Company: Searles Graphics, Inc.
Website Address: https://www.searlesgraphics.com
Interviewee: Christopher Searles
Short company description: 2 companies, Searles Graphics does commercial print and graphic design, Searles Media is our agency arm that handles planning, buying, and digital media.
In the Next 5 years, the biggest change to marketing will be what?: That it won’t really change. Marketing is about effective storytelling – it always will be. Yes, the mediums we use to tell those stories change frequently, so trying to predict those changes is an exercise in futility, but they don’t shift as fast as we’d like to believe. TV advertising still works, direct mail is as valuable as ever (maybe more-so), and the cost of digital marketing is on the rise while reach on most of those platforms decreases. Doubtful many felt that would be the case 10 years ago. It’s more important to understand what your story is and who it resonates with, and then find the places that allow you to most effectively communicate with your audience in a genuine way. Jumping on the next medium bandwagon and abandoning what’s working for you now is a quick way to lose your audience. There can be a lot of value in early adoption, but there can be a lot of wasted time too.
What percent of your advertising service offerings does media buying make up?: Very little, we primarily focus on creative.
When buying media, what percent of your advertising investment is spent on traditional media and how much of your advertising budget is spent on digital advertising?: For ourselves it’s probably about 70 / 30 if you’re looking strictly at buys, however we dedicate a lot more time to our digital outlets than traditional which would skew that ratio in the other direction.
Why is it important for a business to hire an outside ad agency as opposed to having just an internal marketing director?: We often find owner-operators and/or internal personnel get too enamored with their own company and have a hard time removing themselves from that role to view their organizations objectively as an outsider. Hiring an agency helps cut through they hype to bring an objective perspective.
When did you open your business and why did you open?
Searles graphics actually was the original company and has been in business since 1974 been around for about forty five years now. And so we started as a commercial print company. But with that we kind of very early on got into graphic design and we are now getting into the digital side.
What are your thoughts about digital. Is it an effective form. Is it the future form. Are we going to forget about the days of broadcast years from now?
I mean I think in terms of you know if you want to compare digital versus traditional, if you want to call traditional or digital versus print. I mean digital certainly is not going anywhere. I think that that print is still going to be around for a long time. I mean really there’s there’s nothing that has kind of replaced that tangible connection that you can make with a brand by just being able to hold something. You know the tricky part of digital is it just it has the ability to change very frequently and it does. So trying to keep up with that and stay current with that I think is the challenge that a lot of people have and especially a lot of small businesses and small business owners that don’t really consider themselves very technical.
Do you think it’s best to be an early adopter and jump on the latest newest digital social whatever platform or tech there might be?
I mean follow quickly is I think it’s good advice. You know the being the first person there has can have some really really huge benefits. I mean if you think about if you were one of the first Twitter users and you were able to build a following that way. You know there’s there’s a lot of advantages. Same thing with Instagram. The problem is there are how many other platforms like that that either don’t go anywhere or went somewhere and then just disappeared. I mean you think about how many people spent time building a vine following and where where has I’ve gotten them today.