2018-02-11 / Marketplace

BUILDING BRANDS

Professional misses, fixes
EMILY CASWELL

While I watch the Super Bowl annually to be sure I see the best of the best in commercials and half time shows, I rarely pay attention to or care about the actual game. This year, however, a few things happened that made me take note.

Now, typically I let Advertising Director Pete Clinton handle all things sports/ business analogy, but while watching the Big Game last Sunday I couldn’t help but think “holy crap, these guys are all professionals who make a gazillion dollars to play football and in a span of 10 minutes members from each team have missed three kicks.”

There are obviously technical terms for what happened with those kicks, but that’s not the point.

The point is that instead of being outraged like I’m sure some fans were, I realized something. The professionals do mess up sometimes.

I wouldn’t consider it a complete mess up, but forgetting a client milestone is one of those things that makes people in our business want to kick themselves (pun intended).

Clinton touched on this topic in this week’s sales meeting. A client’s business anniversary is a great reason for a sales person to be in front of that client. Most businesses like to celebrate their anniversary, sometimes with a sale or an open house, both of which can greatly benefit from print promotion. Print ads are a great way to showcase an anniversary even when done with a simple branding ad with a headline like “Thanks for 30 years.” But how can a team member pitch these ideas to a client if they don’t know their anniversary date?

That question lead Clinton to ask, what else should we know about our clients? Turns out a lot. Here is what our team came up with:

• Who owns the business?

• What is the business’ anniversary?

• Who is the client’s customer?

• What is the client’s competitive advantage?

• What is the client’s main product or service?

• Where else is the client advertising?

• What is the client’s business goal year over year? • What is the client’s advertising budget?

• What does the client’s brand look like (logo, tagline, etc.)?

• What is the client’s expectation of advertising?

• Who is the client’s competition?

• Are there any major changes happening within the business in the coming year?

• Who are the decision makers?

• What is the decision maker’s birthday?

• What are the client’s community connections and/or involvement?

Once the list was compiled, Publisher Wes Smith asked the group if anyone knew all of the answers to the questions for at least one client. The group agreed that we all had one client we could answer these questions for, but it certainly got us thinking that we should be able to answer these questions for each of our clients.

Luckily, it’s Progress season (see box for more info). Each advertiser who buys a traditional display ad in that edition receives a story in the paper about their business. Putting together those stories gives us all a good excuse to ask the above questions. But really, no matter the season, what client doesn’t enjoy talking about their business?

Getting the answers to these questions is a simple way to get back to basics and fix any misses when it comes to customer service. The same way I bet a few professional football kickers are getting back to basics after those missed kicks.

So, how do you tackle (apparently once you start sports analogies you can’t stop) professional misses? Email your tips to ecaswell@mihomepaper.com.

Emily Caswell is the brand manager for View Group, the branding division of View Newspaper Group.

Progress time

Progress returns Sunday, March 4! If you have not secured your space there is still time! Please contact me at ecaswell@mihomepaper.com to do so. Along with the ad and story, each Progress advertiser receives a FREE one-year subscription to The County Press and an invite to our special Progress networking event on March.

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