The 3 Things You Need to Know Before Planning Your Marketing Campaign

One of the most important things a company can do prior to planning a marketing campaign is solidifying the campaign’s goal. Campaign planning can’t be a shot in the dark, and having measurable goals makes your future campaigns smarter and more effective. I’ve identified a few key components of the goal-setting and measurement process, which are a perfect starting point for your campaign planning:

Know What Type of Goal You Really Need. Sometimes the goal isn’t – or shouldn’t be – buy, buy, buy. The business need of your goal type will largely be influenced by: the product (does it have a long or short purchase cycle? What is the price point?), the target’s relationship with the product (do they have zero awareness of your product? Are they familiar with your product but not using it? Why?), and the company’s share within the market (is your target buying your competitor’s product, but not your product? Is your product totally new to market?). All of these questions and more will influence the type of goal to set. The following are just a few examples of marketing goal types:

  •       Generate awareness
  •       Change perceptions
  •       Encourage trial
  •       Increase sales
  •       Encourage repeat purchase/keep current customers from leaving
  •       Grow your market share
  •       Grow your product’s category

    Be SMART.
    If you squint really hard and think all the way back to grade school, you may remember setting “SMART” goals. But hey, this framework isn’t as basic as you think – MIT uses the SMART format for employee performance development, and marketing software company HubSpot has recommended using it for marketing goal-setting. Because goal-setting can be like navigating muddy waters, using this framework can help you get a clearer picture. Goals should be:

    Specific – The goal should be clearly-written and explicit. Put it through an approval process with people that both work on the project, and those that don’t.

    Measurable – Make sure goals are quantifiable and there is a measurement plan in place. Tracking ROI on previous campaigns can help with both budgeting and setting intelligent goals for new campaigns.

    Attainable – Ensure you’re setting the campaign up for success by allowing adequate time upfront to strategize and plan. In addition, know what internal tools and research are available to help make smarter decisions (for example, is there a database of current customer data you can draw from and model?

    Realistic – No amount of money in the world will get Nike 100 percent market share for athletic shoes, and it may take a lot of money to get them just a 2 percent increase. Examine outside factors that might affect the campaign when setting goals.

    Time-Bound – Limit goals to a certain time frame that is limited but realistic.

    Know What To Measure, and How To Measure It.
    This may be a big giant “duh,” but for each goal type, you’ll want to measure different things. Campaigns with increased-awareness goals may want to utilize a brand metric study, or track increases in branded organic search volume. Utilizing an analytics tracking platform can help measure interest and sales, and provide other valuable information related to the campaign (knowing half your sales come from Chicago will likely influence future planning).

Using these three steps to set clear, intelligent goals before planning a marketing campaign can help you get results, save money and grow your business. If you need help with your goals, we know some pretty great marketers who’d be happy to help – give us a call at 608-232-2300.



Five Rules for Great Logos

If there’s one thing that I love more than anything in my advertising job, it’s being with a logo at birth. Just the other day, we presented logos to a client after intensive planning. Long nights of strategizing, messaging discussions and brainstorming names. At long last, we could put a face to the brand. Choosing the right logo is a critical decision, so here are five criteria and examples to help:

  1. A great logo is DISTINCTIVE. Not only does this mean that it is different from other logos in the market, but that it communicates an idea. The Mercedes logo is rich in history, with a three-point symbol indicating triumph over land, sea and air.  It’s a unique and specific story for the brand that leaves you with a feeling of prestige, longevity and trust.
  2. car_logo_PNG1655A great logo is RELEVANT. With the hard work that goes into understanding your target audience, being on brand and audience appropriate is a no-brainer. Disney’s eloquent mark is on cue with targeting families, representing the right mix of fantasy and fun. Interestingly, people think the logo is Walt Disney’s signature. Fans were often disappointed after receiving his autograph and realizing they did not match up.
  3. ht_disney_a_nt_120930_wmainA great logo is TIMELESS. Avoid choosing trendy colors or shapes. It should be as relevant 50 years ago as it is today and 50 years from now. Steve Jobs picked an apple and decided to include a bite to represent scale – so it wasn’t mistaken for a cherry. The simple mark has endured several iterations, and stands the test of time as the perfect example of a timeless symbol.
  4. downloadA great logo is VERSATILE. It should work across all media in different sizes, color or black and white. The Nike swoosh is on everything from shoes to packaging, clothing and electronics. Developed in 1971, Nike paid the designer $35 for her work. Although Phil Knight did not love the logo at first, there is nothing about it that limits where it can be.galleryimage-1637656680-feb-4-2012-600x378
  5. A great logo is SIMPLE. It works quickly and singularly. You get the idea with a second’s glance. What makes the McDonald’s logo one of the most recognized logos in the world? Its singular color and shape. Inspired by the fast food chain’s building design, the logo lives on restaurants in 119 countries, across 35,000 outlets, serving 68 million customers daily.

The great Michael Bierut, a graphic designerknownfor his logo work, said: “Be purposeful and thoughtful in the choices you make when the options are nearly infinite.” No matter how large or small your business, the logo you decide on will be around for the long haul. Putting it against the five criteria above can ensure that your logo is not just good, it’s great.



Website Traffic to Data Conversion: Google Analytics Tools You Need to Apply Right Now (Part 3)

Well folks, it’s here: The final post that will round out our three part series on Google Analytics tools you need to use now. Make sure you check out parts one and two to help give context to this post.

A major component to our digital and Analytics strategies is Conversions. In our Planning process, we look at all the content clients want to include in a new website and create desired user paths with micro and macro Conversions. These “micros and macros” closely relate to Goals, but focus on actions across multiple pages, rather than individual website pages.

In the last post, we used photography equipment as an example for defining Goals. Let’s use the same scenario to explore Conversions: Selling camera equipment on your site is your macro conversion, the ultimate action on your website that you want your audience to complete more than any other. What helps lead to that sale? Micro conversions for selling your premium lens can include watching a features video, reading customer reviews, or anything else that could lend itself to the purchase.

This path to conversions is tracked with the Goal settings created in Google Analytics, along with other tools at your disposal like the Goal Flow report and Multi-Channel Funnels report. Though Google Analytics is an amazing thing, it does have limits. It helps gather this data, but it still does not put all the numbers together and provide insights to your data. That’s where the experience of reporting comes in.

Data may mean only so much to people. Being able to translate and convey it to others in an understandable format is a must. We have a number of clients to whom we deliver Analytics reports, and they love it. We take the time to assess these Goals and Conversions and put thought to it. We pull out insights and information to help lead digital, and even traditional, marketing strategies.

If you’re the marketing person in your organization leading the review of your site’s Analytics, consider some of the tips we use at KW2:

  1. Set a schedule – Many times, an Analytics reporting schedule will coincide with your marketing campaigns, fiscal years, and quarterly reports, but make sure you get Analytics assessments on the books for your team and/or manager, and stick to a regular schedule to review.
  2. Create an easy-to-digest report – Whether it’s in a Word document or presentation deck, keeping things consistent every reporting period makes it much easier to compare data over time from one report to another.
  3. Stay updated on Analytics – We’ve been called Google Analytics Gurus by our clients after they see what we do, but we work hard at it. Although we have several folks who are certified, Analytics are always changing as technologies develop, new tracking methods are being discovered, and more. Make sure you take the time every now and again to learn the latest features and tactics out there, as they’ll change and evolve as Google continually enhances what Analytics can do.

As you can tell from this and the previous posts, there’s a lot to Google Analytics. It’s a deeply engaging and immersive world of information, so knowing what to look for, and tying the data sets to one another is quite valuable to your marketing efforts. And yes, like many great marketing tools, it can be time-intensive.

You’re a busy person, and we want to be sure you’re gathering this data efficiently and quickly so you can focus on the other things at hand. If you’ve got a hunger for Analytics and are interested in more, feel free to give us a call or drop us an email.



Working with Real Mad Men

Oh, I tried. I really did. But I only watched the first season and a half of “Mad Men.” It was interesting to me because of its place in the history of advertising. My grandfather owned Moore & Hamm, an ad agency on Madison Avenue in the 1930’s and 40’s. They had Four Roses Whiskey, The Stork Club, and some iconic New York brands. And I got into the business in 1989, so the Mad Men era was cool to me because it landed between my grandfather and I, between the U.S. advertising industry’s earliest days and my earliest days in the business.

The real ad references in Mad Men were fun to watch, like the episode with the Kodak Carousel pitch, and at the very end of the season finale, where they suggest Don created the Coke “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” ad. But I didn’t I like how the show made creativity look instantaneous. In thirty seconds, Don Draper could solve massive problems. It’s never been like that.

I should know because I worked with one of the real mad men who really created that Coke ad for McCann-Erickson in 1971.

Harvey Gabor was my Creative Director (CD) when I worked in Detroit. He was the real deal, and a big inspiration for my creative career. So here is just a little taste of a young guy’s experiences with Harvey and a few of the real mad men who TV recently popularized.

I got lucky very early in my career. A few months after I started, one of my first campaigns wound up on the cover of AdWeek. It was for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, featuring a rad 80’s teen dude explaining Wisconsin’s “not a drop” underage drinking law to the hip-impaired (parents). The publicity resulted in a phone call from a headhunter asking if I wanted to interview for a couple of jobs in Detroit. I had no idea what a headhunter was and thought it was one of my friends pulling a prank. Soon, I was on a plane, in a suit, amazed, and on the way to interview for a job in Detroit at Simons, Michelson, Zieve (SMZ).

They offered me the job despite the fact that I wore a suit, (lesson number one: creatives don’t wear suits, the account service “suits” wore suits) and I had a very stupid portfolio.

The Detroit experience was fantastic. About 80 people worked there, compared to 10 at the Madison agency where my career began. Our bread-and-butter anchor account was Big Boy, which was a lot of fun work. I also wrote for Detroit Edison, AAA and Ziebart. It felt like a big deal ad agency. A few folks smoked in the shop, we had big budgets, and people across the large office really knew advertising.

My first day was thrilling. The creative department had a little welcome meeting where I met my co-workers and got a taste of our clients and work. At the end, they insisted that I do an impersonation of Mort Zieve, the CEO. He made the rounds through the shop every day, and they said he’d be in the creative department soon. They coached me on his accent and mannerisms, and told they me that if I said, “Hello, hello, hello Zieve, how are you?” when Mort walked in the room, I’d be forever in his good graces. I couldn’t tell if they were setting me up and this would be my last day or if this would really be a cool thing to do. A minute later Mort was on the way down the hall, and I was ready to impersonate the big cheese. Mort walked into my boss Larry’s huge office, and I said “Hello, hello, hello Zieve, how are you?” He burst out laughing, knowing that the others put me up to it. I was in.

Shortly after I started, the search began for a new CD, which was very exciting. The creative department got to watch the reels of TV commercials from the CD finalists.

We popped one of the enormous 3/4” tapes into the U-Matic player and watched a reel from a guy named Harvey Gabor. Word had it that he was a big deal, but we didn’t know why. He had a couple older ads and the new Converse ad with a little toddler tromping in a meadow wearing Chuck Taylor’s. Then our jaws hit the floor. The last spot on his reel was that Coke ad, “Hilltop.”

We had all remembered that ad and that song from our childhood. It was legendary! The song was on the radio! Holy crap! I was very green, but I knew that THIS guy was the really real deal.

Harvey took the job and made an instant impact on the whole company. He was a character, frequently in a suit with suspenders. He knew our creative wasn’t spectacular and immediately took steps to fix it. He called a meeting of the creative department in our stately dark conference room. He drew some rectangles and squiggles on two pieces of paper. He said, “I think we’re trying too hard on our print ads, and we need to make them simpler. So from now on, I only want to see two kinds of print ads here – a big picture with a little headline or a big headline with a little picture.” I thought it was a great meeting. The art directors hated it. But he was right.

Harvey and I concepted together on one of his first days. We were the incumbent on the Ziebart and were under pressure to win it. Management announced, “If we don’t win, there will be layoffs.” Gulp.

So there I am, a newbie, with one of the legends in advertising creating TV commercial ideas. Harvey was at his desk, and I was seated on the other side. He had a ball point pen, and a pad of onion paper, really thin stuff. (For those of you not in the business, a ball point pen is not the best tool for sketching out ideas on onion paper.) The guy was intense when concepting. Very likeably intense, with a driven, manic focus on coming up with idea after idea after idea. I loved concepting, tossing out option after option. To be doing it with a legend was blowing my tiny little mind.

A few minutes in, Harvey started drawing a rectangle on the onion paper, didn’t like it after about one inch, and tore three pages off the pad, crumpled it all up, and tossed it on the floor. This happened a few times. He went through a lot of paper. He was so intense, he would push through five sheets of paper while sketching stuff out.

More ideas came. One was a bunch of kids with ice cream and dogs and bubbles and messy stuff, coming out of a car like the clown car gag at the circus. Harvey called this a “torture test” ad. Then he was staring at the white pad of paper, and picking a hangnail on this thumb. Picking and flicking at it with his index finger, like a guy who needed an idea NOW. Then, splat. A burst of bloodly little dots shot across the page. Harvey tore three pages off the pad, crumpled it all up, and tossed it on the floor. He bled for his work! He tossed paper wads on the floor, like in the movies! I thought that was so cool.

The best compliment you could get from Harvey, in his heavy New York accent was, “That’s, that’s, that’s…pretty good.” I don’t think he had a word for “great.”

I wish I would have been able to work with Harvey longer, but eventually my wife and I decided to move back to Wisconsin. At the going-away party, Harvey gave a nice toast to “the kid from Indiana.” I had told him several times that I was from Wisconsin, but whatever, it was okay coming from Harvey.

Thanks to some luck and the internet, I got to see Harvey again in the form of Google’s wonderful 2011 campaign called Project Re:Brief. They brought back famous ad folks and their ads, and teamed the old timers up with Google employees to reimagine their classic ad for today’s banner ad world. Harvey was one of the classic mad men, and “Hilltop” was one of the ads they “recreated.”

It was really nice to see Harvey again. He was greyer, but still quite sharp. In the first couple of seconds, you clearly saw the twinkle and spark that made being around him so special. I laughed out loud at his line, “I took the temerity of doin’ a scribble.” That’s Harvey, the completely brilliant yet completely humble everyman.

Over the years in Madison, I got to work with a couple of other guys from the end of the Mad Men era, Dick Kallstrom (who did the famous Sears Die Hard car battery on a frozen Minnesota lake) and Mike Kelly (creator of the Golden Grahams jingle). Dick was an art director out of Chicago, and Mike was a writer from Minneapolis.

Their stories of the Mad Men era of advertising were frequently steeped in alcohol. He said the Chicago mad men would take the train to work, arrive around 9:00 a.m. to create for two or three hours, have a two hour lunch, then work another two hours back at the office, then head out to a bar. Every. Day. Five hours of work and four hours of drinking? No wonder Draper was such a mess.

But somehow, despite the martinis and abbreviated work days, the 60’s and 70’s ad guys I worked with knew their craft incredibly well, perhaps because the sandbox was smaller back then. Digital communications have exploded the size of the sandbox and seemingly created more creative generalists. But man, they all had great passion, great experience, and great wisdom.

Working with mad men taught me a valuable life lesson: listen to those who came before you because they know the stuff that you do not. Take what they know, add it to what you know, and make yourself better.

Thanks, Harvey, Dick and Mike for helping me try to do just that.


For more stories from Harvey, including his take on the Coke and Google ads, check out his two short e-books, Confessions of a Prehistoric Adman: From the Bronx to Madison Avenue and Lots in Between and Peeing with David Olgivy: Short Stories from my “Mad Men” Years.



KW2’s Guide to Paid Search: Part 1 of 3

How do I make kale chips? Should I go with an Apple Watch or Android Wear? How can I increase sales on my website? Across the planet, we search trillions of things each year across a sea of topics. Some searches are focused and functional. Others are more exploratory. So what does this mean for your business? The answer is simple: opportunity.

Paid search advertising puts you in touch with customers who have expressed a need, evidenced by their search. We can think of these users as qualified leads. In this three-part series, we’ll explore important concepts every marketer should consider before embarking on a paid search campaign. Some businesses are savvy to the many benefits of investing in a pay-per-click (PPC) strategy, but many are looking for new ways to reach quality leads.

First things first. Toss out your industry slang, your company lingo, and what you assume users are searching for related to your service or product. Identify how people search (their verbiage) and what they search for (perhaps more general in scope than you think). It’s important to acknowledge the potential gap between what you offer and what users actually search for. That’s okay. The key is to find the sweet spot—the overlap between the two. Paid search is a great way to serve attractive, relevant ads to an already-searching audience. It can help boost awareness as an ancillary benefit, but it’s not a tactic designed to explain a complex process or offering. Think of paid search as a highly effective foot-in-the-door.

The most basic elements of a paid search campaign are the keywords on which you bid. The catch (and difficulty) is finding the right ones. If you’re a new shoe company bidding on “gel flexor 15s,” but folks are actually searching for “nike free running shoe alternatives,” chances are good that you’re missing out on reaching your target consumers.

That’s why KW2 begins with Keyword Research, an in-depth analysis of your industry, your company, your offerings, and the volume and competition of potential search terms. Our first deliverable to you is a comprehensive list of search terms and phrases that are most relevant to your target and most affordable for you.

In part two of this series, we’ll explore how to nurture a live paid search campaign, reviewing some key optimizations essential to campaign health and continued improvement. Can’t wait? Give us a call at 608-232-2300 or email hello@kw2ideas.com to speak with a paid search expert at KW2.

And still looking for that kale chips secret? Here you go: remove the stalks, don’t skip the olive oil, and keep the temperature low for even baking. Perfect kale chips. (We searched.)



How Putting Your Product in the Back Seat May Increase Profits

The old school of thought when it comes to web content is that it should look like your brand, focus around the benefits of your brand and be just disruptive enough to get people’s attention. There’s been a new kid in town with inbound marketing – it’s not about saying why YOU’RE the best, it’s about helping your customers be THEIR best.

Given the rate people consume online content, and the exponentially larger amount of data available online, it’s virtually impossible to get consumers’ eyes on your content – unless you’re giving them what they’re looking for. Odds are, consumers aren’t looking for your product by name unless you’re the top dog in your field. There’s a better chance they’re looking for information on how best to use your, or your competitors’, product or service.

A YouTube campaign called “Little Beasts” executed in October of 2014 by Ziploc educates users on alternative uses for their product, but the product itself is only ancillary to the videos’ storylines and branding is virtually non-existent.

By creating valuable minimally branded content that helps consumers identify their problem and then assist them with a solution, you’re creating value for the consumer. These helpful videos, blog posts, third-party hosted articles, and social media interactions are all part of an “inbound marketing” strategy.

It may be more cost effective to create positive associations with your brand by putting your customer in the driver’s seat by supplying them with helpful content, and letting your product or service take the back seat. By creating helpful content in the area where you are the expert, you’re able to prove yourself as a leader in the field and connect consumers’ perception of your brand with helpfulness and positive results. Over time, these interactions with your brand instill trust and positive associations in consumers which result in a greater propensity to buy and increased profits for you.



On baseball, business and managing your team

As the smell of freshly-mowed grass reaches these parts of the upper Midwest, my thoughts often turn to baseball. Baseball. Seems like a sport that should have gone the way of the passenger pigeon. How can a sport that’s as slow as the spring thaw still draw millions of fans to the stands? My humble opinion is that much of the success of baseball is due, in part, to the methodical approach and strategy of the leader of the ball clubs – the manager. Before the first pitch is even a wisp of a thought in a the pitcher’s mind, the manager has prepared a plan for his team to follow and he’s most likely played out multiple scenarios in his head so he can be prepared for all nine innings. One of the best to ever manage a team was Tony La Russa. Mr. La Russa retired in 2011, but not until he had brought my hometown St. Louis Cardinals another World Championship trophy. And so, in honor of Mr. La Russa and our nation’s favorite past time, I’d like to share with you some tips that work for managing baseball clubs as well as managing business teams:

You can only take advantage of what you have
Play to your strengths and manage your strategy around those strengths. Take an honest look at the people representing your organization. What are they best at? Write it down. Where can they use improvement? Write it down. Study it. Plan around their strengths, but also have a pathway to address improvements that are needed.

Put people in the best position to compete
Establish a solid relationship with each member of your team. Get to know their strengths and weaknesses and set them up for success. They’ll come to work each day knowing they are supported and that their success is at the top of your list.

Know when to give players the hook
If someone on your team is consistently underperforming or not bringing their A game, make the move earlier rather than later. Chances are the first time you have a question about an individual’s performance won’t be the last. So pay attention, and give the issue the time it deserves so you can make the decision whether to continue with that player.

If you need too many meetings, your club is in trouble
Mr. La Russa believed there were few times throughout a season when meetings were needed, but if you need too many of these, you’ve got people not paying attention or you’re not getting through to your team.

Those devilish details
Make notes about your game. Your players. Your successes. Your failures. Review them often enough to remind you of changes you’d like to make.

And finally, the three things every manager should remind themselves of each day:
Preparation and process. OK, so that’s only two.The third? Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Repetition is key to making your team as effective as possible. Heck, each of these could be its own blog post, but that’s for a different time and maybe another baseball season.

Now, enough reading about the game; get out there and make some of these changes happen! Go, Cards!

View Tim Christian's profile on LinkedIn



Web Accessibility Part 2: Opening Doors to All Users

Making the Web Accessible for All – Part 2: Common Barriers Faced by Users

The first article in this series focused on why you should consider accessibility a fundamental component of your next web project. Reasons for creating an accessible website can vary – you may want to avoid excluding one in five users, or you might have an aging target customer demographic, or you may have recently learned that your site must be accessible per ADA or Section 508 guidelines. Whatever your reasons for considering web accessibility, understand that it’s a critical part of providing each and every user of your site with a good experience.

Now that we’ve covered why your site should be accessible, let’s focus on how different types of disabilities can impact your customers’ ability to use your website, and what you can do to make it more accessible to everyone.

Different disabilities create unique challenges that make it harder for the user to navigate and interact with your website. We’ll provide an overview of three categories of disabilities—Vision, Hearing and Physical—and how each could impact disabled users on the web.

Your users may be affected by a wide range of visual impairments: complete blindness, the inability to focus, increased sensitivity, or even lack of contrast or glare. Approximately 8.1 million people in the U.S. reported having difficulty seeing in the 2010 U.S. Census, including 2 million who were blind or unable to see.

Users who are unable to see rely on screen readers to provide navigational cues, as well as text and image content. You should ensure the following features and functionality are present for blind users relying on a screen reader to use your site:

  • Page titles should be clearly written and convey the content on that page
  • Links and buttons should be properly marked up to ensure it’s clear that they are links
  • Images should have meaningful alt tags, and more complex images such as diagrams or infographics should also have their content provided as text elsewhere on the page
  • Form fields must be properly marked up and have clear, understandable labels

Try downloading a screen reader and using it as the sole means of navigating your site. Can you navigate to the pages you’d like to visit? Do you understand all the content, including the content provided by images? If not, you could be losing 20 percent of your customers to sites they can use more easily.

  • Other users might be able to use your site without a screen reader, but have other visual impairments, such as decreased sensitivity to contrast. These users will need:
  • The ability to control and increase the size of your website using a browser’s built-in zoom features
  • The ability to control and increase the text size of your website using browser preferences
  • Text with enough contrast from the background – for example, lighter gray text on a white background can be very challenging for some users to see

Hearing impairments affect 7.6 million people (2010 U.S. Census), and this impairment can be especially common in older users. Users with hearing impairments may be unable to discern voices from background noise, hear higher pitched sounds, or just be unable to hear your site’s video or audio files at all.

If your website relies on audio or video content to communicate with users, you should provide:

  • The option to turn on captions within video content
  • A text transcript of audio or video content
  • The ability to control video volume

Additionally, when creating audio or video content, make sure speech is slow and clear, and avoid recording in locations with a lot of background noise to help users discern speech more easily.

Some of your site’s users may have physical disabilities that reduce their fine-motor control and hand-eye coordination, or simply make controlling a mouse painful and difficult. They might have a hard time clicking on small areas, or difficulty with the coordinated gestures required by a touch interface, such as pinching or multi-finger dragging.

To help these users navigate your site, create:

  • Keyboard alternatives for all mouse actions
  • Larger click targets
  • Forms a user can tab through to complete
  • A site users can control using a voice browser

The good news is that your site may already be partially accessible. Clean, semantic HTML and web best practices such as creating meaningful title and alt tags can take you a long way down the path to a fully accessible website. After testing your site with a screen reader or using voice controls, you may find that you pass some accessibility compliance checks, but not others, and that’s a good first step.

In our final installment of this series, we’ll provide a checklist and tools you can use to ensure your site is truly accessible to all. Or, if you need help assessing, drop us a line!



Tips for an Unskippable Pre-roll Commercial

More than ever, the onus is on advertisers to prove their commercial is worth watching. According to YouTube, 70% of audiences skip pre-roll advertising after 5 seconds. Could this be because too many TV ads are simply repurposed for digital media? TubeMogul’s 2014 Video Advertising Playbook reveals that custom web creative has an edge when it comes to influencing purchasing intent (1.4% vs. .8% of repurposed TV ads). So, how do you prove your commercial is worth watching? Consider the following examples and tips to make your pre-roll commercial unskippable:

1: Put the customer first

Recognize that you are interrupting your customer’s focused search with an unsolicited message. Online viewers are in a control mindset with their mouse in hand. They have a negative perception about the interruption before they even know the brand. So, how do you turn that around for your audience? See how Burger King connected with young men by relating to their pre-roll pain:

2: Make the first 5 seconds count

Remember the days when 30 seconds seemed like a short time to get message across? Now, we have 5 seconds to do something that connects with the viewer. Whatever you do in the first 5 seconds of your message, it must answer the question: “What will make this ad unskippable?” See how Madagascar 3 hit home with young children, front loading their spot with a winning combination: address the audience + ask a question + several fast cuts:

3: Do something worth sharing

Sharing your brand message with video is easier than ever via digital and social connections. All you have to do is give your audience something worth sharing. Give the audience a slice of entertainment that relates to your message. See how Kmart connected with their conservative shoppers and managed to stay on brand with an unexpected and sharable pre-roll ad laugh:

4: Ask for engagement

It should come as no surprise that viewers “skip this ad” with a ticker and button appearing right before their eyes. See how this job search website from the UK reaches into the psychology of their viewer with this over the top ad that asks for engagement:

I challenge you to assess your pre-roll creative differently than traditional commercials. Put your customer first, demand their attention in the first 5 seconds, do something worth sharing and consider asking for interaction. Following this new formula for digital commercials may force your brand into unexplored territory. Find a way to incorporate these ideas, while still being true to your brand.

I leave you with one final pre-roll commercial attempts to be the most unskippable to raise money for the ASPCA. Did they go too far? You be the judge. . .



Goals: The Google Analytics Tool You Need to Apply Right Now (Part 2 of 3)

In part 1 of our three-part Google Analytics Tools You Need to Apply Now series, we discussed Views and Filters. We looked at how using these tools mean a world of difference for the data you collect on your site’s performance. In part 2, we’ll look at another tactic that can give definition to, and truly transform, your website’s data. That tactic is called Goal Implementation. Even if you aren’t in the business of selling things, Analytics Goals allows you to set a monetary value to actions that may not be e-commerce in nature.


What is a Google Analytics Goal?

Goals are definable actions on your website that can help you see specific successes for your website. There are four common types of Goals that can be defined. They include:

  1. Destination Goals: Tracks when a user visits an important page
  2. Duration Goals: Tracks when a user meets a length-on-page criteria you set
  3. Event Goals: Tracks when users perform an action on your site (eg. download a PDF or play a video)
  4. Pages per Visit Goals: Tracks a designated number of pages viewed

Potentially, every page of your website could have a goal. Assigned to each Goal is a Goal Value. Defined by you, a Value is a monetary amount you assign to an action that can be important to achieving your website’s goal(s).


Let’s look at an example: your business manufactures camera and video equipment. Your premium long-range lens sells for $3,000. You’re confident that at least 25% of your customers make a purchase after reading the PDF brochure of information. You can translate that 25% of $3,000 to $750 and assign a $750 Goal Value to the PDF download link on your website.

Another user action, like reading reviews, could assist with product purchases as well. However, they might not be as effective at selling, compared to your brochure. You might assign a $60 Goal Value to the action of reading a review. If you feature a review from an industry expert, it might be appropriate to assign a higher Goal Value, like $120, to that review. The values in this example are arbitrary, but it helps you see how weighting user actions on-site helps you evaluate which lead to the most sales.

This is just one tool in Analytics that can help you understand how many people buy your products based on website actions. Comparing your total monthly product sales to your assigned Values is an indicator of how much your audience values your brochure or reviews when considering or making a purchase. Reviewing these each month can tell you how valuable a particular action is on your website, and how important it is to your business objectives over time.


Are people leaving your site from a particular page or after a unique action? Then it’s time to look at re-vamping your content to something that will keep your visitors on your site and interacting with it. Google Analytics offers supplemental tools such as Goal Flow and Multi-Channel Funnels reports. Each report will show your users’ paths and steps taken on your site, even over multiple visits. These help you see the best return on your website’s content over time, especially if you have an SEO strategy in place.

Integrating and tracking Goals will require a little programming and setup within Analytics, but let me tell you, it’s worth it. Take a look at your website content and see what Values you would assign to the marketing areas on your site. Let us know what you find and if you have any questions. Our digital experts can help with that strategy.


Stay tuned for part 3 of our Analytics tools series, where we’ll share a little insight into the strategy we use at KW2 to tie information together, and pull out the most important and relevant data and insights for a website.