Prospective clients are just a click away. With billions of people on social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Instagram, your brand’s potential reach is limitless. Data shows an average person can spend up to 50% of their day on social media, therefore designing and implementing a social media campaign to attract these customers is key. Social Media allows your business to monitor, analyze and optimize interactions between your brand and your clients. With so many options available it is important to know which platform will work best for your company. One major aspect of your campaign will be the budget.  Many sites offer paid and non-paid components to utilize. Platforms such as Facebook can target specific prospects based on many variables including preferred TV shows and/or fans of a certain major league baseball team and track their analytics.

 Social Media advertising and marketing techniques differ from that of traditional advertising, requiring fresh content, not repetitive commercials like that of TV and radio.  The ROI (Return On Investment) is four times higher than the ROI of Direct Mail, which proves social media is a necessary component of your brand’s modern day integrated marketing strategy.  Social Networking allows you to engage new clients as well as maintain interaction with current clients using photo and video ads.  It is important to remember that 80% of social networking user’s access social media on a mobile device allowing for 24/7 contact.  Today’s ads must be designed with mobile use in mind. With so many marketing advantages available for any budget, it is crucial to have as much visibility as possible to grow your business.

-Kelly Alexander & the KCo Staff


Geo-Fencing is Taking Marketing to a Whole New Level

Geo-Fencing is Taking Marketing to a Whole New Level

Mobile advertising is becoming increasingly high in demand and popularity. With smartphones now acting as a person’s additional limb, it only makes sense that we try to reach consumers through that portal. At this point you have to wonder, what is the most convenient and relevant way for us to reach our consumer? Well, you know what they say, “Location, location, location.” 

This is where we find fresh and innovative technology like Geo-Fencing. Geo-Fencing is a software program that can use a GPS or RFID signal to create a sort of “fence” to market to customers within that barrier. It is a location-based service that enables the seller to send messages straight to the consumer when they enter a certain area, via their smartphone. This is a dream come true for marketers and sellers alike because now, instead of trying to get a customer to go somewhere and get something, the battle is already half-won. 

You could send a person a coupon for an item when they walk into your store or you could target someone who may be doing something complementary to your product. For example, 1-800-Flowers placed a Geo-Fence around jewelry stores near their flower store to target those people who are gift shopping. You can extend this into specific event targeting, customer loyalty, and even competitor locations. With event targeting, it is possible to find an event that would have many of your target audience, and be able to reach them. Or you could find an event that is near you or you are participating in, and try to encourage customers to visit your location. You could also use a customer loyalty factor to identify VIP customers and ensure they are well taken care of. The possibilities of this fresh and advanced technology are bountiful. 

The key with Geo-Fencing is to make sure you are not being intrusive or just plain annoying to your consumers. You want to make them happy that they are subscribed to this service. This is where it is key to make sure you have professionals working with you to provide relevant and engaging marketing to your consumers. This service can generally be opted out of by the consumer therefore, it is important to make sure it is done efficiently. When used correctly, you will have a direct way to engage with your consumer at the most opportune time and place. With the right strategy and content, this technology can be incredibly beneficial and profitable for your business. 


-Kelly Alexander & the KCo Staff



A business owner may be guilty of holding onto an employee who is negative hoping they will change. Trust me, they won’t unless you fire them! They not only will not change, but they will spread their negativity like it is cancer. This will cost a business way more than one employee. The bad employee, their co-workers, and your company’s ultimate success are all part of the overall equation. Also you may be surprised to know that keeping this negative employee will not help the employee. They already know they are negative. Taking action right away may show the employee that it will not be tolerated at all, and after once(hopefully) they will learn from this.

Terry Weaver, CEO of Chief Executive Board defines a toxic employee as someone who breeds discontent, causes problems for customers, colleagues and managers and lacks ethics.

“There’s no way to rehabilitate these types of workers,” he said.

“You can’t fix them,” he said. “You’ve got to fire them.”

I as the owner of Kelly & Co Advertising Agency, will not tolerate negative employees anymore. We may have recently, but no longer. It is not worth it to have someone there bring everyone else down. I have had other employees come to me reporting of the negativity, but I thought maybe they might change. Nope! So if you are a business owner and reading this, think twice before hanging on to them.

Kelly Alexander & Positive KCo Staff




4th and Goals

4th and Goals

In many industries, the final quarter of the year heralds in the 4th quarter, when all of the planning for the year comes to a head in a final race to meet projected goals, deadlines, and financial benchmarks. During this busy time of year, don't forget to schedule time to regroup, evaluate, and start fresh. Doing so will ensure your time is spent more efficiently while giving you a moment to mentally recover and reset.

Taking this time will also assist in helping you think ahead to 2017. What will the new year hold for you and your business? How will you tackle the challenges of the new year, and what goals do you have for yourself and your business? We believe in the cliche that you need to "plan your work, and work your plan." If your 2017 marketing plan isn't already underway, it's time to get started. At Kelly & Co Advertising Agency, we can help you put together a comprehensive advertising plan that will increase your visibility by targeting your potential customers, maximizing your budget, and utilizing a strategic media mix to increase your return-on-investment.

We know how things go during the final quarter of the calendar year - office parties, holiday closings, vacation time, unplanned sick days, and increasing consumer demand during what - for most businesses - is the quarter that will make or break their year. It will be January before you know it - contact us today for a free consultation to make sure your business is on track to succeed in 2017 and beyond.

Have a great 4th quarter!

Kelly Alexander & the KCo Staff

Preparing a Game Plan for 2017

Preparing a Game Plan for 2017

Whether it was the World Series or the presidential election, we've seen the impact that long-term planning can have on the outcome of a contest. Both the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs had to start planning well before the start of the season to put teams in place that could make it to the postseason, and those teams had to be adjusted throughout the season in reaction to injuries, the impact of other teams, and ultimately, management of resources to make it to Game 7 of the World Series. The plans they put in place allowed them to leave that day knowing that they had done everything they could, left everything on the field, and made the contest as close as they possibly could to outlast some serious competition.

Similarly, in the 2016 presidential election cycle, we saw a lot of candidates vying for only a few spots on the ballot, and the successful candidates were vying neck and neck late into the night as ballots were counted down to the wire. Those candidates had to put a plan into place well before the start of the election cycle, determine their positions on major issues, and examine how to outmaneuver their opponents to ultimately reach that Tuesday in November. Regardless of which candidate you supported, both camps put forth a tremendous amount of effort using a stunning level of logistical detail on a national level to end up less than two-tenths of a percent apart.

What are you and your company doing TODAY to plan for 2017? What is your 10th inning strategy? What will give you that two-tenths of a percent that you need to succeed over a competitor in your market? If that plan doesn't include a comprehensive advertising plan, it should. Call us today for a free consultation, and we'll show you how partnering with an advertising agency can get you better rates, match your message to your target customers, and ultimately increase your market presence.


Kelly Alexander & the KCo Staff

Should a Business Advertise in a Down Economy?

This is a question that is asked many times. Should a business keep advertising if sales are down? Believe it or not you can find many reports that state you should always keep your name out there when things are tough. You might just have to reallocate the funds by utilizing your budget with ways that aren't as expensive but yet still may result in traffic to your business. There are several thing to try and some examples might be social media. Social Media is the fastest growing network right now and doesn't seem to be slowing down. Oh how I wish I had thought of Facebook! You can create an event or contest to attract customers. Who would have thought you could advertise something from the seat of your couch?  Other ideas that I know would be an event at your business, eblast with special offers, or digital marketing by using display ads with Google and Youtube. Display ads with Google and Youtube are very inexpensive. If you are currently using the traditional advertising maybe try mixing it up by changing the programs or dayparts around. Change it up! Do something! Doing the same thing that isn't working won't change anything. So how do you know which one will work better? You don't until you try. Try and try again until something works. Don't lose your share in the market.


My husband reminds me that if Thomas Edison gave up after several attempts we would not have electricity. Michael Jordan also had many failed attempts before succeeding to an NBA superstar.

"Michael Jordan considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time; his brief bio on NBA.com he is described as ‘single-handedly redefining the NBA superstar’  and yet to get there he openly admits to failing more than most. In a famous ad campaign launched by ‘Nike’, Michael is quoted as saying he has:

  • Lost almost 300 games (that’s more games than many NBA players have court time in)

  • Missed over 9000 shots at goal (again more shots than an average NBA player even takes)

  • 26 times he was given the ball to take the game winning shot and MISSED


Depending on the type of industry you are in, when the economy is taking a downward turn, just remember you are not alone. It will bounce back. We just all hope and pray it doesn't last too long! IF so, pour yourself a glass of wine, shot of whiskey, or a tall blue moon(A wine called Red & Blue made from a winery in southern Illinois is my fav) and go to your happy place....every..... single....day.... until it's over. Least that is what I am doing. lol

Cheers! Kelly Alexander & the KCo Staff

Winery- http://www.pheasanthollowwinery.com/

Building Your Digital Presence

Building Your Digital Presence

When your Web presence is understated or nonexistent, you run the risk of getting overlooked entirely when consumers are beginning their search for a product or service. In a world where at least 4 out of 5 people start their searches online (and increasingly from mobile devices), a robust digital profile is essential to grab a consumer's attention at the start of their search and keep it throughout the buying process.

Mobile and User-Friendly Web Site

Is your current site too busy, or is the important information prominently displayed?

Is your current site too busy, or is the important information prominently displayed?

Just as you wouldn't want to overwhelm or turn off potential customers with a crowded window display or a cluttered store layout, your Web site should be clean, intuitive, and user-friendly. With Web access shifting increasingly to mobile devices, your Web design needs to be easy to load and easy to navigate. Important information - particularly contact information, store hours, and product lines carried or services offered - should be easy to locate if not featured prominently in the header or footer of your Web site.

When building or updating your Web site, be sure to test it on multiple mobile devices using different operating systems (at the very least, test on iOS and Android). Is your site loading quickly? Is the display functioning the way you'd like? Is it easy for your friends or family to find information during testing? Is the image you are presenting consistent with the image presented by your storefront?



Once you have your site ready, those elements need to be carried over to other elements of your digital presence. Just as your Web site needs to be consistent with the image presented by your brick and mortar location, your digital presence needs to be consistent with your Web site.

Once built, that digital presence is only as good as your ability to harness its collective power. Offering a way for customers to opt-in for e-mail or mobile messaging news and promotions allows you to directly contact a growing community of interested and engaged people to keep them apprised of what's new with your brand and - when executed properly - drive traffic to your brick and mortar location. Create an incentive for them to provide this information to you, and reward them when they respond to your calls for action. This will keep your community of brand ambassadors growing as your digital presence expands!


Kelly Alexander & the KCo Staff

Is That All?

Is That All?

When it comes to advertising, phrasing is everything. (In the interest of full disclosure, I say this as the writer of the bunch. I'm sure the Design Director would tell you that nothing gets read if it doesn't first get your attention.) When it comes to point of sale, though, is your team maximizing its opportunities?

I had reason to think about this again during this past weekend during two starkly different food ordering experiences. In one, I was at a popular fast food restaurant, driving through on the way from one place to somewhere else; in the other, I was phoning in a dinner order to a local restaurant for carry-out. When going through the fast food drive through, the key for the restaurant was speed - get people through the drive through as fast as possible to maximize sales. As such, their typical reply after you dictate part of your order is, "Is that it?" By comparison, the local restaurant - which lives off repeat business moreso than overall volume of customers - trained their staff to ask, "And what else can I get you?" After I'd ordered a second appetizer, my Sales Radar kicked in to alert me that no, I did not need dessert as well, but this man would gladly put that order in for me as well and do it with a smile.

Psychologically, asking someone "is that it?" encourages them to stop. The person is asking for permission for the exchange to be complete and to move to the next stage. "And what else can I get you?" on the other hand sows the seed of thought that there is something else you want that you have yet to order. An early sales exercise I was taught went (roughly) as follows: the speaker said, "Don't think about a double scoop of chocolate ice cream, carefully balanced on a cone as the sun slowly melts it, causing bits of chocolate to run down the cone's side." At that point, we all had a pretty solid visual of the ice cream and had completely ignored the "don't" part of the directive. When you ask, "What else can I get you?" you're opening the door for that ice cream cone, asking your customer to picture themselves with more.

Even within our agency, we sometimes have the "Is that it?" reaction. Maybe it's been a busy week, maybe we were caught off guard, or maybe we just hadn't thought it through before we said the words aloud. I promise we don't mean it. We would absolutely love to know what else we can get you, and you're welcome to call us out on it if we forget to ask.


Kelly Alexander & the KCo Staff

"Agency Types"

"Agency Types"

Who do you picture when you hear someone described as “one of those ad agency types?” The eccentric designer with mismatched socks and a brightly-colored shirt? The off-the-wall, occasionally abrasive idea machine with a cigarette in one hand and a pen in the other? The three-piece suit with the three-martini lunch?

As we prepare to celebrate the first anniversary of the final chapter of Mad Men, we got to thinking about what kinds of people make up a good (or dare we say “great”) agency today.


The writers, the designers, the audio and video techies, the “artistic talent” - whatever you want to call them, these are the people who take a daydream or phrase and turn it into the TV commercial, print ad, billboard, or Web site that eventually makes it out into the world.


If the world were run by Creatives, every project would be excellent but rarely on time and almost never under budget. The Numbers Guys ensure that costs are managed, market research is accurate, and budgets are monitored to ensure clients get the most out of every penny they invest in advertising.


No, that’s not a typo. These are the salesmen, the media liaisons, the business prospectors. These are the people who know people and know how to move them. You know the type - you can find them in any Chamber of Commerce event or country club. They understand the social dynamics of the room, and they work them. They are the reasons the Numbers Guys get great rates, the Creatives get later deadlines, and the New Clients sign with the agency.


The big thinkers. The grand planners. The people with the calendars and outlines and graphs. Like The Numbers Guys, they love tracking deadlines and monitoring projects. Like Creatives, they have a big vision of how everything works in harmony. Like People People, they understand how to get teams to play nicely with each other. Something of a “jack of all trades but master of none,” Architects often end up supervising projects or investigating new opportunities because they can visualize how to play to the team’s strengths.


Agency Principals? Where do we start? Haha. The interesting thing about agency principals both in the Midwest and (so far as we have observed) around the nation is that successful Agency Principals can fall into any of these categories - Creatives, Numbers Guys, People People, or Architects - but succeed most when they are at least a little of each and surrounded by a team that shores up the areas in which they are weak. Nothing fires up an agency, clients, and even media partners like an Agency Principal freed up to pursue their passions with a vision, a plan, and a team empowered to knock that plan out of the park for the client.


Kelly Alexander & the KCo Staff

The Night Before Deadline

The Night Before Deadline

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and my college English professor Marc Hudson)

‘Twas the night before deadline, and all through the office
Not a person was off-task (except maybe to write this.)
Orders were sent to the media with care
In hopes that the reps would all still be there.

The designer was nestled all snug in his chair
With big plans for inserts to meet deadlines there,
The media assistant plotted and planned season’s greetings
To schedule on Facebook before Wednesday’s team meeting.

When back by the ping pong table arose such a clatter
We sprang from our desks to see what was the matter.
Over the dog gate, we jumped like a flash
Which caused at least two – if not three – more to crash.

The glare from the camera lights created a glow
Around a strange apparition, an unforeseen show.
For what to our wondering eyes should appear
But a stack of red cups and eight bottles of beer.

Kelly pointed and said, “The work must get done
But it’s still Christmas week, so let’s have some fun.”
And quickly we grabbed them (it only happens so often)
And in moments the team had started to quaff them.

“Down Killian’s! Down Bud Light! Down Harp and Blue Moon!
Down Heineken, Down Corona, Sam Adams, and Coors!
From the cap on the top to the dregs of the bottle
Drink away, drink away, drink away all!”

As parched throats were quenched with that sweet hoppy nectar
We returned to our desks and repeatedly thanked her
Then sip as we did while plugging away
We knew all our deadlines would be met today.

While phones rang from reps and orders were placed,
Designs were created (and sometimes erased).
The copy was flying through edits and edits
A few clever phrases, hoping the client would “get it.”

Then off it all went (by e-mail, not bike)
Approved by the clients and agency alike.
When Christmas through New Year’s, all the ads ran
A Merry Christmas for all as all went to plan.

Cheers! Kelly Alexander & KCo Staff

The Digital (r)Evolution

The Digital (r)Evolution

I'm going to start this out by dating myself a little (chronologically, not socially). I am one of many in a generation that doesn't remember NOT having a home computer. Sure, some of those computers utilized 5 1/2" floppy disks to play games like "Win, Lose, or Draw" or "Number Munchers," but they were present in my childhood. I distinctly remember how excited I was when our family computer (not just the one in the home office) was connected to the World Wide Web - I could talk to my friends! I could search for all kinds of interesting information! I could connect with people all over the world!

That being said, as a teenager, I mostly used it for homework, AOL Instant Messenger (does anyone still use AIM?), and MySpace or other social platforms. Years later, I still find that my primary use of the Internet is research, chatting with friends near and far, and connecting socially online. However, that process has become increasingly sophisticated as the Internet has grown by leaps and bounds. Where before I would find two or three Web sites about "How to clean soda out of carpet before my parents get home," now I can find dozens of links to hilarious-yet-helpful videos detailing how to remove red wine from carpet after our dinner guests have been assured that "No really, it's fine. We're just glad you guys were able to come over." (It was fine - thanks, YouTubers.)

So in a world where people are using the Internet to solve their problems, chat online with people they often already know offline, and occasionally do a little shopping, how can anyone expect to get noticed in an ever-growing, overwhelming sea of options? How do you get noticed by the people who are just logging on to check their Facebook for 20 minutes before watching the latest episode of Orphan Black on-demand via Amazon Prime? How do you let the person down the street know that yes, you are open until 9 p.m. tonight, and you DO carry both dish soap and white vinegar?*

That's where Digital Marketing comes into play, and much like the Internet itself, it is becoming more and more sophisticated as the Internet grows. There's Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which makes sure your Web site is using the right keywords to be found by Google, Bing, and the rest. There's Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which combines advertising dollars and potential keywords to increase the odds that someone searching for "late night convenience store north peoria il" will see you in their results. There's Google+ Pages, which allow you to share all your store hours and details with Google Maps (yes, we are "near you."). And of course, there's the now-traditional barrage of social media - Facebook Pages, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn Business Pages, etc. and all of their respective advertising options. Oh, and then make sure it's all optimized for viewing on a mobile device, because in the past decade, mobile access points have gone from a virtual last resort to the avenue through which we spend more than 50% of the time we access digital content. We won't even mention the variety of ad-blocking software trying to keep you from letting people know you are having a sale this week on dish soap and white vinegar.

It boggles the mind, doesn't it? Where does one even begin? Well, since you're reading this on our Web site, my suspicion is that you have come to the same conclusion we have - you'll get by with a little help from your friends. At KCo, we can help you navigate SEO, SEM, Google, mobile optimization, and social media. We'll explain it to you in language you can understand and demonstrate how we can ensure you're being found, whether you're selling dish soap and white vinegar, a new carpet, or interior remodeling (you know, if there was a LOT of red wine involved in our story).

Stay tuned to the blog for more on each of these digital topics over the coming weeks and months!

Cheers! KCo Staff

TL;DR**: Digital Marketing takes a lot of focus, but it's worth the effort to reach potential customers where they live.

* These things are useful for removing red wine from carpet.

** TL;DR - "Too Long; Didn't Read" - Internet-speak for "I know this was a long post"