Are you listening?
A man who stops advertising to save money, is like a man who stops the clock to save time. – Henry Ford
With twenty years in mixed media and advertising, Cheri Roberts of High Desert Media Magic knows just how true this is. Her business goes beyond media buying to helping businesses feel confident in their advertising plan and spending.
I recently sat down with Cheri and learn more about what she does to help businesses maximize their marketing efforts. Since she is so eloquent, I will let her tell you in her own words what she is all about!
RelyLocal: Congratulations on celebrating a year of High Desert Media Magic! Tell us a little bit about what you do.
Cheri Roberts: High Desert Media Magic turned one year old the first week of February. A year and profiting! Thank you. I am very proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. We are growing solidly with more than 23 clients, 3 weekly events and still more to come.
The majority of my background is in mixed media. I wanted to work with the client and make the media work for them, instead of working for the media. That’s why I started HD Media Magic. I help bring ad buying power to the tables of businesses that otherwise thought they could never afford it. Everything I do has a formula to it.
The weekly events people might be familiar with includes the Singles Asylum [Tuesday nights at Gators 2 in Victorville]. The goal of the Singles Asylum is not necessarily meeting your soul mate, but getting singles out to have fun and meet new people. We have ridiculous “think together, work together” challenges just like on a reality show. It’s quite fun to watch! We wanted to make it a different kind of experience. The second event is Working Women’s Wednesday [Wednesday nights from 5-7 at Gators 2 in Victorville.] This is a fun mix of business networking and happy hour with games, vendors and LOTS of prizes. And, thirdly we just contracted with Kinari (Sociale) for our newest event The Candlelight Murders [Sunday nights from 6-8pm in Victorville]. Sunday nights are full of fun and intrigue during our Murder Mystery dinners.
Other future events in the works are Kids’ Karaoke, which is very family oriented and will give families a fun, climate-controlled, affordable means of after-church dining and fun. We are also involved in mixed martial arts (MMA) and are working on a ring girl competition with prizes to include an international magazine spread plus an annual contract as a ring girl with a cage fight company.
What are the biggest challenges for small businesses using big media?
Roberts: Just like breathing, advertising is the air for your business. Advertising should never be thought of as a splurge. You have to arm yourself with knowledge; it has to be given a lot of thought. Additionally, ad agencies and media outlets lose the idea that small business owners value their businesses for reasons beyond just the livelihood. Small businesses, really any size business, can get intimidated by media sales people. Most business owners don’t know that there are different rates and they can negotiate a better deal. Having been a part of big media for as long as I have, I feel that advertisers are very easily taken advantage of. High Desert Media Magic is like the insurance policy that they’re gonna get it right. For my clients to trust me is great, but at some point they should be able to make advertising decisions on their own. Research is important and I am going to give the clients as much info as I can. Clients and prize partners [associated with our events] have an open door to learn from me so they can move forward with confidence without me when the time comes.
RL: What does it look like when a business works with High Desert Media Magic?
Roberts: We can do a variety of things for our clients. Businesses large and small hire me as an acting marketing and/or promotions director. Sometimes they want me to focus on radio ads, sometimes they give me a budget and say “What can we do?” As I said, I’m big on market research. You’re always going to have increased sales when you present it properly to the right audience. You can present five different messages and they are going to reach 5 different kinds of people. Is that the most effective way to go? Hardly.
High Desert Media Magic works on a retainer, not a commission. We don’t take money away from our client’s media. We just make their existing budget work harder even.harder. A lot of people don’t realize there’s free stuff to be had when it comes to their advertising. It is rarely offered because of that. I like to get the free stuff for my clients too.
We also teach clients to be patient with advertising. There is a “magic” week between about week 12 and week 14 in an advertising campaign. People are aware of you at that point and more willing to refer you even if they haven’t used you. I would never presume to tell any business owner how to run their business. What I do know is the advertising, marketing, promotions industry. A message that comes from me about their business is going to be more powerful. I know the triggers that get people to come and do business with them.
Additionally we have voiceover artists in our talent pool and do live events, voiceover, TV, print, internet…you name it. We do it all when it comes to marketing and promotions. I have a clearinghouse of performers. The sky’s the limit with creativity!
RL: Why are you committed to local businesses in the High Desert?
Roberts: We are all responsible to our local economy. Every one of us drives on these streets. We all need to use these public services eventually. In addition, I lived here for 13 years, had my family and raised my kids here. I moved to Portland, Oregon for 8 years, but moved back last year to be with my mom and help her deal with health issues before she passed away. During this time, I found a huge need in the local business world so to help drive the local economy a little faster I created High Desert Media Magic.