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June 14th, 2021
 
Advertising is a great way to get your business and your brand image out there for the world to see. However, if the whole world saw your ad would that be a good thing? The answer to this question would be yes, if the entire world is interested in what you are offering. But that's highly unlikely. Audience targeting can help you focus in on what category of people might be interested in your brand, increase your return on investment (ROI), and more.
 
Demographic and Behavioral Targeting
Each person, in some way, falls into a category. They might be, for example, age 20-35, live in the Midwest, and be interested in beauty and skincare. This combination of demographic and behavioral data can help narrow the scope of your targeting for advertising. If you own a skincare line the person described above is much more likely to be a potential customer than trying to target a whole region without including any demographic or behavioral data.
 
Tactics
Once you have an idea of who your target audience is, it's important to decide how you are going to engage with them. You can serve them ads that are relevant to them and their interests. The audience might also be perfect for delivering a targeted email based on the demographic and behavioral characteristics you've picked out.
 
Ad Segment Review
Analyze, analyze, analyze. It's not enough to simply serve an ad to your selected audience, you need to see if you are receiving your desired outcome. If your target audience had a low conversion rate it might be beneficial to go back to the drawing board and see if another audience might be a better fit for your business.
 
Where Companies Go Wrong
It takes time to get your audience targeting just right. The tendency is to lean too broad when creating a target audience. It's much more difficult to meet the needs of an audience that has an age range of 18-60 than it is one that is 18-35. While it might be exciting to see the increased traffic coming in, at the end of the day what matters to your bottom line is making the sale.
 
Frequency is another place that is easy to mess up when starting out with audience targeting. Customers get frustrated when they are served too many advertisements which could scare off someone that is ready to convert and buy your product. Finding that fine balance is crucial when serving ads to a specific audience.
 
Audience targeting is critical to any sustainable advertising campaign. Knowing who your target audience is and when they are likely to convert is the key to achieving success. Getting your brand not just in front of people, but the right people will prove to be a meaningful strategy that will breed financial success on the long term.
 

OffWhite can help you discover focused audience targeting that drives success. Our digital services are available to develop your brand using social media, email marketing, search engine optimization and more. Contact OffWhite today to begin your journey with digital marketing.

 
 
 
Published by Jodie Reiter , June 27th, 2019
 
Collaboration - the action of working with someone to produce or create something.
 
Collaboration is a key part of what we do at OffWhite.  Whether it is the entire team or smaller groups within the office, we collaborate multiple times each and every day.  This sets our team apart and makes us better at what we do.  These collective brains and thought processes really are something it is hard to put a monetary value on.  The thoughts, ideas and monthly planning bring value to our client’s work.  Through this collaboration we add consistency in messaging and brand awareness across all media.
 
We believe in working smarter and not harder.  Aligning priorities and approaching as a collaborative team first before moving into individual areas of expertise allows the team to evolve and flourish.  
 
At OffWhite, we try to look at each action as a whole and how the next action will affect future actions before deciding how to proceed.  How do you look at your marketing program – as single actions or the complete program?  
 
The beauty of OffWhite is how we think and our collaborative efforts – both creative and analytical.  
 
Take a look at our portfolio and reach out to OffWhite for a collaborative approach to your marketing program.
 
Contact Bill White at 740-373-9010 or bill@offwhite.com to schedule a discussion.
 
 
 
 
Published by Elizabeth Godfrey, July 18th, 2017
Why Creative Matters
A great creative team should be engaged in all aspects of your business, from your overall brand, print and digital content marketing pieces, and internal communications right down to your actual product or services. Though businesses often need little convincing to see the ROI for the latest technology, design is still considered difficult to quantify and “isolate as a function.” While it is true that creative cannot be broken down into a measurement of output, there are ways to identify what makes it valuable.
 
Understanding the Investment.
We are all consumers. Though we might not consciously know why we like some package designs more than others, chances are we have heard about the impact product packaging plays. Research shows that improving your product is a great first step that compounds your return when combined with good creative. Design goes hand-in-hand with good customer service and a quality product, especially as more customers engage with your company through digital materials. But if you have the best product – that speaks for itself, right? Not anymore.
 
As technology continues to advance and the growth in online shopping expands the global economy, superior products and customer service are no longer enough to separate you from the competition which is fiercer than ever now. Research has shown that those who come top in sales do so through design-driven initiatives.
 
Design Management Institute (DMI) is a membership organization that brings together design thought leaders across industries worldwide. They strive to both define good design and quantify the return on investment. DMI, in conjunction with Motiv Strategies, developed the dmi: Design Value Index to examine the performance outcomes of 15 design-centered, publicly traded US businesses in relation to the S&P 500. The dmi: Design Value Index quantified the ROI of design in terms of sales, profits, market share growth, and market valuation and determined definitively that those who invest in good creative show substantial advantages over those who do not. In fact, over a period of three years, these companies outperformed the S&P in excess of 200% each year.
 
Marketing experts and business leaders have no doubt that investing in good creative delivers the greatest ROI – design increases profits, company value, and is the surest way to outperform the competition. Investing in creative has tangible, long-term benefits as the importance of design and the strategic advantage it offers is unlikely to go away in the near future. What’s more, potential customers often judge your creative design, and your brand, before they ever experience your product.
 
 
What is Design?
Design is more than logos and color schemes. Good design is an investment that leads to greater profits. It is a creative solution to your problems that relies on function as much as aesthetics. The science is there. We are hardwired to process images far faster than we can process the written word. Visuals grab our attention. Yet good design isn’t just about aesthetics. It is a direct connection to your customers that helps lead them in the right direction.
 
Your website is your business digitized. Without investing in a creative team that understands how to develop an engaging design as well as a user-friendly interface you cannot expect to see a compelling ROI. Content may be king, but without a good design no one will stick around long enough to read even the most compelling copy. Furthermore, while a good product will keep your customers coming back, engaging and effective design of all your sales elements will help customers remember you and make them more likely to recommend your company to others.
 
Businesses who had:
Adapted from the Design Council
 
The Design Council UK is recognized internationally as an authority on strategic design. The non-profit organization has spent 70 years championing the value of creative and sees design as a social responsibility as it is used to solve real world problems no matter how big or how small. The organization’s “Value of Design Factfinder Report,” determined that “businesses that see design as integral are more than twice as likely as others to see rapid growth.”
 
OffWhite has spent more than 30 years providing creative solutions to clients in a wide array of industries. We have seen first-hand the value our meticulous design brings to these businesses. Let us map your problems and develop strategic solutions that are backed by research, innovative thinking, and a true understanding of who you are and what your company can do. Contact Bill White or Abby Spung at 800.606.1610 to see how a design-centered approach can set you apart from the competition.
 
 
 
Published by Russell Cooper, June 29th, 2017
Leadership for Growth
In my first article of this series, I suggested that growth is the exception, not the rule, in business affairs. Over the last 25 years, I have come to see how leadership makes all the difference in the world. We all have first-hand knowledge of one organization or another where stagnation, if not decline, is the hallmark. Then, the ship turns and fortunes rise with relative growth and prosperity.

The most perplexing cases are those where many of the environmental factors did not seem to change radically. The available markets were about the same, the economy was about the same, state of technology was about the same - why even most of the employees, customers, and competitors were the same! The only significant change was a new leadership structure - a few key individuals - that encountered the same set of circumstances and decided to set a new course. As the old saying goes: Personnel is Policy.

Growth and change are sometimes treated as two separate subjects in business, but I would suggest they are one and the same. More obvious shifts in leadership can occur when new blood is brought in from outside the organization. But sometimes change in fortunes can also arise from within moribund firms.

Stagnation can lead to frustration, and when that reaches a breaking point, individuals, ideas, and agendas - heretofore not understood, considered too junior, or believed to be too costly or risky - are given an opportunity to be tested. If growth is to become the order of the day, a firm must look beyond traditional structures and promotion pathways of personnel. Interestingly enough, over the years, it’s at junctures such as these that many of OffWhite’s clients have first turned to us for assistance. New directions and strategies often require fresh insights and new tools.   

What drives one leadership team to seek growth and success, when other managements remain satisfied with simply coasting? We rarely have to look beyond the usual suspects of human nature – fame, control, or financial reward. The simple reality is that growth affords more publicity and profit to share than merely existing year after year. But truly remarkable leaders create objectives and incentives that align their entire organizations to the mission and its success. This is critical to harnessing what may have previously been idle talent, passion and commitment within the ranks.

The job of the leader has its essentials - creating a consensus of vision, developing the appropriate supporting strategies, recruiting and organizing the talent to execute these strategies, and marshalling the needed resources. Nowhere are these responsibilities more important than when a new growth trajectory is embarked upon. One other responsibility stands out here - the ability to communicate, internally and outwardly, the truth of how things will be different than in the past. It’s for reasons such as these that OffWhite assists clients to not only explain what they do, but how and why they do it.

Growth can be achieved by a variety of means - entering new markets, creating service components, marketing and licensing agreements, new product development, etc. Regardless of method, what is important is that old Peter Drucker gem: "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it."
 
Skeptics of growth exist in every organization; the leader needs to define larger markets and smaller shares as a starting point. Developing and selling new products is always more difficult than doing so with those that already exist; the leader needs to break out the measurement of the relative success of the growth strategies and project the expected future impact. New initiatives must be over-weighted early on with regard to incentives and reward; if this appears a departure from traditional expectations, leadership must make the case that something larger is at stake.
 
Finally, unlike managing a longstanding, stable business, successfully leading new growth initiatives requires a creative understanding of critical paths, key milestones, and important tipping points; this is because timing resource commitments, and aligning the returns from them, will be unfamiliar territory for much of the organization.

Sometimes, growth requires heroic efforts of its leaders, but this can be overblown too. More often than not, what is really called for is creativity and thoughtfulness, determination and perseverance, and the ability to communicate with, and motivate, others. It is best undertaken with a serious, yet cheerful disposition. I suppose a little luck never hurt.

If you find yourself in a new position, charged with engineering growth for your organization, and need to take stock of inherited marketing practices, or simply seek a new partner to support your efforts, consider giving OffWhite an opportunity to explain its services and past results. For more information, contact Bill White or Russell Cooper at 800-606-1610.
 
 
 
Published by Russell Cooper, April 27th, 2017
Innovation for Growth Planning Session
 
If growth - driven by new products and services - were the natural state of business affairs, the economy would grow more than 2% per year. In fact, you might say that simple inflation of prices accounts for this level and real growth this last decade has been next to nil. In 2016, Robert Gordon’s monumental study, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, provided ample documentation of how most of the necessities, conveniences, and productivity enhancers of our modern life were invented and developed more than 70 years ago. Efforts since - with the exception of computing and media - have largely been just window dressing. Planes fly at the same speed they did in 1957.
 
My first, eye-opening encounter with the inability of your average business to invent, grow, and change was my involvement with an industrial retention association in Cleveland during the mid 2000s. This was a group of family businesses and smaller divisions of corporations - largely long established and employing 25-200 employees. There were no start-ups in the group. Many were single product or service firms. Sadly, most seemed a few generations removed from the inspiration and energy that created them. As a sizeable portion of these firms were experiencing declining fortunes at the time, the association organized workshops and group discussions to address growth issues; launching e-commerce, overseas expansion, new product development, or starting service arms. To my astonishment, the general consensus was to "wait out the recession and business levels will return to normal."
 
Let’s look at the other end of the spectrum. In the mid-1990s, I worked at Emerson Electric and participated in their growth planning cycle, which culminated each year with a one- or two-day growth conference for each division. Leading up to this, Engineering and Marketing teams would invest months investigating how to squeeze out new variations of existing products, or finding new applications for existing offerings. Given the time, effort, and results, it was taking a sledgehammer to a nail. But you damn well knew that growth beyond inflation levels was expected. In 30 years, I have rarely encountered such a commitment in the many businesses I have come to know. Most don’t have the discipline for it. Does yours?
 
In order to develop and launch new products and services, a firm must have ideas and ambitions. More precisely, the critical few individuals who innovate and lead within the firm must have these. Organizational vision and commitment to planning and marketing are also required, otherwise ideas and ambition cannot flourish.
 
There are a variety of approaches to achieve business growth through new products and service offerings. Many times, your ambitions are augmented by factors outside your control or knowledge. John Rockefeller had a superhuman fixation on making kerosene cheap and safe for the masses, in hopes of extending the hours of the day with light. He was hugely successful early on to be sure. But the success and wealth of Standard Oil would have been limited without the advent of the automobile and its insatiable thirst for gasoline some 30 years into these efforts. The readiness to address new opportunities was the greatest factor.
 
At other times, the larger growth may lay beyond your original scope for an idea.It was recently reported that tens of thousands of traditional retail stores - both independent and large national chains - will close this year and next. Do we really believe that Amazon had this in mind as a primary goal of its business 15 or 20 years ago? Its early business model was based on channel to market innovation, and it proved to be a wrecking ball for the likes of Borders and Barnes and Noble, not to mention the devastation visited upon local independent booksellers. In these early days of success, management consultants urged the firm to stay true to its niche and fundamentals and harvest the fruits of this innovation. Luckily for the future utility and convenience of the vast consuming public, once the concept was mastered, Amazon invested heavily in expanding this vision into new products and markets.
 
But innovation is not enough on its own. Gone are the days of the world beating a path to your door for a better product or service; the ever-shrinking global marketplace is too crowded and competitive. This is why OffWhite is increasingly emphasizing to its clients the importance of successfully launching new products and services. For 32 years, our firm has specialized in making complex and technical concepts more understandable. Where are such services more important than with introducing new products or reaching new markets?
 
 
In a series of blogs throughout this year, OffWhite will share its experiences, suggesting strategies and tactics that help to insure success, warn of common mistakes, obstacles and risks, and make light of how we can help you reach your goals for sustainable growth. For more information, Contact Russell Cooper at 800-606-1610.  
 
 
 
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