pH creative

Pick your target

Often when we ask clients if they know their target market for a particular piece of marketing material, they will say ‘everyone’. You can’t be everything to everyone. Define your target market and you’ll reach the people that matter most.

Tip 1: Ask questions first

Ask yourself who is the main audience for the flyer, poster, landing page, social media post? What actions do you want them to take and what information, products, and services attract your target audience? Will they be more attracted to words, photos or illustrations? Once you have answered these questions your designer can begin to create with a clear understanding of the message and tailor the design to appeal to your target market.

Tip 2: Know your audience

Undertake some research about your audience so you can be sure what you’re asking for is going to reach the people that matter. For example, you’ve asked your designer to create an advertisement for the local paper and your target audience is 18-25 females. Is this the best way to spend your dollar? You’d have more success creating well-designed Facebook adverts targeting this market. If you want to attract a 45+ market that live close to your business, the local paper might be a good option for your product or service.

Tip 3: What do you stand for?

Regardless of whom your target audience is they are united by a common desire to know why they should invest their time and money in you, your products or services. When you target an audience they will want to relate to you to understand what you stand for. This might be quality products and services, experts in the field, integrity and honesty or the promise of a fun time. Understand what it is that your company stands for and use this message to attract your target audience.

Tip 4: Make a statement

Create a positioning statement for each audience. Use a consistent format such as ‘for this target audience, our product/service provides these benefits that are unique to us.’ Incorporate the positioning statement in all your marketing communications so that your audience receive consistent messages at each point of contact with your company. Ensure the tone of voice for your statement is aimed for your audience. Your audience wants to be spoken to in words they understand and relate to.

If you’d like help defining or communicating to your target market, pH is here for you.

 

Good design is good business

Most people these days like to have a go at DIY home improvements but to achieve that really professional result you wouldn’t hesitate in hiring a professional. It’s no different with design. Yes, you probably can design your own A5 flyer in word or publisher but what damage is that doing to your business? How many customers might you lose by printing unprofessional promotional material? It’s not a risk you should take.

A professional designer effectively communicates your message in a thoughtful, visually appealing way and has the skills to make your business stand out from the crowd.

 5 reasons to hire a professional graphic designer

 1:  Average isn’t good enough

To grow your business, average isn’t good enough. A professional graphic designer will research your company, assess your challenges, and communicate your message in a way that represents your business. Your image really does matter. By working with a designer, you have the opportunity to be exceptional, not average.

 2:  You want your message heard

Your marketing and promotional efforts have to be heard in order for you to meet your business objectives. A graphic designer has the perspective and the tools to connect your business with your target audience. A good designer will listen to you, develop concepts and ideas, and create original promotional pieces that will be appreciated by your target audience. Stand up and be heard.

 3:  Complicated doesn’t sell

Graphic design has the ability to translate complex ideas into simple, clear messages that connects with the audience. A graphic designer knows how to use language and imagery to inform, guide and excite your audience. A complicated marketing message will be ignored.

 4:  Quality matters

Your promotional material represents you and your business. The quality of these things reflects your brand. Graphic designers have the expertise required to produce beautifully balanced communication pieces that capture your audience and keep their attention.

5:  Your brand and your business are the same thing

Graphic designers understand the value of branding. A graphic designer will ensure your visual identity is clear and unique to your business. Inconsistent branding can give your business a lack of legitimacy or integrity. Effective branding will bring value to your business.

 

‘Good design is good business.’

~Thomas John Watson, Jr., 2nd President of IBM

Why graphic designers hate using Microsoft Word

As a designer who has a lot of corporate clients and creates large reports and documents, I’m often asked at the end of the project whether or not it’s possible for the client to edit the text or photos for future versions

My reply is always, absolutely, happy to supply you with the original artwork if you have Adobe InDesign.

‘Ah…can’t I just edit it in Word?’

If you’re looking for a document you can edit in Word, then you’re not going to get a finished product that looks professional, bleeds off the edge of the page and has design elements that you could never achieve in Word. It’s not built that way and it’s not built for creative types who want the freedom to mix things up. It’s a rigid program that drives designers crazy.

I bet most designers cringe or sigh when faced with having to reproduce a design they’ve spent days or weeks producing only to be told it needs to now be useable in Word.

Word is great for formatting text and using styles and lots of other things that I wouldn’t have a clue about but it is not a design program. In fact, professional printers won’t accept a Word document as an artwork file.

No matter how amazing your designer is, you won’t get an innovative, creative finished product using Word. At best, you’ll get a document template that has a header and footer and some text styles for headings etc.

Next time you’re talking with your designer ask them this little quiz.

Which is more painful:

  1. Pins in your eyes
  2. Swallowing battery acid
  3. Using Word for a design layout.

I’m pretty sure you now know the answer!

5 reasons to send a printed Christmas card

Is cutting the corporate Christmas card from the marketing budget really a good idea? Or is this marketing and relationship-building opportunity being missed?

Our top 5 reasons to send a personalised Christmas card.

1. HTML emails are no replacement.

Promotional emails definitely have their place, but not as a replacement for a Christmas card. The reason is simple. The tradition of sending and receiving cards is so strong within our culture that it can’t just be replaced by the ease of e-mail.

The sending of a Christmas card is not just like sending a seasonal flyer or leaflet. It taps into a whole tradition of personalised card giving which has its own emotional values attached and can’t be replaced by electronic means.

 2. It’s the season to look for new suppliers.

For many businesses, the end of the year is a natural review point. For existing customers, a corporate Christmas card is a great reminder that you value their business and look forward to continuing a great relationship.

For potential customers, a corporate Christmas card can be a wonderfully timed piece of marketing which says ‘Is your current supplier not treasuring your business? We will.’

3. It goes against the current trend.

As businesses stop sending out Christmas cards, the impact your own card can make is greatly increased. You’ll stand out from the crowd.

4. Christmas cards help you stop and take a breath.

In a world of digital and with attention spans so short, a Christmas card will slow you down. It reminds you what’s important and is a tradition that many people highly value.

5. It can kick-start new business for the new year.

January and February often constitute the ‘quiet’ time of year. Placing a new year offer within your Christmas card can be a great way to stimulate new business during January and February.

Contact us, we’d love to help you create a Christmas card that truly represents your business.

White space is your friend

Everywhere we look, we see design. From street signs to newspaper adverts, from billboards to business cards, to the unwanted junk mail in our letterbox. Often the visual messages are an assault on our eyes. It’s unreadable and we lose interest within 3-4 seconds.

So, how do we crack through the barrier and help our customers take notice of our messages? White space is one solution that designers love to use but more often than not, our clients will say ‘can we fill this blank space’. (Insert polite silent scream here…)

So, what is white space?

  • The portions of a design that are left unmarked e.g. the absence of content.
  • The area around the other graphic elements such as type, imagery, lines, etc. This is often referred to as ‘negative space’, meaning the areas around and between graphic elements
  • A design element.
  • Deliberate space (not left-over space that needs to be filled).
  • Whitespace could be the paper colour. It may not actually be white. It can also be a background of printed colour.

The ad below is a great example. The vast expanse of sky draws you in and matches up perfectly with the Australian Tourism brand of wide open spaces. Imagine how different this ad would be if the lovely space was filled with more unnecessary copy.

baz-australia-tourism-changing-lives

Why use space?

White space is used as a device to help rest the eye and take in the important visual element or message. It sub-consciously allows a reader or viewer to take a breath and focus. It’s a luxury. It invites people in and allows you to feel comfortable enough to spend another few seconds taking in the message.

smart-car-raging-bull

Is it always necessary?

Not always. It depends on the brand and the message you are trying to achieve. Consumers have grown used to seeing cluttered supermarket catalogues and car sales adverts in local newspapers. No white space in sight but if you’re looking for a used car or a supermarket special, you’ll spend the time to read these types of adverts.

Sometimes a brand will want to bombard you with imagery that makes you stop and invest in the story, like this advert below, for eating lamb on Australia Day. It’s fun, colourful and tells the story of an Aussie summer BBQ perfectly.

CarAdlamb_barbie_girl_poster

 White space might become your best friend

Next time your designer presents you with artwork that has white space, don’t automatically try to think of something to fill it up with. Think about what that space adds to your design and you might be pleasantly surprised with a new best friend.

Top five tips to get your business off to a good start in 2015

1. Make a promise to your customers and keep it. 

Clarify your brand promise and make sure you deliver it every time.

2. Be consistent.

Back up your brand promise with consistency. Consistency across all of your marketing and promotional activities.

3. Listen to your customers

Create an open and transparent dialogue with your customers and learn more about what they want from you.

4. Change how people feel, before trying to change what they think and do.

Learn how to tell your business story in a way that engages with your customers on a more intimate level.

5. Don’t try to be everything to all people.

Target your markets and speak to them honestly.

If you own a business, you have a brand

Confused about branding vs marketing?

What if the word ‘branding’ was replaced by the word ‘reputation’?

Now, branding seems really important.

Every business is concerned about their reputation, and if not, they should be. It’s your reputation that ensures people keep coming back to you again and again. It’s your reputation that provides ‘word of mouth’ referrals. It’s really the lifeblood of your business.

Branding is the pull. In other words, a brand does not say buy me, it says this is what I am, why I exist and if you like me, support me. It’s what aligns your target market with your business.

Marketing is the push. It’s getting the word out in many different formats e.g. flyers, website, social media, youtube videos, cinema advertising, industry magazines, billboards.

Your brand will inform how your marketing is created, what channels you use to promote your business and the tone of voice you use to convey your business service or products.

pH creative can work with you to help unlock your unique brand.

Create a newsletter that your audience will want to read

Content is king but design can make all the difference between someone skimming over the stories and sitting down to read your newsletter from front to back (or top to bottom if its an enewsletter).

If you’re using more than three fonts, cluttering up the pages with unnecessary clipart and using all the colours of the rainbow, then you’re probably not doing your readers any favours.

The first lesson of good newsletter design is to practice the 3Cs:

Be consistent with your fonts and your colour palette. This will help the reader to make sense of the content.

Conserve valuable newsletter space by not filling it up with unnecessary and distracting visual elements. One good image, relevant to your story, is all you need.

Conserve your readers’ time and eyesight by choosing a font for its readability and, when possible, allow plenty of white space for your reader to rest their eyes.

Ensure your content is well written in plain language. Avoid extra long sentences but make sure your heading is punchy and grabs attention. Aim for a short, well-written article, full of information that your audience will want to read.

A digital or hardcopy newsletter can be a useful tool to let your clients and stakeholders know what’s happening in your business. It’s also a great way to introduce them to projects, staff and upcoming promotions.

If you need help planning, writing or designing your business newsletter, pH creative is here for you.

 

 

 

The ingredients of a powerful brand

Your business brand is so much more than just your logo. It’s your business personality. It’s how you represent your business to your clients and potential clients.

The logo is a symbol that identifies your business. It represents your business in a very simple form.

The brand is the emotional relationship your business has with clients. What people think and feel when they experience your business. This brand can then be used as the framework to base all of your marketing decisions around. It will help you make clear decisions and ensure your business stands out from the crowd.

The question is how do you create a powerful company brand?

Answering these questions is a good starting point. It’ll make you think deeply about your business and encourage you to look at your business from a different perspective.

Make it meaningful

What are the core values of your brand? These must underline every business decision you make.

Make it unique 

At the heart of a powerful brand is uniqueness. People notice what is different about something, not what is the same. Be memorable. Be original.

Make it an experience

What does your client feel when they experience your brand? For example: security, playfulness, vitality. What emotions come to mind? Your brand personality must capture these.

Make it relevant

Is it relevant to your target audience? Is it desirable to your target audience? It’s what matters to the client.

Make it consistent

Your brand values and personality must consistently move across all marketing mediums, with every design detail, every word of copy, every business meeting, every social media update etc. Consistency is key.

Make it honest

Your brand personality must be believable and honest. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Your clients won’t believe you.

Make it last

You need a brand personality that lasts and is not a short-lived fad. Give it a solid base to stand on, one that will grow with your business.

We helped Barcoo and Diamantina Shires secure $5.25m

pH creative recently helped Barcoo and Diamantina Shires secure $5.25m of Australian Government Royalties for Regions funding towards a critical regional optic fibre project.

Connecting Remote Communities ReportWe coordinated and edited relevant information for the Royalties for Regions submission and ensured all key messages were consistent. We also wrote and designed an overview document highlighting the connectivity issues facing the Barcoo and Diamantina communities, which also formed part of the Royalties for Regions submission.

This project will provide 700 km of optic fibre to connect the Bedourie, Birdsville, Jundah, Stonehenge and Windorah communities to the national optic fibre network, replacing an ageing, low-capacity radio network incapable of high bandwidth, real- time applications.

This is a critical project for the people of these communities as it will enhance livability, support economic growth (including the natural resource sector), improve health and education services delivery and improve community safety.

It will give the five communities access to modern fixed-line and mobile voice, data and video telecommunications – technology the rest of Australia takes for granted.

In recent years, we’ve worked with the seven Central West Queensland councils (Barcaldine Region, Barcoo Shire, Blackall-Tambo Region, Boulia Shire, Diamantina Shire, Longreach Region and Winton Shire) to campaign and successfully apply for state and federal funding for key road infrastructure projects (including through the Queensland Government’s Regional Safety and Development Program).