Choking on Butterflies: The pretty v. practical compromise

4 08 2011

Choking on butterfliesI saw someone choke on a butterfly once – my husband, in fact, though we were dating at the time. It was on a mountain biking expedition that this kamikaze Lone Ranger of the insect world fluttered headlong into my husband’s unsuspecting mouth. It wasn’t pretty… for either him or the butterfly, but it sure made for a memorable date!

Businesses choke on butterflies daily. Only their butterflies aren’t winged insects. They’re the fluff and glitter and show that bedazzle their customers into a purchase. They’re the colors, and sounds and snippets of wittiness that draw attention to what you do or sell.

As humans, we’re all susceptible to the influence of beauty, whether that beauty be a gorgeously arranged display, a stunning store model, a picturesque shop location or a brilliantly designed ad. And, visual beings that we are, this facet of marketing is critical.

Where problems arise is when a business focuses too much on its “butterflies”, and not enough on its content. No matter how flashy your marketing may be or how exquisitely your store may be laid out, if there’s no substance to your offers or no real purpose behind its presentation, there’s nothing to keep your customers coming back. And at that point, you’d better be prepared with the Heimlich maneuver, because your business will be choking on butterflies.

DMT Challenge of the Week
Take a look at the layout of your store and your marketing materials and techniques. How much of it is pure show, and how much has a practical foundation for the betterment of your business? How much actually gets across your company mission?

Be ruthless. Cut the fluff. And remember, more customers isn’t necessarily better. Your time and your resources should be dedicated to the visuals and activities that bring you the RIGHT KIND of customers for repeat business.

DMT Artistry gets to the heart of your message, so that your marketing is both visually stimulating and purposeful. Call us to learn more!

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry LLC  |  810.923.4582  |

The Emperor is Streaking Again… Smoke & Mirrors Marketing

23 02 2011

Smoke & Mirrors Marketing: When something turns out to be nothingDo you know the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”? It’s worth a read, but for my CliffsNote readers, here’s the Wikipedia plot line:

“An Emperor who cares for nothing but his appearance and attire hires two tailors who promise him the finest suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or ‘just hopelessly stupid’. The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position or stupid; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor then marches in procession before his subjects. A child in the crowd calls out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others.”

There’s a great deal of marketing that is very much like the emperor’s “outfit” – all talk, absolutely zero substance. These businesses promise the world, but the ensuing fine print subtracts value from the offer line by line by line, until there’s nothing left but a slick ad hoodwinking unwary consumers.

Don’t be that business.

Your promotions should never require smokescreens to make them appear to have value. If they do, you’re either not being creative enough with your marketing, or you are marketing the wrong thing.

Remember, marketing doesn’t have to be about discounts that don’t make sense to your bottom line. It IS, however, about providing value to your customers. Perhaps that’s a seminar. Perhaps that’s a free service accompanying purchase. Perhaps that’s a referral program. Perhaps that’s an honest-to-goodness free door prize – no strings attached – just to encourage foot traffic.

Simple, straight forward and value-packed are the path to marketing with substance.

Because, just like in the emperor’s story, customers will put up with being hoodwinked only until someone has the courage to cry foul. And then the best smoke-and-mirrors setup in the world won’t hide the naked truth underneath… an empty marketing ploy.

“…they could not see anything, for there was nothing to be seen.” ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  DMT Artistry, LLC  |  810.923.4582  |

Tainted by Association – Where to NOT Market Your Business

30 12 2010

Where to NOT Market Your BusinessHow would you feel if your company’s classy online ad was parked beside a gaudy, oversize, credit score advertisement? And if your billboard was posted down an obscure service drive? And what if your half-page print ad shared a magazine page with your top competitor?

“Location, location, location” isn’t just for the real estate market. Where you market is every bit as important as what you’re selling.

When you spend the money to have a truly quality advertisement designed, protect your investment. Research where your ad will be placed and what will surround it. And when these factors are beyond your control (Facebook advertising comes to mind), learn what to expect, so that you can make an informed decision.

Avoid venues where your marketing will be swallowed by an overstuffed, under-viewed heap of advertising.

Check that the “class factor” of any surrounding advertisements is at least equal to your own. Neighboring junk ads taint your company with negative vibes. Oppositely, surrounding top-notch advertising can boost your ad’s “coolness” in readers’ eyes.

Verify that you won’t be competing for attention with similar businesses in your chosen marketing venues or that, at the very least, they’re not placed near your ad.

Ensure that your ad will be set in a location that targets your prime audience. There’s no point advertising nuts and bolts in “Tea Cozy Weekly”. And there’s no point advertising where your message won’t be seen.

It’s lovely when someone gives you the compliment of wishing to link to or advertise your business on their website, but make sure that their website represents you and your company well.

And, of course, the content and quality of your advertisement plays a critical roll in consumer response… but we’ll save that fun for a future post.

Moral of Today’s Story: Scope out advertising real estate before you entrust your company’s image and ad campaign to any particular marketing venue. It will help you turn “tainted by association” into “improved by association”. You’ll look good. They’ll look good. Everybody wins.

Found your venue, but need an ad design to fill it? We’re your company!

DMT Artistry, LLC  |  Dawn M. Tomczyk  |  810.923.4582  |