Monthly Archives: December 2013

8 Tips To Create Compelling Flyers

Creating a compelling flyer is one of the earliest and most affordable forms of direct marketing that many in the arts will complete, but having a clear message hierarchy in your design and messaging is one of the most important points to consider when creating a flyer to really engage with your audience.

The message hierarchy determines what message(s) you want your audience to take away from your direct marketing and prioritises these in your design.

We have previously written about what to consider when writing a creative brief, and as part of that process, ensure you are considering how the following points are represented in your message hierarchy:

 

1. Consistency

By maintaining the same branding across all pieces of your comms, from your website, your merchandise, and your flyers, you are maximising the affinity your audience has with your brand.

 

2. Who is represented?

Ensure that who you are, is represented clearly on the communications. This is potentially the first interaction that someone has with your brand.

 

3. What is it?

No matter what type of arts you are promoting, make sure that the discipline you are promoting is communicated either through creative design or messaging.  Just as some people who see your flyer won’t know who you are, they similarly won’t know what you do.

 

4. Dates

Many leaflets are used for promoting an event, and one of the most important things when promoting an event is when and where your show is.  On some recent examples I’ve seen, the date and time that the show is on, is in the smallest text and font.

 

5. Call To Action

As a piece of ‘direct marketing’, you are wanting to elicit response from your collateral and by providing a clear call to action of where to do that will ensure you get a higher response rate.   There is also an opportunity for you to highlight your social media channels, or website information where people can go to find out more.

 

6. Price

Pricing is great to include, and can be especially helpful for your audience if you have a structure in place, such as advance or early bird tickets.  By offering an early bird price for pre-purchased tickets, you are locking your audience away, and giving you an early forecast of the audience numbers for your show.

 

7. Tracking

All marketing should be tested, and providing an offer code where your audience can take the flyer away and enter a code that is specific to your flyer for a  specific offer will give you an indication about whether a piece of collateral worked well.  For additional testing, you could change your offer codes dependant upon where the flyers are distributed.

 

8. Credibility

If you have any endorsements or testimonials from fans or recognised persons, by including these as part of your creative you’re able to highlight the reviews that you have gained from previous performances, and add weight to your proposition that people should come and see you.

 

If you are creating flyers for promotion of an event or show and need help with your message hierarchy and design of the flyer, feel free to speak to us, we’ll be glad to help.

5 Things Your Direct Marketing Should Feature

If brand marketing is the heart of your advertising, direct marketing is the head. While ‘brand’ marketing focuses on eliciting emotions, and creating brand affinity with prospects and customers, ‘direct’ marketing focuses on the practicality and pragmatism of your product or service.  After you’ve delivered a brief and executed a ‘brand’ campaign, you will have a set of customers or prospects that know what you stand for, know how they feel about you, and know why they should buy from you.  The next step is to have them actually purchase.

These are 5 things your direct marketing should always include.

1.  Customer Insight

Why does your audience care? As with any piece of marketing, customer insight is vital and necessary to inform your creative campaign.  By understanding who you’re targeting, you’ll understand how and where to target them.  You should be able to answer these questions:

  • What is the objective and aim of the direct marketing comms?
  • What are you trying to achieve in your communications?
  • What are you going to be speaking about, and what will you be promoting?
  • Are you speaking to new customers and converting brand awareness into a sale.
  • Are you speaking to existing customers for a repeat purchase or an upgrade?

 

2.  Attention Grabbing

Whether you use flyers, posters, direct mail, or local press, your marketing must grab attention and maintain it enough so that the audience reads further.  Big, bold headlines that relate to an engaging image or colour on your creative will give your marketing ‘stand out’ in a cluttered and busy environment.

If your piece of direct marketing is part of a wider and larger brand campaign, being able to include elements of that campaign will lend your piece brand affinity and allow you to piggy back off the budgets already spent.

Are there seasonal events that your marketing can relate to?  Christmas, Halloween, or April Fools Day?  If you can tie your campaign with a seasonal events, you can leverage audience awareness and become more relevant by linking to a cultural event.

 

3.  Features & Benefits

I’ve seen too much marketing focus on features, rather than benefits – meaning you haven’t answered your customers main question: ‘Why do I care?’  Features allow you to talk about new news, an award you may have won, or a development of technology, but unless you talk about how that benefits your audience, and tell them why they should care, they’ll be less likely to purchase.

Can you justify your benefits with real accolades or testimonials?  These could be from existing customers, or celebrities that may have come across your product.

Ensuring you display the way a feature of your product or service benefits your audience’s life will give your campaign a higher response rate.

 

4.  Call to Action

Map the customer journey out, make sure your audience know they can visit a store, call a phone number, or go online.  Give your audience a number of choices on where to go next that makes it easy for them, and ensure that you are giving enough space on your advertising for the call to action to stand out.

You don’t want your audience to see an advertisement, have it resonate with them, compel them to purchase or find out more, but then have no set direction for them to take.

 

5.  Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency will increase your response rate and maximise your marketing.  You can create urgency in your headline, in the body copy of your advertisement, or in your call to action.

You can utilise and promote offers to increase your conversion rates as well as to increase response rates.  By putting a ‘use by’ date, or ‘limited time only’ tagline with your offer, you will create urgency and give you as big a chance as possible to have your audience respond to your advertising.

 

If you need some help with creating or delivering a direct marketing campaign, we’d love to talk and help!

6 Tips To Write A Great Creative Brief

Just as every journey starts with a single step, any successful marketing campaign starts with a brief.  Generally, a marketing and creative brief is something you would speak to an agency about over the phone, in person, or in writing. They would then respond with some general ideas, and then you combine to execute.

The creative brief at the inception of a campaign is when the project is at it’s most delicate, and without the proper attention, could end up derailing the whole campaign.  Like anything, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Here are our top six tips to get the most out of your creative brief:

1. Dedicate Time

Time is money.

Try spending 5 minutes writing a brief, and then spend 30 minutes re-writing the same brief.  The response to brief that your agency delivers will be completely different, but the proof is in the pudding.

In a world where we seem to be getting busier and busier, taking 30 minutes out of our day or putting aside to write a creative brief can seem excessive, but if you do, you will be rewarded with an agency that doesn’t need to guess what you’re thinking, and an idea that is highly executable and inspiring.

A well thought out, accurate, information rich brief provides a creative agency with the objectives, vision, and key messages that a piece of communication or a campaign should deliver.

2. Insight is Gold

Data is heavy, insight is rich.

Information on your product/service, reasons behind the campaign and specifically your target market all provide important boundaries and background for your agency.

Insight into your target market and those consumers you are trying to reach will give the creative more focus around the ideas generated, the messaging used, and the recommendations on how the marketing can fit the media.

Should your brief contain as much background information as possible, the marketing creative will more than likely be closer to your initial vision, will resonate with your market, and should need less changes than otherwise intended – saving you time and money!

3. Detailed Objectives

A focused brief will provide focused ideas.

If a brief is put together with little thought or focus, the result will be reflective of that. The recipients of a creative brief are not only the account team who the clients deal with on a day to day basis and understand your vision, but many other stakeholders in the process who do not know you.

Primary and secondary objectives not only help an understanding of the ‘why’ around the campaign, but provide clarity around the ‘what’, and gives quantitative and qualitative measurement that can be used to determine the success of the campaign.

4. Proposition is Key

Differentiation is the reason you exist.

The proposition is the single most important message you want your campaign to deliver.  Determining a key proposition is either something that you as a client can provide, or that your agency can provide based on your brief.

You may have multiple propositions but only one should be used in your campaign.

They can be discovered through a creative process once you have determined product or brand truths relevant to the campaign. This truth is then expanded upon as you take and explore that further giving it context and wider meaning, which finally then allows you to take that final statement and turn that into a creative idea.

5. Detail Requirements

The ‘How’

By detailing your requirements of the campaign you provide focus on how the campaign idea is to be used and allows your agency to context their idea around that.

Whether you are after a large ‘Above the Line’ idea that needs to resonate with large volumes of people, a more direct idea using targeted marketing, or simply a press advertisement in a niche publication, stating in the brief your requirements for the campaign will allow the agency to flex the idea through different variations and media.

As well as naming primary requirements, you could also mention possible other uses of the idea, i.e. social, online, search etc, however most agencies will also give you ways you can present your idea that you may not have thought of.

6. Be Excited

If you aren’t excited by your campaign, who will be?

Brief writing should not be seen as a chore, but as an enjoyable process.  A chance for you to embrace your inner creative and really feel the campaign, and get under the skin of what you are doing.

Agencies can tell when a brief has had effort put into it, it is reflected in the writing which will exude passion and energy, which in turn rubs off onto the creative team.

If you’re excited by the brief, so will they be.  If you show no interest, the writing seems rushed, and there’s minimal information, the creatives will probably deliver something uninspiring, low on detail, and completely ‘off brief’.

Conclusion

Writing a creative brief provides a skeleton and structure allowing anyone working on the campaign to remember that initial vision, and as a guiding compass to make sure you don’t go off-piste!

If you need assistance in writing a marketing brief, or developing a campaign for your business and one of it’s products or services, let us know – we will be glad to help!

Once – Phoenix Theatre, 13th October, 2013

Descending to the stalls upon entering the Phoenix Theatre, the increasing strumming of acoustic guitars accompanied by the singing of vibrant and vivacious voices can not help but bring to mind the conception of you walking into a local Dublin pub on open mic night as the depths of winter billow and take charge outside.  As you continue further and finally observe the stage, you discover that you may as well be entering your local establishment, complete with a chorus of merry men and women on stage inspiring and enthusing with energetic renditions of local folk songs.  As winner of 8 Tony Awards, Once won’t promote a compelling cultural message, make you think of global political issues, or provide a view on an aspect of society, but what it will do, is provide you with a warm and entertaining refuge from reality blurring the line between musical theatre, and musical concert.

Bob Crowley’s stage design, with the one style throughout the duration of the production, not only transports the audience to a corner of an Irish pub, but allows the cast as orchestra to remain on stage through the play, as well as facilitating change of scenes with the exit and entrance of props and characters.  As staging goes, it’s an intriguing concept that is heavily maximised during the interval when audience members can emerge from their dark corner of the ‘pub’, to visit the bar on stage, and order drinks and snacks, becoming part of the scene they have borne witness to.

Rightly awarded a number of accolades in film and theatre circles, the highlight of Once is the music.  Falling Slowly whenever played, is sure to make the only other audible sound in the theatre a muted gulp as audiences try to hold back emotions.  The musical score is arranged and built well through the play, and Declan Bennett and Zrinka Cvitešić as Guy and Girl, are able to bring their characters emotion to the fore through their music and singing.  At one stage, when Guy is trying to negotiate a loan from a bank manager the guitar was strummed so voraciously that finally when finished, a broken string allowed some brief improvised humour to flow into the play between cast.

The simplistic ‘boy meets girl’ plot and lack of powerful themes don’t distract or dissuade from what Once delivers, or sets out to achieve.  While the staging and set provide an often romanticised insight into Dublin and Ireland, the monotonous and linear emotional journey that Once presents us with, could be interpreted as a brief insight into the Dublin and Ireland of 2007-08 when recession began to bite and the culture and music that the Irish are able to create was one of the few things that allowed the people to break free from external circumstance.  With a powerful and talented supporting cast, you need to allow Once to be what it is.  Once will transport you to the Dublin pub where traditional or folk music are played until the early morning, it will make you laugh and smile, and is sure to bring a tear to a dry eye.  However, to truly immerse yourself and become Irish yourself, at the interval – go to the stage and order yourself a Murphy’s.

 

Box Office: 0844 871 7629

 

Macbeth Review – The Globe, 22 September, 2013

Macbeth.  As far as proper nouns go, none can convey visions of blood, violence, madness, and death tinged with universal themes of ambition, loyalty, and greed as much as this.  Eve Best’s directorial debut fulfils much, if not all of the expected.  There is something about seeing Shakespeare performed at The Globe.  Walking to the arena, the external white walls, the open thatched roof, and then during the play, the crowd interaction, and the balcony appearances – they all pay homage in their own way to the days of yesteryear and not even the occasional buzzing of helicopters overhead can diminish the joy of witnessing one of Shakespeare’s most macabre tragedies in the replicated heart and home of his works.

The story and it’s themes itself need not much explaining – ambition to a young mans mind, his wife the more so; and the accompanying greed that leads them down a path not so much half trodden as much as it is laced with treason and regret.  The loss to one man, of not only leadership, but virtues, honour, friends turned mistakenly foes, and finally love, (in a suicide that speaks volumes given that Will did not even want it seen), sees a collective of dead personnel at the finale, that would see the price of marble at the local quarry sky rocket.

The director is competently supported by a cast that strives to reach a level of expectation, Joseph Millson as Macbeth provides an undistinguished but under achieving performance as the Scottish Thane-turned-King.  No doubt revelling in the lead of one of the finest characters to take the stage, many scenes could have utilised relaxation and pause to greater effect, as he seemed to rush through the lines as though reciting them with stagnant intonation and tone.  The shorter sentence structure seemed to suit best, most notably when personable or changing tone in a scene, performing best for example when either dismissing the Porter, or telling Macduff, indeed it ‘Twas a rough night.’   Lighter moments for the audience to take in, but it left one wondering what might have been had the same focus been delivered more often.

Billy Boyd and Stuart Bowman, as Banquo and Macduff respectively, supported proficiently, putting in performances that engendered the audience to watch them increasingly more closely whenever they entered.  Billy Boyd, most famous for his turn as a Hobbit in a famous trilogy, was as powerful speaking in death with his ‘Ghost of Banquo’ torturing Macbeth at dinner with presence and posture as much as he was when alive and speaking.

Without doubt though, the standout performance from Samantha Spiro as Lady Macbeth was something to behold.  Capturing the stage and attention with every spoken word, her immaculate knowledge of the text and her characters emotions, was matched, if not exceeded by her ability to convey such feelings and intentions to the audience.  Her well timed pauses, allowed an audience, some unfamiliar with the writing, to immerse in her words, and feel them.  To understand them.  The varying time lengths with which she utilised this helped colour the overarching background of her scenes whether it be a manic rush as the King lay dead and Macbeth questions whether to turn himself in, or her enveloping madness as her actions feed on her soul.

Just as audiences today enjoy sitting back at the cinemas and watching elaborate fight scenes or car chases through cobbled streets, Shakespeare’s contemporaries were enthralled by swordfight and violence every bit as well.  Kevin McCurdy has done a great job of choreographing the fight scenes in this production, the climactic skirmish between Macbeth and Macduff providing the most entertaining of movements.  The axes used are certainly not plastic, and as one friend mentioned after the show, should one of the actors veer left instead of right, ‘it would certainly hurt’.

If the text of a play is it’s canvass, the players the brushstrokes, and set design the architecture, the accompanying music employed by Olly Fox helped colour the palette and convey varying emotions whether it be the sweetness of victory, or forthcoming trepidation.  Often used to supplement the action below, the music used was relevant and engaging, highlighted by the opening and closing scenes – a troupe of actors beating drums in inspiring rhythms, or a solo violinist closing the play with the sad, slow strings of dancing death.

To be sure, Shakespeare’s Globe has seen many productions of Macbeth.  Every season its boards are trod by actors that no doubt dream what it was like to perform in front of kings, queens and peasants.  The success of such plays, and indeed Shakespeare itself, is to bring that dream and vision to life, and translate for a modern audience.  Eve Best’s production of Macbeth certainly does that, as the play crescendos in pace and quality the more it unfolds before us. Seeing Shakespeare at The Globe, is to witness Shakespeare as it was – under an open sky and a thatched roof, with actors that can translate the old into new, and bring to life characters some 400 years old that still tantalise and entertain us – Macbeth certainly does that.

 

 

5 Questions To Establish Your Target Market

It’s interesting to hear the amount of times we have asked clients, ‘Who is your target market?’ and they have responded with either ‘everyone’, or ‘I don’t know’. It’s absolutely imperative to understand who you’re appealing to, in order to ensure that your marketing isn’t wasted and is leveraged to its full potential.

Only by answering some key questions about your target market will you be able to engage and communicate with your audience in a relevant manner.

If you can’t define who your target market is, the following questions will get you on your way.

1. Why Do I Need It?

In order to pry you away from tasks that seem more important for the day to day running of your company it’s imperative to understand why you need to invest time in research and insight.

A clear understanding of your target market will give you the tools to manage the communications and the media channels that you can use in your marketing strategy.  Primarily, you should understand your audience’s needs, wants, and how your product or service can benefit them.

Insight will also determine whether you need to create a brand campaign to generate awareness of your company, or a direct marketing campaign to increase your conversion rate.

2. Who Do I Target?

You will only ever be after two types of audience – people that have interacted and purchased your product (Existing Customers), and those that haven’t (Prospects).  It’s important to distinguish what and how you communicate to each audience, as your strategy will have different objectives for each.

If you don’t have any existing customers, you will certainly have an understanding of who you think they are, but to be effective you need to know who they are.  Get in front of your prospects whenever and however you can.  For clients in the past we have attended industry events, as well as cold calling, to survey and gather as much knowledge as we could.

Your existing customers provide a fertile environment to gather an understanding of your target market.  Working with one of our clients previously, the first thing we did was contact their existing customers with a short survey to paint a picture of who our clients existing audience was.

3. How Do I Get Insight?

Execution of the research is the most painstaking, but the most beneficial.  If you have existing customers you can use online surveys such as Polldaddy or Survey Monkey to create free online surveys and then send that to your customers asking about their experience.  If you have email addresses of existing customers or prospects, use these to send your online surveys out.  If you manage a number of social networks, advertise your online survey link and get the message out as much as you can.

To increase participation, you could offer a reward for participating in the survey, for example a financial or percentage discount off their next purchase, if it’s a wide ranging industry survey you could offer to provide them the results before publicising.

Industry events are not only a great way to meet influential people in your industry, but a chance to also meet potential customers.  We have previously had our team attend a clients networking event and we were able to capture relevant information on the people at the event for them.  Out of this, we were able to provide a greater level of detail around how, where, and what our client should be marketing.

4. What Do I Capture?

Before you even think about the questions to ask, you need to first determine what your objectives are, what is it that you want answered once you have all the results of your surveys? Should your questions focus on the demographics, psychographics, product or service, or potentially a mix of all?

Demographics provide a skeleton and an outline of your target market.  It contains general information such as age, gender, locality, education status, marital status.  Questioning deeper, include questions around their job title, employment status, and remuneration.

If demographics are an outline sketch of your target audience, psychographics are the colour between the lines.  Questions as far ranging from what newspaper they read, to what sports or the arts are they interested in, to what social media they use regularly will paint a picture of your audience

The real answer to a lot of your marketing questions will be around your product/service and how it impacts them, what benefits they see true value in, would they purchase again or recommend to a friend, did it meet expectations, and other questions to give you really informative feedback on how you should present your communications.

5. When Do I Get Insight?

Data is heavy, but insight is rich.  Once you have received and analysed your data, the insight that you pull out of it should paint a picture of your audience.   You will find recurring answers for each question set and from this you can start to develop ‘pen portraits’, or profiles of what a ‘typical’ customer looks like.

You will be able to start to group and collate a lot of the data into clusters and groups, and from this, drilling into the information you will find a number of customer segments that are ripe to target.  You should have an understanding of marketing messages, media channels, features, benefits, and even offers that may be applicable that will either enhance your branding or your direct marketing campaign.

 

If you need some insight or pen portraits of your target market, speak to us today!

Murmur

We are an integrated marketing communications agency.

  • Brand & Marketing Strategy
  • Digital Marketing
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223 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst

NSW, 2010

Australia

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+61 2 9188 7810

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