We asked our in-house experts at Lessing-Flynn to part with a few marketing tips — consider it a free (mini) crash course in marketing strategy. You’re welcome.


Start with identifying your audience.

As much as we want every single person that happens upon our ad campaign to fall in love with it, that’s just not realistic. Identify a target audience to start with and, you may notice emerging audiences that you can cater to in the future. So how do we do that? First, look at your current customer base and ask yourself why they buy or use your services then look for common characteristics (age, location, gender, personal values, lifestyles etc.) and interests and cater your messages to those individuals.


“A lot of marketers like to create ‘personas’ for their target audiences and that’s great, just don’t use them for every tactic — they are best suited for individual campaign goals. I’d suggest starting with outlining a few of these general characteristics and speaking to your audience based on those findings.” — Rachel Wallace, Content Marketing Specialist


Take inspiration from anywhere.

Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb. Seriously — hundreds of other prototypes were available at the time, his was just the best. And sorry Apple fans, but Steve Jobs didn’t invent the mp3 player, tablet or smartphone. These were all things. But again, Apple simply built the best versions of these products — making them iconic and 100% Apple in doing so.


“Don’t obsess over coming up with truly original ideas. Such things hardly exist these days. It’s okay to be inspired by the ideas of others. Like the font treatment you saw on a billboard or a certain video style that pops up on YouTube. Just don’t copy it. Make it 100% your own.” — Chris Hanson, Creative Director


Less is more when it comes to design and copy.

Both of these tricks stress the importance of simplicity. Sometimes we can overwhelm ourselves and try to force something that is too elaborate but doesn’t best suit the piece we’re working on. It’s good to take a step back and ask yourself if your key message is still the shining star. Consider your goals and the results you want to achieve. Don’t get distracted by a flashy new marketing trend that isn’t going to benefit your business.


>>> Read “3 Steps to Using Better Graphic Designs in Social Media” by Graphic Designer Kara Hoegh.


Identify short-term objectives for a long-term strategy.

From the client to the account team to the video team, everyone is operating on a time frame, and some are more grueling than others. That’s why it’s best to hash out short-term objectives that are part of a long-term plan. Not only can these appear more manageable to accomplish, but accomplishing short-term objectives can act as extrinsic motivation that will help fuel endurance to see the plan until the end.


“Let’s say we want to hit a certain number of new followers on a client social channel by the end of the year — that number may sound daunting at first but when you divide it up into a quarterly time frame and then create targeted campaigns and promotions it will be easier to achieve and work towards.” — Emily Nichols, Account Director


Stand out by being traditional.

We are in the digital age, and more and more businesses are making an impact using the internet as a marketing tool. That means overcrowding and burnout are not far behind. Stand out from the crowd by rolling out a physical magazine instead of an email blast, or run a unique print campaign in a popular magazine that shares part of your target audience as opposed to bothersome YouTube ads and pop-ups.


>>> Read “How to Make Print Ads Powerful on a Tight Budget” by Media Strategist Shannon Hughes.


BUT, don’t underestimate digital marketing.

Whether you find a certain comfort in traditional marketing techniques or you’re still in denial about the power of the internet, you need to recognize that the popularity of digital marketing is not unwarranted. Advertisers have the capability to place a link right to their product or service within the ad itself, boosting immediate engagement rate, an advantage over traditional marketing. That’s why research is such an important part of the process. Again, what is going to work best for you?


>>> Read “Making the Move to Digital Advertising” also by Shannon… she’s super insightful.


Collaboration makes everything better.

Whether you have too much on your plate or have reached a creative fork in the road, having team members to delegate to or bounce ideas off of is incredibly useful, even if your inner introvert protests. Don’t forget: Teamwork makes the dream work!


“Sometimes you’re your own worst enemy when it comes to creativity. Group brainstorms bring diverse thoughts and ‘idea nuggets’ to the table — one person might say something weird and it will send us all down a rabbit hole that eventually spawns a huge campaign.” — April Pearson, Senior Copywriter