(Creative Content)

Cost-Cutting: How Not To Build a Business

Ryan Chute
Ryan Chute
July 13, 2022
Cost-Cutting: How Not To Build a Business

Everybody looks after the bottom line. After all, it’s one of the best indicators to describe the status of an enterprise. If you’re a business owner, you may have devised ways to improve your bottom line and it typically falls into two approaches:

  1. Increasing revenue
  2. Cutting costs

It’s always a good idea to improve your revenue and efficiency, but if it can’t be helped, prioritize increasing your sales if you can spare cutting costs. In the words of acclaimed accountant, Adrian Van Zelfden, “You cannot shrink your way to profit.” While cost-cutting is a popular business strategy, it's not without its risks. When done correctly, being cost-effective may improve a company’s bottom line by becoming more efficient. However, cost reduction can also lead to problems that can affect a brand’s customer base and jeopardize the future of a company. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into what cost-cutting is, why it’s a counterproductive strategy if you want to build your business, and what are its risks for residential home service businesses.

“You Don’t Understand Business”

The cost-cutting process is used by companies to reduce their expenses and increase their profitability. The most common time for a company to implement cost-cutting measures is when it is undergoing financial stress or experiencing an economic downturn. In some cases, if a company's management anticipates profitability issues in the future, then cost-cutting can become part of the business strategy. While there are a number of reasons why businesses may choose to cut costs, it’s not an ideal practice to sustain a company’s longevity as I’ll explain later. In Roy H. Williams’ recent exposition on cost-cutting, he explained briefly explained the dangers of cutting costs as he revisited the rise and fall of the once-pinnacle of American automobiles, General Motors.

For context: General Motors was formerly described as the world's richest and most powerful automaker. The year 1981 marked GM’s slow and painful death with the installment of Roger Smith as the company’s CEO. Although Wall Street saw him as a brilliant businessman who maximized profits through his cost-cutting strategy, anyone who was passionate about cars saw that he was destroying the American icon from the inside out. The fruits of Rogers’ approach failed as GM’s one-of-a-kind identity slowly fell into the Sea of Sameness along with other car manufacturers. The 46% market share that GM held prior to Roger’s arrival dropped to 35.4% after 9 years. Finally, GM ended its downhill reign in 2009 with a net asset of -$91 billion. Whenever Roy voiced his complaint regarding GM’s market performance, his brother-in-law would retort, “You don’t understand business.” The same 4 cold-hearted and demeaning words every single time. The thing is, it’s easy to understand. You cost-cut your way through business, always looking for ways to save a few bucks. And it worked. By reducing expenses, your business increased its profits, boosted the bottom line, and remained competitive in a tough market for a while. Eventually, your cost-cutting caught up with you. Your residential home service business went bankrupt. You're left scrambling to find a new job. If you're thinking about cost-cutting as a way to build your business, think again. It's a surefire way to ruin your business and end up jobless. Learn from GM’s cautionary tale and avoid making the same mistakes. Cost-cutting may seem like a good idea in the short term, but it's not a sustainable way to run a business. Do you know what’s sustainable? Increasing your sales. Wizard of Ads® will help improve skyrocket your revenue and improve your bottom line without the detrimental repercussions of cost-cutting. Book a call.

Depriving a Brand of the Oxygen of Creativity and Innovation

Depriving a Brand of the Oxygen of Creativity and Innovation

If you take a closer look at Wall Street bigshots and private equity firms, they’re typically always all-praise for cost-cutting CEOs. They hail them as heroes thanks to the short-term gains contributed by cutting costs. These people focus on the outward financial stature, but not the internal and revenue impacts of cost-cutting. The most common cost-cutting measures done by companies are the following:

  • Laying off employees
  • Decreasing employee salary
  • Closing down certain business facilities or branches
  • Streamlining the supply chain
  • Downsizing offices
  • Relocating to less expensive buildings or regions
  • Limiting outsources services

The problem is that cutting costs limits a business and its constituents the room they need to grow. In a fast-paced, highly evolving, and viciously competitive market, like the residential home service industry, cutting costs may spell doom for an enterprise. Take an HVAC company, for example. A steady pool of readily available technicians provides the company a headroom to deploy people in multiple projects. A fleet may focus on installing ductwork for a large building, while another group is sent to a household for diagnostic and repair. Cost-cutting through employee terminations will hurt the business, especially during peak season. In the age of the internet, customers value speedy response times above all else. According to HubSpot Research, 90% of customers say that ‘immediate response’ to customer service questions is essential (60% agree that ‘immediate’ means 10 minutes or less). Moreover, McKinsey & Company says that 70% of customers’ buying decisions are based on how they feel companies treat them. With these data in mind, reconsidering cost-cutting should always be high up your priority list. Otherwise, you will likely lose your clients to your competitors. A focus on customers should always be maintained before, during, and after cost-cutting and the process shouldn’t be seen as a mere revenue-enhancing ploy.

Residential home service businesses that ignore what customers value are at risk of wasting valuable revenue. Based on MIT Sloan’s assessment, cost-cutting companies that overlook customer value exhibited the worst gross margins. Conversely, companies with high levels of cost-cutting while retaining high levels of customer value displayed the highest margins. This is known as Operational Excellence. In other words, cutting costs and upholding customer value are two peas in a pod. With that in mind, before embarking on a cost-cutting strategy, it’s necessary to set up a strategy that will cater to the cutback procedure. There are some non-negotiable costs to keep the biz in operation, so it’s a good idea to segregate each before you arbitrarily and haphazardly cut costs. Cutting costs isn’t a sustainable bottom-line-boosting measure. However, if it can’t be helped, focusing on customers is the key to a more effective cost-cutting strategy.

Risks of Too Much Cost Cutting in Home Services Businesses

As the United States is slowly reeling into recession, Residential Home Service Businesses may find it more difficult to generate the usual number of sales. This may even force some companies with tight cash runways to cut costs in order to keep the business running. These are dire situations and often, they also demand extreme measures. Cost-cutting is an effective band-aid solution to the problem, but it doesn’t come without possible backlashes. Below, we outlined some of the risks associated with too much cost-cutting among home service businesses.

1. Severance Pay

Laying people off is one of the hardest cost reduction approaches you must do as an owner because it means having to cut jobs. Severance pays are compensatory benefits that employers extend to employees when the employment comes to an end. Some contracts require employers to issue severance pay, while others include severance packages that include benefits and health insurance. Employers are required to provide severance If a clause of a residential home service technician’s contract indicates it. There are severance packages that also cover employees who resign or are fired. Factors such as length of employment and cost-cutting measures can influence how much the employee receives. These costs add an additional burden on behalf of the company, especially if they’re going through economic distress. Unless otherwise stated in the contract, an employer may decide whether or not to offer severance pay. In some cases, it could be a gesture of goodwill to help employees have a buffer until they secure a new position.

2. Unemployment Benefits

If residential home service businesses do not indicate a severance pay clause for employee downsizing, they may still suffer financial losses from unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits, more commonly known as unemployment insurance(UI), are state-imposed insurance for eligible individuals who lost their jobs. That includes those people who were downsized. Commonly, people who qualify are those who were separated from their work due to cost-cutting. On the other hand, those who resigned or were fired with just cause don’t qualify for UI. Although unemployment insurance is a federal law, each state is responsible for administering it. Workers who aspire to join must meet the State’s required work and wage, including the time rendered. The UI program is funded through taxes on employers. This includes the state tax and Federal Unemployment Tax Act. In other words, it remains a part of a residential home service business owner’s obligation to support downsized employees.

Rehiring Costs

3. Rehiring Costs

One reason why many companies are reluctant to downsize is that cutting costs can backfire on the business and hurt their economics further. If economic downturns and the threat of failing businesses happen to be short-lived, another heavy toll on the finances is rehiring costs. On-boarding new employees is daunting, especially in industries like residential home services where technical training is required. The actual cost of hiring employees means more than just their salaries. If you factor in the cost of recruiting, training, and the 5 to 8-month period before newly hires reach full productivity, business owners will feel the cost surge. For this reason, it’s best to give it some time and thought before home service businesses engage in cost-cutting. Expertise takes time to teach and acquire. In extreme cases, choosing other cost-cutting measures like relocating or decreasing office hours is better.

4. Lowers Morale of Retained Employees

Downsizing can have a significant effect on employee morale. When cost-cutting measures result in layoffs, employees who remain with the company may feel insecure about their own jobs and worried about the future of the company. This can lead to decreased productivity and engagement, as well as increased absenteeism and turnover. Employees who are affected directly by downsizing can also experience a range of emotions, including sadness and betrayal. These feelings can be exacerbated if they are laid off without warning or given insufficient severance pay. Residential home service companies should communicate openly and honestly with employees about the reasons for cost-cutting measures such as downsizing. By being transparent, companies can help to build trust and maintain employee morale during difficult times. While downsizing can have negative consequences for employees, there are steps that companies can take to mitigate these effects. For example, offering outplacement services and providing counseling can help employees deal with the psychological impacts of downsizing.

5. Overworking the Remaining Employees

When cost-cutting or downsizing measures are implemented in a company, the remaining employees often have to pick up the slack. This can lead to overwork and burnout among these employees. In the residential home service industry, this is often seen when housekeeping or maintenance staff are cut. The remaining employees have to work harder to keep up with the demand, leading to longer hours and less time for breaks. This results in lower quality of work and disgruntled employees. While cost-cutting measures may seem like a good way to save money in the short term, they can actually lead to higher costs down the road in the form of employee turnover and lower productivity. When employees are overworked, they are more likely to make mistakes, miss deadlines, and have accidents. This can cost the company money in terms of lost productivity, legal fees, and insurance claims. It is important for companies to find a balance between cutting costs and maintaining a happy and healthy workforce. downsizing should only be done as a last resort, and even then, care should be taken to ensure that the remaining employees are not overburdened. Otherwise, the company may end up spending more in the long run.

Is There Such Thing as “Good” Cost Cutting?

Asking if there’s a “good” form of cost-cutting is a double-edged sword. The very reason for cutting costs is anchored more often in an unfavorable situation that coerces management to adopt cost-reduction strategies. Moreover, companies are often accused of cost-cutting at the expense of quality, customer service, and employee morale. Alternatively, sometimes new technologies or economies of scale allow for cost savings that aren’t detrimental to the employee or buyer’s experience. For example, if you have optimized your radio buy for frequency and reach, there is no need to spend more budget if the job is being done. There's no denying that cost-cutting is detrimental if done for the wrong reasons. Cutting costs to improve the bottom line is usually not a good idea. This can lead to corners being cut and quality plus customer service suffers in the exchange, which ultimately does more harm than good. In reality, there are some ways cost-cutting can be beneficial, especially when they’re done for the right motives. To understand the concept of good cost-cutting, it’s important to first know what good, bad, and best costs are:

  • Good costs

Good costs are the expenses dedicated to the growth of a company. They are aligned with the company’s customer values and are either used to meet your customer needs or product/service needs. Good costs help your business achieve its goals by providing room to train employees, support their growth, or allow your company as a whole to innovate. An example of this cost would be resources used for advertising and marketing.

  • Bad costs

Bad costs, on the other hand, are expenses that don’t reflect the company’s growth strategy. They are often overlooked and waste valuable company funds. Some bad costs may be necessary but are not significant in improving your business or reaching your goals.

  • Best costs

Your company’s best costs are the expenses associated with the elements making your company unique. They tie in closely to your unique sales proposition. For example, a residential home service business may waive diagnostic fees if customers decide to commit to a full repair or installation. These costs fall into your best cost because it makes your company what it is. Your company is on the right track, a.k.a. Implementing a good cost-cutting strategy when you minimize bad costs. This way, your company can free up resources that you can use for more productive endeavors. Like improving the efficiency or streamlining operations that save more money in the long run. Do note that not all cost-cutting measures mean cutting a cost. For example, using applications that allow companies to monitor employee productivity and time spent on projects or tasks is an example of optimization and efficiency. The management can introduce time-saving ways to make task accomplishment more efficient.

You Cannot Shrink Your Way To Profit

You Cannot Shrink Your Way To Profit

It is easier to increase sales than it is to cut expenses.” - Roy H. Williams

If you had to choose between maximizing revenue streams and cutting costs, choose the former. You may suffer irreparable consequences in extreme cases. Cost-cutting measures should always be approached with caution. They should only be enforced if there's a clear benefit to the company, and they should never come at the expense of your product’s or service’s quality. When done correctly, cost-cutting can be a good thing for your residential home service business. It can improve efficiency, save money, and help simplify operations. Just be sure to approach it carefully and always keep the best interests of your company in mind. Don’t wait until you have no other choice but to cut costs. With the help of Wizard of Ads®, you can increase your revenue and propel your bottom line without cost-cutting measures. Book a call.

(Branding)
(SEO Content)
Ryan Chute
Ryan Chute

Helping small businesses become BIG brands with a holistic marketing strategy that speaks the same language across all sales and marketing channels.

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Who does the Wizard of Ads® for Services work with?

Wizard of Ads® for Services work with healthy and growing businesses hungry to grow by multiples, like you.

You are ready, willing, and able to grow your business. You are open to change and are seeking a distinctive angle of approach to gain the time and attention of a too-busy public.

You know that lasting relationships take time, patience, and good energy to nurture and cultivate. We carefully enter into every arrangement with the intention of working with you for as long as you own your business. You prefer lasting partnerships.

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Marketing cannot fix a failing business.

We accelerate what’s already happening in a business. If your business is on the rocks, marketing will only speed up the inevitable.  

You’re focused on lasting change that leads to exponential, profitable growth, not just sales at any cost. Intuitively, you know that communication that enhances every element of your customer's experience and your employee's culture is the key to your success.

Our advertising model works best for services who have a long purchase cycle and sell a more expensive product like jewelry, furniture, luxury products, and automotive.

How does the Wizard of Ads® for Services charge?

Traditional full service marketing agencies are designed to capture the greatest amount of revenue from a client, regardless of results. Every last item is billed and expensed to the client. Typical agency fees can represent a whopping 55% of the entire advertising budget. That means a $5 million dollar advertising budget, you would spend $2.75 million on agency fees.

Think of Wizard of Ads® for Services as the Anti-Agency.

Our income is not tied to your advertising budget. Our income is exclusively tied to your growth. Our goal is to maximize your advertising impact with the lowest reasonable spend. This allows you to spend only what is necessary or to put extra horsepower into aggressively growing in your market.

The genius of this model is that it perfectly aligns our motivations as true partners for exponential profitable growth without the pain of being unaffordable. Ultimately, we are confident in taking the risk of being underpaid in the first few years because we know the results always speak for themselves.

Next, we do not accept commissions, referral fees, kickbacks, or other compensation from any service providers we recommend or engage for production work. Most agencies do. This includes the 15% agency commission for media buying. This approach is considerably different from the compensation plan employed by most advertising agencies, as it eliminates any potential conflicts of interest and allows us to focus our entire attention on helping you grow your business profitably as a true partner. For example, a $500,000 annual media buy would involve a $75,000 commission that we would have removed directly from your media providers' invoices.

This is the perfect pricing model for services who sell goods with a long purchase cycle.

By tying ourselves to gross revenue, we only have one motivation. Your motivation. We have no motivation to convince you to spend more money on marketing than what is necessary, and since we are a variable expense to sales, we NEVER become too expensive to have us on your team.

In almost every case, we end up lowering the amount of money you spend. We will stay within your planned marketing budget, including your media spend, production, and our Annual Fee. Add on the fact that you get any and all commissions back for media buys and various services provided by outside providers, and you will actually save money having us on your team.

Don’t forget, we have the largest buying power in North America for media buying, meaning for every dollar you spend buying media, we only spend 27 cents on average. This stretches your reach, impact, and frequency in a way no other agency (or yourself) can achieve on your own, saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars, eventually millions, every single year.

Clients who heed our advice and embrace our Marketing Strategy quickly add $1 million in incremental revenue to their business, making your investment a smart bet and a bit of a no-brainer.  

There is no longer any guesswork, hope, or fear that our marketing strategies are going to work. If our client’s are able to abandon any limiting beliefs about marketing, deliver operational excellence, and play the long game, our marketing strategy will accelerate their profitable growth.

Wizard of Ads® for Services pricing model is based solely on the top line revenue of your company. It consists of an Upfront Fee and an Annual Fee. These fees are inclusive of scheduled travel, services, and all other expenditures as outlined in the Consulting Agreement.

The Upfront Fee covers the intensive Uncovery Process, the first year’s Media Buy, the Creative Process, and the Market Research while the Annual Fee goes toward implementation, ongoing creative and consulting, and next year's media buy. You get a team of 3.5 people, with direct access to a top tier Creative Lead and Media Buyer, and on-demand access to me as your Master Strategist. You will also have a full-time Account Manager keeping everything on track.

While the upfront does have an initial pinch, it is easy to amortize the investment over the many years we will be working together to grow your business. Wizard of Ads® retain clients for 10 years, on average. The sale of the business is the number one reason for termination. We actively terminate the bottom 1% of clients who are unwilling or unable to follow our strategies.

Wizard of Ads® for Services believes that all rewards should be directly correlated to the success of our clients. This means that the Wizard of Ads® for Services only receives a raise when the company achieves growth. For example, if your gross sales for the year have increased by 25%, the Annual Fee you pay us in the following year will also be increased by 25%. Likewise, if your gross sales decrease, our Annual Fee will decrease by the same percentage during the following year.

This is an exceptionally easy and fair way to track and reward success. This model was developed by Wizard of Ads® over 35 years ago and has served us well because it serves our clients well.

As a rule of thumb, we take the risk of working for considerably less than our actual value in the first few years as we help accelerate growth. This means you need to be willing to pay us exceptionally well when you start doing even better.

When should I engage The Wizard of Ads® for Services?

There are four key revenue stages for engagement with the Wizard of Ads® for Services.

  1. Under $3.6 million in revenue
  2. Between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue
  3. Between $10 and $20 million in revenue
  4. Over $20 million in revenue

Under $3.6 million in revenue is an investment in your brand. This will serve you well in establishing your brand story early on and help you with your name, logo, and truck wrap design. It's easier to create pictures from a story than it is to make a story based on pre-drawn pictures. You'll be glad you did. Everyone on a fast path to growth is.

Most clients start with Wizard of Ads® for Services between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue. They have often seen a natural ceiling with their leads for demand service and are looking for ways to push past the ceiling. This can only be done with a properly executed brand strategy, specifically in mass media with a sticky story.

Between $10 and $20 million in revenue, Wizard of Ads® for Services has some natural economies of scale. This is a sweet spot where Wizard of Ads® for Services can offer some added value in getting the ball rolling.

Over $20 million in revenue is actually the lowest cost point of entry as a percentage of revenue, but not the cheapest time to start with the Wizard of Ads® for Services. Leveraging all economies of scale aside, we have been left out of the upside along the way, so engaging when over $20 million in revenue means we have to mend a lot of fences damaged along the way. This is also where clients see significant savings in their media buys and production costs.

There are also three market sizes to consider.

  • Primary Markets are the top 50 cities in America.
  • Secondary Markets are the smaller cities in America.
  • Tertiary Markets are the more rural trade areas in America.

When considering an engagement with The Wizard of Ads® for Services, consider what size market you are in. For example, a $3.6 million company in a Primary Market will struggle to get the necessary reach needed to make a splash. You either have to be more patient than a larger company or spend more money to accelerate your reach.

Alternatively, a $5 million company in a Secondary Market will look like a pretty darn big fish in a medium-sized pond.

A $20 Million company in a Primary Market will feel like a $50 million company using our strategies to potential customers.

The key to remember is that the earlier you start with the Wizard of Ads® for Services, the lower the investment to get started. As they say, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

Are production costs included in your fees?

Offline, the Wizard of Ads® for Services Creative Lead will create the ad copy, cast the voice actors, source the production house, direct the performance, pick the music bed, manage all the edits, and provide you with the completed ad for final approval before sending to air on your behalf. This is included in our fees.

You pay for the production house, actors, royalty-free music, and jingles directly to avoid any potential for markups, commissions, or management fees.

We have many friends in the industry that give our clients good deals due to the large volume of work we provide them. We will introduce you to them.

Online, the Wizard of Ads® for Services Digital Lead will either coordinate production in-house or work with your preferred digital vendors. The scope of work will be determined and fees will reflect the scope of work to be done.

How long before a brand-forward strategy starts working?

In approximately three months of activation, we’ll just be getting live on air. In six months (3 months on air), you’ll be getting anecdotal feedback from people that you are being heard, but there will be no direct line to revenue.

After 6 months on the air, you’ll think you made the biggest mistake of your life signing up for this branding nonsense. After 9 months on the air (12 months in) you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

At 12 full months on the air, you’ll know why you did this branding thing. Two years from now, we'll be clinking champagne flutes as you wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

How long before we’re live?

The general guideline is 70-120 days, depending on the level of production needed and if there is a name change to your business.

This includes an onsite visit, a deep dive into research, and getting things created, negotiated, approved, produced, and live on the air.

  • Uncovery - 15-30 days based on travel. 1-2 days onsite.
  • Research - 30-60 days based on the scope of work.
  • Creative and Media Buy Process - 45 to 60 days
  • Offline Production - 15 days for radio. 30 - 60 days for television.
  • Online Production (if switching) - 60 days

This means planning for roughly 90 to 120 days in the proper development and production of a completely unique Marketing Strategy before anything hits the airwaves.

Are you exclusive?

Creatively, yes. During the term of this Agreement, all Creative Partners assigned to your Account shall not engage, directly or indirectly, as an employee, officer, manager, partner, consultant, agent, owner, or in any other capacity, in any competition of the client, including any company engaged in marketing consulting.

For clarity, the Creative Partner is defined as the individual Wizard of Ads® Partners who is responsible for creating your creative strategy and ongoing creative copy. Competition is defined as companies that engage in the same industry and business units (e.g., Furniture, Automotive, etc.) as you. The market area is defined as the area where the marketing message naturally reaches through DMA or 60 miles from the city center of the client's service area(s).

Naturally, we exclude any potential future competition in markets where you are not currently active at the date of signing.

We do not limit Media Buyers in any market. Media Buyers get better deals for larger volumes, making it beneficial for the client to have the Media Buyer available to do as many buys as possible to secure the best deals on the client’s behalf.

Do you do digital marketing?

Wizard of Ads® for Services can provide a host of digital marketing solutions for services. Wizard of Ads® has specialized Partners that provide digital services that serve services effectively. Under no circumstances will digital marketing services be offered without Wizard of Ads® for Services core solution.

It is most likely that Wizard of Ads® for Services will work with your existing digital partners and suppliers. If you do not have a reliable digital provider, we would be happy to introduce you to a number of great providers that play nice with Wizards.

Do you do jingles?

Wizard of Ads® for Services can assist you in getting a jingle for your business. Like any other tactical element of a marketing strategy, we do not produce a jingle for the sake of a jingle.

If you do not have a story or a strategic reason to have a jingle...or an ad campaign to tie it to, do not waste your hard-earned money on a jingle. You are wasting your time and money.

When you do build a single unified marketing strategy that incorporates a jingle for a specific (often scientific) reason, we have a Jingle Wizard who has studied the art and science of jingle design.

He will score you an original, royalty-free jingle, including professional singers, musicians, and producers. He will not knock off a generic jingle from a publicly available music bed that sounds like everyone else's jingle.

Your jingle will serve a very specific reason and produce a very specific result. Have you guessed how much we love jingles yet?

Who owns the copyrights?

Wizard of Ads® for Services owns copyrights for two very specific reasons. We also provide a fair use clause in all contracts to ensure you are in no way limited to the access of your creative works, whether you are working with us or not.

The first reason we own your copyright is to ensure that we do not have to go up against our own creative works in other markets we serve. This means you are not allowed to lend, give, borrow, tweak, rent, lease, or sell your creative works to any other company at any time.

The second reason we own your copyright is that we can establish a one-time value for your creative works in the event that someone steals the content. Upon selling you the copyrights, you can go after the perpetrator for theft and make a considerable bounty in a slam dunk case.

Here is how Wizard of Ads® word the fair use of your copyright for as long as your business is in operation:

All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. Wizard of Ads® for Services hereby irrevocably grants you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
How do I measure brand results?

There are a number of interesting ways to measure results. Some people like to get unique identifying telephone numbers, or create branded URLs that redirect to landing pages or the website. However, much of this is a waste of time and energy as it never tells the true story of the brand journey and how it affected the decision-making process.

Other indicators of brand effectiveness include tracking new customers, reactivated customers, or running a brand equity survey to get a sense of your share of mind. Digitally you will see direct search increase, which cannot be affected by anything digital, as well as branded keyword inquiries increase. You’ll, of course, need to get your digital people to add these to your campaigns if you hope to see an increase in conversions.

Wizard of Ads® for Services racks the simplest of indicators. Top line revenue. When your branding takes effect, and the company responds in kind from the phone call or form fill-on, top-line revenue will increase. Efficacy is plotted on a T12, and total lead volume from all sources is tracked.

12 things you should know before signing up.
  1. Quality relationships take time. Branding is a long-term strategy. That’s why most services do it wrong, or not at all. There is always a lag between the start of the new campaign and the time it takes your customers to connect the dots. You MUST BE READY, WILLING, AND ABLE to endure this lag period. In our experience, the lag is typically 6 to 9 months, depending on how competitive the marketplace is, your company’s reputation, your budget in relation to reach, and the eight uncontrollable environmental factors. During this time, we will be helping you implement a transition plan to ease the pain. The good news is that this lag only happens once.
  2. Decisions by Committee. We completely reject the notion of decisions by committee. We work with a single, courageous decision-maker. We welcome decision influencers, but we only look to the Owner for the final decision. All decision-makers and influencers must be involved in the Uncovery and Marketing Strategy Presentation if they want to offer input in the future. It is critical that we have a 100% fully approved plan that can be defended and championed by all leaders in the organization.  
  3. Proven Strategy. That means we are not the low-cost provider. With hundreds of service clients and a playbook of strategic devices, tools, and tactics, this isn’t a guessing game for us. We know what to do to make your goods and services appealing to potential buyers. If you can deliver the goods, we can  build the relationships. If you are uncomfortable with the idea that you are paying us less now so that you can pay us considerably more once revenues allow, please do not commit. We intend to be your true partners, in sickness and in health...so long as you own your business.
  4. Automatic Payments. Everything is on automatic payments. If you struggle with managing cash flow, figure that out in your business first. We accept all major credit cards and ACH payments.
  5. We Cause Problems. If you don’t have a capacity issue now, I promise you will in about 9 months. Let’s deal with recruitment out of the gate as part of your comprehensive marketing strategy.
  6. We Own the Copyrights. All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. We irrevocably grant you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
  7. Brand Building. We will be steering you to limit the use of discounts, rebates, coupons, and sales to attract clients. We know this feels counterintuitive to many, and we will clarify our reasoning. Rest assured, we have considerable experience in creating similar offers that are not damaging to your profitability, your brand’s integrity, and your preferable long-term client relations.
  8. Creative Authority. We must have creative authority over the words. You can accept copy as written or reject it outright, but you cannot modify the words yourself. If you do not like something as written, we are happy to discuss it and make the necessary change to maintain the integrity and intention of the words chosen. Alternatively, we will scrap the concept and create new copy that you are happy to get behind 100%.
  9. Proprietary Algorithm. The media buy must be structured in a very specific way, including running a full 52-week schedule. It is based on brain chemistry, not P&Ls. Once we have committed to the buy, it’s important to avoid adjustments unless they are calculated additions.
  10. Knucklehead Factor. You should expect knuckleheads. For example, when you start running ads that are certain to get attention, you need the courage to continue running those ads, even when you receive complaints. We celebrate complaints. It means we’ve made people feel.
  11. Digital Weasels. In about three months from the time your advertising campaign hits the airways, your digital marketers will show you a marked increase in direct and organic traffic. Some Digital Marketers will mistakenly claim this success as their own. Done properly, you can continue to spend less and less on digital lead generation by increasing your branded keyword online presence.
  12. Annual Marketing Meetings. Travel permitting, we prefer to hold Annual Marketing Meetings (AMMs) outside your city. Years of experience have taught us that we get better results when decision-makers are outside their sphere of influence, away from the day-to-day distractions of the office.

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deserve this)