4 Steps to Analyzing a Media Vendor

Four ways to see if a media vendor and their services are right for your campaign.

Four ways to see if a media vendor and their services are right for your campaign.

When I first started as a media intern here at AB&C, one of my most frequent tasks was analyzing different media vendors for plans. This included vendors servicing print and digital magazines, websites, outdoor media ventures, out of home media, social media vendors — you name it. I would research and analyze different organizations to determine whether they’re the right vendor to accomplish our clients’ goals and reach the target audience for media plans.Read full post...

July 21, 2014

The art of the winter picnic and its benefits for strategic thinking

Most people, including those of us in the communications business, tend to picnic in the spring, summer or fall when the warm weather soothes the body and mind. Often, this includes family and friends, a cookout in a park, good food, and a bit of libation — with the objective of just plain fun and relaxation.

What you'll need: boots, backpack, waterproof ground cloth... Oh, and don’t forget your brain!

What you’ll need: boots, backpack, waterproof ground cloth… Oh, and don’t forget your brain!

Now, if I told you you might enjoy and actually benefit from a solo picnic in the winter snow, when it’s 28 degrees out and actually snowing, you might think me a bit off-kilter. However, over the years, I’ve found this kind of excursion quite enjoyable and “strategically beneficial,” particularly when I’m working on a tough problem for one of my clients or new business prospects.

Here’s what you’ll need:Read full post...


The persistence of myth

Once again, a study has confirmed that there are significantly more risks associated with not vaccinating children than there are with vaccinating them. The study — published on September 30 in Pediatrics — looked at rates of pertussis (whooping cough) in California, and compared them to rates in areas where parents withheld vaccines from their children. The findings? People who weren’t vaccinated were 2½ times more likely than the norm to live in an area with high levels of whooping cough.

Why is this important? Because as the study states in its background, “In 2010, 9120 cases of pertussis were reported in California, more than any year since 1947.” How could this happen in the United States in the 21st century? Why would parents withhold one of the most effective preventers of communicable diseases in the world?Read full post...


The art (and science) of persuasion

Using science to get into the customer’s brain

Using science to get into the customer’s brain

One of the most interesting new business pitches I was ever involved in was when a prospective B2B client, a large and well-known electronics company, was trying to introduce a new product line. The problem was, these new products were very different from those that the company was well known for.

The client had spent considerable sums introducing the new line, yet had made little headway in the market. So they opened this assignment to other agencies.

We were briefed, we developed creative, and we took it to a focus group. The creative bombed, badly. But why it bombed was the same reason the product line was getting so little traction — in the mind of the customer, these new products just didn’t fit with the way they perceived the company.

Well, we quickly regrouped and developed new creative. But this time, rather than just introduce the new products, we built a connection between them and the products the company was known for. The new creative worked well, helping to create an “aha” moment with people in the second focus group.

In our final presentation to the client, we took them through our experience, even showing the creative that bombed. Not only did we win the work for the new product line, we became agency-of-record for the entire account. We also learned a valuable lesson in the art of persuasion.

We called it, “meeting the audience at its mindset.” Read full post...

How to clone your best business customers

Yarrow May 2013 Blog

It would be like arming your company with a state-of-the-art fish finder that not only locates fish, but will lead you to those most likely to bite.

Boosting your success up to 40% via predictive modeling

With traditional and electronic media costs constantly on the rise, casting a wide net to reach B-to-B prospects can become prohibitively expensive. Though these media do reach many people, using them to find the right people your best prospects is often inefficient.

But what if you could identify and target only your best prospects those whose profiles precisely match those of your current best customers? It would be like arming your company with a state-of-the-art fish finder that not only locates fish, but will lead you to those most likely to bite.

That’s what’s behind the concept of predictive modeling. AB&C has successfully used this cutting-edge prospecting tool for clients to deliver 20% to 40% higher response than with traditional media at a fraction of the cost.Read full post...


Newsflash: online market research is here to stay

Traditional focus groups are great, but this just wasn't one of those places.

I know you don’t need me to tell you, but I’m going to anyway. The Internet is amazing.

Let me take a step back. One of our clients came to us a few months ago asking us to do a focus group on new webpage layouts for their online payment flow. Very quickly we realized we didn’t have a whole lot of time to design, build, test and report on these payment flows, so we were forced to branch out from the traditional group-behind-the-one-way-mirror routine and see what other options were available. Now, don’t get me wrong — traditional focus groups are great and have their place, but this just wasn’t one of those places.

Read full post...


Discovering physicians’ priorities and the best way to reach them

Discovering physicians' priorities

92% of physicians surveyed said they prefer to be alerted to job openings through email.

AB&C recently teamed with MDLinx to conduct a survey of 500 general practitioners, medical specialists and surgical specialists at different stages of their careers. Our research revealed similarities and surprises regarding their professional priorities and the best ways to reach them.

First, “show me the money”—financial rewards—still ranked as their number-one priority, followed by autonomy/independence, respect, reputation, camaraderie and, unexpectedly last, recognition.Read full post...


Who cares about the Breakfast Club?

Don't forget about Gen X when you're planning your next hospital marketing campaign.

What about the Xers? So much of the healthcare marketing we see now is geared towards the Boomers. Boomer this, Boomer that—Boomers even have their own health conditions named for them, like “Boomeritis.”  How old do the members of the Breakfast Club have to be before they become a target audience for your hospital service lines?

Here’s a tip if you are going to start messaging to Generation X, leave the Boomer-speak at the door, a whole other language is required.Read full post...


Talkin’ ’bout my generation


Marketing to the Baby Boomers

According to a recent report from NielsenWire, advertisers focus on reaching consumers 18–34 or 18–49. While these consumers spend billions of dollars every year, the report states that advertisers and consumer goods manufacturers are overlooking a group that has tremendous buying power — the 78 million Baby Boomers. Read full post...

Are we really where we live?

The important of audience clusters.

The important of audience clusters.

A while ago, my friend Eric and his family came for a visit. When he pulled into our driveway, he asked, “Hey, Shari, does every homeowner get a Subaru Outback with the house?” I looked around the cul de sac and up the street. As far as the eye could see, driveways hosted different-colored Subaru Outbacks.

If you work in this industry, you know that clusters are not just for breakfast anymore. Clusters are segments of people who have so much in common, even their similar consumer-purchase habits are similar.

Understanding these clusters is important in everything from budgeting to positioning and messaging. Know your audience — in all their idiosyncratic glory. But don’t be fooled into thinking clusters are just demographics. Clusters are people who make decisions in similar ways based on similar needs. Understanding clusters means understanding how target audiences make decisions for themselves and their families. Read full post...


How parenting is just like market research

Determining the all-important why.

Determining the all-important why.

My six-year-old son asks a lot of questions. More questions than I ever knew one human could possibly ask. If I am lucky, I can answer maybe a third of them. Sometimes the questions are about Star Wars or subjects he learned in school, but there is always one common thread with his questions that requires both my husband and I to think quickly — he wants to know the motive.

“Why did Obi Wan die so they could get on their plane?”
“Why did Anakin go to the dark side?”
“Why did Jack’s mom get so mad that he sold his cow for the magic beans?”
“Why is Dopey so dopey?”Read full post...


Radio and Browsing – Perfect Together

Radio's impact on brand browsing.

Radio's impact on brand browsing.

Good news for our clients who utilize radio. A new RAB survey shows that radio advertising grows online brand browsing by 52%.

Twenty-three brand campaigns were measured in the research. Not only were 52% of respondents more likely to include that brand name in their browsing, but 58% of all browsing stimulated by radio took place within 24 hours.

Radio. It’s fast, efficient and a great way to drive people to your website.