E-mail can be both good and bad for your business. You have to be careful that you respect people’s privacy, that you only email when you have something important to say (nothing turns a person away from your emails faster than non-relevant information), and that you have an easy opt-out/unsubscribe system. Personally it’s always polite to ask permission to e-mail someone.
It’s Strength: Least expensive way to reach people on a regular basis. No limit on copy. No postage.
It’s Weakness: Takes time to harvest a good e-mail list. Remember you must have people give you permission before you email or you will cause more damage than good.
When to Use E-mail...When you don’t have something important to say, sending an email too often will turn the participant against you. People will soon begin to ignore your e-mails. Send it too infrequently and people forget about it. Most importantly, every email you send should say something worth hearing, be it inside information, a great deal, or a big event.
Television combines the ‘Intrusiveness of Radio’ with the awesome power of visual effects to grab a person’s attention.
99% of North American homes have at least one television. The average person watches TV seven hours each day. People consistently say they get most of their news and information from television especially local TV news. Even with the internet television is much better media to use to get your message out.
It’s Strength: The combination of audio & visual that has the possibilities of making very memorable advertising.
It’s Weakness: Expensive to buy, it's expensive to produce the kind of quality ads that make your business memorable. It's difficult to get a high enough frequency to be memorable long term. However, there are special deals in television if you know how to negotiate and what to ask for. Our media buys benefit your company as we can negotiate the very best prices and television schedules on the planet.
When to Use Television... When you have a big advertising budget and a great creative team that's able to make a big impact.
We have that creative team.
Viral Marketing is when something you do gets noticed and grows exponentially in excitement similar to videos on YouTube, Vimeo and other video playing sites.
It's Strength: Once started, it can build momentum that continues long after the initial ad was created.
It's Weakness: Difficult to get a ball rolling. A bad message can backfire against you.
When to Use...When you have a fool proof, honest, interesting, relevant, compelling message.
Example: A mom posted a video montage about how she lost her son in a car accident while he was strapped in a booster seat. It was very emotional. In the video she mentioned a car seat by a company called Britax. Sales of this car seat rose over 100% in the following months. Now the parents have a foundation with thousands of dollars and give away free car seats to the needy.
But be careful, just having a compelling message is not enough to go viral. And if your message is contrived or false in any way, viral marketing can backfire and cause a huge backlash.
The Internet has many ways to reach customers including pop-up ads, banner ads, ad-clicks, listings and links along with search engines, many of which you should be using.
It’s Strength: Very inexpensive to get links and listings on appropriate sites such as local area websites, vendor “where-to buy” sites, etc. Ad-clicks give you measurable return-on-investment results that help you manage your advertising better.
It’s Weakness: Pop-ups and banner ads are often blocked or filtered and can send negative damaging messages to potential customers. Pop-ups and ad-clicks are only good for directing traffic to another website (yours).
When to Use: When it’s FREE and when you are marketing your OWN website, or when your website is your main source of income (e-commerce).
People following banner ads and ad-clicks are looking for direct solutions such as purchasing something online. Make sure you have a compelling reason for them to go to your website before spending money marketing to get those clicks.
This media is so outdated its funny. Yellow page providers have survey after survey to convince you of the power of their medium still works. But as Winston Churchill said, “The only statistics you can trust are those you falsified yourself.”
Yellow Pages are where people go when they have no thoughts of who to call for a particular service or product. When asked, people often say they would use the Yellow Pages to find someone such as a plumber or an electrician. But in reality, the first source they would use is a friend, family member or co-worker who might know an electrician or plumber. Now they go to the internet and simply Google it!
It’s Strength: Reaching people who are new to town and do not have a network of friends or family to ask.
It’s Weakness: Outdated media, Only effective for people who haven’t used a computer. Google has replaced the yellow pages.
When to Use... Never. The same applies to online yellow pages.
Direct Mail is targeted directly at people most likely to be open to your offer. When done effectively it’s like using precision targeting of a rifle versus the scattered approach of a shotgun. Direct mail can be extremely effective.
It’s Strength: Can pinpoint your marketplace directly and to make your offer more appealing. It helps get your offer directly into the hands of those to whom need what you offer.
It’s Weakness: Can be expensive, especially if you don’t choose the right target market or don’t make a compelling offer. Direct mail can be habit forming, especially when receiving coupons or a compelling offer. Customers who are used to getting regular offers will wait for the next offer until they shop your store again.
When to Use Direct Mail...When you have a Direct Offer of Value to a well-defined audience. Direct mail is costly. You have the costs of developing the direct mail piece, the costs of creating a quality list of addresses, the cost of whatever compelling offer you choose and the cost of training the staff to handle the offer.
Weigh your costs and see if a 3% return (average return on direct mail offers) is worth the hassle.
However, we use a method to combine a direct mail campaign with an personal email campaign that works wonders.
Social Media includes social networking sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn and others. These sites are different from traditional websites in that they are primarily two-way communication tools. Setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account is not so much about what you say as in what you hear. If you think about them as communication tools and ways to connect meaningfully with your customers, not just platforms for advertising, then you are thinking the right way.
It's Strength: You can hook up with a lot of people quickly and inexpensively and the information you share gets passed along exponentially to their friends and their friends’ friends. Social Media is a fantastic way to get immediate feedback from customers, too.
It's Weakness: It’s is a permission-based tool that takes time to develop a quality following and can be as powerfully negative as positive if used incorrectly.
When to Use... When you want to have a two-way conversation with your biggest fans, or when you want to communicate a positive message that is not a “sales-pitch”. Nostalgia and Causes are big on these sites. If you have a certain cause you strongly support, social networking can be a huge tool to garner support for your cause (and get your name out in front of people with similar values as you). Sales pitches and hype work least well. In many cases they can be more harmful to your business than nothing at all. Be careful what you say because everyone that wants to, will see it. The best use of Social Media is feedback. Ask questions and listen to what your customers have to say. Then respond to that feedback.
Newspapers are all about the eyes scanning, scanning and scanning seeping through all the print until finding something of relevance. If the headline or the ad doesn’t grab your attention you won’t read the article, it’s as simple as that. The same is true about newspaper ads. If it isn’t relevant to what you’re customers are looking for they just won’t see it. But if it’s something they need, they might find it. It all depends on your headline.
Newspaper has potential... It creates great traffic for an upcoming event for your store or business. It’s purpose is to create immediate awareness of your product.
However it is a weak and passive media, seen only by people actively seeking products and services in today’s market. It is possible to read an entire newspaper cover to cover and not remember one single ad if the ads were not relevant to you. Even if you have a sale or an event, only the people interested in what your offering will even see your ad.
When to use this media...: When you are having a special event or want to advertise a special product to sell.
Here’s a little tip; to have a better chance at being seen, newsprint ads have to be
about the product or the event, never, never about your business.
Your business isn’t relevant enough to warrant any attention. People who are interested become interested in the product or the service and what it will do for them, not your store or business.
There is a graphics trick we use that makes our clients newspaper ads pop. They always get great results and their products always sell out quickly.
Word-of-mouth is when someone tells someone else how great (or how bad) you are. There is no better form of advertising than Word of Mouth...if it's good word of mouth.
It’s Strength: Strongest, most convincing form of advertising. Study after study shows that we are more likely to believe the testimonials of our friends (or even strangers online) than we are the words of a company directly.
It’s Weakness: Can only be made by powerful buying experiences with your customers or effective intrusive branding campaigns with powerful messages.
When to Use... When you can give your customers something positive to talk about. (Note: You have to ask for it all the time through what you say and do!)
Most Word of Mouth comes from three things…
Design - Your business has a knock-out design that people can’t wait to talk about.
Performance – You regularly EXCEED exceptional customer service with over-the-top, observable flair.
Generosity – You give people something for free they were never expecting to get.
We have a method that creates for our clients positive word of mouth.
Our little secret spreads word of mouth like wild fire and creates long term customer loyalty.
Radio has one distinct advantage over all other media – It’s intrusiveness. Sound is stored in the memory more effectively than the written word. Sound, the spoken word offers emotion and encourages the listeners imagination to produce their own desirable image of your product.
Radio is the theatre of the mind. You cannot turn off your ears. Even when you aren’t paying attention you’re still listening. That’s why you can sing along to thousands of songs you never intended to remember. But it takes frequency, lots of it over a long period of time to accomplish that goal. In the car, at the office, in the garden you can reach your customer on the radio throughout the day or night. This increases the frequency that your message can be delivered.
It’s Strength: Winning the hearts of the people before they’re in the market for your product or service. Radio gets the same core message across repeatedly to the maximum number of people in a relatively short period of time. Intrusive in nature, radio listeners tend to have more loyalty to their stations. Even today, it's the best dollar for dollar value for your advertising budget.
It’s Weakness: Branding campaigns take time, money and commitment until the effects of radio ads are fully realized in terms of traffic & sales.
When to Use Radio...When you want long-term brand awareness.
Billboards are often considered the least expensive form of mass-media for businesses who are trying to reach a lot of people with a high frequency. We are creatures of habit, so we travel similar paths to work and we regularly see the same billboards over and over again.
Advertising anything outdoors means 24-hour exposure to the public eye. Outdoor advertising signs are not temporary or periodic, but rather consistent and non-stop. It’s always in sight for the public night or day, rain or shine.
It’s Strength: It reaches a lot of people with a high frequency viewing over a short period of time.
It’s Weakness: It limits in what you can say.
When to Use Billboards... When you can say your message completely in one picture and eight words or less. Because of the limited time a driver has to read a billboard, the most you can expect to put on a billboard is minimal.
The trick is to express the exact emotion you want to convey to your customer using graphics and words. Billboards, to be effective, need to be used often and changed often. The brain is not impressed by the usual and mundane. You need to be surprising and interesting with your visuals to grab attention. Once a billboard has been seen for about a month, it starts to blend into the background. Change the look, change the image often, but not the message.
Truth In Advertising
(Your Website) The Silent Salesman…
Think of your website as your silent salesman for your business, keeping you open and in front of the public 24/7. Your website does not have to do e-commerce to be effective, but however it does need to put your best foot forward, answer all relevant questions a potential customer might have and show the customer what to expect when they come to your store. The most important thing to remember about human behavior is that people only do that which they have already imagined themselves doing.
It’s Strength: 24/7 Salesman for your business, able to give people a sense of comfort about your business before they even step foot inside the door or call you on the phone. Today it’s easy to put a site together and have it online quickly.
It’s Weakness: Needs to be kept fresh and may need its own marketing campaign just to drive traffic to the site. Hands on approach. Many business owners don’t know what a site should look like and how the consumer is to best use it. A lot of company websites do not reflect the proper image of the business and may hurt sales.
When to Use... A must have in today’s business world! Yes you need a website that is relevant to the customer. When planning your website, think like a customer. Go through your website as if you were a customer and experience what a customer would experience when logging on to your site. What brought them to your site? What do you hope they see, or learn? How easily can they find all the important information? How many clicks does it take to get relevant information? Is the content clear and simple? (hint: it should never be more than two clicks) and finally what is your call to action? What is it you want them to do?
There is a powerful analogy for the four types of markets when it comes to magazines. The Ocean, The Swamp, The Pond and The Well…
• The Ocean is where the interest is widespread and deep
• The Swamp is where the interest is widespread but shallow
• The Puddle is where the interest is narrow and shallow
• The Well is where the interest is narrow but deep
Oceans are obviously the best. An never ending body of water. There is room for all kinds and all types of businesses, interest in this market is abundant.
Swamps on the other hand look like oceans but can dry up quickly.
Puddles can dry up in an instant, but Wells, although narrow, can draw water for a long time.
(Magazines are the “Wells” of the marketing world.)
Their Strength: Niche Marketing, reaching a small but active buying market.
It’s weakness: Often too infrequent and passive for long-term, magazine ads becomes too widespread.
It’s good to use magazines... when your market is very specialized and you have a trade magazine that reaches the vast majority of active customers.