Gina Slagle – Outreach Executive

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Gina is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in journalism through South Dakota State University. Her marketing internships, various design classes and 20 plus years of customer service have given her the skills to help her clients feel right at home with Complete Media, Inc. When Gina isn’t helping small business leaders increase their profits, she is a creative writer, portrait photographer and someone who enjoys spending time with her family.

All of her life Gina has felt a little “out of the box”. She knew that she wanted to make a difference in this world somehow, so on the Fourth of July, in 1989, she left to serve four years in the United States Marine Corps. She has had many experiences in life and believes that we all get to the top of our own mountain eventually.

“We all have our own path to follow. Some of us have twists and turns, some walk the straight and narrow path, and some of us have some very rocky roads. But, the most important thing is to keep moving forward and to find YOUR perfect path along the way. I am so excited about this new chapter in my life. I look forward to helping you get on the path of building your business!”

 

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Without Tracking, Your Marketing Dollars Are Pointless

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I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Dan Farris, our Outreach Director, tell a business owner that if they don’t know what their marketing dollars are doing for them, just stop all together and see what happens. That’s exactly what J.C. Penny did with their catalog in 2010 when they discontinued its production. According to an article by Sam Sanders, J.C. Penny is now bringing it back for a select group of customers. They noticed that their online sales decreased in the last five years and after some research, determined the decline was caused by the discontinued catalog.

J.C. Penney spokeswoman Kate Coultas tells Sam Sanders with NPR, “Our research has shown that our customers, particularly when it comes to looking at home merchandise, still prefer to browse a traditional print piece but then go online to order the item or go into our store.” You need to know and understand your target market and how they tick. Five years ago the world was going digital so the decision J.C. Penny made to discontinue the catalog was solid. It’s a good thing they put tracking elements in place to see what was working and what wasn’t. It’s all about a return on investment.

Our team at Complete Media does this day in and day out. It’s all about analyzing the market and using our client’s marketing dollars in the most efficient way possible. When you think about it, what’s the point in investing in your marketing when you don’t know what it’s returning to you?

Super Bowl Sunday: Just As Big A Day For Advertisers As Players

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Gone are the days where a Super Bowl commercial was enough to make an impact and grow your business. If you want to make a splash in the marketing world this weekend, you need to have a full blown online campaign as well as real time marketing. Talk about being on your toes! The most iconic moment of real time advertising and what really started the trend was the Oreo tweet during the Super Bowl black out.

I have Twitter but am frequenting the site less and less, except on big advertising days such as this. I can guarantee you I will be following my feed closely to see what the major companies come up with. Some companies, such as Papa Johns don’t even plan on purchasing a commercial. They are putting all their time and money into an online campaign. Click here to read an article about Mountain Dew and their Super Bowl plans. It’s fascinating to see the advertising world evolve. I am more excited to pay attention to the advertising and commercials than the actual game this Sunday! But if I have to, go Seahawks!

Why You Have to Track Your Marketing Results Starting Now!

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It is easy to get excited with all the amazing marketing tools the internet can offer a business and forget to keep track of what is going on. While it is now possible to reach billions of people with a website that never closes or goes on vacation, it is also very easy to lose a lot of money without getting any tangible benefits. The following are some of the reasons that should move you to start tracking your marketing right now:

1. It helps you know whether you are getting a return on investment or not

While all the PowerPoint presentations by your marketing team might make you feel warm and nice inside, nothing can take the place of cold, hard facts. You will need to see statistics that will tell you whether the strategy being employed by your marketing team is actually paying off and providing a solid return on investment or not. Your business might have the best website and some of the coolest social media accounts. However, if all these activities are not giving you the traffic that you were hoping for, then more hard work is required.

2. Tracking your results helps you know which method is the most successful

You might think that you pay per click advertising campaign is the one bringing in all the extra traffic that you have been registering on your website, only to find out that it is the organic search engine optimization campaign that is actually bringing in the extra pairs of digital eye balls. The good thing with tracking is that it removes any inherent bias that the owners of the business or the people conducting different marketing campaigns might have and only brings in raw data that cannot be disputed.

How to track your marketing results

The good news is that it is not that hard to track the effect of your marketing campaigns. There are many free tools (and paid ones of course) that will help you record the number of visitors that come to your site. Many of these tracking tools can also group the visitors according to the method that brought them to your site, giving you more information on which method is working and which one is not. One of the best free tools that you can use is Google analytics. This means that there is no excuse for not tracking your marketing results immediately!

Measuring Success

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I find it amazing, shocking and disturbing at how many small business owners, entrepreneurs and bigger corporations waste money on advertising!

Some of their advertising may be effective, but…

It doesn’t matter if they’re buying banner ads, newspaper ads, pay per click, Yellow Pages, contextual advertising, radio, television, magazine … and the list goes on. But, either way, they’ll never really know the truth because there is no mechanism built into their advertising to measure its effectiveness! This is one of the many downfalls of what’s commonly known as “brand advertising” or “institutional advertising.” Chances are it is not effective unless this business owner is tracking the success. He may never know and he may continue advertising in this fashion month after month … wasting money that could be better used elsewhere.

Edwards Demings is famous for saying: “If it can’t be measured, it can’t be improved upon.” The top 5% of the earners in track, test and measure their advertising and marketing on a regular basis!!! Once you know the return on your marketing dollars – and, if you’re gaining a positive return – than you know you can invest more dollars, get a wider audience and capture more clients!

All In With Complete Media

Silverado Stud Poker allows players to play a fast-paced, interactive poker game in casinos across the nation.  They partnered with us to increase their exposure to casino management.  Through our campaign, we support their sales effort by executing social media, online ad campaigns, direct marketing, and website management.
Silverado Stud also works with us to promote their casino locations.  We drive online traffic which helps retain their current client base.  High game play is appealing to casino owners which sustain tables in casinos.
Chris Karr, Owner
Silverado Stud
605-695-0391
info@silveradostud.com

The Myths About Call Tracking

 

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Call tracking comes with many misconceptions as most people don’t fully grasp the powerful knowledge and data it generates. Below are the five most common call tracking myths, and how we’re debunking them!

Myth Number 1: My customers will notice different numbers and be suspicious. These days, callers use cell phones for the majority of calls they need to make. With this mind set, people are not as aware of the actual number they are dialing. They are also less likely to remember this number or write it down because with smart phones, searching for a number on the internet has become a more efficient way to make calls. In our extensive experience, few callers even notice the digits that appear on the phone when they make a call.

Myth Number 2: Call tracking just presents more risk for dropped calls. Call tracking routes a caller seamlessly to your business without them or your staff noticing any changes. As far as call quality goes, we pay our phone carrier a premium to maintain our 99.99% connection rate. Moreover, adding call tracking leads to less dropped calls. We typically are first to know when a client’s phone network or hardware malfunctions leading to less down time and faster repairs.

Myth Number 3: It just creates more work for me. Fortunately, this myth couldn’t be further from the truth! Summary-level reports are designed to show which marketing pieces are the most effective in the simplest way possible. We even go so far as to listen to your calls FOR you in order to bring to your attention only the most valuable calls! Call recording and agent activity reports drive action in themselves, by providing a feedback loop that effortlessly encourages agents to make the most of every single phone call.

Myth Number 4: It’s more efficient to get a unique number from my phone provider. It is true that a unique number can be provided by any phone service provider, and you could probably get a call count record from that company. Unfortunately, getting actionable data will likely prove to be difficult and expensive. Of the many features your phone company will either be unable to offer or will charge you for, here are just a few that we have available:

  • FREE Text messaging to email
  • Call tracking
  • Calling reports

Myth Number 5: Call tracking is just another expense to add to my budget. On the contrary, call tracking is one of the most effective ways to SAVE your marketing dollars! It makes it painfully clear how IN-effective some of your marketing is. For example, a $15 tracking number might show what a waste your $5,000 direct mailer was. Even more powerful than preventing you from spending money on what doesn’t work, call tracking will point out what does. It will help you allocate your budget to spend more money on pieces that get you a higher return on investment (ROI). We always say that a good rule of thumb is to spend 3% of your marketing budget on call tracking to make sure that the other 97% is working. Call tracking pays for itself pretty quickly by helping you capture more leads on the same budget.

Now that you know the truth and the many advantages of call tracking, start benefiting from the data and reports today!  Call Complete Media to find out more!

Is Your Sales Process Effective?

Lately, I have been working with more clients who are looking for help landing more clients (or outbound sales). I have also been on a kick of checking out what the folks at Kissmetrics are blogging about, and found this little infographic very interesting in relation to the sales process.
It gives a nice breakdown of what makes the sales process effective and ideas on how to improve your effectiveness.
Check it out then give Complete Media a call to help improve your process! 605-360-2259

January 9: Open Forum

 

January 9: Business Builder Seminar – Open Forum

It’s Cold Outside
But inside, we’ll get things fired up with what will be a great conversation on web marketing.  This is the first Open Forum that we’re hosting for the new year.  As you’re setting new goals and strategies for 2014, you’ll undoubtedly have questions as to how web marketing can help you reach them.  This is the time for those questions!

Come down to Complete Media on January 9th at noon, armed with new ideas for the new year.  We’ll provide the hot chocolate.  $10 for the general public, free for the Complete Media Circle.

 

Picture Perfect

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The majority of businesses stand by the quality of their product or service, but quality representation of their product or service is often skipped.  What do your consumers see when they go to your website?  Do they see pixilated images?  No images and only content?  Curata, a data management company, conducted a study in 2012 and found that websites with images had 47% more activity than websites without.  47%!

Now look at it from a different angle. Pictures on your site do not mean activity on your site.  Here are a couple of reasons why photos matter…

  1. Images keep it simple.
  2. People respond differently to photos than content.  Content is merely words.  Images help create a relationship or a common interest.
  3. Photos can speak 1,000 words. I know you’ve heard this saying 1,000 times, but is it a false statement?  If you go and look at one of your favorite pictures, how many words could you say about it?  Probably more than 1,000.  If you have the right image for your target market, it’ll create an emotional tie.
  4. Images drive engagement.  Now that you have made an emotional tie, the consumer is likely to look a little deeper around the site.  When they feel connected, they will stay longer.

It’s not always about the content.  You’re content could be great! What matters is how it connects with the consumer and what they are looking for.