Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Most Neglected Part of Your Advertising Campaign

So far, we've covered two of the three elements of the Formula for Advertising Success.

Here's the Formula: http://sclohonet-thebook.blogspot.com/2010/09/formula-for-advertising-success.html

Here's the first element, Reach: http://sclohonet-thebook.blogspot.com/2010/09/are-you-reaching-your-potential.html

And the second element, Frequency: http://sclohonet-thebook.blogspot.com/2010/09/why-one-big-ad-is-waste-of-money.html

Today, I'll dig into the third element, your Message.

First a bit of background. Growing up I enjoyed listening to the radio, not just the music, but the personalities too. When I was 15, my high school started a radio station and about 30 of us volunteered to spend our summer studying for a test required by the Federal Communications Commission in order to work on the air at a radio station. 20 of the 30 passed.

Those 20 were given the opportunity to volunteer at our new high school radio station. That launched my career as a radio disc-jockey and air personality. At my 5 year class reunion, I was the only one that continue that career path.

One of my least favorite parts of the job was recording commercials. The scripts were usually pretty bad, and the reason is in radio, often the person who wrote the ads, was the salesperson and he/she had no training in advertising, only sales training.

One day, when I was 25 years old, I decided to re-write a pizza commercial with two voices, a bit of sly humor and then I produced it along with the boring commercial the sales guy gave me. They used my creative ad and within 6 months, I found a job writing and producing radio commercials in Detroit.

It was hard work, but I loved it. I was fascinated by the techniques that I could use to persuade people to action through advertising. This became a passion of mine is why I do what I do today, 25 years later.

Unfortunately, not much has changed in the advertising world in the past 30 years as far as message creation. (That's your ad.)

I now work with advertising agencies that are responsible for creating ads for their clients, and even some of those are pretty bad.

The adage that any news is good news, even bad news, as long as they spell my name right, doesn't apply to advertising.

Your advertising message must be targeted to the people you want to reach.
Your advertising message must be created with a goal in mind.
Your advertising message needs to break through the clutter of all the other advertising messages that you and I are exposed to daily.
Your advertising message needs to be uniquely yours, not interchangeable with your competitor.
Your advertising message needs to touch emotions first, logic second.
Your advertising message needs to be appropriate for the advertising venue/advertising medium you are using.

Regarding that last item, there is a huge difference between the content of an ad on a Billboard, a newspaper, and radio/TV.

Oh, and just because, you are paying someone to create your ad, that doesn't mean it is worth what you are paying them to create it.

Make the person who is creating your advertising message justify why they are saying and doing what they are creating. This is not a job for amateurs, or interns.

This is your business that you are paying to promote with your advertising dollars. It is your investment in your future. Don't neglect it.

If you are in the Northeast Indiana Area, (Fort Wayne), contact me if you would like help. Scott@ScLoHo.net

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why One Big Ad is a Waste of Money

Continuing my focus on the Formula for Advertising Success...

Click here to read the Formula.

Click here to read the first part (Reach).

Now that you're caught up, let's talk about Frequency.

I sometimes get the question, "how much does it cost to advertise?" and I usually answer that question with a question, "What are you trying to accomplish with your advertising?"

I'm not in business to try and get the most money out of someone, I'm in the business to help them develop a plan that works.

By that I mean, reach the goals they have both long range and short term.

Rarely have I ever had someone do too much advertising, yet I've seen a lot of money wasted becasue it wasn't allocated properly.

Last week, I talked about Reach, the number of people that will potentially see or hear your ad.

Frequency is just as important, if not more important than Reach.

Frequency is how many times a person is going to hear or see your message. And to illustrate this principle, let's talk about dating.

I met my wife of nearly ten years about a year before we wed. We dated for 6 months before getting engaged.

What do you suppose would have happened if I asked her to marry me the first time we met and if she said no, then I didn't have any contact with her.

Yep, I'd still be single.

It takes more than one advertisement to bring in loyal customers, no matter how much money you spend on that one ad.

It may take 3 to 4 times (or more) for the target customer to even become aware of your ad, another 3 or 4 times for them to understand who or what the ad is for, and unless they are in the market for what you are advertising, it will take consistent exposure over time (like dating) for that particular person to buy from you.

Here's a simple math question:

You have $12,000 you can spend for advertising. You can get one full size color ad in the Sunday newspaper which reaches 100,000 people with the frequency of 1.

Or you can budget that $12,000 on a radio campaign to last you 12 full months. With one of my radio stations, I can craft a steady advertising plan that reaches 41,000 people over 80 times over the year. That's a frequency of 80.

One last question to drive home the point of Frequency.

The following bought one $3,000,000 (or more) ad in the 2010 Superbowl.

Do you remember them:

U.S. Census Bureau

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Are You Reaching Your Potential?

And I'm referring to potential customers?

If you use traditional media like newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, Billboards, and some internet options, they will try and tell you how many people they reach with numbers such as circulation, listeners, viewers and traffic counts.

In reality, this has very little to do with the success of your advertising campaign.

Newspapers often use a formula that multiplies the number of papers printed by a number between 2 and 4 stating that each paper is read by 2 or more people. This math also happens in the magazine business.

Radio and TV stations get their audience info from independent companies such as Arbitron (Radio) and Nielsen (TV). They do surveys of a small sample of people and then use that data to make assumptions about the rest of us. Sort of like political polls.

Billboard companies use info from whatever government department is responsible for traffic counts.

Internet sites can track how many people visit a web page, but there are other issues that I'll share with you about the web.

But first, let me toss in another advertising option: Cable TV.

Cable TV reaches between 80 and 85% of the people in the city I live in. I get 100+ channels.

Cable TV advertising sales people use this type of info to explain why they are the best option for advertising.

All of these are only part of the equation. What ever number you are given is an estimate of the potential number of potential customers that you might be able to REACH with your advertising.

Which is a good number to know.

But the REACH number is only part of the Formula for Advertising Success.

And there are some flaws to using this as the main reason to pick one advertising option over another.

When you last read the newspaper, did you read every section? Did you read all the ads?
When you listened to the radio or watched television, did you listen and pay attention to every commercial?
When you drove to work, did you read all the billboards and signs you passed?

You and I are exposed to 1000's of advertisements and commercial messages every day. Can you write down 50 that you recall from the past 24 hours?

Next time I'll tell you about Frequency, which is one of the reasons you can recall those dozen ads you just wrote down.

And I'll also tell you in the weeks to come the numbers that you really should know first.

Or write to me at Scott@ScLoHo.net if you can't wait.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Formula for Advertising Success

Last month I was consulting with a gentleman who had a couple of marketing/advertising ideas.

He said marketing, I saw them as advertising.

Advertising is a paid form of marketing usually involving ads or commercials.

After hearing his ideas I realized that he was unaware of a basic formula that I've known and preached for years.

There really is a formula for Success in Advertising. Unfortunately a minority of people know it, and even less follow it.

Some do it be accident, but imagine how much more successful you could be if you consciously followed a formula.

Here it is:

Reach + Frequency + Message.

Put the word Right in front of each of those three words.

Reach is the number of different people that you ad will be exposed to.
Frequency is the number of times one person will be exposed to your ad.
Message is, well it IS your ad.

Every single form of advertising, from Billboards, to website banner ads, to radio ads, every form of advertising relies on this formula for success.

Before you agree to spend another nickle on advertising, consider these three elements.

Contact me if you need help. Scott @ ScLoHo.net

I'll dig deeper into each of these in the future.