going to open it.

Barrier Breakthrough

Dimensional mailers are particularly effective at cutting through the clutter and getting the attention of hard-to-reach targets. For example, in addition to being extremely busy, CEOs of large companies have a range of gatekeepers (mail rooms, secretaries etc.) that filter their mail and may prevent your letter from even reaching the right destination. However, if you send a CEO a box, a secretary is far less likely to throw it away.

The Right Choice for the Right Database

Dimensional mailers are expensive. The postage and production costs alone are much higher than that of other direct mediums – which is why dimensional mailers are best suited for a very targeted database. If you have a contact that you know would be interested in and benefit from your offer, there are few tactics that are more effective than a dimensional mailer.

Firsthand Success

Over the last 38 years, Timmons&Company has orchestrated many dimensional mailer campaigns for a range of different clients in different industries – all of which were a success (one even delivered a 78% response rate). Contact us to see some samples or find out more.

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The Eternal Internal Dilemma: In-house Marketing vs. The Agency

Marketing is an Investment
In today’s economic environment it is more important than ever to make sure you get the most out of every dollar you invest in your business. If managed wisely, one of the most important, and potentially most lucrative, investments is the money you spend on marketing.

When looking to reduce costs, manager’s first reactions are usually to bring more business functions in-house in order to eliminate the premiums charged by marketing agencies and other vendors.

However, when it comes to getting the most for your limited marketing dollars, in terms of return-on-investment and overall quality of work, increasing your in-house capabilities is likely not the most cost-effective or efficient use of your money.

As quoted in a 2008 Harvard study by Horsky, Michael and Silk, “An in-house agency sacrifices size-related economies realized by an independent agency serving numerous clients. Use of an outside agency is less costly than operating an in-house agency.”

Analyze Your Situation
Think for a moment about your current marketing department—their roles, responsibilities, expertise and limitations.

Consider the total cost of recruiting, hiring, training and retaining a single new marketing professional for your organization and calculate the combined cost of the marketing team that handled your last project. How long did it take them to complete the project? Did they have a budget beyond their personal compensation packages? Was the team able to handle every aspect of the project, from conception to creative development, graphic design, website maintenance and coordinated implementation—or, did they still have to coordinate with other departments or contract an outside agency for some of these services?

Add It Up
The numbers below are the average salaries of various positions in a typical corporate marketing department. A small company may not have a need for all of these positions, but a larger company likely needs more than one individual for a few of them. When you include the cost of training, benefits, technology resources and general overhead, the total cost to maintain the department is much higher.

Average Base Salaries in U.S.:
Creative Director – $88,690 Copywriter- $41,776
Account Executive- $42,987 Marketing Data Architect- $50,366
Advertising Supervisor- $69,406 Corporate Strategist- $250,000
Project Coordinator- $30,553 Production Manager- $49,330
Graphic Designer- $37,417 Public Relations Strategist- $62,767
Art Director- $79,600 Media Buyer- $56,438
Web Developer- $51,898

Depending on the extent of your marketing needs, it is likely that for the cost of just one or two of these salaries you could have a more experienced, dedicated, and flexible team of marketing professionals at your fingertips—capable of turning around your projects in days instead of weeks.

Beyond the Numbers
In addition to financial savings, ad agencies provide an objective opinion of your industry and your position within it. They are more inclined to push back and challenge corporate ideas as to the best way to implement your marketing strategy.

Agencies employ some of the best creative and strategic minds in the business—they are ahead of the curve regarding best practices and have years of experience to draw from. They are not only on top of the latest marketing trends, but it is likely they have successfully developed and implemented similar campaigns in the last few months, and therefore know, first-hand, which strategies have proven to be most effective.

Next time you face a marketing project that is beyond the capabilities of your current team, make sure you consider all of the benefits a marketing agency has to offer before deciding to invest in new staff or technology.

Working with an experienced agency will likely allow your company to save money, receive better quality work and, more importantly, focus more time and effort towards the core business functions that drive your profitability.

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Two Ingredients for Communications that Communicate

 

Stand out with marketing that’s attractive and distinctive.

On a daily basis, the average consumer is bombarded with over 3,000 advertising and promotional messages. Unfortunately for marketers, the majority of these messages are ignored. People tune out messages that don’t appeal to their wants and needs or offerings they already buy from trusted suppliers. The only way to get your target audience’s attention in a meaningful way is to present communications that are attractive and distinctive.

Attraction: This refers to ensuring that your communications provide your target audience with a value they generally want, need or desire. If they’re not attracted to what you are selling, they won’t consider you when they make a purchase.

Distinction: You also have to communicate the unique value only you or your product/service can offer. Why would they use your company over any of your competitors? If you don’t give them a reason to buy your product, they won’t.

Many ads fall into the trap of communicating one or the other, however your communications need both of these characteristics to be effective.

Using these principles, we recently developed an ad campaign aimed at tattoo artists for Alconox. As critical cleaning experts, Alconox wanted to communicate that they’re cleaning solutions are the best for cleaning tattoo equipment.

The ad we created will attract tattoo artists by offering them the benefit of being able to create great art using the cleanest equipment. The distinction lies in the power of their cleaning products that have been used to sterilize equipment in the healthcare field for over 65 years.

To see some more samples of effective communications we’ve developed for our clients, click here.

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Maximize Your Marketing With Differentiation

Get better ROI by building your brand around what you do better than your competitors.

Many companies make the mistake of failing to differentiate their product from their competitors. If you’re not communicating what you do best, your target audience will have no reason to choose your offering. If you don’t give them a clear reason to choose your offering, they’ll choose an offering that does. And if they think your offering is of the same value and quality as all others in your category, they’ll simply pick the cheapest one.

To maximize the effectiveness of your communications, you need to discover your offering’s distinguishable characteristic that causes it to eclipse other available alternatives. Then you need to build your brand, marketing and all other communications around this point of difference.

Here are three steps to stand out in the marketplace:

  1. Discover – Conduct an objective analysis of your product’s benefits. Determine which unique aspects of your product address genuine market interests, opportunities or needs.
  2. Develop – Craft all your communications toward achieving awareness of the unique benefit consumers only get when they use your product.
  3. Reinforce – Deliver on this benefit every time consumers come into contact with your name, product, staff or marketing.

Using these principles, we recently developed a campaign for Fres-co®, a packaging supplier. One of the main things that separates Fres-co from their competitors is their single source approach to packaging – giving manufacturers the cost-savings and convenience benefits of getting all their packaging needs from one company.

Recognizing the growing opportunities in the single serve coffee market, we developed this ad to reinforce Fres-co’s value – giving coffee manufacturers a very good reason to choose Fres-co.

To see some more samples of distinctive communications we’ve developed for our clients, click here.

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Is Your Brand Suffering From a Lack of Differentiation?

Keane Stands Out with              Refreshed Brand
The Keane Organization, Inc. provides corporate compliance and enterprise risk management solutions to the world’s most successful companies. While their services were second to none, their brand messaging was failing to differentiate them in the marketplace. Timmons&Company was hired to refresh their brand with messaging and a visual identity that better reflected their position as an industry leader.

Keane’s old brand and brand promise was vague and lacked the spirit of innovation that truly defined their company. We began the re-branding initiative by crafting a new tagline – “Transform Risk into Reward” – a clear benefit statement that was a game changer for a business and industry that struggles to convince prospects of the importance of compliance issues. By incorporating this promise of bottom-line improvement into all of their marketing strategies, the company clarified its value and moved itself into a more powerful selling position.

Once the new messaging was established, the design process began. Imagery was selected that “broke the mold” from standard solutions-type images or partner-type consulting images. A series of active photographs of individuals engaged in high-risk activities—captured at a dramatic moment of cooperation—created a unique look that portrayed their innovative nature and separated them from the competition.

Revitalizing brands is just one of the many ways we’ve been helping our clients succeed since 1974. Click Here to see some more samples of work we have done.

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Happy Birthday Twitter!

What better way to celebrate this social network’s 6th birthday than to showcase it’s 6 best ads. Twitter isn’t known for being the most creative or groundbreaking when it comes to their ads but their loyal following made sure to give every spot the detention they thought it deserved.

1. My Mom’s On Twitter!

2. Picture What’s Happening Now

3. Twitter: Faster Than Earthquakes

4. At Twitter, The Future Is You

5. Your To Discover

6. Discover What’s New In Your World

Read more from Adweek 

Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Timmons&Company is a well-trained, fast-moving, strategically-oriented group of creative marketing professionals. We quickly assess our clients’ marketing objectives, create a strategic plan, recommend tactics, produce Madison Avenue quality creative, and implement the plan, on time and on budget.

 

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Psychology And Advertising

This video was put together with a vintage feel but it has good information about the psychology that mosts advertisers leverage when planning their campaigns. This is good insight for anyone in business but also for the consumer. Let us know what you think in the comment box below.

Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Timmons&Company is a well-trained, fast-moving, strategically-oriented group of creative marketing professionals. We quickly assess our clients’ marketing objectives, create a strategic plan, recommend tactics, produce Madison Avenue quality creative, and implement the plan, on time and on budget.

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So What’s So Pinteresting?

In case you missed it. Pinterest is the new visual social network that has taken the world by storm. User’s pin up their favorite images and videos from all over the internet or their own personal collection to share with the world. Other users then have the ability to Repin or Like any of the things that have pinned to your boards.

Why is it so popular?

Pinterest is the first social network that really lets you SHOW people how you think, what you love and how unique you are instead of just telling them. Sure, you can share pictures on Facebook and Twitter but both of those networks are based on written communication, while Pinterest takes advantage of the classic adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Why is it so successful?

There are several things that this startup did perfectly to ensure their current level of success. The initially leveraged the buzz building “exclusivity” by making people request an invite and them making them wait. This worked perfectly in building the excitement. They also created a button that stays at the top of your browser all the time that makes it near impossible to forget about the social site. Now, every time someone sees an image they like anywhere on the internet they just have to push the “Pin It” button on their bookmark bar and they’re good to go.

Pinterest was also smart in integrating the social media giants like Facebook and Twitter to help users make the pining process even more social.

Can brands use it?

DEFINITELY! Pinterest has become one of the top sources for driving traffic across the internet. Brands should be pinning their own photos and products like crazy. Before you go too pin crazy, consider these three tips for your business.

1. Be Pinteresting – Don’t just pin up your products and call it a day. Create different boards to show different interests that your brand has. This is your chance to add some depth to your brand so do it!

2. Pin Eye Candy – People on Pinterest are scanning through hundreds or thousands of photos in short amounts of time so put some photos up that will bring the eyes to you.

3. Write a good description – Write out a thoughtful explanation of what you pinned and why it matters. Use some key words in the description that your potential customers might be searching for, but don’t do it in a cheesy way.

Are you on Pinterest? Share your thoughts in the comment box below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Timmons&Company is a well-trained, fast-moving, strategically-oriented group of creative marketing professionals. We quickly assess our clients’ marketing objectives, create a strategic plan, recommend tactics, produce Madison Avenue quality creative, and implement the plan, on time and on budget.

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The Branding Process For Businesses Big or Small

Developing a brand isn’t something that happens overnight. There’s a process to it, just like there is with anything else. You need a strategy and a plan and even the identity before you even get to your logo. From there you have an unlimited number of ways to communicate your brand message and you need to have a specific goal and strategy for each one. The infographic below does a good job of mapping out SOME of the work it takes to achieve successful branding.

What do you think is the hardest part of the brand process? Share your thoughts in the comment box below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Timmons&Company is a well-trained, fast-moving, strategically-oriented group of creative marketing professionals. We quickly assess our clients’ marketing objectives, create a strategic plan, recommend tactics, produce Madison Avenue quality creative, and implement the plan, on time and on budget.

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