Should I engage an agency for my marketing or do it myself?


Should I engage an agency for my marketing or do it myself?

You may have some issues on your mind you right now, such as:

1) Your marketing team does not produce the results you expect

2) Your marketing personnel keep leaving the company due to `better offers’

3) Your marketing cost is too high, resulting in lower profit margins

4) You are frustrated working with too many different freelancers and people in the marketing medium

5) You have a well-strategized marketing plan that is unfortunately, poorly executed due to `interference’ from day-to-day business activities

More often than not, your marketing people are too close to the company, the products, the brand, distribution and competitor.

The only people you should be focusing on should be your prospective customers, when you are trying to market your products/services.

Most of these things don’t really matter because the essence of marketing is getting inside the mind of consumers. Good agency people look at the brand the way the consumer looks at the brand; not the way the company looks at the brand.

The pros & cons of hiring an agency

Pros and Cons of Advrtising Agency

 

Think in these contexts before deciding whether working with an agency or do-it-yourself. 

strategic-plan-cycle

Strategic Planning

Professionally trained people will be required for strategic and comprehensive marketing plan to be done. Planning your campaign and identifying the framework for implementing the most powerful promotional campaign for your company is crucial in accelerating your progress and achieving the results that you are aiming for. This requires a professional marketing team that has intensive knowledge of the integrated marketing process that can facilitate the entire campaign…. and this won’t be easy to find. Of course, you do not need to engage an agency if you do found the team!

expertise and skills

Expertise / Skills

Most award winning professional designers and creative directors prefer to work in agencies where they can cultivate the culture and be inspired by each other in the same industry.

Technology is changing very fast and your website developer has to stay in-touch with the latest inventions and software.

Training and development to all staffs related to marketing and sales function has to be done concurrently with the actions of planning and devising a marketing plan.

Do you have a proper marketing automation system that helps you fully bring in leads and nurture them?

Do you have a customer retention program in place to keep and retain customers?

An agency will be able to tell you what works, and what doesn’t work. Justified with reasoning behind each action they perform. No more guess works and trying blindly.

Is your marketing manager a multi-tasker?

She might be designing your website landing pages, creating call-to-action graphics, writing your company blogs, posting news and updates on social media, collaborating with newspapers, magazines and other media owners on day-to-day basis. Not to mention web developers working on codings and e-commerce websites.

Congratulations if you have found such manager and beware that this person might be head-hunted by your competitors in the future. Relying on one person as such puts your company at risk.

It’s actually more cost – effective to partner with an agency and let a team of experienced professionals build and maintain your brand with you. Their experience and expertise coupled with your knowledge of the industry is a recipe for both a quicker and more sizeable return on investment.

time-management-clock

Allocation of Time and Resources

Lets count the…

  • Number of marketing executives you have
  • Number of in-house content creators, designers and copywriters you have
  • Number of social media specialist you have
  • Number of Website Developer you have

Lets check how much growth are you expecting the company to generate in the next 12 months down the road:

Moderate

I want my company revenue growth to be 10 – 12% in the next 12 months

I wish to grow my market share by 2-3% in the next 12 months

I have limited budget for marketing, advertising and branding, yet I know the importance of these activities for my long term goals and wish to start now

 

High

I want my company revenue growth to be 15 – 25% in the next 12 months

I wish to grow my market share by 5-6% in the next 12 months

I have allocated some resources and systems in place that facilitate the process

 

Full

I expect my company to grow exponentially (over 25%) in the next 12 months

I wish to grow my market share by 8 – 9% in the next 12 months

I have been in the market for quite some time and I am aiming bigger I have enough resources, people and systems in place to achieve my goals

 

By identifying which type of business goals you are setting, you get to know how much resources are you required to achieve your business goals.

You will need an expert to be able to convert your business goals into marketing goals. Daily tasks such as content creation, designing, blogging, social media marketing, answering and responding to feedbacks from prospects will need to be assigned and done by your marketing and sales team.

If you are a lone-ranger, you will definitely need to find great partners that can help you work on the full integrated marketing efforts. If you have an aggressive business goals, yet don’t currently having the time or resources to perform a daily task list like those mentioned above, you’re a prime candidate to consider partnering with marketing / branding / advertising agencies.

We see ourselves as your strategic branding partner, providing you with the essential marketing tools and insights that ensure your brand’s longevity, no matter the economic conditions that may come.

So contact us today for an obligation-free consultation at 03-9221 3388 (ask for Mickie, Shirly or Bernard), or drop us an email at linsweb@linsad.com.my or visit www.linsad.com.my / www.facebook.com/linsadv.

Find Out What does the Leaf Beauty Tells You About Branding

Find Out What does the Leaf Beauty Tells You About Branding

Creativity is like the green hues of a plant, full of variety and tone.

Your brand, meanwhile, is like the plant’s branches, growing and expanding with the aid of sunshine.

And yes, just like a plant, your brand needs to be protected and nurtured if it’s to grow healthily.

Branding - Green Man

 

What do you like about this photo? Tell us more!

If you like the photo, contact us today for an obligation-free consultation at 03-9221 3388 (ask for Mickie, Shirly or Bernard), or drop us an email at linsweb@linsad.com.my or visit www.linsad.com.my / www.facebook.com/linsadv.

 

Do You Know that Quality drives Brand Loyalty?

Do You Know that Quality drives Brand Loyalty?

What makes you loyal to a brand?

80% – Quality

72% – Customer Service

50% – Price

45% – Convenience

15% – Commitment to Social Responsibility

What Makes You Loyal to a Brand

What can SMEs and SMIs do to increase brand loyalty?

  • Quality products are a must, and customer testimonials play an important role in communicating your brand’s quality.
  • Stay engaged – Treat your customers like family members. Show them love. Give them gifts. Motivate them. Give more, and you’ll receive more.
  • Offer Value for Money (VFM) – Understand that each dollar your customers spend comes from their hard work and efforts. Let them know that you care. Let them know how your products/ services are worth what they’re paying for.
  • Make things simple and easy-to-use, from Registration to Product Delivery.
  • Give back to society – There’s a catchphrase for it: Corporate Social Responsibility. Create partnerships with various NGOs in the community.

We see ourselves as your strategic branding partner, providing you with the essential marketing tools and insights that ensure your brand’s longevity, no matter the economic conditions that may come.

So contact us today for an obligation-free consultation at 03-9221 3388 (ask for Mickie, Shirly or Bernard), or drop us an email at linsweb@linsad.com.my or visit www.linsad.com.my / www.facebook.com/linsadv.

 

Fonts that Matter

Fonts that Matter

The appearance of the font on any marketing collateral is, or should not be a matter of coincidence.

Just as a picture paints a thousand words, a font projects its own emotions.

Fonts also project the personality of the brands they represent.

So think of fonts as your company and brand’s ambassadors!

How you feel about fonts?

It is hence important to craft your messages using suitable fonts for the greatest impact.

 

At LINs.AD, we work with fonts every day. We know fonts. We know their significance.

And yes, we’d love to help you use fonts, to project your brand even further.

 

We see ourselves as your strategic branding partner, providing you with the essential marketing tools and insights that ensure your brand’s longevity, no matter the economic conditions that may come.

So contact us today for an obligation-free consultation at 03-9221 3388 (ask for Mickie, Shirly or Bernard), or drop us an email at linsweb@linsad.com.my or visit www.linsad.com.my / www.facebook.com/linsadv.

 

The Psychology of Fonts – What font to use for your websites and why

The Psychology of Fonts – What font to use for your websites and why

Here’s what a designer does, when creating a logo for you.

The Psychology of Fonts

One element of the logo design is typography (i.e. the shape of the words).

You will find that most MNCs have a brand manual that dictates the font type, font sizes etc. that should be used vis-à-vis their brand.

 

So if you have not gotten one, it’s time to do so!

 

Find out how LINs.AD can help you generate a corporate identity that may be used in tandem with all of your marketing materials.

We see ourselves as your strategic branding partner, providing you with the essential marketing tools and insights that ensure your brand’s longevity, no matter the economic conditions that may come.

So contact us today for an obligation-free consultation at 03-9221 3388 (ask for Mickie, Shirly or Bernard), or drop us an email at linsweb@linsad.com.my or visit www.linsad.com.my / www.facebook.com/linsadv.

Pepsi evolved over time. What about you?


 

 

How your logo evolves (or doesn’t) has the potential to make or break your brand.

Consider the case of “Pepsico”. The evolution of the “Pepsi” logo over the decades was strategically executed to enhance the company’s brand value, and also maintain its connection with customers.

Despite a permit from the company to use its logo costing US$1 million upfront, many continue to vie in featuring this logo, due to the company’s solid brand reputation.

So, under what circumstances should a brand owner consider tweaking or even changing the brand’s logo?

1. When the current logo isn’t relevant anymore vis-à-vis the modern media. Cross-channel and integrated media network distribution play important roles in this information age. Consumers get confused when they see different logos of different sizes on different platforms! If you happen to have this concern, it’s time to consider standardizing – and changing – your logo.

2. Your business has evolved over the years, but you’re still using the same logo! Your existing logo might not resemble your business’s nature, anymore.

3. Your competitors have a better, more applicable or more interesting logo than you do. A cleaner, more professional look may just be what you need.

4. Your logo is too complicated – having too many unnecessary lines or effects! Take a look at the world’s top brands’ logos. Clean, clear designs are the ones that usually withstand the test of time.

5. You’ve been using a DIY logo since your start-up days. Your design may well be outdated, or your business may have transformed significantly since then.

 

A skilfully-designed logo is one that resonates and connects with people from all walks, ages, languages, culture and nationalities of life.

But how would you evaluate whether your brand’s logo is doing what it should?

The best way to know is to talk to pros who have been working on brand logos for more than 20 years. Only a professional agency, powered by professional designers would be able to allay any doubts you have, and help you realign your thoughts on your brand.

Let us be your strategic branding partner, providing you with the essential marketing tools and insights that ensure your brand’s longevity – no matter the economic conditions that may come.

Contact us today for an obligation-free consultation at 03-9221 3388 (ask for Mickie, Shirly or Bernard), or drop us an email at linsweb@linsad.com.my or visit www.linsad.com.my / www.facebook.com/linsadv!

 

 

 

Yasmin Ahmad: Making the Forgettable, Unforgettable (PART 3 OF 3)

Yasmin Ahmad: Making the Forgettable, Unforgettable (PART 3 OF 3)

forget-me -not icon

Ads, no matter how creative, come and go, as do marketing campaigns. But strong brands endure. And that’s indeed the hallmark and beauty of a brand. Think “Coca-Cola”, think `McDonald’s”, think “Mercedes Benz”. Ultimately, it’s really a question of `do I pass through history, or do I make history?’.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Thanks to the late Yasmin Ahmad, most Malaysians don’t really REMEMBER Petronas as `an oil and gas company’. We remember, and think of, Petronas as a caring, responsible corporate entity that wishes to enhance and enrich the lives of common Malaysians.

Let’s do a pop-quiz.

Do you hang out at Starbucks because you really like the coffee, or because it’s a `cool’ place to hang out with pals at?

Do you wear a Rolex watch because it’s really the best watch in the market, or because numerous celebrities wear it too?

Do you sip a Smirnoff vodka martini because you really like the cocktail, or because the legendary, fictional spy `James Bond’ prefers it `stirred, not shaken’?

Do you buy a Mercedes-Benz for the sake of having the car itself, or the lifestyle and prestige that comes with owning one?

Be honest with yourself.

One coffee’s usually quite as good as any other, a watch is only an instrument to tell time, there’s really no need to order a vodka martini when a beer will do, and seriously, isn’t a car just a means of transportation?

So why even bother forking out hard-earned cash, on these…BRANDS?

Only you – and you alone – can answer that. And if you need some expert advice, feel free to contact LINs.AD, your 360o advertising, marketing and branding partner. We’ll be more than happy to walk you through how you can push your product or service to your target audience, without being pushy.

Remember; it’s not just about advertising and marketing what you’ve to offer. It’s about branding what you’ve to offer, so that the forgettable, becomes unforgettable.

***

Yasmin Ahmad Making the Forgettable, Unforgettable (PART 1 OF 3)

Yasmin Ahmad Making the Forgettable, Unforgettable (PART 1 OF 3)

forget-me -not icon

The expressions on the faces featured. Sad, hopeful, eager…oh, were they ever so rich in emotion.

The story. Something you need to follow, every second, every shot, to know what it’s all about.

The simple yet sentimental tune playing in the background, accompanying the story unfolding on the screen.

The grand finale…unexpected, but always brimming with a powerful message of hope.

End of commercial.

If you’re Malaysian or have lived in Malaysia long enough, you’ll probably be familiar with the late Yasmin Ahmad’s many commercials for Petronas, the national oil and gas conglomerate. If you’re a fan, you may even be well-acquainted with her numerous, thought-provoking films.

yasminthb

The late Yasmin Ahmad (1958 – 2009) was a legend, because it was evident from her features and featurettes that she wasn’t interested in peddling a product or service, right in your face.

She was – and remains – a legend, because she knew that the way to create memorable ads and features, was to appeal to the very thing that makes us human: Our feelings.

Consciously or subconsciously, you may acknowledge that there’s nothing really spectacular about Yasmin’s features. But what was really spectacular, was how she took the ordinary, mundane and overlooked, and conveyed her message in an unforgettable manner.

Put simply, where even commercials were concerned, she sold the BRAND, not the product or service.

Advertising & Marketing: Does Hard-Sell Always Sell?

Admittedly, it’s easy, direct and in-your-face. “Buy my product/service…bla bla bla bla.”

And then on we move to the next commercial, and your hard-sell featurette is quickly forgotten; lost amidst the ocean of endless commercials vying for buyers’ attention.

That’s advertising for you – a form of communication used to persuade or influence potential customers to do or buy something. It’s a huge industry. In Malaysia alone, Nielsen’s reported that for the period from 2007 to 2012, the advertising industry was estimated to be worth more than RM6 billion, with newspapers having the biggest share (56.1%), TV (32.9%), radio (4.4%), magazines (3.0%), outdoor (2.0%), POS (1.1%) and cinema (0.5%).

Unfortunately, advertising is still viewed in Malaysia by most companies – and entrepreneurs – as an ‘EXPENSE’, as opposed to an ‘INVESTMENT’.

So, what’s your view on advertising, so far?

Now, enter `Marketing’

Often confused with advertising, marketing is the process of communicating the value of your product or service to customers, with the intention of selling it to them. Remember; advertising’s the FORM of communication, while marketing’s the PROCESS of communication.

Both advertising and marketing are distinct from – yet complement – each other, when you wish to sell your product and more importantly, BUILD YOUR BRAND.

And no, more often than not, brand-building has nothing to do with hard-selling your product or service!

***

So, how do advertising and marketing contribute towards brand-building? Stay tuned for Part 2 of this feature, in next month’s E-News edition!

What’s Exactly is Marketing, Branding and Advertising?


marketing, branding & advertising

Advertising & Marketing: The Two Sides of the ‘Branding’ Coin

If you’re an entrepreneur or wannabe entrepreneur, you need to read this.

Because we – at LINs.AD – would love to see if we can change your mind about your current perception of the 3 foremost keywords in business: Advertising, Marketing and Branding.

Of course, changing your mind isn’t the be-all-and-end-all. But let’s save that for later, shall we? And to that end, let’s start by defining (or re-defining, if you wish) ‘Advertising’, ‘Marketing’and ‘Branding’, first, OK?

Heads, It’s Advertising

Advertising is a FORM of communication, used to persuade or influence other people to do or buy something.

In Malaysia alone, Nielsen’s reported that for the period from 2007 to 2012, the advertising industry is estimated to be worth more than RM6 billion, with newspapers contributing the lion’s share (56.1%), followed by TV (32.9%), radio (4.4%), magazines (3.0%), outdoor media (2.0%), points-of-sales (1.1%) and cinema (0.5%). The biggest spenders were classifieds (RM680 million), mobile operators (RM360 million) and government institutions (RM230 million).

Advertising Industry Malaysia Statistics

Advertising Industry Malaysia Statistics

Unfortunately, advertising is still perceived – at least, by an overwhelming majority of Malaysian entrepreneurs and business owners – to be an ‘expense’, as opposed to an ‘investment’. No criticism here though, if that’s your perception…everyone is, after all, entitled to his or her own opinion.

But consider this. According to Business Insider’s May 2013 report, the world’s top 5 brands – with their estimated brand values alone – are Apple (US$185 billion), Google (US$113.7 billion), IBM (US$112.5 billion), McDonald’s (US$90.3 billion) and Coca-Cola (US$78.4 billion).

Now, what do these top 5 global brands have in common? They – or rather, their founders and CEOs – know that building a brand via advertising is a process that requires effort, investment and time.

Tails, It’s Marketing

Marketing is the PROCESS of communicating the value of your product or service to customers, with the ultimate objective of selling it to them.

Remember; ‘marketing’ is the PROCESS, ‘advertising’ is the FORM of communication. Both advertising and marketing are distinct from – yet complement – each other, when you wish to sell your product and more importantly, build your brand.

A marketing consultant or firm must determine the buying behavior or patterns of targeted customers, in order to market a product or service effectively. Buying behavior usually consists of 2 primary categories: Business-to-consumer (B2C) and Business-to-business (B2B).

With the advent of ‘instant technology’ and Gen Y-ers fast joining the ranks of bulk customers, the ‘holistic marketing’ approach is most preferred nowadays, where every factor regarding the product or service, and buying behavior, is taken into consideration during a marketing campaign. But despite ‘holistic marketing’ being synonymous with ‘branding’, effective `advertising’ remains a pre-requisite, for any ‘branding’ process to succeed!

And The Entire Coin…Branding

Branding is a company’s main PHILOSOPHY, with marketing as part of that branding philosophy.

By `philosophy’, we’re talking about a company’s values, and the very values and perception it wishes to convey to people who buy or peruse that company’s products or services. Branding is intended to differentiate your product or service from similar products or services offered by your competitors, thereby allowing you to establish a niche market for yourself, and your company!

The art of branding typically consists of the following elements: Name, Logo, Tagline, Graphics, Shapes, Colors, Sounds, Scents, Tastes, Movements, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

Where brand names are concerned, a brand name should conceptually be synonymous with the product or service promoted; i.e. what your company stands for; otherwise, any branding exercise you undertake won’t be as successful as it should be. And bear this in mind, too: Branding is NOT just about logos. In fact, a logo is only one of the many elements that make up a successful brand.

The global branding industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, with U.S. brands dominating. And this is unsurprising, as many U.S. corporations take the effort to invest financially and study consumer sentiment, in advertising and marketing their brands.

Your Branding Coin, Your Currency To Greater Heights

This is where you come in.

So, you’re the proud owner or founder of a SME (small/medium enterprise) or SMI (small/medium industry). Well done!

Would you be pleased to know that the branding industry is still pretty much in its infancy stages in Malaysia, with only very few home-grown brands recognized overseas so far, such as Royal Selangor?

What are we talking about here? OPPORTUNITY.

Namely, the opportunity to grow. The opportunity to carve your own niche, and take your company to even greater heights. The opportunity to let new markets open themselves up to you – instead of the other way around – because you’ve successfully branded your company, and its products or services.

The Moment Of Truth

So, have we changed your mind, about what Advertising, Marketing and Branding really are?

Have we changed your mind, about how we can help you market and advertise your company, and help you build your own unique brand?

Because if we have, then all you need to do…is talk to us. We’ll listen to you, and explore all avenues with a 360o microscope/telescope/periscope (call it whatever you want).

The ‘LINs’ in ‘LINs.AD’, after all, stands for “Looking Inwards ‘N’Strategizing”.

Talk to us, today.

Key to Successful Marketing Campaign


Print

And let great advertising take care of the rest!

Open your local paper, or simply check your emails at any time of the day, and chances are, you’ll find yourself bombarded with a slew of forgettable `Buy this’ or `Get me now’ ads, vying for your attention.

And yet, people wonder why marketing and advertising are such hard work.

We’re perpetually seeking to change the way people think and behave, by positioning brands and businesses in the middle of a relationship that is only on the peripheral of our customers’ minds.  And while we – the business owner, brand manager or creative agency – know that there’s a real centrality in our relationship with the brand we’re trying to push to customers, it’s simply NOT the case for the vast majority of the people we’re trying to talk to!

The fact is, many businesses still struggle to create awareness, amidst the plethora of social media channels at our disposal, today.  Some of the most commonly asked questions include: “How will it drive sales”, “What’s the relevance” and “Where’s my ROI?”

While these are important questions, they fail to consider one important thing in any laissez faire economy: “What is it that people really, really want of my product or service?”  And the sad truth is, very few businesses have the knowledge and capability to determine the answers – let alone the capacity to integrate these answers into a comprehensive brand and engagement framework.

In short, our channels of communication have matured, but our organisational understanding of addressing “What people want” continues to lag.  We’re so pre-occupied with making people want things…that we fail to make things that people really want!

What if we went further, and understood our customers’ journey from the outside-in?  This means, rather than pushing advertorials and messages designed to interrupt and stimulate, we provide such incentive, surprise and delight that our efforts prompt purchases and create business relationships with our customers?

With careful planning and foresight, it’s actually easier done than you imagine.  Here’s what you can do, to engage customers, give them what they want, and be rewarded for it:

  • Start small.  Rather than thinking of how you’re going to change the world, what is your vision that will change one person’s experience of what you do?  By all means, have the big vision in the back of your mind, but start as small as you can.
  • Be quick.  Stop thinking about what you can do and actually start doing it!  Think about what you can do with the budget you already have in your hand.
  • Engage.  Don’t just plan and do nothing else.  Talk to your customers.  Engage with them on social media, and bring them into your planning process.

Do these, and honestly, within a week or so, you will have a deeper understanding of what your customers really, really want from you.  And that’s when great marketing or advertising comes in…to support and promote your product or service, which your customers really want or need!