It can be tough to know the right time to market your business. A common mistake of businesses and organizations is to put off marketing until the situation is dire. It might seem like it makes sense to save money on marketing and advertising when business is rolling in, but you don’t want to wait until you’re in a slump and desperately need the business.
Michelle Singer, growth and development strategist here at PDG+creative, says marketing while you’re already doing well is smart for a number of reasons.
One of the biggest reasons you shouldn’t wait until times are desperate, Singer said, is because you can make better decisions.
“People make bad decisions when they’re in desperate need,” she said.
Panic can cause people to offer steep discounts or big promotions that might actually hurt their business in the long run. On the other hand, you can make decisions with confidence and a clear mind when you market during good times.
As with any good marketing plan, you can identify what people like about your business or organization, what they want from you, then promote yourself based on that. It provides better value for your customers, and provides you with peace of mind.
Another reason not to wait is money. It’s easier to allocate part of your budget toward marketing when business is booming, rather than try to scrape something together when times are hard. It’s kind of like not getting your car fixed until you only have a few dollars left in the bank. The chances of running into bigger, more expensive issues only grow the longer you put off routine maintenance. Taking care of your business should be proactive, not reactive.
Singer said if you plan out your marketing budget and needs for the year, you have more leverage to negotiate deals. For instance, if you sign a contract for a year’s worth of TV, radio, internet or newspaper ads, you’ll probably get much better rates. That stretches how far your dollars go across the year, giving you more bang for your buck.
“The more you can buy and commit to, the better the deal and better leverage you have in negotiating the prices,” Singer said.
There are a lot of details for each type of media, which is where professional help can be a lifesaver. A media agency can help you know which media to choose, and can help you read the fine print to know exactly what you’ll be getting.
If you’ve already waited until crunch time, it’s OK! Singer said the most important thing is to not panic.
“Take a deep breath. You don’t want to make desperate decisions,” she said.
She strongly recommends getting a professional media agency (like PDG+creative) to help get you back on track. It might seem like you can’t afford it, but ask yourself if you can afford not to.
“It is worth the money to get some marketing consulting,” she said. “At least get some direction and an assessment.”
Remember how we just won some awards not too long ago? Well, guess what?
We won more!
Last month, we won two awards from the Summit International Awards, and we are pretty excited about it.
Summit International is a U.S.-based organization that conducts judging events to spotlight outstanding marketing by companies and individuals. It is for small and medium-sized agencies, with annual billings below $30 million, and has 86 categories in nine main segments.
Every category is judged a little bit differently, but Summit said, overall, it grades its Summit Creative Awards on originality, execution and effectiveness. Winning entries are ranked Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Best of Show.
For this year’s Summit Creative Award, we won two “medals,” one bronze and one silver!
First, we got bronze in the Outdoor Campaign for our OKM Festival billboard series, which we created for OK Mozart’s music festival.
This campaign introduced the new brand for OKM Music, formerly Oklahoma Mozart. They wanted to show they had expanded to a wider array of music. We developed a tagline for the campaign, "It’s More than Classical, it’s OKM Music," and visually reinforced that concept with images of non-classical musicians — a jazz player, rock player, etc. We also found some unconventional ways to advertise, like hanging giant banners from their three-story building.
Second, for Logo Design - Consumer, we won silver for the logo we created for Tactical Male, a men’s care products company.
Andrew Oleson, PDG+creative owner, said it’s a testament to the talent of the team here.
“I'm so proud of my team. I know the work they do is exceptional, and seeing it put against other agency work, run through the gauntlet and still come out with a win speaks volumes,” he said.
Thanks to everyone who helped make these awards possible. If you’d like to learn more about our award-winning team, give us a shout.
In the meantime — stay tuned!
In our last blog, we talked about the importance of a good Quality Score for digital marketing campaigns.
To recap, a Quality Score is a Google Ads metric that provides an overall assessment of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. It’s reported on a 1 to 10 scale, 10 being the best.
Quality Score plays a role in your ad’s position, and how much you pay per click. And in our view, it’s a better metric on which to focus versus cost per click (CPC). A better Quality Score will result in more sales, better organic traffic and better ad rankings at no extra cost. So, how do you improve this magic number? Here are 4 ways to improve your Quality Score.
Write better ads
As the name suggests, the quality of your ad plays a big role in your Quality Score. One of the biggest ways to improve the score is by improving the ad copy. Make sure your keywords are relevant and targeted. Make sure the ad text is relevant. Basically: write better ads.
People are bombarded with information all day every day, and nearly every website is filled with advertising. To make your ad stand out, focus tightly on one or two very specific products or services. Adding visual elements, like symbols and exclamation points, can help draw the eye. You want to clearly explain your product or service, but you don’t want to have too much text. (This is where a marketing professional’s input is invaluable to help you find that balance between eye-catching and over-the-top.)
Be intentional with your keywords and how ads are grouped
Targeted campaigns are more effective than a scattershot approach. Each group of ads should have its own relevant keywords. If not all of your ads fit with some of the keywords, break up the ads into smaller groups so you can really hone in on the group you want to reach. So, for instance, if you’re trying to sell pens, you might want to do several groups for the different kinds of pens you offer. Novelty pens, like a unicorn or a Christmas tree, attract a different audience than office pens, which attract a different audience than someone looking for a high-end engraved pen.
As for keywords, do your research so you know which ones are going to have the best reach. Make sure they are relevant to the product you’re trying to promote. (Ad Relevance is one of the biggest factors Google considers for your Quality Score.) Again, make your keywords match each of the groups you’re trying to target.
Improve the expected Click-Through Rate (CTR).
This ties in with keywords. Basically, Google tries to predict how likely people are to click on your ad when it shows up in a keyword search. If your ad text doesn’t immediately show the person searching why they should click on the ad -- they probably won’t. Let’s use pens again as an example. If someone searches for something like “unicorn pen,” and you have that in the keywords but the ad text that shows up in the search just says “Pens 50 percent off,” the person searching is likely to skip over your ad and go straight to the ad text that has “Unicorn Pens” somewhere in the ad text. It goes back to targeted ad copy, because it all ties together. You can also bid on brand terms, because branded keywords have high click-through rates.
Have a high-quality landing page
Chartbeat, an analytics database, estimates you have about 15 seconds to grab someone’s attention. If your landing page is confusing, glitchy or slow, it will take less than a minute for most people to give up, no matter how interested they were in your product. When people click on your ad, does it take them to a landing page that makes them want to stick around? If you’re selling something specific, does the ad take them directly to that product?
Another thing you can try is ad extensions, like Google ad extensions and Google sitelinks. These features make the ads more prominent at no extra cost to you. Keep in mind your past performance plays a role in your score, as well. (Kind of like your credit history.) So, the more you improve, the more momentum you’ll have to keep improving and expanding your digital marketing reach.
Have questions on how to improve your ad copy? Want to learn more about keywords? Give us a shout, we’d love to help!
It’s the Information Age, and the internet is the information superhighway. For companies trying to keep up with everyone else cruising along at top speed, search engine marketing is a valuable tool. Marketers typically call these “pay-per-click” (PPC) campaigns, and it’s the start of the ad spend discussion. But are you focusing on the right thing?
In our experience, probably not. Here’s why you need to rethink your search engine marketing focus.
Whether you do it yourself or buy digital media services from a pro, the true value of any campaign is how it’s managed.
For a long time, companies have focused on impressions and cost per click (CPC) to evaluate the success of their text or display advertisements. CPC is the actual price you pay for each click in your campaign. While CPC can still be valuable (no pun intended), it’s far more beneficial to focus on your Quality Score and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).
First, some definitions. Quality Score is a Google Ads metric that provides an overall assessment of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. It’s reported on a 1 to 10 scale, and includes things like your clickthrough rate, ad relevance and landing page experience.
CPA (also known as cost per action) is when an advertiser pays for a particular “acquisition,” or what is sometimes referred to as a “click-through.” Basically, when someone clicks on what you want them to -- like filling out a form. (Think your “contact us” page or a newsletter signup form.)
Improving your overall Quality Score will result in more sales, better organic traffic and will lower the cost in the Google bidding system to give your ads premium placement. It can even lead to your ad ranking above others who are bidding more than you. So, you save money in the bidding process, and you make more money in the marketing campaign. Seems like a no-brainer.
So how do you improve your Quality Score? So glad you asked! Check out our next blog, where we’ll break it down in more detail.
Exciting things are happening at PDG+creative.
What sort of exciting things? So glad you asked. One of the biggest thrills is that earlier this month, we were named the Small Business of the Year by the Bartlesville Regional Chamber of Commerce during their annual gala. The award also came with special congressional recognition.
So what does that mean?
Every year, the chamber recognizes local people and businesses who make a big difference in our community. To qualify for Small Business of the Year, a company must be independently owned, have fewer than 30 full-time employees, and have been in business for more than 3 years. You must be nominated to even be considered for the award.
Also, according to the chamber, the business will stand out “for their sustainability, job growth, contribution to our local economy, and the overall progress of the Bartlesville area.”
Wow! To know that our community sees those qualities in us is an incredible compliment. We truly are honored.
Andrew Oleson, owner of PDG, called it a humbling experience, particularly because we were nominated by an outside person. To whomever nominated us, thank you. We can’t express how our gratitude.
“I stood on stage with some real legacy giants,” Andrew said. “If those are the shoes I have to fill, it will be tough but it will be rewarding.”
He credits the company’s culture, which values work ethic and quality, along with community involvement. Those qualities have helped us grow, and as we grow, we’re able to do more -- like our Back the Blue campaign for police officers. We are proud to support our community, and are thrilled that our community continues to support us back.
“I’m extremely humbled to be recognized by the community in such a unique way. PDG wouldn’t be where it is without such an incredible team killing it every day,” Andrew said. “They’re the ones the deserve the high fives and recognition.”
Thanks, boss! And thanks to everyone for supporting us, and helping us to win this honor. We’re excited, and we’re already using that excitement to propel us toward the next big thing.
BBQ, Country Club Plaza, Power & Light District, Worlds of Fun, The Royals, The Chiefs and PDG+creative. Just a few of the places that come to mind when you think about Kansas City, MO.
Wait!?! PDG+creative is in KC? When did that happen?
Growth. Both in terms of of clients and team culture.
Through a few acquaintences I have had the pleasure of making some great connections in KC. Most recently I was asked to help with the marketing for Rise Fast, which is a conference that teaches millennials how to grow within their company by bringing value to the place they work. On top of that, the market in KC is just absolutely exploding. There are new start ups every day and we have the opportunity to help them grow.
Our soft opening was August 15 and our official opening is set for September 15.
Yes! They are definitely a big part of our ability to grow in KC by helping us spread our established reputation through introductions and word of mouth. Honestly, it's been a bit like a bigger Bartlesville. The people are very warm - it's refreshing!
Yes. For sure a couple of sales/account manager positions. However, our main focus will be to increase our staff in Bartlesville to handle the majority of the workload.
At the get go, once a month. As traffic increases I will need to devote more time there.
This last year has been the most transformative since I began my role in leadership at PDG. We've completely changed our approach to the way we engage with our clients. All Access has given us the ability to serve clients in ways we never thought possible. We will continue to excel and grow. We are definitely far from perfect, but each day we are presented with challenges and opportunites to learn new lessons and exceed expectations.
Since the beginning of the 20th century (1900) there have only been 14 total solar eclipses visible from the United States. Of course, that doesn't count all the times it probably happened before anyone started documenting them. On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will again be treated to a total eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature's most awe inspiring sights. According to our source at NASA, the path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and sun's tenuous atmosphere - the corona, can be seen, which will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse when the moon covers part of the sun's disk. Sadly, Oklahoma is "outside the path", but we still hope to see a good portion of the "total" eclipse. Since Kansas City, Kansas and St. Louis, Missouri are both in the path, we are hoping that Bartlesville, OK will be able to ride their coattails and get a good view. It is scheduled to hit Kansas City at 1:09pm and St. Louis at 1:18, so we are planning for somewhere around 1:05pm. Click here to view the countdown for yourself.
As most people are aware, looking at a partial eclipse is very dangerous for your eyes and not recommended unless you are wearing protective eyewear. PDG is so excited about this phenomenon, that we decided to order 100 pair of solar eclipse sunglasses that are CE and ISO Certified and we are super excited to share them with YOU! If you stop by our office August 14-21, 8:00am-5:00pm, we will be happy to give you your very own pair! We are located in the Pioneer Building in downtown Bartlesville at 319 S. Dewey, Suite 200. They will be available to anyone who stops by (while supplies last). If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at 918-337-0414. We look forward to seeing the sun disappear (and reappear) with you!
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Do not judge my story by the chapter you walked in on. - Unknown
"Maybe Christmas", he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!" - The Grinch
Throughout the calendar year the Bartlesville Young Professionals continually brainstorm for ways they can contribute to the community of Bartlesville. Coming soon on December 16th PDG+creative is pleased to join YPB and others by sponsoring the much anticipated Christmas Crawl benefiting the Bartlesville SPCA. A festive and fun evening is promised as you spend time with friends, make new friends and support a worthy cause all at the same time. An Apple Watch Series 2 will be given away as well as costume and door prizes. The venues included are the HIlton Garden Inn, Shorties Grills, Painted Horse and Angelo's Tavern. Tickets are limited, so plan to arrive early to insure a spot. Starting time is 7:00pm at the Hilton Garden Inn and tickets are $10/per person.
While cash donations will be accepted, if you would rather save your cash for the crawl, donations to the SPCA will be accepted via the Venmo App using the handle @pdgcreative.
For more information please contact:
Since the dawn of time Mom's and Dad's, Grandma's and Grandpa's and the world in general have been under the assumption that their precious child is the cutest, most perfect baby ever born. This is a very natural occurence and I will admit that I felt the same way with my kids and now my grandkids. However, in all reality the only parents able to stake this claim were Adam and Eve. When Cain was born he was, uncontestedly, the cutest baby ever born. Then Abel came along and was probably even cuter and, well, we all know how that turned out. However, perhaps, just perhaps your little angel is, indeed, the cutest, most photogenic baby in the Bartlesville area, and, possibly even in NE Oklahoma (and the world). On top of that, you are so confident of this fact that you choose to enter said gorgeous baby in the Sixth Annual Baby New Year Cover Contest hosted by the bMonthly magazine. PDG+creative, along with Truity Credit Union, is sponsoring the contest this year and we are looking forward to seeing all the entries and meeting the most adorable baby in NE Oklahoma for 2017. To find out more details and complete the registration for your beautiful baby, visit the bMonthly website.
Best of luck to each of you! The odds are in your favor since my kids are now way too old to enter and my grandkids live in Michigan, otherwise they would totally win. Permalink to Post »
"Either you love Bacon or you're wrong."
"Bacon is going to save the world. I don't now how, but it will."
"You don't realize how much you love bacon until you have no more bacon."
"Bacon. Admit it. For a second there all your problems went away."
"Everyone is entitled to an opinion except people who don't like bacon."
Amidst all of the negative commentary surrounding local police officers across our nation, PDG+creative made the decision to host a campaign showing community support for our own B-Ville Blue. Not wanting to just throw something together without thinking it through, our creative team created this decal which includes five stars across the top signifying the five officers who were killed in Dallas last July. The decals were made available to any and all Bartlesville citizens who would like to show support for their local men and women in Blue. The Community response has been overwhelming resulting in Chief Tom Holland and the Bartlesville Police Department showing their appreciation by donating a Bartlesville Police Department throw to be given away as an additional incentive for citizens to participate and display the decal.
As a result of the B-Ville Blue campaign, Mitchell Antle, CFM, Commissioner, District 1, with the Washington County Board of Commissioners reached out to PDG about creating decals showing support for all Law Enforcement in Washington County. "The elected officials of Washington County, through the Board of County Commissioners, have agreed to support a "Back the Blue" campaign to be inclusive of all Law Enforcement entities in operation in Washington County. Furthermore, the Board recognizes and thanks all Law Enforcement, throughout our great Nation, for their continued efforts in providing public safety in our communities." Those decals can be picked up at the Washington County Commissioners office in the Washington County Admin Building at 400 S. Johnstone, Room 201.
If you have not yet had a chance to pick up a Support the B-Ville Blue decal, we still have some available and would love for you to stop by and pick one up. Or two or three.
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"We love structure, but also celebrate that a person's idiosyncrasies work to afford them the most recognition…"
Dwight Mission Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center asked PDG+creative to redesign their brand identity, taking the Dwight crest into consideration. PDG+creative's strategy was to enhance the meaning of each crest element by means of reduction. Not only was PDG+creative able to simplify the number and overt nature of the crest elements within the logo, but also created it to be incredibly flexible in regards to re-sizes, vertical/horizontal orientations, color, and loss-prevention in print applications.
As I learned how to walk, talk, and develop motor skills, PDG+creative was taking its first steps too. Through the healthy affection and boundaries of our parents, the two of us have learned plenty of the "Do’s and Don’ts" of life. Do say please and thank you; don't be afraid of greatness. I grew physically and mentally, while PDG+creative grew organically from one visionary to seven.
We have more in common than two decades of growth.
I find myself shopping for slacks and button-ups, rather than browsing summer flip-flops. PDG+creative is also strategically donning a new wardrobe this year, re-vamping its logo, website, signage and office entryway. It's our way of saying: the old is good, but the new is better.
We now stand with our feet planted on the horizon of the lifetime ahead of us, hungry for what time will permit us to create. We admit our failures and accomplishments, allowing these to stand as our guide towards future successes. With all the wide-eyed ambition of a young adult, and all the practical wisdom handed down from generations before us, we've found a refreshing balance.
Cheers to a blooming and harmonious friendship.
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To the Compulsively Busy,
You don’t need another app; you need one single app. A catch-all, if you will. This app needs to do some heavy lifting: documenting your diet plan, grocery list, bursts of creative inspiration, and photos too. PDG+creative has identified several of the best, because we believe every detail matters.
30/30 - Free for iPhone and iPad. We think this task manager works better than others because it functions on the underlying concept: time is money. 30/30 has built-in timers, notifying you when to move on to your next task. This sets you up to confront your time-management style, identifying where you lose time and where you ought to be investing more. A full hour jogging? Feel the burn of real-time.
Everest - Free for iPhone. Did you check off all the items on your last bucket list or forget you even had one? Fruitless moments of inspiration end here (no pun intended). Everest not only acts as a sanctuary for goals that really matter to you, but it helps you actually work towards your dreams one "to-do" at a time.
Evernote - Free for iPhone and iPad. For lack of better terms…duh. Evernote is the obvious do-it-all app, allowing you to store notes and images under any notebook label you'd like. Condense scattered recipes and literary essays into two different notebooks, then sync them from your phone to computer (or vice versa). Easy as that.
NPR news - Free for iPhone and iPad. If you're the type that craves intellectual stimulation, particularly while performing mundane work or house chores--here's a way to do both. NPR news provides audio articles and a five-minute daily newscast, to update you on all major news highlights, hands-free. Go ahead and sweep the kitchen, fully impressed with your ability to handle a broom alongside big ideas.
HomeBudget with Sync - $4.99 for iPhone and iPad. We've learned to accept that budgeting isn't easy. There are so many loose ends to keep track of; so many unforeseen repairs (who would've guessed you'd get into that fender-bender at Disneyland?). HomeBudget's got your back. With this app taking into account all of your expenses, income, and bills, you might just break even at the end of the month.
MyFitnessPal - Free for iPhone. This little guy stores an impressive archive of brand-specific calorie counts and takes into account the general amount burned during various exercises. As if documenting every piece of food you eat doesn't make you health conscious enough, this app brings you the support of a nutrition-oriented community. If you opt to use this as a social network, friends can encourage you when you haven't logged in for a few days, weeks, months…now that's just embarrassing.
Songza - Free for iPhone and iPad. Nothing is worse than a Phil Collins slow jam throwing off your intensive cardio, yet you can't help but belt out "Your Song" later in the shower. Songza allows you to categorize your music playlist by activity. With Songza, find the perfect beats so you never have to hit the skip button again.
Creative equals the sum of two unlike variables, Point A and Point B.
There you have it. The greatest deception in the creative industry is that abstract thought is the guiding element to all things artistic. At PDG+creative, we believe that logic and creative not only co-exist, but enhance the other.
Not convinced? Let the following examples demonstrate the validity of this argument.
Throw it back to Mozart. Old Wolfgang is forever remembered as a brilliant musician, but what about mathematical genius? The complexity of his work took him to the hall of fame, not the way he strung pretty notes together.
C = A + B → Symphony #40 = Music + Math
Steve Jobs, Apple inventor extraordinaire, became famous for pairing technological advances with suitable creative partners. He took the iPhone's technical capabilities, and upped its standing with the mark of exclusivity.
C = A + B → The iPhone = Technical Ability + Psychology
Maybe you're not Mozart or Steve Jobs, but you're not limited to one side of the brain either. So if your palms start sweating at the sight of a brush and canvas, let the above equation be your silent mantra.
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma – During their 2012 ADDY® award ceremonies, the Tulsa Advertising Federation recognized local creative firm PDG+creative with two ADDY® awards and one Citation of Excellence for work they created in partnership with Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
The annual ADDY® Awards represents the true spirit of creative excellence by recognizing all forms of advertising from media of all types, creative by all sizes and entrants of all levels from anywhere in the world. The awards are the largest creative competition in the country with about 55,000 local entries competing in 200 cities coast to coast. PDG+creative’s winning entries will now advance on to the regional level competition.
The winning entries included publication design for OKWU’s TOWER magazine, OKWU’s admission marketing brochure collateral, and a magazine print ad campaign.
“It is always nice for our team’s creative to be recognized in this way,” says Matt Pendergraff, PDG+creative Executive Creative Director/Principal and OKWU alumni. “We have a fantastic partnership with the university and we share a common vision. That allows us to be able to create targeted collateral that gets results for them.”
In the last 20 years, PDG+creative has earned numerous ADDY® awards and Citation of Excellence awards, including Best of Show. They have also been recognized multiple times by Graphic Design USA, the International Academy of the Visual Arts, and the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association. Their award-winning work has included identity systems, non-profit collateral, event collateral, interactive development and direct marketing, among others.
PDG+creative fulfills a variety of marketing and design needs for local, regional, national and international clientele who demand innovative solutions. To learn more about PDG+creative and their marketing and design solutions, visit their website at www.PDGcreative.com. The firm can also be reached by calling 918.337.0414. PDG+creative operates in Bartlesville’s historic Pioneer Building at 319 S. Dewey, Suite 200. Permalink to Post »
BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma – Local design firm PDG+creative was recently presented with an Awards Certificate of Excellence in the 2011 American Graphic Design Awards from Graphic Design USA.
The certificate was for PDG+creative’s print and packaging design for Bartlesville Development Corporation’s recent promotional mail campaign. There were over 8,000 entries in this year’s national competition and a very select fifteen percent of entries were recognized as winners.
In the last eighteen years, PDG+creative has earned numerous Graphic Design USA awards. They have also been recognized multiple times by the Tulsa Advertising Federation, the International Academy of the Visual Arts and the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association. Their award-winning work has included identity systems, non-profit collateral, event collateral, interactive development and direct marketing, among others.
“It’s nice to be recognized and to be able to produce quality work for our local clients,” says Matt Pendergraff, PDG+creative Owner and Executive Creative Director. “We knew the Bartlesville Development Corporation campaign was special and it led to great results for our client. We were excited about the success of this campaign for the BDC and this award has added to that excitement.”
PDG+creative fulfills a variety of marketing and design needs for national and international clientele who demand innovative solutions. The company’s local clientele includes such companies and organizations as Jane Phillips Medical Center, Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve and Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Permalink to Post »