Weekly Client Update #2 During COVID Crisis

Here are some items for your information and consideration.

We’re excited that Google announced that it will be giving credits to small- and medium sized businesses (SMBs) with existing Google Ads accounts. Here’s what we know:

  • Google will provide $340 million in Google Ads credits available to all SMBs
  • Credits will appear on the user’s Ads account and will be good until Dec 31, 2020.
  • Credits will be applicable across all ad types (Search, Display, etc.)
  • To be eligible for credits, you must have been an active Ads advertiser since the beginning of 2019.
  • Article does not give a date to expect the credits but says they will be rolling out in the “coming months”. Advertisers receiving ad credits will be notified.

We will keep a close eye on this and let you know when there’s more info. We don’t yet know how much the credits will be or how they will be calculated.

On another note, there’s beer and pizza – yes, these are two of my all-time favorite things. But there is also a great marketing lesson here.

Have you noticed Papa Johns’ TV commercials the past week or so? They are brilliantly simple and remind me of one of my favorite advertising stories (attached). The Papa Johns ads highlight two important facts: 1) the temperature at which they bake their pizza (yes, we know, pizza ovens are very hot); and 2) no person touches the pizza when it comes out of the oven (yes, we know, we’ve all seen those super huge pizza “spatulas”). The key here is that they point out something about their industry—that every pizza company does the same, by the way—to “differentiate” themselves. They are highlighting the mundane to point out the inherent safety of ordering pizza at a crazy, scary time in history. But I hadn’t thought about either of those two points until they brought them to my attention. That is good marketing.

The linked story about legendary ad copywriter, Claude Hopkins, talks about how he took Schlitz Beer from #8 to #1 using the same approach. It’s a great and quick read. By the way, I didn’t write it and don’t remember where I got it…

So my challenge to you is: what aspects of your business do you take for granted? If your clients/customers knew about them, might it give you some advantage? What do prospects need to know to set them at ease or view you more favorably? So walk through your processes step by step and ask a) do clients know this? and b) would they care? And as Claude Hopkins and Papa Johns teach us, tell your story even if everyone else in your industry does it the same way; the winner is the one who tells the story first, most loudly, and most frequently.

I’m not going to say much about the payroll protection program loans under the CARES act because you have probably been inundated with details already. Just know that I have been following this very closely, as has the Agency Management Institute (AMI) of which I’m a very active member, and have a lot of resources if anyone needs them. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need some guidance or support. We also have a lot of professionals that we could refer, if needed, including CPAs, the bookkeeping company we use (who is very well versed), and some bankers. Most banks, except for Bank of America and a few others, were not ready to take the applications Friday but will do so on Monday.

If you are concerned about making rent in the next couple of months, here’s a great tidbit from Michael Singer, a commercial real estate broker in Baltimore. He suggests that you ask your landlord to use you security deposit in place of a month or two of rent, promising to replenish that deposit when things improve. I have a few other best practices in this regard if anyone is struggling with this.

In the ongoing discussion about the cyber scum who are taking advantage of our tough situation, there’s this little nugget about how they are targeting people who use Zoom for video conferencing.

Stay safe, stay in touch, stay sane, and find something positive in all of this! My positive this week is that our three teenagers are actually getting along better in spite of being in such close contact! We were not expecting that at all.

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