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Media analyst Gordon Borrell offers up his tips of the trade


May 30, 2013 at 12:30 a.m.

Media analyst Gordon Borrell discusses advertising techniques Thursday morning at the Advocate Digital Media Digital Marketing Expo. Borrell encouraged businesses to utilize a variety of marketing techniques to get their message across.

One hundred years ago, newspapers, magazines and outdoor signs were a person's only advertising options. Innovations like TV and radio joined later, with the Internet, mobile ads and more coming on later.

But through all those years and all that change, Gordon Borrell said, one rule stands firm.

"No new medium has ever killed off an old one," he said, encouraging business owners to utilize a variety of methods in their advertising. "Think about that. It just enhances it a little bit and does something a little bit differently."

Borrell, a media analyst and CEO of Borrell Associates Inc., spoke Thursday as part of Advocate Digital Media's Digital Media Expo. There, he discussed ongoing trends and market changes with the crowd of about 55 people inside Victoria's Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.

The event was a chance for Advocate Digital Media to get word out to Crossroads business owners about what's available when it comes to advertising, said Jennifer Love, the company's digital accounts manager.

"We wanted to take that extra step," she said during a break in the program. "We're not here to sell them something but to educate."

Carol Gloor is a marketing representative with Hochheim Prairie Insurance, which began looking into digital marketing about eight weeks ago. She said she enjoyed Borrell's presentation because he spoke to the average person in plain English.

"This is still new to us," she said. "We're in that experimental stage, so this helps."

Tony Yarbrough, who owns the advertising firm TRY Design, said Borrell's message will help when talking with his own clients.

He said he appreciated the chance to step away from the office for a bit of training.

"To just be able to hang out and learn about how advertising is changing, it was great," he said, smiling. "I learned a lot."

Here are a few of Borrell's top marketing tips:

Plan ahead.

Small-business owners today should already be planning out back-to-school or Halloween promotions. Think business plans out a couple of quarters in advance.

Don't go it alone.

Most small-business owners are too busy running their companies to be true marketing experts. Consult a media company that can offer additional insight.

Check out your mobile presence.

Simply having a website isn't enough. Check it out with a smartphone or tablet, a method many consumers use today. If the site doesn't look good, the customer won't return.

Give it some time.

Advertising doesn't work overnight, so you can't judge an ad's success simply by what happened last month or even last quarter. Give the method a chance to take hold.

Make the most of customer databases.

The No. 1 piece of information a company can collect from a customer is an email address. It allows powerful one-on-one communication, and people are 60 percent more likely to read their emails than to go online.

Take it to YouTube.

Uploading a YouTube video about your company to your website automatically improves your search rankings because Google owns YouTube. Be sure to have someone who is somewhat professional shoot the video so it looks good.



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