The Network

A Berry Network Blog

Demand runs high for mobile marketing as consumers embrace mobile devices

The passion for mobile devices has translated into a new “always-on” reality for consumers.  In fact, 9 out of 10 consumers almost always have their mobile devices with them – according to immr (a research-based consultancy). This always-on reality gives marketers the ability to get closer to their desired audiences than ever before. Over the past two years, Smartphone adoption in the US has exceeded 61%1 and Tablets have become significantly more affordable and mainstream. As a result, the constant connectivity gives consumers the ability to interact with businesses anytime and anywhere.  Businesses are taking notice and have begun to embrace the new always-on consumer reality. Marketers are realigning budgets to ensure ads appear wherever their audiences’ eyes are focused. eMarketer projects the amount spent on mobile advertising in the US will total $14.9 billion in 2014. As demand grows, mobile marketing options continue to expand and improve. Mobile marketing strategies need to be individually customized for each business based on their product/service set and objectives. In some cases, mobile marketing might be as easy as adapting your website to make it compatible with mobile devices. Other businesses may benefit from a more complete mobile marketing strategy that includes mobile search and mobile display components. Berry Network offers a wide-variety of mobile marketing options at varying price points – including Mobile Search, Mobile Display, SEM/SEO, LLM, SMS and other lead gen solutions. One example of a particularly effective mobile product we offer is the YP Mobile product – as explained in this short video.  Mobile marketing is changing fast and it can be a little intimidating, but our team of digital experts can design a mobile marketing program that will complement your existing advertising and help you capture the eyes of your always-on consumers.   Source: 1 Nielsen – Mobile Majority: US Smartphone Ownership Tops 60% June 2013

Devcon Security Partners with Berry Network, Inc.

A new partnership between Devon Security and Berry Network, Inc. is particularly important to Devcon’s massive nationwide expansion efforts.   By leveraging Berry Network’s strength and expertise in local search advertising, the new alliance will help Devon Security build brand awareness and increase advertising presence in new market areas.    “We chose to partner with Berry Network because of the strategic value they bring to the table,” said Kristin Clark, Devcon Security’s Vice President of Marketing. “The team at Berry Network excels at implementing our advertising programs, but more importantly, they’re willing to develop and explore unconventional strategies to help us achieve our goals.”   “Devcon is a perfect fit for our agency,” according to Sherri Kavanaugh, Berry Network’s Vice President of Client Strategy.  “We’re at our best when we’re working with clients that desire a true strategic partner. Devcon is strong, expanding rapidly and there are lots of opportunities for us to utilize our expertise, tools and proprietary technology to support and accelerate their growth.”   About Devcon: Devcon Security is one of the fastest growing security companies in the nation. Founded in 2004, the Devcon brand is composed of local security companies rooted in the security business since 1968. Devcon is run by a management team with more than 100 years of security experience and employs nearly 1100 people in offices across the nation. Utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, Devcon maintains two monitoring centers and offers superior customer service. The company offers residential home security systems, as well as small and large business security solutions – including commercial alarms and video surveillance systems. Devcon is proud to be among a small percentage of security companies to have a 5-Diamond certification from the Central Station Alarm Association.

Create Interest for a More Effective Yellow Pages Ad

Part 2 of a 4-Part series on Yellow Pages ad design In part 1 of this 4-part series, we discussed attracting attention to your Yellow Pages ad. Today, in part 2, we are looking at a closely related topic - creating interest. As a Yellow Pages user scans the pages of a particular heading in the directory - their eyes are jumping from one focal point to another. They are also filtering what their eyes are seeing based on criteria that are both conscious and subconscious. The content of the focal point that you design in your ad to momentarily stop their eye needs to get caught by this filter and immediately create enough interest for the user to want to stay and dig a little deeper into the rest of your ad.  The Scan­ An example of the filtering process mentioned above would be similar to someone scanning a list of names looking for their own. The human brain is so powerful - we don’t need to read every name because in our mind we have a set of criteria or filters defining what our name looks like. We can quickly identify our name from very long lists arranged in random order. This is mostly a conscious process. But what happens if you scan across something in the list you were not consciously looking for, like the name of a good friend. Your mind actually identifies the name based on subconscious criteria and we find our conscious self surprised by the name we just discovered. This is why, in addition to attracting attention, creating interest is so important. Someone could be scanning the pages with your brand in mind or your particular service, but if the subconscious filter grabs onto something in another ad before your brand or service is found then your chances of getting that phone call just dropped dramatically. The Logo Trap One of the traps many companies fall into with their Yellow Pages ads is making their name or logo the overwhelming focal point of their ad. They are proud of their name and their business and want to shout it from the mountain tops. They place it top and center and make it the largest item in their ad. Unfortunately if the Yellow Pages user is unfamiliar with your company or brand, there is little chance of a connection, either conscious or subconscious. Leveraging Your Headline If you are using a headline (I highly recommend it), it should be between 5-8 words long and occupy about 10-25% of the ad. It needs to be concise. Avoid using unnecessary adjectives and keep the message simple and clear. The message is critical and needs to relay the benefit of choosing your company to the Yellow Pages user. This is not an easy task and should be given ample thought. Many times when I ask clients for the benefits of choosing their company I get a list of products and features. Your products and features may be impressive but what people really want to know is how those products and features will benefit them and make their lives easier or better. The headline also needs to differentiate you among your competitors. In many industries this task is nearly impossible. Sometimes companies may be limited by government regulations or sometimes the technology or service has limitations. In these cases you may be able to create a perceived difference by using a unique approach to communicating the benefit or your brand. Service or support differentiation is another approach but has to include a reason to believe such as a guarantee, promise or customer testimonial to be believable and effective. Leveraging Your Image The image or photo in your ad should be unique, realistic (not staged looking), relevant to the category and also must support the headline. It should display the solution to the problem driving the user to the Yellow Pages. Reflecting the problem back at the user generally reduces the effectiveness of Yellow Pages ads. You can create additional interest in your ad by highlighting special offers like discounts, coupons, free services or free information. These are most effective when they are given special treatment like bold text or reversed in a circle, starburst or other interesting shape. We’ve attracted their attention and now we’ve got them digging in to the content of your ad. In part 3 we will be looking at answering a need with the general content of your ad.  Are people digging in to the content of your Yellow Pages ad? Leave a comment and let us know.

3 Keys to Attract Attention with Your Yellow Pages Ad

Part 1 of a 4-Part series on Yellow Pages ad design    In the Yellow Pages environment, attracting attention with your ad is almost as important as having your phone number in the ad. All of your competitors are right there on the page next to you - if Yellow Pages users don’t look at your ad… there is no way they are going to call. Attracting attention really does come down to seconds or fractions of a second. The human brain has a tendency to want to make sense out of whatever the eyes are looking at and searches for items that are visually prominent, familiar, different, or interesting. Here are three key factors for making sure your YP ad is attracting attention. Focal Point Many Yellow Pages ads have what I call ‘sameness syndrome’ where everything in the ad is similarly sized and spread out so the entire ad is just a pool of ‘blah’.  Or they try to make so many things stand out that the result is pure chaos. To attract attention, your ad needs to have a strong visual focal point. A focal point uses design principles like size, contrast, color, shape, etc. to create a single point or area of focus. Ideally, your ad’s focal point will be strong enough to not only stand out within your ad, but also make your ad the focal point of the two page spread your ad occupies. Obviously, the size of your ad can have an impact on this – it is much easier to attract attention with a full page ad than an eighth page ad. Headline and Image The most common items to use as a focal point are a prominent headline, an engaging image or photo, or a paired combination of both. Your headline should be between 5-8 words long and occupy about 10-25% of the ad. Your image or photo needs to be visually simple. No more than three people in the photo. Avoid distracting backgrounds and crop in to the sweet spot of the photo or area of most interest. Ideally your image will occupy 25-35% of your ad. White Space As opposed to magazine advertising and depending on the size of your ad, generous use of white space in the Yellow Pages may be impractical. Content is the main driver of an effective Yellow Pages ad. Therefore the goal is more to provide adequate breathing space to the elements of your ad. Breathing space means leaving enough space between elements so they are clearly separate and do not run together. Without adequate breathing space your ad will appear cluttered and difficult to scan and read – not very inviting to someone searching for information. In addition to these key factors, you want to use a professional-quality logo that is easily identified in the ad. People want to know they are dealing with a legitimate business that will be around if they have any issues with the product or service. You also want to make sure your information is formatted as short bullets and not paragraphs. Bullets are easier to scan and understand quickly. Paragraphs may look like too much work and Yellow Pages users may move on to your competitor’s ad. If you follow these 3 keys to attracting attention you are off to a great start in developing an effective Yellow Pages ad. In part two we will be looking at a closely related topic - how to create interest in your ad once you have attracted the user’s attention.  How good is your Yellow Pages ad at attracting attention? Leave a comment and let us know. (Want to be notified when the next part of this series is posted? Just enter your email to the right and click ‘Notify Me’.)  

News Flash: Not Everyone Thinks Like You

One of the more frustrating parts about being in marketing is that the ideas we come up with are often scrutinized by others that only see things through their own eyes. They make the assumption that everyone thinks and acts just like them. Take social media; if you are like me, you have probably heard statements like the following: “I don’t understand why we need to invest in Twitter. I tried Twitter and didn’t like it.” - Despite that over 50 million active Twitter users do like it and use it. “Why should we invest in Facebook, only college kids and teenagers use it.” - Despite 38% of Facebook users are age 35 or older and the growth rate for those 55 and older is 59%. “The only thing LinkedIn is good for is to find a new job.” - Despite that LinkedIn can help you get answers to tough business questions by connecting you to experts in your field. You get the picture. The example above is not limited to social media. Take the Yellow Pages. Sure, usage of printed Yellow Pages has declined, but the way some bloggers and others in the media are talking you would think the Yellow Pages is on its last leg, despite the fact that U.S. adults made over 12 billion references made to print Yellow Pages last year. The bottom line is that we can’t allow people to judge our marketing plans based solely on their personal beliefs. It’s a diverse world out there. Some people use Twitter, some don’t. Some people use print Yellow Pages, some don’t. Some people read blogs, some don’t. The good news is that in today’s world there is a wealth of data we can use to support our marketing decisions. Marketers need to arm themselves with this data and defend their positions. We have to have the courage to remind the people who may criticize our marketing plans and that not everyone thinks and acts just like them.