Where Do Your Leads…Lead?

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The purpose of every piece of advertising we create is to generate leads for our clients. But this should only be the beginning of what is, hopefully, a well-planned and strategically executed sales pipeline. We are pulling for the success of all our clients and want to make sure that they are doing everything on their end to make the most out of the leads their advertising generates. So, in this article, we are going to outline a basic sales pipeline that will squeeze as much revenue as possible from each and every lead for years to come.

1. The business relationship typically starts when someone calls you or fills out a request or order form on your website. The beauty of a request form is that it stores their contact info for initial and continual follow up. On the other hand if they call in you can instantly build rapport with the prospect. Either way you should now have a solid lead which is the name, phone number, and most importantly, email address of someone who is interested in your product or service.

2. Now hopefully you or one of sales reps can take this lead and close it. However, most people do not realize that the sale should be the beginning not the end of your sales pipeline, and this will be explained in this article. Even if the prospect does not buy at this point in time, they are still a lead that needs to be nurtured.

3. You should be entering all leads into a CRM system which allows you to organize everyone according to whether something was purchased, what was purchased, and when it was purchased. This way you can mass email promotional offers and helpful content tailored to each person’s buying behavior or time of the year. With a CRM system, you can automate these emails to regularly reach out to all your clients to encourage initial or repeat purchases.

4. Another benefit of accumulating a large interactive list of people is that you can encourage people to spread the word of your company. For example, you can send an email inviting all of them to follow you on Twitter or Instagram, write a positive review on your Yelp page, or refer their family and friends. Of course you should provide a small incentive for them to do so, but this give and take is a great way to continue to build the relationship.

Following these basic guidelines will allow you to look beyond the individual transaction and use smart marketing techniques and technology to build a movement around your company. When quality advertising and savvy marketing are combined, there’s no competing with your brand. In the end, it will pay off in in credibility, an ever-growing client base, and repeat purchases.

6 Keys to Better SEO

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What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essentially the process of making your site more recognizable to search engines, so that your page is at the top of the results when your industry is entered into a search bar. SEO is an extremely difficult task and requires constant changes and updating because search engines and their algorithms are always changing. There are companies whose only service is providing SEO for other companies. If you are looking to get your SEO jump started, here are 6 key tips that anyone can use to improve their SEO.

1. Keywords

Keywords will always be important. Make sure to include keywords and phrases in your copy, but make sure that they fit in the copy. If your verbiage seems disjointed or awkward, this could actually hurt your SEO.

2. Metadata

The metadata is the information that will show up on a search engine. These should be clear, concise, and include a keyword or two.

3. Code

Clean coding, or coding in the simplest way without extra, unnecessary elements will allow your site to function more quickly. The browser will also have an easier time reading your site.

4. Media

Optimized images etc. take up as little space as possible while still showing up properly and clearly. This will ensure the least amount of space on your server is used, which will allow your site to perform at its optimum potential. Search engines recognize whether a site is performing well or not. The faster and more intuitive your site, the better your rank for a search engine.

5. Crosslinking

Organic (not paid) crosslinks to other, reputable sites and social media throughout your site increase your credibility to both viewers as well as search engines.

6. Content

New content shows search engines that your site is an active site, which increases your rankings. Blogs are a great way to constantly add new content without flooding your server with new pages.

If you want a web presence but don’t have a massive budget, or you just want to make sure that whoever is taking care of your SEO is at least covering the basics, these six steps are where to start.

Wrap of the Month – March 2016

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We are proud to introduce…The Priborghini!

Arizona Retirement Company came to us with a standard Prius to fully wrap. But with one small request: they wanted it to look like a Lamborghini Aventador!

We knew this was going to be no easy feat and it ended up being one of the most challenging yet exciting design projects. Our design team mocked it up to get the initial concept, but it was not high enough resolution, so it would be unusable for the final product. We actually contacted Lamborghini to see if they would provide high-resolution images of their Aventador, but our request was denied. So our team had to illustrate the entire body of the vehicle so that the wrap would look as real as possible.

The installation of the Priborghini, as the vehicle was aptly named, was very tedious and required meticulous attention to detail, with all the vehicle features and secondary layers needing to be placed just right.

We are extremely proud of the final product and it is to say the least one-of-a-kind.

Branding Lesson #1: Consistency is Key

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Have we mentioned we love branding? What we love most about the art of branding, is that it is such a simple way for our clients to rise above their competition. Once a few principles are understood and held to vigorously, your advertising ROI will explode. The most important principle of branding for business owners and marketers to understand is consistency and we will discuss a few ways to accomplish this.

1. The Logo

Your logo, as has been explained elsewhere, is the visual anchor of your brand, so any exposure to your company should always be accompanied by your logo. This means it should be the main visual feature of your vehicle wraps, business cards, website, and marketing collateral. The logo should always be prominent, legible, and of the same exact font and color scheme. You should also strive to keep the logo of the same size relative to the rest of your content. For example, you wouldn’t want your logo to be a giant blown up banner across your homepage only to have it as a footnote on your mailer. Ultimately, any time someone thinks of your company, they should visualize your logo because it has always been the same and front and center.

2. The Message

Until you know why people buy from you, you will never know how to get people to buy from you. This “why” is called your unique selling proposition, or your sustainable competitive advantage, and once you know what it is you should be screaming it from the rooftops! You should be building all marketing and advertising campaigns around it. All these campaigns should be very consistent in not only what they are saying about your company, but how they are saying it. You should be using the same buzzwords, analogies, case studies, or characters to teach the public why you are the best at what you do.

3. The Process

We are all creatures of habit, and ritual is what preserves all human societies. Therefore one of the keys to effective branding is to make sure that the customer has a consistently positive experience in every transaction with your company. Ideally, they will call in and hear the same familiar voice of someone well-versed in their story and needs. They will visit your same location where they will be greeted by the same people, offered the same courtesies (something to drink?), and go through the same seamless and well-defined procedure in purchasing your product or service. 

These are just a few things to think about as you are evaluating your company and looking for ways to build up your brand image. The goal isn’t to fool people into thinking you are better than you really are but to find what you are best at and play on those strengths over…and over..and over…

I Just Wrapped My Vehicle…Now What?

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Now-What-BannerSo we have been ranting and raving about what vehicle wraps can do for your company for many years now. We have read the research on vehicle wraps, and have seen them work for our clients as well as our own company. 

As a result, many businesses big and small have caught this vision of how vehicle wraps can rapidly spread their brand presence and have come to us to make this happen. But when picking up their beautiful newly wrapped vehicle, they ask “Okay, so now what?”

This can be broken down into two different questions:

What can I do to make sure my wrap lasts?

What can I do to make sure my wrap is seen by as many people as possible?

The first question is easily answered by reading 3M’s guide to vehicle wrap care found here.

The second question is a little more complex and goes back to a more fundamental question which is “What is my marketing plan and how does vehicle advertising fit into it?”

Now some might be thinking, “Why overthink it? Just drive around the wrapped vehicle and you will be seen”…and this is absolutely true.

But now that you have a very powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal, you want to make sure to take aim at some big opportunities.

cortezeventsetupFor instance, you can now look for upcoming events near and far related to your industry where you can show off your wrapped vehicle. Park it next to a tent or booth that also has your branding on it and you are guaranteed to get more attention and interest than anyone else there. We’ve tried it!

We have even had clients go to events totally unrelated to their industry but are sure to be filled with their target demo. Don’t know who your target demo is? Find out! And while you’re at it ask them what they are up to this weekend and pull up on the scene with your wrapped vehicle packed to the brim with business cards and pamphlets.

So now that you have your weekend advertising covered what about Monday-Friday?

Ace-ParketingWell if the vehicle isn’t out in the field all day (also important), then make sure to park it in a very inconspicuous spot so people can find your location easily and anyone passing by will see it. This is called Parketing and is where vehicle wraps really prove their worth.

So remember, marketing is about thinking outside the box and going above and beyond what your competition is doing and vehicle wraps are no exception. We got the design and wrap part covered, you just gotta get out there and showcase it!

Color, Emotion, and Your Branding

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What is your favorite color? This is a question that we heard all the time as kids, and we even still get this question from time to time as adults from kids or weirdos.

Color is something that influences our daily lives, especially in our purchasing decisions. It evokes emotion that leads to real action. This is why colors are so important in branding efforts.

So, which colors influence which emotions? Below is a chart of the emotions that most commonly go with each color according to the latest research.

Figure out which feelings you want to call forth in viewers of your branding and then use this chart as a reference for what colors will help you best accomplish this. Once you have this as a starting point, you can branch out into many different color variations and combinations.

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Keep in mind that certain colors may provide different meanings in different industries so you may want to veer from the chart a bit and use your experience and common sense to come up with the best color palette. For example, a landscaping company may want to show confidence and friendliness with orange, but that might not communicate correctly, because customers may associate green with those feelings for a landscaping firm. In this case, the company would want to use both green and orange to achieve the desired branding effect.

It is important to consider all of these factors when designing your branding and this research provides a good starting point.

3 Common Advertising Myths Debunked

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Ad-Myths-Banner

Just like any other topic, when it comes to advertising, you hear a lot of silly things said by people who really haven’t looked deeply into how successful businesses grow. Being in the advertising industry for almost 20 years, we have seen our fair share of misleading statements that, if believed, can really set a business back. And since we want to help businesses in every industry thrive, below are a few examples of these “myths” and the actual truth behind them.

Myth #1: “You can always save money by having someone you know design your logo”

The Truth:

While having your artistic brother who dabbles in photoshop draw a logo for you will save money in the short term…remember that YOUR LOGO IS YOUR FIRST AND SOMETIMES ONLY IMPRESSION TO THE BUYING PUBLIC!

Would you show up to a big job interview wearing something your mom threw together? So why be so haphazard about the look of your entire organization for years to come? It will cost you in the long run in terms of all the people who don’t want to buy from a cheap-looking company.

Make sure you are working with a professional who can research your industry, your target market, your sustainable competitive advantage, and use all this as well as his artistic expertise to create something that will make the best impression every time.

Myth #2: “You don’t need a vehicle wrap but can just get logos or magnets on your doors and be fine”

The Truth:

True, if you just get door logos, you will be fine…if you don’t want anyone bugging you with their pesky business! But seriously, there are businesses out there that simply do not want to grow…and then they die.

When it comes to your company vehicles, what kind of message are you sending your potential customers when they can see that you clearly don’t want to spend money to get their attention or earn their business? IF they even see you…and that’s a huge “if”.

Myth #3: “We can’t afford a wrap anytime soon but hope to be some day”

The Truth:

The statistics clearly show that vehicle wraps are the most effective form of outdoor advertising out there!

Effective Advertising = Mass Lead Generation = $$$ = More Effective Advertising = Even More Leads…you get the picture.

Vehicle wraps pay for themselves, and now with our financing options they are always affordable.

You will notice that all three of these myths were based on budgeting and saving money. Now we aren’t telling you to go out there and spend money and accrue debt like you’re Bernie Sanders who just got voted in as POTUS!

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Every business owner should be tracking every penny they spend and replacing or removing any expenditures that aren’t delivering or contributing to a healthy ROI. But instead of giving into an irrational fear of risk and just spending money in general, you should rationally explore your options within the realm of effective advertising.

Wrap of the Month – February 2016

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Pivot Cycles has been a long time customer of ours. We have done many wraps for them on a variety of vehicles, such as a VW bus and a good ol’ Cadillac Eldorado. This wrap however, is different. Although it is not a particularly exciting vehicle to start with, it had a lot of surface area for us to work with.

Our team went with clean, large, bold graphics with a masculine and aggressive color scheme and layout to really stand out from anything else out there. This wrap uses matte, satin, and gloss in multiple layers to create a lot of dimension on such a minimal design. The wrap may look minimal, when, in reality, it is actually pretty complicated. That is exactly what we were going for.

5 Things to Remember About Web Design

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There are many aspects to proper web design. This makes it difficult to cover all your bases whether you are the designer, or you have someone else taking care of it. There are a few things that even the most experienced web designers forget to take into account. 

HTML is always changing

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a standard coding language for web platforms. Since its creation in the early 1990’s, HTML has undergone multiple updates by different groups and much of the older code can still be read. It has also received specific changes by each browser. The most current version, is HTML5, but even HTML5 is currently undergoing changes. This makes it difficult to keep your site’s code current and readable on all platforms without constant monitoring. Keep in mind, there are other languages as well that must be integrated with HTML on a site, such as PHP, Java, and CSS and some of those interactions change with the changes to HTML. If you are managing yours or someone else’s website, never stop learning the code and honing your skills. If you want the most up-to-date information we recommend visiting w3.org/w3schools.com.

SEO is always changing

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your site more recognizable to search engines, so that your page is at the top of the results when terms related to your industry are entered into a search bar.

The SEO algorithms are different for every search engine and each engine’s algorithm is always changing. These algorithms dictate how the engine’s “crawlers” analyze and rank each website’s information. Search engines are constantly trying to program their crawlers to analyze websites in the most human way possible. Keeping up with the algorithms is impossible, even if you choose to optimize for only one engine like Google. There are a few aspects of SEO that will remain in every algorithm, so make sure these aspects are addressed before diving into the unlimited other ways to get better rankings.

It’s not just about looks but looks are important

This may seem like a contradiction but both points are valid. A site must be attractive and have a good overall user experience. These aspects are monitored by search engines, not to mention your viewers. A beautiful, easy to use site reduces your bounce rate (visitors leaving the site right away) and makes your site appear professional and reputable.

Looks are not the only thing that make a site great. There are so many other aspects of a site that increase SEO and user experience, so it is important to balance each aspect of your site and not just focus on how it looks. SEO essentials are always a good place to look for more aspects that may need attention.

Simplicity is key (but hard to achieve)

Simplicity is the key in many different aspects of web design. User experience, bounce rate, SEO, and many other aspects are affected when a site is too complicated. Whether your site has too much copy, is too wordy, has unnecessary or duplicate code, or the visual appearance is chaotic, both users and search engines will disregard your site. The whole idea of “less is more” rings true when it comes to your site. Just take a look at your favorite sites and note how simple and clean they appear and function.

Your site will never be perfect

Websites require constant monitoring because of many of the things listed above. It is important to remember that your site will never be perfect. It will always need something, so don’t postpone your site’s launch because it isn’t perfect. Changes can always be made to a site after it is launched and should always be made to a site both for SEO and style purposes. Updates never stop.

Web design can seem like a daunting task and that is why many people hire others to do it, but even professionals can get lost in web design and forget important things. Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or a professional, these 5 points will help you immensely in improving your website.

The Quick Scoop on Vehicle Wraps

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Quick-Scoop-BannerWhat is a vehicle wrap?

A vehicle wrap is a vinyl adhesive that can be custom designed, printed, and sticks to the body of your vehicle so neatly that it looks like a paint job. Companies in every industry use vehicle wraps to advertise their goods or services and grow their business.

Fact: A vehicle wrap typically lasts 3-5 years and actually preserves the paint on a vehicle.

Why should I buy a vehicle wrap?

A vehicle wrap is an innovation in advertising because it turns every moment you are driving your vehicle or leaving it parked somewhere into a money-making opportunity. Talk about an easy, versatile, and effective marketing strategy! It literally works while you are just working…no sales pitch or bugging people required.

Fact: Statistics show that vehicle wraps are by far the most effective form of advertising. 

How much do vehicle wraps cost?

A vehicle wrap can cost anywhere from $500 to $5000, it all depends on the size of your vehicle and how much of it you are looking to cover. If designed and wrapped correctly, your vehicle will get noticed everywhere it goes, and will easily pay for itself and generate revenue for years to come.

Fact: It is more expensive to not have a vehicle wrap because of all the selling opportunities you will miss out on.

Where can I get my vehicle wrapped?

Fact: Cortez Visual is the number-one provider of vehicle wraps in the Valley. 

Fact: Cortez Visual been designing vehicle wraps for local companies since ‘97! 

Fact: Cortez Visual only uses 3M-certified materials that come with the longest lasting warranties

Fact: Cortez Visual has by far the most impressive portfolio filled with world-famous designs. 

Fact: Cortez Visual designers are well-trained in the art of vehicle advertising and do not stop the design process until you are stoked out of your mind by the design.

Who can I call to get started?

Call us! Our number is listed at the top of the page.