Don’t Have the $$$ for a Super Bowl Ad? Try This Instead.

February 2, 2016 Matt Allison: Founder, Chief Strategy Officer

Don't have the money for a Super Bowl Ad? Try this insteadMost of us would be delighted to get an annual marketing & PR budget of $5 million. On February 7th, we’ll have the pleasure of watching some of America’s biggest brands blow through that $5 million in 30 seconds a pop. Is it worth it? I can’t really say, but I also can’t remember any of the ads from last year. Can you?

Let’s just assume, for the sake of argument, that you won’t be running any ads during Super Bowl 50. How can you most effectively leverage what you’ve got? Our recommendation, although not a sexy as Cindy Crawford drinking a Pepsi, is good, old-fashioned marketing and PR.

Reacquaint Yourself with Your Audience

Marketing and PR professionals can become dangerously disconnected from customers and prospects. We may understand the brand better than anyone, but it's easy to lose sight of our customer’s challenges, needs, fears and desires. If it’s been a while since you did a case study or sat in on a sales call, it’s worth your time to do it now. If you have a segmented audience, be sure to pay attention to each one.

Write a Story

As a group, PR people and marketers often talk about being “storytellers” or sharing the story of the brand, but have you ever really sat down and written the story? Stories have a beginning, middle and an end. They start with the protagonist facing some kind of problem. Something happens to cause the characters to take action and their situation is changed. Can you describe the arc that your customers traverse? What was the “before state” like? What conditions compel them to make a change (aka, buy your product)? How are they better off as a result?

Dig Into the Data

To a certain extent, we all make assumptions about what constitutes effective marketing and PR, but it is essential to challenge those assumptions with data from time-to-time. You may think you know which publications and social networks your audience frequents, but are you sure? You may believe that an earned media mention or a paid advertisement is driving business, but can you be certain? When assessing your strategy and making decisions about how to use your budget, you must be armed with empirical data that drives smart decisions.

An effective marketing and PR strategy does not require a massive budget.  Sure, it helps, but there is plenty you can do without spending a ton. It all starts with understanding what your audience cares about and explaining how you can help in a compelling way. Once you’ve crafted your message, the data will tell you how best to deliver it. Perhaps this approach is not as exciting as dancing Clydesdales, but it’s fundamentally important to the success of your brand.


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