Tag Archives: email marketing

Do Something Better!!!

“If you’re not trying to do something better, then you’re not focused on the customer and you’ll miss the possibility of making your business great!” {Jonathan Ive, SVP of Industrial Design, Apple Inc.}

August 2011 Thoughts

The August 2011Thoughts That Count from NextLevel Thinking:

“Anyone can put on a deal or promotion, but it takes genius, faith and perseverance to create a brand.”

{David Ogilvy, American Advertising Icon}

NextLevel Thinking Unveils New Offering

NextLevel Thinking unveiled a new offering at the Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals (ADRP) annual meeting this week in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Every blood center is different. From the way they do business to the size of the center. It is because of this that we have developed a Creative Program Package that can be fitted to your center’s needs.

Through the course of investigating the marketplace and what medium gets the strongest response, NextLevel Thinking has discovered that people are not simply visual but will go out of their way to view images…especially moving images. Websites such as YouTube, Hulu, and others have steadily increased in popularity over the past few years. To put it simply…people like watching video based mediums.

We understand that not all blood centers can afford regular television campaigns, but we also know that there are more avenues available than ever before to illustrate the power and positive impact of a simple blood donation.

Packages include 30 second video stories, extended video stories, audio stories, email and/or post card shells and custom t-shirt designs to go along with your campaign. Click Here and then click on Program Packages to view our video about how your center can begin telling these emotionally compelling stories in a cost effective way or call us at 713.893.6841 to find out we can design a custom package for you.

NLT’s Unveils New Website

NextLevel Thinking has tweaked its website. Click Here to check out the exciting new look and approach!!!

The original concept for the NLT web site was to show the Houston based marketing firm through the eyes of their clients. The tweak to the new site still does this quite nicely. The primary reason for the site update is:
To make it more search engine friendly,
To add a few new sections (Our Services, Marketing Leadership, Newsroom),
To add a new background,
And to update Our Clients section.

But Paid Media Costs Money

So you have these television commercials or radio spots, or even print ads that are ready to hit the marketplace. Great! Here is the question…where are you going to run them? And a better question…what is this going to cost?

Let’s answer the second question first. It is going to cost. This is where it gets a bit sticky. You see, if you don’t have a lot of awareness in your marketplace, there is no better way to establish a presence than by using paid media. So you will have to spend money to make money. I know…that kind of takes the wind out of your sails, but that’s the way it is…I am sorry.

I use the term Paid Media because the other kind of media…you know…the free stuff, it just doesn’t work. Public Service Ads that some stations or publications give you are a nice gesture, but they alone will not get the job done. The ads are few and far between and probably not being run at the best times to serve your core audience. Staying in front of your audience is crucial when building a presence in your marketplace. An ad that runs once in a blue moon will not create the impact that you need.

Okay…now you are thinking…“but I heard about these packages that the television stations, radio stations and magazines offer and they are giving us a bunch of ads!” Right…The Package Deal.

Here is how to look at a Package Deal:

If Macy’s is offering Lime Green Plaid Pants, Buy One Get One Free, is it a good deal? The answer is, of course, no. Crap is still crap, even if it is on sale. If they wanted to really stick it to you they would have done three for one. The point is, when spots are packaged, that usually means the station has extra inventory they are trying to unload. So if you are offered four spots between 2am and 3am during the great documentary, “The Armadillo: Nature’s Little Tank”, think twice before buying those slots.

So now you say you are willing to spend some money on advertising and you are ready to buy. USE A MEDIA PLACEMENT FIRM! There are people who know how to do this and can get better rates than you. Also, a good media person will be honest with you if he or she thinks you don’t have enough money to do the job correctly.

All media placement firms have software and expertise in this area. They will talk about “reach” and “frequency” and other fancy words. However, what it boils down to is this: are you reaching the people that you want and need to reach? And are you doing it often enough? If the media firm feels you can do this with the money you have, then go for it!

Now the first question… where do I run these spots? This is a bit more vague but there is always a way to figure it out. Say, for example, that you know from your media firm, that 50% of your potential market watches the evening news or reads a specific publication…then that is what you buy. This will change from market to market and this is where the media firm really earns their fee. They will know what will work for you. Keep in mind that different media firms may have different ideas on how to invest your money. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Do not be concerned if you get different answers from different people. Just make sure that they have the data to support their suggestions.

Oh, one last thing to think about. This is very important. When you decide to dive into this arena, make sure to be consistent. There is no need to change the ads every couple of weeks. You will get tired of the ads long before the public will. Keep your message the same and make the spots look like part of a family of ads. Sure GEICO has three different campaigns running right now, but guess what, you’re not GEICO! Just keep things simple and to the point.

To Recap:
You need visibility.
You need to reach your target market.
You need frequency.
You need consistency.
You need to keep it simple!

One of our largest clients followed our plan to a tee. They now exceed their projected goals almost every month, and have increased business 50% in the last six years.

But paid media costs money…and it does work.

About the Author

Kirk Loudon is a partner at NextLevel Thinking, a strategic marketing firm that successfully blends emotion, education, and execution into a marketing approach and framework for your organization that can be effectively communicated internally to your employees and externally to your current and potential customers.

Kirk is a veteran in the marketing and advertising business. He has been a creative force in the southwest market for over 18 years. He has worked in all areas of the business.

NextLevel Thinking Wins Prestigious Marketing Award

HOUSTON, TX (May 25, 2004) — NextLevel Thinking, one of Houston’s premier strategic marketing firms, announced today that it received a Crystal Award from the Houston American Marketing Association (AMA) for Campaign of the Year.

Crystal Awards recognize various categories of marketing projects that have used creativity to achieve exceptional business results in a best of class manner. The award presented at the 18th Annual AMA Crystal Award banquet was for Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s Commit for Life campaign.

“Winning a Crystal is a big honor for us and more importantly for The Blood Center,” says Eric Poerschke, managing partner of NextLevel Thinking. “The panel of judges comprised of former AMA chapter presidents represents some of the best marketing minds in the country and we are proud of this achievement.”

The objective of the television campaign is to redefine what it means to be a regular blood donor. It turns the dreaded needle into the face of a loved one. It focuses on life. It pulls at the heartstrings of those that do donate and those that would donate.

The simple spots are very specific in their message, but the emotion and the appeal to donate blood once a quarter is very compelling. The pictures are of actual donors and recipients from our region and they are the focus of this campaign. In simple terms, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is getting out of the blood business and into the life business.

NextLevel Thinking Receives Life Giver Award

HOUSTON, TX (March 2004) – The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center highlighted the success of its growing Group Program with “A Celebration of Life” luncheon and awards ceremony. Blood drive groups that chose to Commit for Life by hosting at least one blood drive per quarter and collecting at least 100 donations in 2003 were each honored with a “Path for Success” Award.

The main event was the presentation of special category awards for groups and chairpersons that have gone above and beyond to achieve outstanding results. A special Life Giver award was given to Eric Poerschke and Kirk Loudon, partners in NextLevel Thinking, in appreciation of their efforts and commitment!

“NextLevel Thinking is extremely honored and thankful to have the opportunity to work with such a first class organization,” said Eric Poerschke. “This award is the result of the great partnership that our firm has with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.”

The Blood Center partnered with Houston-based strategic marketing firm NextLevel Thinking to develop and implement the Commit for Life brand, which also includes programs designed to increase participation from groups that host blood drives, blood drive volunteers and high schools.