“Marketing for Your Future” with Alex Alexander from KCo Ad Agency

Alex Alexander
VP at KCo Ad Agency
Website Address: https://www.kcoad.com/

What do you think is the key component to bringing that success to your clients?

Looking for changing in the market before it actually changes and being able to bring that kind of information to the client prior.

COVID has affected the advertising industry, but I’m noticing a definite change in consumers and the attitude and behavior of consumers. How has KCo changed its strategies to adhere to that or have you guys even needed to do that?

When you’re talking about strategies from our standpoint, it’s just making sure that the clients we have that have the ability to have a better online presence, they have that. Realizing that, when it comes to buying and then that kind of thing, there’s a lot less of traditional being purchased whether it be TV or radio or print, and more consumption by the end user online. Any of the clients that, over the last decade, we have had the opportunity to push them into the online presence especially for those who have products that can be sold online, that COVID has shown, that this whole pandemic, has shown them that because they have that ability to produce product or to move product online that they are more resilient than the typical brick and mortar buildings that don’t have the online presences.

Do you think that digital first markets are better positioned to withstand this pandemic? How are you feeling that difference between the brick and mortar and the digital business?

Absolutely. Anybody who has a digital presence and has the ability to produce income online is in far better situation or better standing than anyone who is depending on foot traffic. We have clients out of the Midwest. We come from Midwest, and we have clients in the Midwest right now who are struggling. And for those couple of clients that we had that really resisted the online thing, they knew better, they’ve been here for 60 years, and that kind of stuff, those are the same clients who, God I hope not, but may shudder during this whole COVID thing because they’re in a state that’s locked down. So foot traffic is at a doggone near standstill, and they don’t have what it takes to get their products out or to someone’s house. They’re switching right now from come in and buy to curbside, but they’re not doing those things that would help them be able to deliver to somebody who literally is locked in their home and not going anywhere.

So coming out of COVID, do you think that spending and consumption patterns are going to change and do you think that that’s actually going to be permanent?

I think as a company that produces media for everything and, of course, buys for everything, there’s always going to be the need for traditional. So while spending may be down right now between the COVID and also political buying that kind of stuff, after this I think that we will take moneys and put them back into traditional, but I think that the numbers will be skewed. When we first started the digital side of our business, which was back in 2015, about 20 percent of our clients were digital spends. Going into ’18 and ’19, over 80 percent of our spends are in digital. Right now, almost 100 percent of our spends from digital. So as we come out of this, I do believe we’re still going to go back to some traditional marketing. I get it. I think we should. But I do think that a lot of people have seen that they can spend less money with BOR ROI, with better interaction, and being able to judge and gauge how their money is actually working in the digital space. If anything, this has proven what most of us have been talking about for the last five years which is you should be looking at ways to get to your audience where they are, not where you think they are. And we are, in this particular scenario, going to people where they are, where their feeds are, whether they’re streaming their media or they’re playing online or whatever the case may be. However they’re ingesting, we’re going to get to them in the digital realm where they’re at. And our clients are saying that the ROI dollar is way higher, the return ad spend is higher on these particular ones than it is on something they can’t judge.

Do you feel that that repetitiveness reduces the message and therefore the impact of it?

I would agree with you 100 percent. I think the first week, maybe 30 days, where it’s “look, we’re going through these times together and we’re here together to help each other.” And OK, it’s a good message. After that, it’s just everybody else jumping on the bandwagon to try to make it sound like something. And personally, this is me and our company, we do not promote the “new normal.” I don’t believe this is a new normal. I think this is something we’re going through and this too shall pass and we’re going on into what our future holds. So for anybody, I understand why they’re doing it, I understand the marketing ploys. We’re in marketing; it’s what we do. It’s pitch. But I’m against it. I think that we should be talking about, you know, just to the end user, “Here we are. Here’s what we do for you. We do it well. You’re going to be happy. There you go.” Rather than trying to ploy them into “we care so much.”


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