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Make Advertising Pay

How You Can Make Advertising Pay Big Dividends

McGraw Hill once commissioned an extensive study to determine what marketing weapons make a company famous in it’s market or community.

The study went on to show that advertising created more product, service, or brand awareness than all other marketing weapons combined.

The fact is, we know that Coke is “The Real Thing” because Coke advertises, not because it has good salespeople or does great direct mail.

Advertising stays in front of your prospects when you can’t be there. While a handful of salespeople can only be in front of perhaps a hundred or so prospects per month, advertising can reach thousands of potential buyers each and every month, week, or day.

Studies also show that advertising inspires confidence from your current clients. When current clients see your ad, it reinforces their belief in you.

It makes them feel like they made the right decision to be your client. But advertising can also waste money if you don’t use it properly.

To avoid wasting money, keep these three tips in mind. Don’t spend money on an advertising vehicle if the majority of its listeners/viewer/readers will never buy your type of product or services.

For example, let’s say that you own a commercial real estate company or a business bank. In both cases, you are only interested in business people.

Broad-reaching television or radio stations or general-interest daily newspapers base their rates on how many consumers they reach.

An examination of their audiences may easily show you that a high percentage of their listeners or readers are not business people, yet you will have to pay to reach all of them.

Conversely, there are more specialized advertising vehicles that target a far greater percentage of your potential buyers.

A business radio program or a business publication will offer you an audience comprised mostly of your potential buyers.

If you do advertise, do not expect that a single ad, or even a few ads, constitute effective advertising. Effective advertising needs to be consistent and steady.

However: If you don’t have the budget to take a full advertising schedule, I often recommend that my clients buy one, well placed ad in the ideal magazine and then use that piece for years sometimes with a banner that says: “As Seen In Industry Today.”

This ad then works very hard for you as a direct mail piece, promo piece, or even a hand out at a trade show.

Don’t spread your advertising too thin. Some years ago, a corporate training company launched its services by buying a few spots per week on seven different radio stations.

Since it was not on any one station long enough to give its message a chance to take root, the advertising was a total failure.

The company should have taken its entire budget and sunk it into one or (at the most) two primary vehicles. Each advertising vehicle has a loyal audience.

You are far better off having a heavy schedule in one vehicle, where you have a chance to break through the clutter and get noticed, than to take a few spots in a half-dozen vehicles in which you get lost in the commercial clutter.

Today, repetition and concentration are the keys to successful advertising.

Another important point along the lines of advertising smart is that cable TV today can virtually change your life in a week. I know a fellow who has an electronic repair business.

He would fix VCR’s, TV’s, Toasters, etc… and he also would come to your home to hook up your entire entertainment system if you needed him to do that. The name of the business was Mr. Tim’s Home Electronic Repair and Installation Service.

First, on my advice, he took an insert in the newspaper. (An “insert” is a flyer that is printed separately and “inserted” into the newspaper as a loose piece of paper).

This is generally a very good way to go with B2B in a trade journal or B2C in a newspaper.

These are good because they fall out of the magazine or newspaper onto your desk or kitchen table and they are less expensive to buy than printing your ad right in the vehicle of choice.

When I ran magazines and newspapers, we discouraged them because we NEEDED ads in the magazine/newspaper, but when we had a client we were going to lose over lack of response, we ALWAYS recommended the insert because they almost always worked.

So Mr. Tim’s Home Electronic Repair and Installation Service took the newspaper insert in the local newspaper and bought, specifically, the major neighborhoods where he felt they have more time than money.

That’s the other beauty of newspaper inserts is that you can generally buy a small piece of the circulation to test the idea or to concentrate geographically. This worked for months for Mr. Tim, as people kept the insert around until they needed him.

But one of the people that spotted that insert was the local cable salesperson who told him he could make him famous. Mr. Tim thought TV would be WAY too expensive, but, as it turns out, in some markets, you can buy just a neighborhood. You can buy by zip code.

(source: www.chetholmes.com)


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