Skip to main content

Think small to get big results

Everyone loves the big idea. That great Don Draper moment of reveal when a single ad can solve all of your brand’s woes. As a career creative, I’ve spent countless hours pouring through research (and pouring myself whiskey) searching for that one magical insight that would spark the BIG IDEA. And yes, I’m proud to say, that I’ve delivered many of them. But we’re no longer in the Mad Men Era of advertising. Thanks to digital, mobile, social, and really, just how everyone communicates, we can’t rely on just that “aha” moment to build brands and drive sales. It’s time to move beyond just thinking big and start thinking small.

Small screens

While people are filling their living rooms with the latest 70-inch flat screen, they’re actually filling their time with a 5.5 inch all-in-one entertainment center – their smartphone. In fact, American’s spend 4.7 hours per day, or 1/3 of their awake time, on their phones. And that number is growing. So, it’s no wonder that marketers are shifting time, attention, and of course, dollars to reaching the mobile consumer. By 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending. Not all mobile is created equal. You can’t just shrink the desktop to mobile size and think you’re done – you need to build a true mobile experience. When you do, good things happen. Keep in mind, mobile offers get redeemed 10x more frequently than print offers. However, ignore mobile or do it wrong, and it can destroy your business. According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% will then visit a competitor’s site instead.

Small conversations

Gone are the days of just yelling at customers through the big advertising mediums like TV and radio. Consumers hate being sold, so they tune out anything that sounds like a sales-pitch. It’s not just traditional methods either. They’ve coined the term “banner blindness” for consumers who literally block out anything that’s served in the shape of a display ad. Not to mention the rise of ad-blockers themselves. Of course, with the average consumer being exposed to more than 5,000 advertising messages every day, who could blame them for blocking. It’s no longer good enough to just have a brand proposition, you need to have a brand conversation.

Thanks to social media, blogs, review sites, and countless other ways for us to connect with potential, current, and past customers, we need to move from yelling to listening.

Let the customers guide the conversations and wait for your turn to talk. And then talk – don’t yell and sell. Plus, when you do push out more general content and campaigns, make it so the customers are being spoken to, not about. And give them a way and a reason to speak back – a site, an email, or even a hashtag. People may not like to be sold, but they love to buy from brands they trust. And conversation creates trust.

Small actions

content marketing

Conversion. It’s the one word that makes marketers smile and cringe at the same time. It’s the be-all end-all metric that shows just how powerful your marketing really is. Or is it? We get so hung up on the final step that we forget that it actually takes many steps to get there. Say I’m walking down the street after I’ve just finished a meal – and I get hit with an amazing geofencing ad from another restaurant. The message may be perfect but the timing isn’t right. Is that a failure? Of course not, it’s a beginning.

We need to fully understand how the customer journey works. It’s different for every industry, for every brand and for every customer. Expedia says that consumers visit 38 different sites before booking a trip.

That’s an awful lot of research. So, if you hit them on site one, they’ve still got 37 more before they convert. Make yourself part of the process instead of trying to interrupt it. Maybe you get them to like your social page, or read some travel tips. Or they sign up for your e-newsletter that focuses on the same interest that they have. The goal is to lead them through the journey, one step at a time. The conversion will come when they’re ready, you just need to get them there. After all, would you get married after just the first date?

It’s clear that size does matter – and the small screen is the new champion. While it certainly shouldn’t be your only focus, it does need to be a big part of it.