Advertising Works!

Statistics for HSV Marketing:

  • 2012: 86% lead increase and a 85% increase in digital clicks due to national advertising
  • 2013: 10% lead increase and a 1168% increase in digital clicks due to national advertising
  • 2014: 68% lead decrease and a 5% increase in digital clicks due to reduced national advertising
    • Advertising dollars were allocated to product development in 2014. The only national advertising completed in 2014 was for the launch of the Ouachita Sports Trail which was profitable within 3 months of its start and Arkansas State publications.
  • 2015: -95% lead decrease tracking currently (3/1/15) due to reduced national advertising
    • Advertising dollars are again allocated to product development currently.

Advertising works! It increases brand awareness, engages, creates interest, and entices your target market to act. Placing the right advertisement with the right call to action in the right medium will benefit your business.

However, just advertising is not enough. A lead (inquiry) and sales database with a reporting system is very important to manage returns on investment, supply metrics for analysis, and provide excellent customer service (work the leads).

Not every advertisement placed in market will work, it is important to test mediums, advertisement appearances (graphic designs), as well as calls to action. Reporting on each media buy properly will offer you the insights needed to reinvest or divert monies per medium, call to action or per advertisement appearance.

Lead & Sales Database

When I started working for the Hot Springs Village POA in October 2011, I inherited approximately 6000 leads on an Excel sheet that had been distributed to every real estate and rental company in the Village. Some leads were over contacted causing abrasion, while others were never contacted. To resolve the situation, I re-touched every lead with a Welcome Book and built a database system using Sugar CRM.

The database allowed HSV Marketing to input the leads and assign each to one company per interest i.e. a vacation interest lead was assigned to a rental company whereas a live here / property lead was assigned to one real estate company. The benefits of the database included:

  1. Proper assignment and lead responsibility. Companies that did not work the assigned leads were not given any additional leads until the ones already allocated were managed.
  2. Third party access to work the leads which included the ability to change the status from in-process to qualified, dead or sold as well as input key information gathered from working each lead.
  3. Oversight and reporting for Hot Springs Village Marketing.
  4. Control of duplicates, reducing overall abrasion by the Hot Springs Village sales team (real estate and rental companies).

Marketing launched the database with a full training program including a leave-behind ‘how to’ guide. To date, the system is working very well for all parties.

Salesforce and Sugar CRM are good database system options but there are many other options available customized to each company’s database goals and operational budget.

Great Article

10 Retail Technology Predictions for 2015

1. Mobile consumers:  2014 was a tipping point where more consumers shopped mobile vs desktop. That trend will not slow down. If anything faster smartphone adoption and bigger screens with better mobile user shopping experiences will speed the move from desktop to mobile. Retailers shouldn’t shy away from this and need to embrace things like responsive design and even native mobile apps in some cases.

2. Rise of the consumer (good):  Word of mouth and advocacy will finally become a priority for marketers. The days of articles and blog posts speculating if Facebook and Twitter have a future are gone. This has occurred for good reason. Consumers around the globe have embraced social media and in many cases see social as their primary communication channels. These socially empowered consumers are able to broadcast opinions and recommendations to increasingly large audiences at the drop of a hat. Social’s maturity might finally push word of mouth marketing to the top of the to do list for retail marketers.

3. Rise of the consumer (bad):  Viral videos and stories of the terrible experiences some consumers have with brands will no longer be news; they will be an everyday occurrence. Empowered customers broadcasting their grievances to the world is the new reality. Brands need to be aware of this and learn how to deal with it. Those that don’t will be risking a huge blow to their reputations by ignoring their customer experience. If they aren’t yet, this means that retailers must start to embrace the concept of social business to stay in their customers’ good books.

4. The ugly stuff behind the scenes matters. Startups are disrupting the old stalwarts of retail with great marketing and lots of buzz. What they haven’t perfected is the behind the scenes logistics that the old guard has perfected over time. Shipping, warehousing, and payment processing and immature retail logistics and operations will show that some retail startups might still have work to do when it comes to not only growing their brands, but also creating the foundation for the next retail giants of tomorrow.

5. One (or more) of the hot retail startups will falter . One or more of the hot retail startups will falter and be dealt PR blow because of lack of preparedness when it comes to their operations. Even the most disruptive idea can’t shield you from having to deal with inventory issues and mishaps, user hacking, shipping nightmares, etc…

6. The old guard will begin to win the war online.  Established retailers will become the “new” startups online. Much of the ecommerce innovation will be driven by old established brands, finally making online a priority, in strategy AND budget (big ones at that).

7. Social selling:  Someone will finally buy something from a Facebook or Twitter “buy now” button and the world will overreact

8. Instagram monetization:  Now that the active user base of Instagram has passed Twitter, an Instagram “buy button” will be the talk of the town… for a week.

9. Return of the old advertising formats:  Online video sharing and consumption will appear a new renaissance in TV advertising. Video is the most shared content online; a TV is still the best way to consume it…

10. The rest of the world catches up to the US:  Global consumers, consumption habits and channel distribution will begin to mirror American’s much more closely. And for that, those of us in the ecommerce world will be very thankful!

Jason Dea

Marketing Portals

Creating a Marketing Portal is an efficient and effective way for multi-location businesses to manage marketing materials via the web.

High resolution jpegs, PDFs, giffs, pngs, copy, pictures and logos can be downloaded by staff from anywhere.

Portals with shopping carts allow customization for sales staff or vendors. For example, a branded flyer template can be created with variable fields that allow logo and contact insertion as well as a choice of copy options via a preset drop down menu. It only requires a few clicks to customize a corporate branded material and purchase the PDF. Options for printing may also be added to the shopping cart and  managed by a third party printing vendor. Bulk printing helps to reduce costs so be sure to negotiate with the right printer and set protocols to insure that the print schedule combines as many orders as possible for the best bulk rates. Overall Marketing Portals are a secure way to share and distribute branded materials.

Below are screen shot examples of a Marketing Portal the HSV POA Marketing Department is currently developing. This portal will be used as ‘the POA library of branded materials’ and shared across departmental staff.




In my opinion, great managers provide clear directives. They delegate and support. They listen, appreciate and congratulate.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it,” Theodore Roosevelt.



“I have known Dannet for about 2 ½ years and have found her to be honest, reliable and one of the hardest working people I know.  In 2013 we worked closely on a very successful, one day marketing event – the Three Mile Zombie Run and Trail Tour.  The day included 6 trails with events such as a Segway rides, bike tour, dog parade, birdwatching, geocaching and finally the Zombie Run followed by prizes and dinner.  The event required many hours of planning and over 100 volunteers but Dannet handled it all with her usual high energy, good nature and smile.

I enjoyed working with Dannet and I believe she has done a great job promoting our beautiful home, Hot Springs Village.”

Ginger Tanner


Project Management

“Effective project management for business or community events requires a strong leader with solid experience, an eye for detail, the ability to visualize a successful end result, a clear understanding of the value of branding, and high energy.

Dannet Botkin has built a successful career in event management marketing by demonstrating all of these qualities. Whether the assignment begins with devising a concept and identifying the target audience or with implementing an existing plan, Dannet has a firm grasp of logistics planning and the need to coordinate the technical aspects of the project before launching the event.”

Katherine Winslow