Now is the time to push the limits of your brand creative

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As the economy reopens people will be in a hurry to break free from home quarantine and get back to “normal life” again. This is great news for all of us. But just because city and state requirements want you to slowly phase-in your business, that doesn’t mean your marketing strategy should be slowing down. If anything now is the time to announce your presence with authority.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind as we venture into this new normal together.

First of all, don’t panic. Your customers still need you. They want to feel connected again, but right now we’re all in need of a new customer experience. They key now is finding new ways to reach your customers and not only meet but exceed what they’ve come to expect and perhaps maybe even taken for granted.

Talk to your customers. Get your social media game face on. The technology is there to stay connected face to face with the people depending on you. If you’re reopening, make sure your customers know what changes to expect in your procedures. Ensuring you are meeting city and state guidelines is just as important right now as delivering your product.

Be aggressive. This isn’t the time to back off. There is a market out there for what you’re selling, and if you’re sitting on your hands trying to wait it out, you’re gonna miss out on that market share grab. Up close, it might look daunting, but take a step back and you’ll see the bigger picture. Your customers are out there. They’re waiting for you. Now is the time to find new and creative ways to get their attention.

After 45 years in Kansas City, we’ve seen our share of changes, granted nothing that has ever caused such an abrupt hiccup in the economy – but we’ve always been able to adjust, survive and advance. Give us a call.

Don’t let these uncertain times keep you from hitting your target audience

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Imperfection is slowly becoming a way of marketing. In this 21st century, we’re reasonably concerned about what the face of our company looks like, the way we deliver our messaging, how we package our goods and basically how all facets of everything we do portrays us to our consumers.

With modern conveniences placed on hold, now imperfection counts for something. Take for instance talk shows: they aren’t able to have the ambiance of their sets, the pulse of a live audience or live music to add to the experience. So, what have they done? They have used the imperfections to market themselves. They let their children draw the logos for the shows’ different segments. They let their kids sit behind them and play while they record their promotional clips…and if they interrupt, who cares? All the better.

If you’re watching television for even one second during a commercial break, you’ll see companies using clips of ambassadors, or even consumers, recording themselves and whoever is on FaceTime, Zoom or Skype with them as actual commercials. The General Car Insurance, Walmart and State Farm are just some examples of businesses who are doing this.Then we have chains like Burger King who are getting free advertising. They have offered free Whoppers to anyone who uses their billboards as a background on Zoom calls.

This is a perfect form of advertising and an imperfect one as well. It’s perfect because it’s free for Burger King, but it’s imperfect because they are not getting to hand pick who is promoting their product; something that when everything was ‘normal,’ we had the luxury to think about. In 2020 though, we are making imperfection and haphazard work for us.

It might even help us in some ways when everything does get back to normal. It can teach us that honesty, sincerity and creativity will always show through. Going with the moment might be a big asset not only for these times, but in future times too.

And that’s where we come in. At Fasone and Partners, we’ve been around the KC block a few times. After 45 years helping small business like yours, you better believe we know how to make something out of nothing. So, if the new normal, quarantine and a world of uncertainty has you at a loss for simple, effective creativity, maybe it’s time to give us a call.

Michal Fasone and Karol Angotti, Managing Partners

816.753.7272

Consumer trends all marketers should keep an eye on post Covid-19

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Now we know how the groundhog feels, coming out of our isolation to see if we can tell how much longer  the madness is going to endure. Covid-19 has been an absolute game changer in the marketplace. We’re yet to see the peak of the coronavirus here in the United States, but there has been a monumental impact on the way consumers are spending their money and time and that’s not about to change even as businesses start opening their doors again and we try and get back to whatever the “new normal” is. There are a few things to keep your eye on as the world begins to (slowly) open back up again and it all centers around where consumer eyes are going to be.

If your brand was in good standing before the pandemic really shut things down, chances are you’re good to go now. In these uncertain times, people are going to rely more and more on time tested and reliable brands. This is a good time to lean on your loyal customer and client base. But you have to be ready, willing and able to deliver on your promises. Loyalty is one thing, but people also know more and more options are beginning to present themselves.

Just because quarantine is (almost) over, doesn’t mean anything is going back to the way it used to be and this is especially critical for employees, depending on your business. Even as people slowly begin to trickle back into workplaces all over the city, one thing that cannot be denied: working from home, actually….isn’t that bad. Some companies may even consider enforcing or at least allowing a continued work from home freedom. This could be beneficial from an operations point of view but would also help provide safer and healthier work conditions should the virus out stay its projections. This means more eyes at home on devices.

The DIY craze isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Once people were stuck at home, they realized they can do more things on their own than they ever thought possible, and not only can they do it themselves, it’s easier and most of the time, less money out of the pocket. This is forcing some businesses to rethink their model. Everything is being bundled for convenience so we can take it home and put it together ourselves. This bug won’t go away. More and more people are going to start looking for ways to do more and more things for themselves.

Smart phones and tablets have changed the way we do just about everything. And now, thanks to streaming services like Hulu and Vudu people can watch their favorite shows and movies, socialize with literally everyone they know and shop for pretty much anything they’d ever want to leave the house for. Throw in the booming business of online food delivery services such as GrubHub and Door Dash, as well as the popularity of curbside pickup and it’s obvious that consumers are relying on digital transactions more than they ever have before.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a playbook for how to handle this. You’ve heard it all before, “we’re all in this together.” And that goes especially for us at Fasone and Partners. But that’s why we’re here and the good news is the light at the end of the tunnel is starting shine a little optimism on what has been a bit of a rough year. This is the time to address your creative and reach out to eager customers who are looking for you.

Let us help you determine the right path for you to take in these post-pandemic days. Give us a call, 816.753.7272 and we’ll help you ROAR loud enough to be heard by the right people.

How to Advertise During a Pandemic

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There are business decisions and advertising decisions. Usually these decisions can be made at the same time. However, these are not usual times.

Right now, it is likely your business is facing a struggle to maintain your market presence. Unfortunately, temporary restrictions are preventing you from being able to reach out to your customers in person as you normally might during stressful times and forcing you to do business in ways you’ve never done before.

Restaurants knew they had to adapt quickly in order to survive and the curbside model offered by very few in the past has been adapted as the ‘norm’ for the time being among the masses of Kansas City eateries.

If your business is able to remain open, your creative messaging needs to be innovative and thoughtful. Empathetic yet bold. And of course, please use a call to action with a nice offer! This helps maintain relevancy and keeps you fresh and on the minds of potential clients, which ultimately will help earn a greater market share growth when Kansas City reopens.

And yes, that market share is there. It’s waiting. And it will go to the businesses who are finding new ways to communicate with their customers whether they can reach them physically or not. Consumers are home and they’re spiking our local broadcast signals and data networks. They’re waiting for you to talk to them.

Industry, market and business leaders who have earned their place in the market before, know they can gain market share right now. Inventory is surprisingly more affordable than it has been in years and for the first time in my life, the government is telling us to stay home and stay in front of our screens. Again, talk to them!

Don’t worry, if you’re one of the businesses that wasn’t able to remain open, you can still stay in front of their audience as well to maintain market share when Kansas City re-opens. If your business model and advertising budget was already strong, don’t change your media! If it was working before it will still work, albeit with a few minor adjustments to adapt whatever the “new norm” and your customers will be waiting for you.

No matter whether your business is opened or closed get content posted on your socials. Keep the video content flowing. Adjust your TV, Digital, Radio messaging/creative. Let your media plan run or be a market leader and double down.

 

Media Consumption Spikes During Covid-19 Lockdown

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It is Fasone & Partners 45th year in the advertising industry and never have we gone through something so abrupt. A true “marketing disruptor” in advertising. Or is it?

There is an upside to this temporary downturn. For the first time, we have been told as a state and nation to stay home. When we stay home, we spend more time on our screens and devices. We read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch television, shop, stream music and socialize online. Whether it is through streaming, network, cable radio, or social, they are all experiencing big spikes. Kansas City is paying attention.

According to Nielsen, television viewing has increased on both network and cable. On Network, p2554 PUTs (people using television) are stable in the morning, up +50% during midday and an average +25% during early news; late news is stair climbing week after week, hitting a high 31 PUT week of 3/16. Week of 3/16 shows exceptionally strong growth for midday, early evening and late news. All Broadcast viewing has grown 11am-1pm and 3pm-9pm.

On Cable, Spectrum shows that ratings and impressions that ratings and impressions are up on cable news networks. Viewership grown on CNN was 94.2% during March, and on Fox there was a 90.7% growth in viewership. Cable Entertainment networks, according to Spectrum, are also up. The highest growth in viewership on the Entertainment networks was SYFY with 124.5% followed by the Game Show Network at 72.7% and HGTV at 67.9%.

Radio is also doing well. In March, radio retained 96% of its reach and 90% of its AQH audience. With people commuting less, middays 10am-3pm leads with the strongest audience retention at 92%. Listeners consumed more audio across more devices in March. 83% of adults and 64% of young adults (18-24) consuming the same or more ad-supported radio content. In-home engagement with radio content grew 26% via streaming across multiple devices. Device usage increases include mobile (19%), computer (12%), and smart speaker (10%). 32% of adults are consuming more podcasts and 30% are streaming more radio and time spent listening to radio has increased. Despite less mobility, 68% of OTA listening still took place outside the home. 78% say radio helps them deal with the Covid-19 crisis. 74% turn to local radio hosts to learn where to shop and which stores are open. 72% say local hosts make them feel informed.

To no one’s surprise, internet usage has increased. According to Forbes, the initial internet streaming and usage figures show total internet hits surged between 50% and 70%. Facebook and Google are expected to see negative month over month revenues for the first time ever. The reduction in advertiser spending has led to lower pricing meaning your advertising dollars will go 2-4x further now than it did just 30 days ago. The industries seeing increased searches on Google, according to WordStream, include charities/non-profits, health/medical, anything related to office operations or managing business, finance related business and beauty/personal care.

On demand media platforms are up 102%, while greetings cards, gift baskets and flowers are up 30%+. Streaming devices, both paid and free, have seen estimates of increases ranging 10-40%, with 44% of these happening on a Roku device, which means there are strong opportunities for OTT.

While no brand was ready for this, consumers are waiting to view and or hear your message. If you position yourself correctly during this lockdown, you will be poised to increase your market share when it is over.

During these uncertain times, a business that has done the following will benefit more than their competition:

  • Create content. Specifically, video content. Whether you produce your own content, or use your agency partner, a robust video library gives consumers the content they crave and most importantly, a touchpoint to your brand when they cannot see you in person.
  • Make sure your website is representative of who you are. Is it up to date and complimenting your outbound advertising both data and traditional? Does it have embedded video for your visitors so they can absorb your brand at their pace?
  • Adjust your creative. Don’t pause, readjust. If you are running television and or radio, adjust your messaging to be empathetic, relevant, but keep selling. Market share will be won and lost during this time. Built up demand will go to the businesses that are most aggressive right now.

At the time this is being written, we are home too. We are doing what most Kansas Citians are, watching television, listening to radio and updating social. As small business owners ourselves, we have also had to ask the hard question: Do we cut our advertising budget? Answer: No. We too our advice and simply adjusted our messaging.

Now is the time to reach more people. If your business can afford it, stay in business as usual, or double down. Canceling or pausing your marketing plan will save you now but cost you in the long term. Do not let a market disruptor change your marketing plan.

Continue to ROAR.

A Look Back: It’s Never Too Soon

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2020: where has it gone? We can’t believe it’s almost spring. It seems like just yesterday our conference room was filled to the brim with gifts, wrapping paper, bows and boxes as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of our Toys for Toddies charity event.

The holiday party was celebrated with some of our favorite clients, associates, friends and family. We ate infamous KC BBQ, played games, laughed and went home with extra happy hearts (and full bellies).

Fasone is thrilled to say we had another incredible year of donations, making this one of our biggest years ever. We raised over $6,000 to help our three sponsored families. We received donations of cash, gift cards, toys, clothes and even a washer and dryer. Every wish was fulfilled. The Fasone family got to spend weeks wrapping all the gifts (wrapping competitions may have ensued).

It’s beyond humbling to think about the number of lives we’ve been able touch throughout the years. The kids we donated to our very first year might have children of their own now. The legacy of Toys for Toddies extends beyond each individual year- it shapes lives.

All this kindness wouldn’t be possible without every one our friends and what they have done for us over the years: donating money, toys and household goods, plus much more we can’t list in this blog… ok fine… a few more items we’ve been able to gift due to human generosity:

– car parts
– car repairs
– tires
– mattresses
– microwaves
– refrigerator
– so.much.food

You get the idea. It’s truly amazing.

THANK YOU to all our supporters for showing up and blessing children’s lives for 30 years.
In 2020, we’re already striving to make our 31st Toys for Toddies just as much of a blessing for our new kiddos.

If you’re feeling those winter blues, take a walk down memory lane with us by clicking here to warm up a cold day.

Your Business is Never Too Small for a Little Advertising

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Can advertising help your business? The short and probably obvious answer is YES. But what if you’re a small, locally owned mom and pop shop? That answer…also yes. Word of mouth only gets you so far but without a targeted advertising campaign, eventually your customer growth will plateau and you’re going to need to find a way to grow your customer base. Better to get out in front of that lull before it dooms you.

Expansion growth may not be a long-term phase in your plan, but make no mistake, the world around you isn’t standing still. You may be the best at what you do, but unless you’re making an impact in your community, even a little one, eventually you’ll be forgotten or swallowed up by your competition who is out there spreading their good word.

Advertising helps customer growth and increases word of mouth that helped you initially, spurs revenue growth, generates leads and if need be it can help change a negative or outdated perception about your company. The reality is, advertising can do exactly what you need it to do for you.

What works for your neighbor’s business may not be suitable for what you need. But through careful planning and zeroing on the right target demographics for you, you can attract new customers and accelerate growth.

Good advertising isn’t free, but it doesn’t be intimidating and it certainly doesn’t have to bust your budget. Even setting aside a modest allotment to go towards advertising can help change the way you do business.

Five Nominations for 2019 KC Media Mix Awards

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Fasone and Partners would love to congratulate our nominees for the 2019 KC Media Mix Awards. We received a humbling 5 nominations this year including Agency of the Year and individual honors to our very own Laura Strecker (Agency Buyer/Planner of the Year), Leah Fenani (Agency Support Professional of the Year) and Julie Records (Agency Media Director of the Year). Julie was also nominated for the Larger Than Life Award. Way to go ladies. We couldn’t ROAR without you. Learn more about KC Media Mix, including a full list of nominees at the KCMediaMix website.

TV vs. Digital: Mending a rivalry

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There is a war between generations, digital and traditional advertising. The need to evolve can no longer be ignored by Television, as digital has finally surpassed them becoming the dominant advertising media by spending. According to reports, Televised advertising generated $178 billion worldwide with digital surpassing them at $209 billion.

 

Advertisers are after scale and memorability which television can provide since it has the ability to reach nearly every person on the planet in the course of a month. Digital simply enables an individual not motivating them. Bill McCabe says, “you need to focus on synergies, not the divisions, that exist between TV and digital… The more we think about Google as a destination and less as a starting point, the better we’ll understand its connection to television.

 

Tv’s scale and digital’s precision are better thought of like milk and cookies: always better together. The latest Facebook IQ study shows that direct correlation. This study observed the everyday behavior of U.S. TV viewers and revealed that 94% of those studied had a smartphone “at the ready” nearby while watching TV. Ending this rivalry by working together will be better for both parties and advertisers in general.

How to Change your Positioning Without Losing Market Share

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Taking Olathe Ford Lincoln from ‘O’Fordable’ to ‘MVP – Market Value Pricing’

After years of branding Olathe Ford Lincoln as the ‘O’Fordable’ place to buy your next vehicle, they decided to make the transition to MVP – Market Value Pricing.  MVP delivers the best price around on new Ford and Lincoln models. No fuss, up front pricing. Market Value Pricing is unique because it is more than a simple positioning statement. It changes the way that cars are bought and sold at Olathe Ford Lincoln. With this in mind, we created an entire marketing campaign around this new platform.

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