Small business or recent start-up? Here’s four reasons to call us today:

Russell_Dye_graphic_designer

Russell Dye – Creative Director of Icon Advertising

We understand marketing – both offline and online. Our insights and approach to your marketing needs will pay dividends quickly and will enable you to build a strong business based on sound marketing principles. We want to work with you every step of the way. Our briefing and management systems will ensure that, together, we will get the best bang for your buck.

The benefit of 30 years of advertising and marketing experience.

Russell Dye, your contact at ICON, has been in the industry for 30 years, working with clients large and small. Russell has consistently kept up to play with all the current marketing trends and strategies and understands the marketplace inside out. Russell will be your personal contact at ICON ensuring you get quality advice and service, regardless of your budget.

Great copywriting that super-boosts your marketing.

Did you know that in a print advertising environment only 20% of readers will read further than your headline? Great copywriting is vital to any communication piece. Unlike many other online web designers and traditional graphic designers, we start with text content and get that right first. We copy-write your marketing material from the ground up to appeal to your prospects, encourage them to engage further with your marketing, and drive them to action. If you neglect copy, you’re missing out on most of the action.

Fixed price – no nasty surprises.

We provide quotes and stick to them. This means you can budget your marketing expenses knowing you won’t have any embarrassing blow-outs. On top of that, we’ll always explain other costs and considerations that you might be up for, things which other companies may neglect to tell you about.

So if it’s time to look at a new design agency, website designer, or advertising consultant, talk to us. Our experience, affordability, and effective creative work will get your business really booming.
   
   


   

Can I help you?

I’m Russell Dye. I operate Icon Advertising Limited. I have over 30 years worth of advertising and marketing experience and have enjoyed working with the likes of Canterbury of NZ, Vodafone Warriors, Southern Cross Hospitals, and Fiber Fresh. If you are a Business or Marketing Manager operating from New Zealand’s Auckland, Waikato or Bay of Plenty areas, I’d love to meet you. If you’d like to reach out to me using the form below, I’ll be in touch. Or you can call me direct on 0800 426 623.

Just to test that you are a real person:

Posted by Russell Dye in Online marketing, Print marketing

99% of websites are rubbish. Does yours make the grade?

Russell_Dye_graphic_designer

Russell Dye – Creative Director of Icon Advertising

There are now over a billion websites out there in Internet land. Most of them don’t really live up to the high expectations their owners had for them.

In the vast majority of cases a client would have provided a web developer with text and images. The developer would have coded the site, made minor edits at the customer’s bidding, and gone live.

So in effect, the standard website formula is client’s text + client’s photos + developer’s coding = website.

Content is King

The problem I see with this is that great content is not necessarily a component of this process. You may have heard the expression that ‘Content is King’ – essentially the understanding that a website or online presence needs great content to work well.

A website is merely an arrangement of your content in a digital form. Bad content is still going to be bad content.

And while business owners may be great plumbers, builders or lawyers, they may not be great writers or photographers. Even if there is talent there – and I have seen some fantastic efforts – the reality is that a business owner can be too close to the process to find fresh angles.

Online window-shoppers

Remember we now live in the age of the online shopper / browser. We are a nation of online window shoppers. Prospects can visit your site and a number of your competitors in a 5-minute online burst. How will your content stack up? Will it draw them in or get them Googling for another option?

Now it may be that you already produce amazingly engaging content. Well done you. For other mere mortals, here is a checklist of what you need to consider to turn your poor website into a great one:

  • Be clear on your proposition: Why should prospects be interested in you? What do you offer them in real terms that others don’t? Make sure your proposition is customer-centric, specific, and realistic.
  • Invest in great photography: I recently saw a motorbike for sale on TradeMe. It was black. The vendor clearly couldn’t be bothered wheeling it out of his unlit shed so he took a number of shots inside. Presumably with his six-year old cellphone. The result was some very unappealing, difficult-to-see images that didn’t convince me he had a worthwhile item for sale. Too many clients invest in a website but then baulk at the cost of getting a photographer to take some great shots – shots which in many cases are a long-term investment that promote extra sales. Remember – a picture is worth a thousand words.
  • Get your copy professionally produced: A great copy-writer can turn meandering scribbles into elegant prose that creates an emotion, and then an action. It will be worth the effort – particularly if writing is not your thing.
  • Remember – marketing is all about the CUSTOMER: While I do encourage shots of your staff, building, and in some cases, vehicles, the real gold is in producing content that appeals to the customer’s point-of-view. For example, if you produce a building product, showing that product installed on or in a home is going to be much more rewarding that showing how it is made in a factory, or showing your installers lined up by their sign-written vehicles. Most of us (consumers) are only interested in how your product or service will enhance OUR lives.

Once you have great content, you will find ongoing uses for it. From Facebook, to Instagram, to magazine and press advertisements and so much more. In businesses that operate a number of social media platforms, the same piece of content can be replicated across many touch points.
   
   


   

Can I help you?

I’m Russell Dye. I operate Icon Advertising Limited. I have over 30 years worth of advertising and marketing experience and have enjoyed working with the likes of Canterbury of NZ, Vodafone Warriors, Southern Cross Hospitals, and Fiber Fresh. If you are a Business or Marketing Manager operating from New Zealand’s Auckland, Waikato or Bay of Plenty areas, I’d love to meet you. If you’d like to reach out to me using the form below, I’ll be in touch. Or you can call me direct on 0800 426 623.

Just to test that you are a real person:

Posted by Russell Dye in Online marketing

Push button sales made easy

Russell_Dye_graphic_designer

Russell Dye – Creative Director of Icon Advertising

Are you wondering how to increase sales now and through into next year? The answer could be as simple as clicking a button – particularly if that button is the ‘send’ button that will unleash a creative and engaging monthly mailer to a dedicated database of subscribers. Done right, ongoing email direct-mailers, (or eDMs), can significantly increase your sales.

Here are four reasons eDMs are the most cost-effective marketing you could dream of:

1. Email marketing is effective because you are preaching to the converted.

If someone has subscribed to your marketing list, there’s a very good chance that they are satisfied customers or keen prospects. Clearly, they have indicated a genuine interest in your business by offering you their email address. This group of people are by far the most likely group to get significant sales from, as long as you can retain their interest, and keep them subscribed.

2. Email marketing is proactive.

Websites are wonderful things. Yet for all their usefulness they remain a relatively passive marketing tool – someone has to stumble across your site before you get any benefit from it.

Despite having positive feelings about a brand, it is easy to forget about it, or fall under the spell of competition who are better at staying ‘front-of-mind’. Just because a customer has dealt with you in the past, doesn’t mean they can recall your brand or remember you when it comes to another purchase.

An Email breaks through the mind fog and emblazons your brand and your message across your subscriber’s inbox, reminding them who you are.

3. Email marketing is scalable.

You don’t need a big budget to make a splash with your customers.

Email can be tuned to your marketing budget with simple adjustments in frequency, and size. You may want to release a promotional offer every three months. Or, if you are getting strong responses from your eDMs, you can increase the frequency to monthly and provide a number of interesting stories to provide some fresh angles for engagement. There’s a size to fit practically any marketing budget.

4. Email marketing is as cheap as chips.

In the old days, you would not only pay for the writing and design of your monthly newsletter, but you would also pay for the printing, wrapping, data-merging, labelling and postage, all of which would significantly increase costs. So many trees consumed in the pursuit of little return.

Today, email marketing can be done on a budgie-sized budget with very little outlay. With a bit of research and self-tuition, you can do it all in-house, or, as some of our clients do, spend a bit more on professional copywriting and design and make every post a winning post. Either way, you can get a lot of return for very little dosh.

In summary, if you haven’t started on the road to eDM marketing, now is a good time. If you feel a little lost, please don’t hesitate to talk to us about how we can help you get going.
   
   


   

Can I help you?

I’m Russell Dye. I operate Icon Advertising Limited. I have over 30 years worth of advertising and marketing experience and have enjoyed working with the likes of Canterbury of NZ, Vodafone Warriors, Southern Cross Hospitals, and Fiber Fresh. If you are a Business or Marketing Manager operating from New Zealand’s Auckland, Waikato or Bay of Plenty areas, I’d love to meet you. If you’d like to reach out to me using the form below, I’ll be in touch. Or you can call me direct on 0800 426 623.

Just to test that you are a real person:

Posted by Russell Dye

Tell more – sell more

Russell_Dye_graphic_designer

Russell Dye – Creative Director of Icon Advertising

If you want a more competitive website, the good news is that there is a simple, and reasonably inexpensive way to increase your Google ranking, and therefore visitors arriving to your site: more content – specifically more text.

Unfortunately, many website owners make the mistake of thinking that their readers will get bored with too much text and won’t read through it. This thinking ignores two important principles of web marketing:

  1. You need to provide a reasonable amount of copy (text content) to have the opportunity to use targeted keywords in a natural and engaging style. A word count of around 500 words per page gives you the opportunity to use up to ten targeted keyword phrases without sounding like an endlessly repeating robot. Your key words can be used in a variety of instances and combinations, providing not only a solid base for SEO performance, but also a coherent, natural read.
  2. Website visitors rarely read from the first word to the last. They tend to skim read as they seek to pick out the relevant points. With more text, readers can pick and choose the relevant pieces and ignore the rest. More text means more opportunity to flag them down. To help with readability, it pays to punctuate your copy with images, bullet points, sub headings and graphics. These visual markers break up long copy and provide reference points for readers to skim across.

Quality over quantity

Of course the emphasis should be on quality content. Not just word count. What you say is more important than how much you say. Quality copy is the result of a clear up-front strategy, and a competent copywriter who understands your market, and your product or service.

One key principle in delivering effective copy is to ensure it is written with the reader’s point-of-view in mind. Unfortunately, many website designers don’t fully grasp this and follow a well-worn and ultimately ineffective track to mediocrity. They may lead with information about the business. They may show pictures of the staff and vehicle fleet. They may even think that readers are interested in the company’s vision statement. The end result is a self centred, chest-beating website that does little for the company’s sales.

A better strategy is to understand that website visitors are also self centred and are only interested in what they can get from you, be it information, guidance, entertainment, or a product. The key to good content is to provide visitors with what THEY want, while getting what you want at the same time – the sale. It’s called win-win.

So don’t fear big copy. It loves you. And SEO loves it too.
   
   


   

Can I help you?

I’m Russell Dye. I operate Icon Advertising Limited. I have over 30 years worth of advertising and marketing experience and have enjoyed working with the likes of Canterbury of NZ, Vodafone Warriors, Southern Cross Hospitals, and Fiber Fresh. If you are a Business or Marketing Manager operating from New Zealand’s Auckland, Waikato or Bay of Plenty areas, I’d love to meet you. If you’d like to reach out to me using the form below, I’ll be in touch. Or you can call me direct on 0800 426 623.

Just to test that you are a real person:

Posted by Russell Dye in Online marketing

Four simple rules for better online marketing

Russell_Dye_graphic_designer

Russell Dye – Creative Director of Icon Advertising

Love lists? Here’s a list that will help business owners and managers get a grip on their online marketing strategies with a view to increasing sales, achieving more efficient marketing practices, and increasing that bottom line.

Give and you shall receive.

Providing your potential customers with helpful advice, entertainment, inspiration or any kind of value-added engagement for free can pay big dividends. Helpful advice in an e-newsletter, online calculators, non-salesy website blogs or helpful online tools are just a few of the things you can do to give.

If you’re still not convinced yet, think of it this way; both Google and Facebook were founded on the basis of a free service (search and social media) and are now reaping the rewards of a dedicated customer base, initially attracted by a value-added free service.

Resolution: Produce more helpful and useful content across all your online media.

Stay up-to-date.

If you don’t evolve to match the ever-changing online environment, you will become extinct quicker than you can say ‘Micropachycephalosaurus’.

This brave new world demands an ever up-to-date online presence. If your website is more than a few years old you are behind the times. If you haven’t posted to your social media for a fortnight – you’ve probably left it too long.

Resolution: Get your online assets up to date.

Analyse this:

One of the glories of online marketing is we can analyse results and improve your sales pitch based on historical trends.

A newsletter can return immediate open and click-through rates. A website can provide valuable demographic and content data. An AdWords campaign can provide powerful insights into your customers’ search queries. The accumulated data allows us to understand your customers better and help reposition your business to take advantage of emerging trends.

If you’re not seeing reports from your website or online marketing, then it’s time to track them down as you are running blind.

Resolution: Check with your website provider that all your analytics packages are up and running. If not, call me.

It’s a jungle out there!

The internet is not the place to get lost on a cold dark night. Or even a bright sunny day for that matter. The point is, don’t get lost at all.

Have a clear website goal in mind. Understand what it is you do and what your customers will be looking for online. Be clear in your understanding of your target market. The more crystal clear you are, the more targeted your online marketing can be. It’s all very well having a website but if nobody visits, you might as well have spent the money on a three-legged camel.

Resolution: Review online strategies. Sharpen and focus more on key areas.
   
   


   

Can I help you?

I’m Russell Dye. I operate Icon Advertising Limited. I have over 30 years worth of advertising and marketing experience and have enjoyed working with the likes of Canterbury of NZ, Vodafone Warriors, Southern Cross Hospitals, and Fiber Fresh. If you are a Business or Marketing Manager operating from New Zealand’s Auckland, Waikato or Bay of Plenty areas, I’d love to meet you. If you’d like to reach out to me using the form below, I’ll be in touch. Or you can call me direct on 0800 426 623.

Just to test that you are a real person:

Posted by Russell Dye in Online marketing

How a one hundred dollar logo could cost you thousands

Russell_Dye_graphic_designer

Russell Dye – Creative Director of Icon Advertising

If you’re starting a new business you’ll need a logo and a brand. If your business has been around a while and your branding needs an overhaul you’ll be in the same predicament.

So do you now head off to an agency and spend two or three thousand on a paint blob? Or do you head on around to your nearest backyard desktop publisher for a whiz bang logo for $100? At first glance it might look like a no-brainer – after all it’s only a logo right?

The perception for many business owners is that the logo is a simple element which can be updated easily at any stage.

Your viral logo

The problem is that your logo and brand are viral. Whatever you start with is going to go through a process of duplication and before you know it, your brand will represent a huge investment: stationery, vehicle and building signage, packaging, website, brochure material and much more. If you realise down the track that your brand is off-key it will cost you thousands of dollars to update everything. Do it gradually and you’ll have inconsistent branding in the marketplace – not a very professional looking approach.

As an agency it is our advice to get the foundations right. Invest in a brand that will see you through for the long term.

Pay peanuts – get monkeys

So why do logos cost so much for such a simple item? For starters, there is substantial cost in the process of simplification. It takes time and expertise to take intended meaning and symbolism and re-work it into a simple, succinct device that answers the brief and the desires of the client. Simplification can be deceptively costly – smaller computers tend to cost more than their big box equivalents as packing more into a smaller space is difficult. Graphic design follows the same path.

A second issue is that logos can be very subjective. Producing a professional looking logo doesn’t always guarantee it’s going to get past stage one with a client who ‘just’ doesn’t like it but can’t articulate why. Sometimes the tightest brief can get thrown out the window once the first draft is tabled and it is literally back to the drawing board. As an agency we understand that changing the brief or evolving the design is the client’s prerogative and a natural event in the design process – so relax – you’re allowed to change your mind.

The third reason a logo can take time (and therefore money) is that a competent designer will need to test your logo in situ, being letterheads, business cards, website and signage. How does it look on a small business card? Does it work in black and white? Does it conflict or compare poorly with competitors’ brands? There are a lot of checks and comparisons that need to be made to ensure your investment is a good one.

The cornerstone of your brand

Of course logo design does depend on the client. In some unlikely cases a four-hour job may produce a logo that ticks all the right boxes for a small business. In the main though, we suggest you invest decent time in this, the cornerstone of your brand and therefore your business. That way you won’t need to revisit it with a costly makeover down the track.
   
   


   

Can I help you?

I’m Russell Dye. I operate Icon Advertising Limited. I have over 30 years worth of advertising and marketing experience and have enjoyed working with the likes of Canterbury of NZ, Vodafone Warriors, Southern Cross Hospitals, and Fiber Fresh. If you are a Business or Marketing Manager operating from New Zealand’s Auckland, Waikato or Bay of Plenty areas, I’d love to meet you. If you’d like to reach out to me using the form below, I’ll be in touch. Or you can call me direct on 0800 426 623.

Just to test that you are a real person:

Posted by Russell Dye in Brand ID, Online marketing, Print marketing

Top quality print collateral gets Flaxx Medical off the line

Russell_Dye_graphic_designer

Russell Dye – Creative Director of Icon Advertising

New start-up Flaxx Medical wanted to hit the ground running with high quality brochures and turned to Icon Advertising for a solution. We wanted to impress Flaxx Medical’s target market with a key communication piece that clearly demonstrated the product’s superior quality, ease of use, and range of options.

We wrote and designed the multi-page brochure which features generous space, is aimed at a health sector audience, and yet still has a unique kiwi flavour. The end result is a sure-fire winner for our client. We also designed and produced stationery, flyers and trade-show collateral.
Brochure design graphic designer
Icon Advertising is not just an online agency. In fact our roots are firmly grounded in ink and paper. So if your company needs quality design and print, including copywriting and photography, give us a call. We can manage any print project from inception to delivery – and we guarantee you’ll be blown away with the result.
   
   


   

Can I help you?

I’m Russell Dye. I operate Icon Advertising Limited. I have over 30 years worth of advertising and marketing experience and have enjoyed working with the likes of Canterbury of NZ, Vodafone Warriors, Southern Cross Hospitals, and Fiber Fresh. If you are a Business or Marketing Manager operating from New Zealand’s Auckland, Waikato or Bay of Plenty areas, I’d love to meet you. If you’d like to reach out to me using the form below, I’ll be in touch. Or you can call me direct on 0800 426 623.

Just to test that you are a real person:

Posted by Russell Dye in Print marketing