Data and Tracking Results

Do you track results of your marketing efforts? One of the most important aspects of marketing is narrowing down what works and doesn’t work. Analyzing data and coming up with conclusions might seem difficult, but it’s extremely worthwhile.

Establish Baselines

Before you begin tracking results, you need to know what your baseline is. You should know who your customers are, which products or services sell the most, and which type of customers buy what. Without this data, you won’t know what’s working or not.

For example, let’s say your most popular product is a bedazzled leaf blower (the Leaf-Be-Gone Jewelicious), and it sells very well with women over 40. (We’ll assume you don’t know this fact because you haven’t established a baseline.) You might create a direct mail postcard with a sale on these snazzy leaf blowers and send this to women around town.

The results of the direct mail were great! You sold 10 leaf blowers in one weekend, all to a bunch of women! One older woman even bought two!

What you don’t know is that, on average, you sell nine leaf blowers every weekend. This means (and I’m sorry to tell you) you spent a decent chunk of money to sell one more leaf blower than you would normally have sold. If you knew what your baseline was, you wouldn’t have targeted women with the direct mail; see, women are already buying your bedazzled leaf blowers. You need to turn your focus to men to widen your target market because men would represent new customers, and more Leaf-Be-Gone Jewelicious sales!

Online Data

With all of the advertising tools available online, you can easily get overwhelmed by reports. Conversions are the most important data to track online. Getting clicks on your online ads is great; but if those clickers never spend money with you, the ads aren’t working.

You need to be very aware of what online ads you’re running and whom you’re targeting. Your ads for polkadot socks that target both men and women might only bring in female customers. If that’s the case, you can get much more value from your online budget by only targeting only women with those ads.

Listening to walk-in customers can also help direct your online advertising. Customers might tell you they didn’t know you sold a certain product or service. That’s a great clue to create online ads promoting that product or service.

The Tip of the Data Iceberg

There’s plenty more you can do with data, and coming up with creative solutions based on insights will make your business stand out from the competition. If you’re overwhelmed with data and reports, give Field Group a call.

Why Can’t We be (Mobile) Friends?

Is your website mobile-friendly? If you don’t know the answer to this question, you may be missing out on a lot of potential customers. Don’t worry, Google has a solution! Check out their mobile-friendly tool. All you have to do is paste in the URL of your website, and Google will take care of the rest.

Did you get a lot of big red X’s when you used the mobile-friendly tool? This can present problems for a lot of reasons. According to Google (and let’s face it, they know pretty much everything at this point), over half of all internet searches are done on mobile1. That means people are looking for products and services on their phones. If they go to your site and can’t use it easily, they will probably leave and never come back.

On the other hand, Google will favor you in their search algorithm if your website scores highly. That means is that you will show up higher in search results when people search for goods or services that relate to your business.

If your website didn’t score well on the mobile-friendly scale, don’t worry. Field Group can help turn your site and mobile into best friends forever.

mobile friends


How the World Sees Your Business

Your entire marketing budget could be going to waste if you don’t have proper signage at your business’ physical location. You might design an awe-inspiring website, newspaper ads, and direct mail, but if the logo on your sign doesn’t match the logo on all those other pieces, people will be confused when they try to find your store. They might even get lost and drive circles around you.

It’s super important to have good signage. This is your first real impression; this is the test where your customers see what your business is really all about (rather than just what those crazy marketing people tell them in ads).

According to a study by FedEx Office1 over half of the responders said they would not enter a business with a poorly made sign. This means you can spend a lot of money on newspaper, radio, and online ads, but if people show up to your physical location they might turn around and leave because your sign scares them.

So what makes a good sign you ask? Start with your logo, but only if it’s clear, easy to read, and tells what you do. If your logo won’t work, just include your business name in clear lettering. Unless you’re Apple Inc., your sign should also include what you do. Here’s an easy peasy example:

Field Group

Advertising and Marketing

This is a good sign

If you have a mascot character or something similar that you have used in other marketing (say, a banana that dances in all of your TV spots), you might add them to the sign (but consider switching out the dancing banana to something less… dancing banana-y). Only do this if the mascot has been used before and will continue to be used in the future. Think Geico gecko.

Don’t add flowers or other random graphics (unless you’re a flower shop) because those just take away from the meaning of the sign. Avoid handwritten signs on cheap material. It’s worth the investment to buy a quality sign that will last you for years to come.

If you’re paralyzed by sign options or don’t know how to start the design, give us a call. We’re happy to point you in the right direction.

Looking for a sign

Posted by Jonathan


Celebrities and the Power of Branding

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Kim Kardashian completely gave up social media? Or if Oprah started endorsing cheesy potato chip snacks as the next super health food? Can you imagine Donald Trump changing his hairstyle?

No. You can’t. Because these celebrities have created brands for themselves, and they stick to them. People who follow celebrities know exactly what they’re like: how they act, things they enjoy, which products they use or endorse. If celebrities go outside their brand, people have a hard time adjusting, and longtime fans might not be fans any more.

Take Katy Perry for example. She used to be a Christian singer, so you can bet her fans at the time were not pleased when she kissed a girl and liked it. A similar situation happened when Taylor Swift switched from country to pop; it took quite a bit of convincing for pop fans to come around to the fact that this country girl was singing in their genre.

The reason these celebrities garner so much attention is because they know how to create a brand and stay faithful to it. If their brand weren’t consistent, they wouldn’t be able to get any traction with the public. Bands don’t release albums with 12 different songs in 12 wildly different genres—an album like that would not connect with very many people or sell very well.

Your business is kind of like a celebrity, and it needs to be branded consistently in the same manner. If you use a different logo on your building from what you use in your newspaper ads, people won’t know what to look for when they come see you. If your brand has been historically funny and quirky, it’s going to be hard to pull off a heart-felt commentary in your TV commercial that resonates with your core audience.

In order to get your business up to celebrity status, you’ve got to create a brand and stick to it. If you don’t want to get your hands all dirty and sticky, Field Group can help you out, so give us a call.

These aren't sticky notes. We just have really sticky hands at FG.
These aren’t sticky notes. We just have really sticky hands at FG.

Posted by Jonathan.

A small post with a large amount of information about every medium

Making decisions about where to spend your media budget can be a little overwhelming. Should you buy newspaper ads, billboards, TV commercials, direct mail, or online? There are so many choices, it can be paralyzing. You want everyone to know about your business, so you might think you need to puts ads in every single media that exists.

It certainly helps to clearly define your target audience, which includes the people who are most likely to become your customers, visit your business repeatedly, and tell their friends about you. Once you know your target audience, you can choose a specific set of media that will reach that audience.

Below is a brief overview of various media types with descriptions for the primary audience of those media.

  • Newspapers:
    • Broad audience with a variety of interests
    • Older, well-educated readers
    • Can target specific sections, such as sports, local, lifestyle
  • Radio:
    • Large, diverse audience
    • Each station has a specific niche depending on music type
    • Affordable ads means more repetition of your message
  • Television:
    • Most homes have at least one TV
    • Large audience
    • TV ads are more memorable than print or radio, since they combine both visual and audio
    • Expensive spots, and it’s costly to produce a quality commercial
  • Online:
    • Very popular with almost everyone, especially younger audiences
    • Easily track data on who is viewing and clicking on ads
    • Can target specifically to age, gender, language, location, hobbies, and interests
  • Billboards:
    • Usually not effective as a standalone ad, but work to reinforce message shown in other media
    • Only have about six seconds of viewers’ attention
    • Effective boards use a strong image with a small amount of text
  • Direct mail:
    • Great for promoting something specific like a sale or event
    • Can purchase mailing lists to target specific demographics
    • Needs to be designed well with a strong call-to-action in order to stand out from the clutter of junk mail

If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed by media, give us a call! We would be happy to help you develop a campaign and media schedule to make your business stand out.

The Squirrel Effect

Around here, we use the expression “squirreling” quite often. I didn’t know that was an actual word, but my spellcheck didn’t underline it. Apparently it means hiding money or valuable things in a safe place. Well, that’s not what we mean when we say it. We prefer our own definition, which refers to when someone gets distracted or goes off on a tangent during a meeting.

Squirrel Bowl

Since Field Group is chock-full of wizards, geniuses, and specialists of all kinds (it’s true… just check our website), you can imagine how meetings full of impassioned experts might occasionally splinter down rabbit trails.

Squirrel 1

Now, the average squirrel might think that getting distracted and having short attention spans would be negative traits when it comes to getting work done. But we’re a little smarter than your average squirrel. We look at distractibility as an advantage, since it often helps us discover ridiculously creative ideas. What might seem like a short attention span is really a willingness to explore—an openness to possibilities. We’re proud of that. And, we have a pretty serious nut stash.

Squirrel 2

If we all thought in straight lines (“inside the box,” as they say), we wouldn’t have been able to come up with any of the stellar designs, campaigns, and other work that we’re known for.

Dancing Holiday Squirrel

The great part about working at Field Group is that we don’t have to be perfect; it’s ok if we’re, you know… different, or if we have short attention spans, or if we’re not mindless-employee-zombie-people. (In fact, we only hire people who don’t eat brains, but don’t tell the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I can tell if you click that link, so don’t do it.)

Squirrel Drinking Wine

No one at Field Group could be called a “cog in the machine.” We aren’t easily replaced, because we’re all so unique. Our different personalities make us stronger together. Since we don’t all think the same way, we can offer multiple perspectives and points-of-view to make sure we’re seeing problems and solutions from every angle.

Squirrel Army

I’ve heard there are workplaces where they don’t allow squirrels, but I wouldn’t want to work at any of those places. It’s much better working at a place where I get to be myself, even if that person is so full of ideas that he could barely focus long enough to write this blog post.

Posted by Jonathan.

The Power of #

First off, this blog’s title would be a lot cooler if we all still pronounced “#” as “pound.” But nooooo, Stowe Boyd had to go and rename it to “hashtag.” I personally would have preferred “poundtags,” but no one asked me.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can get to the vegan meat alternative of this matter: the # and why you should use it.

Think of the hashtag as the search engine of social media. When someone tags their post with a hashtag, anyone on social media can search for that tag and be able to see that post. By using hashtags appropriately, you can make your posts more visible to people who might be interested in your business. For example, if your business sells shoes, you can create a post about a new shoe design you just started selling and use #shoes. Someone might search for #shoes when they’re looking for a new outfit, and they see your post—now you’ve just gained a new customer and follower!

You’ve probably heard of “trending,” but what exactly does that mean? Trending is when a hashtag is used frequently in a short time in your local area. If everyone in Yakima is posting pictures of their dog using #dogsareawesome, that hashtag will be officially trending. You can start your own trends by creating hashtags that will be popular, or you can piggyback onto hashtags that are already trending. Just be careful to only use trending tags if they are actually applicable to your business. If you’re going to use #dogsareawesome from above, you should probably own a pet store.

Hashtags are also the master organizers of social media. Let’s say you have a big event coming up called “Dance Party Fundraiser.” You could create #dancingforacause and use it for all of your posts building up to the day of the event. Then, you can encourage people to use that hashtag to tag any photos they take while at the event. This will allow you to use a variation of the hashtag for next year’s event, like #dancingforgood—this way, everything will be nicely organized year to year. For an organization junkie like myself, this is totally my cup of tea. Or shall I say, my cup of hashtagulated filing system?

If you can master the use of the hashtag, you’ll be #ing it with the best of them.


Posted by Jonathan.

What the heck is a “Field Group” anyway?

There are many prevailing theories on the origins of the name “Field Group,” but no one knows for sure which (if any) is true. Our owner, Jack Beeson, is the only person who knows the truth, but he’s not talking.

Jack—This guy can really keep a secret
Jack—This guy can really keep a secret

Today, I will share three of my favorite theories about our company’s mysterious beginnings. You will have to decide for yourself which to believe.

1. This is the most common rumor I’ve heard. It goes something like this: On April 21st, 1989, Jack was driving home after a midnight showing of Field of Dreams. As everyone knows, Jack is a huge fan of both baseball and Kevin Costner, so he hadn’t slept for several days in tense anticipation of the upcoming blockbuster.
Basking in the thrill of his new favorite movie, Jack knew he wouldn’t be able to sleep when he got home. He decided to drive around for a bit to help take his mind off things. With the windows down and radio blaring, Jack turned his Volkswagen bus onto a highway and pushed the accelerator all the way down.
At that moment, a golden weasel of pure light jumped onto the road. Jack slammed on the brakes and struggled to take control of the wheel as he swerved, careening off the road and flipping over several times. When he came to, nauseous and confused, he was hanging upside-down, suspended by his seatbelt. He struggled out of the open window and found himself in the middle of a large field. The creature he almost ran into was nowhere to be seen.
Jack decided then and there that it was time to make a change in his life. Words from the movie echoed in his mind: “Build it, and they will come.” He figured he might as well start a marketing and advertising agency, and he would call it… the Field Group.

How were we established in 1985 when Field of Dreams came out in 1989?
How were we established in 1985 when Field of Dreams came out in 1989?

2. Words and phrases in Latin always sound important and epic, and “Fieldus Groupus” is no exception. According to this theory, Jack first read the phrase while vacationing in Rome. It was engraved on a statue depicting Caesar Augustus’ marketing division. This little-known group worked tirelessly and thanklessly to promote their ruler’s initiatives. Unfortunately, they were all beheaded following Caesar’s assassination. After learning its rich history, Jack wanted to use the name Fieldus Groupus (which a local Roman informed him meant “Field Group” in English).

3. The last theory (about which I have many doubts) is that the name is more of a description of how we work. It has something to do with the fact that we are willing to work “in the field” with our clients, and that we become so invested in their success that we essentially become a part of their organization. Their goals become our goals, and we do anything and everything to make sure those goals are met.

As you can see, all of these theories are completely plausible, which is why it’s so hard to know the truth about Field Group.

Posted by Jonathan.

Target Audience

Your target audience probably doesn’t like the same things you like. In addition, an ad that you like might not necessarily be effective.

For example, let’s say you get up early and watch the morning news, and you want to run TV commercials during those programs. Well, if your target audience is people aged 20-30, most of them will never see your ad. That means you just wasted a lot of money producing a commercial that didn’t promote your brand or sell any products. This is why it’s so important to define your target audience and to know how they behave and how best to reach them.

What a wonderful ad! Said no target audience ever

That’s where we come in. We’ve spent tons of time researching media consumption habits of many different demographics, and we’ve worked with a lot of clients, which has given us the experience and knowledge to be able to reach the appropriate audiences for a variety of different types of businesses. For example, we know that young people don’t watch the morning news on TV, but rather get most of their news from social media that they view on mobile devices. We are then able to create a campaign that speaks specifically to that audience and reaches them in the place where they spend most of their time.

The kids love this stuff
The kids love this stuff

It’s essential to target the correct audience. If you don’t know who is most likely to purchase your product, you’re going to waste a lot of time, effort, and money throwing ads at people who probably don’t care. Once you do know who is in your target audience, you can carefully craft your marketing messages in order to reach them and get them to listen to you.

Posted by Jonathan.

What is marketing?

I would like to use this post to explain what it is we do here at Field Group, both to give a better understanding to our clients and to the general public. Let’s start off by explaining what exactly marketing is.

Marketing is different from advertising. Advertising means using media (whether it be in a newspaper, radio, or online) to promote a certain product, sale, or event. If you own a car dealership, you might place an ad in a newspaper for a particular vehicle at a set price. The ad might look really nice and include features and benefits of the car, but ultimately the goal of the ad is to sell the car.

Marketing does not equal advertising
Marketing does not equal advertising

Marketing isn’t about necessarily selling a specific product. Instead, it’s all about creating and selling a brand for your company. Your brand is defined by a lot of factors: logo, color scheme, font choice, photography style, the voice used in text, and many other elements all work together to give create a look and feel. When a brand is clearly defined and unique, it is almost instantly recognizable. Think of the McDonald’s golden arches with the red background—if every store used a different color palette, the brand wouldn’t be as powerful.

In Soviet Russia, McDonald's is still McDonald's
In Soviet Russia, McDonald’s is still McDonald’s

Creating a brand and using it consistently in everything that comes out of your company is the key to effective marketing. People associate your brand with whatever your company sells or offers. Going back to the McDonald’s example, when most people see their logo, their tummies probably start grumbling because we associate Mickey D’s with food.

Marketing is also about finding the right people to market to. These people are called your target audience—the group most likely to want to do business with your company. McDonald’s (this is the last time I’ll talk about them, I promise) should be marketing to hungry people, because stuffed people won’t want anything to do with them.

That guy looks hungry--he would definitely buy my stuff!
That guy looks hungry–he would definitely buy my stuff!

Posted by Jonathan.