Home Advisor Is Bad For Your Business

While many businesses find immediate value in partnering with companies like Home Advisor, the relationship tends to be more like that of patients and doctors with a big-name health insurance company in between them. In this case, patients are your customers, you’re the doctor, and companies like Home Advisor are the health insurance company. Guess who wins in this equation? Long term, the health insurance company or, Home Advisor in this case, gets fat while you take what they give you and keep hoping they will give you more. And of course, as long as you pay your “premium,” they will. 

While the intention behind a service like Home Advisor is good, the money spent using their short-term service could be spent on long-term benefits if invested in your company's own internal resources i.e. content creation, SEO and social media marketing. 

The reality is, services like Home Advisor drive a wedge between you and your client by becoming an unnecessary transactional middleman. The long-term benefits of this relationship favor Home Advisor instead of your business because they reap the rewards of your search engine value and organic reach, plus, they control the flow of leads based on search volume.

They sell business leaders like you on their ability to generate hot leads for you all while increasing your visibility in search and helping you stand out from the competition to truly grow your business. The reality is, if you were to take all of the money you’d normally spend with a service like Home Advisor over the course of a year, two years, or even longer, and put it towards a marketing agency working for your benefit, you would generate more leads (the kind of leads you want!) and instead of competing with the other companies that do what you do, you would simply be building your brand the right way.

If you chose the marketing agency path for three years and did nothing more after that, the long-term impact of your efforts would not only be thriving, but it’d be unique to you. If you tried the same path with Home Advisor for three years and stopped, your leads and your online presence would dissipate – because it was never intended for your benefit. That's the difference between investing your money with a company like Home Advisor instead of building your brand the right way over the long-haul.

If you want a bigger future with big-picture strategy for growth, one that doesn't require ongoing payments for lunch, then start a relationship with a direct advertising or marketing firm. They can deliver better results than Home Advisor and can building sustainable growth that benefits you and your brand—alone. 

What Is Brand Awareness And Why Should You Care About It?

 
Picture of McDonald's Logo
 

What is Brand Awareness and why it’s important? Let me start with a recent story, an interaction with a client.

I got an email from a client who basically wanted to have a better explanation of why brand awareness is so important, he wanted to know what’s the value of brand awareness to their company and why are they paying for brand awareness in their campaign?

Now, there are a couple of things that you need to know. Let me start with this, I’m not going to give away who the client is or what their business is. This client has a brand that’s been around quite a long time, over a half a century. They are a multi-location business. And, back in its heyday, they spent money on radio, I think they did television as well. But, in the last five, six years they’ve really not done anything in the way of marketing. 

They’ve used services like YP or Dex to do their marketing. I don’t know to what extent they do, but I looked at some of their reports and saw nothing for the last couple of years. So, there was really nothing going on. And, over time the brand awareness eroded. People weren’t familiar with the brand anymore and all of these organizations, these new businesses in the same industry, started creeping in. Slowly, but surely, they eroded the brand. Until, where they are when they started with us, they were down 20%, if I remember correctly. 

Why is brand awareness important and what is it? 

Brand awareness is what helps your company, your service, your brand, be at the top of a consumer’s mind when they are ready to make a buying decision. Without brand awareness, you’re nobody. So, let me give you some examples of really good brand awareness. This is a test. I want everyone reading this blog to just say the answer when I ask the question. There’s no right or wrong, but there is only one answer. If you had hemorrhoids, what product would you buy? Go ahead. Exactly, Preparation H. 

Picture of Preparation H Hemorrhoidal Ointment

The reason Preparation H is the product that comes to your mind is because they have brand awareness. They have indelibly marked in your brain that if you have hemorrhoids, Preparation H is the product you want to get to solve your problem. Now, the reality is, when is the last time you saw a Preparation H commercial? When was the last time you saw a Preparation H internet ad? It’s probably been a very long time. But, their brand awareness has been so strong historically, that it’s stuck there and that’s the brand of choice. 


Brand awareness is the same reason that if I started humming the Timberlake song riff, “Ba da ba, ba, ba” every one of you will identify that with McDonalds. That’s what brand awareness does for you. There are a lot of pieces that go into branding, but brand awareness, is that top of mind recall. It’s the reason that when someone has the need, a buying decision in that moment, they go to you and not your competitor. It’s because they know that your brand is here, “Ba da ba ba ba” -  I got hemorrhoids, I need Preparation H. So, whether your business sells products or services, the value of brand awareness, is critical.

Now, this particular client is in the service business and service industries have a very unique challenge. And, the challenge is, is that it’s not a want for people, it’s a need. People can drive by a thousand convenience stores to get a drink and it’s a want, “Oh, I want a drink” and so they pull off and they get the drink and there’s really no thought that goes into the process. Brand awareness isn’t necessary, it’s convenience. 

But with a service business, it’s a little different. You don’t want to have service. If your air conditioner breaks, you don’t want to call the AC guy. If your car breaks, you don’t want to go to the mechanic. If your electrical fails in the house, you don’t want to have an electrician. It’s a service business. So, the unique challenge with service business is, is that they’re not sexy. It’s why that top of mind awareness is critical. Because when the time comes, when your air conditioning system breaks, when your engine fails, when the electricity in your house won’t come on, you want your company to be the one that that consumer picks. That is the value of brand awareness. 

And, good brand awareness takes time to develop. Especially if your brand has been stagnant. And, that’s been the case for this client for many, many years. They had no brand awareness, they’ve had no one really watching their brand. Brand awareness may not fix your sales issues today, it may not bring new customers in today, but the long-term value and play of brand awareness is critical.

100 Million Reasons Your Business Should Be Using Snapchat

Wedgie Media Snapcode

What Is This Snapchat App?

Unless you've lived under a rock or in a cave deep in the mountains of Afghanistan, you may have heard about this social media platform called Snapchat. No, Snapchat isn't about dick pics and hiding messages from parents. 

Snapchat is one of the strongest growing and undervalued social platforms out there today.

With over 100 million users a day, they might have something worth paying attention to. Here’s just a surface scratch of the data as of this publishing.

The numbers are in their infancy, yet as a social media brand, Snapchat is in a major growth mode.

The Reasons You Need To Be Using Snapchat

What day is it? If your answer ended in "Y" that's great. Today Snapchat reached 41% of all 18-34 year-olds in the USA. 

That’s not enough though is it?

Today over 100 million people used Snapchat -and if that weren’t enough, all those Snapchatters watched over 10 billion videos today. 

THAT IS 10 BILLION WITH A FREAKING B!

That’s all well and good, but how do you put Snapchat to use for your business? Lets start with the basics.

How To Use Snapchat For Your Business

You can use Snapchat to offer promotions and discounts to your followers, host giveaways or provide instant coupons. Yes, you can use Snapchat to move your audience and make money. You can leverage the My Story feature to reach everyone that follows the brand at once and build brand loyalty.

Snapchat is great for telling your story and building a head of steam or anticipation. Use it to promote an event or special flash sales. 

Start using those Geofilters to promote your brand. Your business can purchase Geofilters and that are implemented when a Snapchat user is in your area. You can use Geofilters for each of your multiple locations, a special sales event, flash sale... the possibilities are endless.

From product sales, pizza, burgers, clothing, etc. to brand discounts and flash sales, Snapchat can deliver the right people to your business at the right time. A Snapchat Agency like Wedgie Media, can hold your hand through the process.

Why Educators Should Get Their ADA Compliant School Websites Now

Picture of computer keyboard with special accessibility keys. ADA compliant school websites

The ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was constructed with the aim of allowing everyone with a disability to live a life of freedom and equality. The ADA is far reaching and extends to use of transport, accommodation, employment, and online resources such as websites. ADA compliant school websites have been a hot topic of conversation lately with some high profile cases of litigation against schools who have failed to comply. In fact it is reported that The US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opened approximately 350 nationwide investigations in 2016 to determine their websites compliance with the ADA. Understandably, many schools are now hurriedly reviewing their own websites to avoid costly defenses against litigation and are very often seeking consultancy from organizations such as Wedgie Media.

Impact of the ADA on Schools

The impact of the ADA is that schools are legally bound to design websites that allow those with disabilities to access them; these are accessibility requirements. The primary reason that this is a complex issue is that there are a range of disabilities which must be responded to accordingly. There is an extensive checklist on the government website which can seem daunting at first. To start it is more effective to consider the high level requirements to get a sense of what is expect. These are just a few points:

  • All images, video files, and audio files etc must have an alt tag describing the purpose of the object
  • There should be audio descriptions for blind users, and text transcripts for deaf users
  • There should be no repeatedly flashing images or strobe effects
  • The page should be compatible with assistive technologies

Is your school website ADA compliant? If not, Wedgie Media can help get you there.

Plan How To Get Your ADA Compliant School Website

There are many other things to consider which is why schools often hire an expert consultant to assist them. The first step is for the current site to be audited against the ADA requirements. Once the gaps are understood, either the current site should be modified or it may be decided that a new site needs to be created. An action plan should be designed which has a timeline to get a site live which complies with ADA requirements. Since the site will be changing, it will likely be necessary for staff who update and/or manage the site to have some training as they will also need to be mindful of accessibility requirements as the site evolves. Hopefully this training will prevent issues from arising, but it is still prudent to have ongoing audits to ensure compliance is being maintained. To assist everybody with compliance, it is useful to produce an accessibility policy. This can also provide guidance to disabled individuals about how they interact with the website and how they request further modifications they feel might be necessary. 

In Summary

The regulations of the ADA are not in themselves complex, but there is a lengthy set of considerations, which is why many schools are seeing expert guidance when auditing and updating their current site. The recent litigation examples have cast the spotlight on schools and it is apparent for those that do not comply, there will be serious penalties. Beyond this being a legal requirement, it is an important step to ensure that the school encourages applications from those who are disabled, and the school community as a whole is regarded as inclusive. 

The Value Of Brand Awareness For Your Business

What Is This Thing Called Brand Awareness?

Many clients don't understand the value of brand awareness. I decided to use an email from one of them as the kick off to this educational series called Wine & Wedgie. Episode 1 is all about the value of brand awareness and why it matters to your brand for long-term growth.

Why Is Brand Awareness Important?

It's the story people use when they talk about you. You create it, they regurgitate it. It's what creates that instant recall in the consumers mind.

Need help with your brand? We've got your back.

Starbucks Is The Brand That Forgot Christmas?

Picture of Starbucks holiday cups

I'm sorry if our last TV commercial upset or offended you.

When we chose to show sausage on the pizza we weren't aware of its impact. When we decided to have veggies next to pepperoni in the ad, we didn't think about your needs.

The backlash we received from the Jewish community, the Muslims, the vegetarians, was enough to get our attention.

You see it wasn't our intent to offend any of these groups by showing meat pizzas or pizzas with pork products on them. No instead, we were simply creating a TV commercial for our client, a marketing message.

Now, the above never happened to my company, but it has to another, Starbucks.

Many Christians, including lots of personal friends are rallying against Starbucks and their decision to make this year's Christmas cups red instead of festive and Christmasy. Now don't get me wrong, I liked the cups they had last year. In fact I liked them so much I was bummed that they weren't using them again. But the truth is they weren't trying to offend your Christianity. No, Starbucks like all businesses makes marketing decisions. This year they decided on solid red cups.

Mind you, you may be approaching this in the completely wrong way to begin with. As difficult as it may be for you to believe, not everyone celebrates Christmas, there are other holidays. I for one was raised celebrating Chanukah, yet I am not crying about the lack of dreidels and menorahs on my Starbucks cups. I don’t need a cup that screams, “I Am Jewish”. The Christians of the world will have you believe that Christmas is the only holiday but it is not. Should I be offended that Starbucks doesn't do a Chanukah cup? Of course not. Remember, sometimes marketing decisions by a company are just marketing decisions by a company and nothing more.

What offends me are the countless kids living in CPS offices and waiting for someone to adopt them. What offends me are people who get pissed off about a red cup, but choose to do nothing about the world around them. If you want to make some noise, do it. Then get off your high horse and make a freaking difference in the world.

Get over your upset and enjoy your hot Starbucks. Better yet, skip the Starbucks and go rock a baby at the crisis nursery, become foster parents, adopt a kid, do something to serve others. Stop spending your energy being offended by a cup and make a damn difference.

site by wedgie media