What's this blog really about?

You may notice a variety of topics here - from business, to charity promotion, even to local news, but the primary reason this blog was created was to alert readers to the hostile atmosphere and sexual harassment at The Danville Register & Bee. The readers and creator of this blog want a FULL FRONT PAGE apology in the Danville Register & Bee, plus the disciplining of those individuals involved. Until then, we'll continue to post regular updates. To tolerate THIS kind of behavior by a major media network is intolerable. And this isn't just ONE instance. Media General has been sued nationwide for racism and sexism, yet they CONTINUE to keep the offenders employed. Why? And why am I doing this? TRUTH compels me.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Do Ads work?

Do ads work?

Newspaper people believe they do. They've been taught to tell you what you want to hear in order to close the sale. Ask them about their degree in marketing. Do they have one? No. When's the last time the Register & Bee did a survey, one-on-one with their readers ASKING them about what ads they read? Never? uh-huh.

Now, I'll tell you what the studies show - it takes a MINIMUM of 12 ad views - that's right - 12 views for a reader to BEGIN to recognize your company/ad and that's IF they see the same ad. MOST people do not read the ads unless they are looking for a specific item. Many people will simply SCAN the ads looking for words like "SALE" or "40% OFF" or other items that indicate possible savings."

The ads that WORK are grocery store ads, car ads, real estate ads - ads that keep a constant presence in a publication that people read - not one that is printed and then the extra copies thrown in the recycle bin still bound from the printer.

The OLD way of advertising was to blanket as many newspapers, magazines and billboards as possible, and to buy as much television and radio air time as you could afford. That was BEFORE the internet. Now society is forming groups or "tribes" of people interested in certain things - like gardening magazines. If you sell gardening supplies do you think you'll get a better response placing ads where gardeners go for information (magazine or website) or in the local paper? You don't need to REACH 20,000 readers. You need to reach 2,000 or 200 readers who WANT TO BUY. See the difference? Would you rather try to sell 50 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to anyone walking into a hardware store or to people walking into a bakery or grocery store? Hint. The people walking into a bakery or grocery store are more likely to be in a cookie buying mindset. And the bakery may even be better than the grocery. Sure the bakery is smaller, but it's not size that counts. It's NUMBER OF POTENTIAL cookie buyers that count.

So - if YOU were a small business, what's your best advertising? Word-of-mouth, newsletters aimed at your customers, and the best return of all, permission marketing. What is permission marketing? Permission marketing is when you sign up to receive email or information from a company or business because you're interested in what they're selling. When we request a catalog from The Pottery Barn or The Gap, or LL Bean, we're giving them permission to send us ads.

They don't send their ads to people who don't buy their stuff and don't want to buy their stuff and save themselves millions of dollars that way. Why are YOU paying to put your ad in front of thousands of people who don't want to buy what you're selling?

If you sell hair care products, why not invest your ad dollars in a flyer with information about hair care (download the one I wrote/laid out/created here. IT'S FREE)

Put YOUR products in a flyer and leave the flyer at area hair salons. In exchange for leaving the flyer there (ie. what's in it for the hair salon) you put the names of the hair salons where YOUR product is available!!! The hair salon wins because they're not paying for advertising - they're just handing out your brochure! They're making their money from selling your product! So yeah - they're going to hand out the flyer.

NOW the people who use hair care products and come into salons are getting your "ad" and are MORE likely to buy. You haven't spent all your money in newspaper ads where people are only buying the paper for the grocery ads and the sports page. The money it costs to buy a half page ad in the Register & Bee that will run for ONE DAY is three times what it costs to have the flyer made. Add another $100 for printing and you have enough brochures for weeks - maybe months. And the brochures keep circulating. The newspaper doesn't. It's trash in a day or two. Why keep burning your money? Do you have that much to waste?

If you join Danville Business (joining is FREE), you can advertise for free on your page. No gimmicks. No tricks. As part of a social network you not only meet other people who get to know you and spread your name FOR FREE, you join the growing movement of new business practices - social media. What is social media? Watch this video.

And, as marketing guru Seth Godin writes in his business blog:

Do Ads work?

If the local bank were offering a sale on dollar bills, ninety cents each, how many would you buy?

Most rational people would say, "I'll take them all please." Especially if you had thirty days to pay for them.

So, why, precisely, do you have an ad budget?

If your ads work, if you can measure them and they return more profit than they cost, why not keep buying them until they stop working?

And if they don't work, why are you running them?

If you like advertising in a newspaper, it should be because it works, not because it feels good. Massages feel good. Winning at something feels good. But throwing money away on ads that DON'T work? HOW can that feel good?

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