It Pays to Advertise – 10 Tips

No matter how wonderful your company’s product or service is, if you don’t advertise, nobody will know about it.

The goal of any advertising program should be to cost-effectively reach the largest audience possible and attract new customers. If done correctly, advertising can be a wonderful investment for your small business; if done poorly, advertising can become a huge money sink.

Despite what you see on “Mad Men,” advertising can be a tricky game. We present 10 important tips to help you plan, execute, and monitor your advertising program.

Dart1. Go After Your Target Audience
An advertising campaign should be geared toward your niche market. It is a common mistake to create generic ads that do not speak the language or grab the attention of your potential customers.

Ask yourself what kind of customers you want to attract, and make sure your ads speak to them on a personal level

2. Highlight Your Competitive Advantage
One of the keys to all advertising is to accentuate the pros of your company — those factors that give you your competitive edge. Too many ads are clever but fail to sell the specific benefits of the featured product or service. Unless you highlight these benefits, your ad delivers no value to potential customers.

3. Establish an Image
You can recognize the McDonald’s arches while whizzing by on the highway. Likewise, there are plenty of products that you recognize by their packaging or logo.
Image counts when it comes to advertising and promoting your business. Too many advertisers do not work to build a consistent image, and they’re missing the chance to make an impression on prospective customers

dollar-sign4. You Have to Spend Money to Make Money
There are ways to save money, but advertising is typically not the place to cut corners. Doing so will affect sales, and that affects the bottom line. Successful advertising may cost some money, but that is because it works

5. Advertise in the Right Places
Your favorite magazine, radio station, or even television program might not be a favorite of your audience. Do some research about your target market to understand who they are and determine what they read, watch, and listen to. Then advertise in the appropriate media to ensure that you reach your target market.

6. Don’t Allow Your Budget to Run Your Advertising Campaign
If you budget $10,000 per month for advertising, you’ve made it very easy from a bookkeeping perspective. However, if like most businesses you have seasonal highs and lows, you are spending too much money advertising during down times and not enough when you want to attract customers. Too many entrepreneurs do not budget according to their seasonal advertising needs.

7. Consistency
It is all too common for business owners to choose the best place to advertise based on price and potential rate of returns, and then stop. Out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Wherever you decide to advertise, it is extremely important to remain consistent.

8. Don’t Try to Be Everything to Everyone
No product or service will appeal to everyone. Many business owners, including corporate executives, try to come up with ways to reach every market. Typically, this does not work. It can spell disaster for small businesses, who cannot afford to spread themselves too thin. Therefore, find your market and be everything you can be to that audience.

graphing stats9. Test Your Ads in advance
If you have the time or money to invest in focus groups, you should test your ads on other people. Do they understand and accept the message you are trying to convey? If not, get insight into how you could more effectively communicate your message.

There are other less-expensive ways to test your ads as well — questionnaires, and A/B Testing for example.

10. Monitor Your Ads
It is very easy to ask new customers or clients where they heard about you. As simple as this is, many entrepreneurs do not bother to do so. It is advantageous to understand which elements of your ads are most effective and which media offer the most profitable advertising opportunities for your company



August 2017 Client News

Welcome to the Indiana State Fair!

IN state fairWe live in a Wonderful World of Food. We grow it. We sell it. We cook it. We eat it.

And at the 2017 Fair, we will have FUN celebrating it! Join us in telling the story of how Indiana is helping feed the world.

The Indiana State Fair returns to honor Youth, Agriculture and Education in an entertaining and fun environment.

Join us to make more memories August 4-20, 2017!

Select this link for more information.

Buy Ads Based Off President’s Tweets? Bloomberg Media Says Why Not?

Marketers may soon be able to cash in on the president’s tweets.

Bloomberg Media on Thursday described its latest ad offering, a product called Trigr that taps Boomberg Terminal data to let marketers display ads in response to financial developments.

Crosshair Bloomberg articleIt’s meant to steamline the process of getting creative up in time with events like a shift in the stock market, gas prices or the fortunes of a particular business sector. That’s usually not easy: The process can take “one to five hours,” says Derek Gatts, global head of technology and product at Bloomberg Media.

You’ve got an advertiser talking to an agency, and they’re talking to us,” Gatts says.
“It’s a real challenge. And when all that’s through, it takes another 30 minutes for us to start serving the ad.”

An initial client for Trigr, the insurance company Hiscox, is using it to promote its cyber security offering, according to Russ Findlay, chief marketing officer at Hiscox. Its ads show up when stocks related to that sector shows volatility, suggesting activity and interest in the area.

Bloomberg is looking to ad tweets and new alerts to its portfolio of triggers agains which marketers can buy.


Behavioral Targeting

Be Relevant Crosshair Media Placment Louisville

Behavioral targeting uses information collected from an individual’s web-browsing behavior (e.g., the pages that they have visited or searched) to select advertisements to display”.[1]

When a consumer visits a web site, the pages they visit, the amount of time they view each page, the links they click on, the searches they make, and the things that they interact with, allow sites to collect that data, and other factors, to create a ‘profile’ that links to that visitor’s web browser. As a result, site publishers can use this data to create defined audience segments based upon visitors that have similar profiles.

Those profiles can be used to allow advertisers to position their online ads in on the screen and in front of those visitors who exhibit a greater level of interest and intent for the products and services being offered. Behavioral targeting has emerged as one of the main technologies used to increase the efficiency and profits of digital advertisements, as media providers are able to provide individual users with highly relevant advertisements. On the theory that properly targeted ads will fetch more consumer interest.
Behavioral marketing can be used on its own or in conjunction with other forms of targeting based on factors like geography, demographics or contextual web page content (list of Facebook’s “Detailed Targeting” options[2]). It’s worth noting that many practitioners also refer to this process as “audience targeting”.

Major advantages of Behavioral marketing are that it will help in reaching consumers with affinity, reach consumers that were not exposed to a media campaign, contact consumers close to conversion and in reconnecting with prospects or customers. It is inexpensive, trackable and, IT WORKS!

July 2017 Client News

ColtsWith the NFL season just around the corner, we’d like to thank the Indianapolis Colts for renewing their support of the annual Indiana Broadcasters Association (IBA) Conference. Crosshair Media Placement administers the IBA Public Education Program (PEP) and the IBA annual conference.

IBA_LogoState broadcasters associations positively impact everyone whether you realize it or not. Below are just a few things state broadcasters associations do that you likely never knew.

  • Work with the Department of Homeland Security and the state police to trigger and activate AMBER ALERTS and GOLDEN ALERTS.
  • Ensure that each broadcast radio and TV station is Emergency Alert System (EAS) compliant. (That’s why you hear the alerts simultaneously across your state.)
  • Lobby to local, state and federal officials. For your business, state broadcasters associations are actively “fighting” an ad tax. For years legislators have tossed around the idea of not allowing businesses to “write-off” advertising as a business expense.

Clearly we all know that advertising is a normal and necessary part of doing business and should be able to be deducted. Unfortunately, many of our political leaders have never owned a business and are just looking to impose new taxes. Tax reform is happening statewide and, of course, nationwide.

Top Five Advertising Mistakes to Avoid

Advertising is an essential part of all successful businesses. That’s because it works when placed properly. If not placed properly, it can be a big waste of time and money with a negative impact to your bottom line.

So, let’s avoid avoidable mistakes. Here are the top five:

1. Not properly targeting the market. “Anyone” can buy or place advertising. However, it is essential to properly target your audience and reach them with the right media and message. Media usage and habits for a 43 year old man is different than a 24 year old. This requires extensive quantitative and qualitative research, knowledge in audience measurement, an understanding of how each medium prices inventory. You must also have the ability to negotiate rating points, cost per column inch, etc. while holding media vendors accountable by reconciling and auditing proof-of-performance invoices. Otherwise, you could be advertising in the “wrong place” while paying too much for a media that you shouldn’t be in to begin with. Researching, composing, strategically placing, tracking, reconciling and auditing media campaigns is not a part-time job. You need to have someone fully dedicated to it and working on it daily.

2. Not having a large enough budget. One of the great things today is that there are many ways to advertise inexpensively. Pay-per-click and targeted digital ads are a perfect example. Regardless of the media used always follow this rule: Consistency is the key, consistency is the key, and consistency is the key.  Your budget should be invested in the actual placement of advertising. While it is crucial to have GREAT creative, don’t overpay for it. I’ve witness way too many businesses hire an ad agency and then cough up 25-30% of their ad budget in producing commercials. Don’t get me wrong, a well-produced ad is just as important as the strategic placement, but there are sources to produced ads inexpensively without compromising quality or effectiveness.

3. Having a bad headline. Make your headline pop. This is, of course, the first thing that people read, hear, or see.  So, you have to come up with an initial pitch (the “headline”) that is catchy and clever, and makes people want to know more. That’s its job. Just think – “The Lazy Man’s Guide to Riches” would have a lot more pull than “The Expert’s Guide to Direct Marketing Success.”

4. Creating a bad ad. Once your headline pulls them in, your ad must create some sort of desire on their part; a desire that your business can fulfill. That is why “Sale!” is so effective in advertising; people have the desire to save money. Or eat organic peaches. Or go to Hawaii. A good ad will make people seek out your business, product or service. A good ad does NOT state 10% off or full-service. (Full service as opposed to what?) Those types of one-liners waste airtime or space in your ad as it will not motivate action. Price points certainly can create a call-to-action, but 10% off will not.

5. Having no compelling call to action. A great ad makes people do something. That comes from the “Call to Action.” A call to action can be found almost anywhere in the ad, be it the headline or in the last line. Whatever the case, the point is the same: It makes people take action. For example, a call to action might be:
• “Quantities are limited.”
• “Sale ends Sunday.”
• “Stop in today for a free ____”

I think the best way to remember what a good ad looks like is to remember “AIDA”: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. First you grab their Attention, then you get them Interested in what you are selling and get them to Desire it. Finally, you have a Call to Action.

Quick and Easy Summer Marketing Ideas That Will Heat Up Sales

Need some ideas for summer marketing campaigns? Here are some to try this year.

Get out there.

Warmer weather means outdoor events. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, try looking for ways you can participate in things like street fairs, block parties, or festivals. Pop-ups are also a great idea this time of year, especially in places where people will be in the mood for your goods (think ice cream at the beach, green juices after a yoga-in-the-park event). To promote where you’ll be posting up, send an email announcement to your customers and shout it out via your social channels. E-mail marketing is easy and cost effective.

Host an event.

School’s out for summer, which means people have more time to hang. So why not throw an event to get your customers together? If you’re a flower shop, you might host a summer flower arrangement class. If you’re a fitness professional, you might get your clients together for a beach boot camp. When promoting your event, one thing to consider is just targeting your regular customers with the invitation to show them some love. Bringing your regulars together will help foster a sense of community around your business (always a good thing).

Offer summer gift cards.

Especially if you have summer sales spikes, gift cards are a great way to bring in even more customers. You can even design custom gift cards to fit a summer theme.

Sales, sales, sales.

People will be on the lookout for hot sales as holidays like the Fourth of July and Labor Day roll around. So make sure to keep your business top of mind. It’s a good idea to discount items that would be particularly relevant for each holiday. For Fourth of July, for example, run promotions for party items; things like BBQ supplies, red-white-and-blue decorations, and (legal) fireworks. Labor Day tends to be the time people get back to business, so make sure to promote items around that theme.  Whatever you do, have fun with it!

Whatever your business, you can always find ways to market yourself during the summer months. We hope these tips will help send you quickly on your way.  In addition to “traditional media placement”, we help many clients with social media management, e-mail marketing and, of course, digital campaigns.  Let us help!

Client News… The Sky’s the Limit

skyzone 1The best compliment a business can get is a referral. Very recently a client referred Sky Zone in Appleton-Green Bay, Wisconsin to Crosshair Media Placement and a new partnership was formed.  skyzone

We are grateful to have such wonderful clients who understand the importance of true partnerships.  Our client’s success is truly our success and we strive every day to exceed expectations.

Skyzone logo


The Nielsen Comparable Metrics Report: 05-25-2017

Media & Entertainment

The core purpose of this report is to address three basic concepts equally applicable to all categories of media measurement: how many, how often, and how long.

Fourth-quarter-2016 marks the first full quarter reporting on the effects of crediting enhancements to the mobile panel, specifically with regards to the time spent metrics (all of the “How Long” section plus Mins/Day (Users) under “How Often”). In August 2016 a legacy crediting rule on Android devices that capped usage at 30 minutes was removed, so now if a panelist uses an app or visits a website for more than 30 minutes at a time the entire length of the session is now credited. This change also went into effect for iOS devices in March 2016.

All of the findings were derived from the best available data in the reporting periods of Sept. 26-Dec. 25, 2016 and Sept. 28-Dec. 27, 2015. As a result, we can compare and align metrics with The Nielsen Total Audience Report, allowing the two reports to be used concurrently to gain a better understanding of trends in the marketplace.

average audience

By the Numbers: The 2017 Kentucky Derby

Research Round-Up
My Old Kentucky Home’ Rolling in Economic Impact This Weekend

 It’s just plain horse sense. An overwhelming percentage of the sports business world waits for those magic words, “….and they’re off!” – and the nutty, screaming, nail-biting two minutes that follow – the sports business world is far, far more interested in the numbers leading up to the Kentucky Derby, the official opening of the Triple Crown season.

 The Derby, which runs this Saturday, May 6, is a renowned rite of spring.  And of course, it’s all about the stats. Here are the frontrunners:

  •  170,513 fans in attendance at Churchill Downs in 2015, breaking the previous record of 165,307 in 2012. (Thanks to BetFirm for that).
  • 127,000: The number of Mint Juleps, containing 1,000 pounds of fresh mint, to be served throughout Kentucky Derby weekend. (WalletHub, which also compiled the next few statistics)
  • $5.99: The cost of each drink 
  • $410,000: The amount of charitable contributions raised by Woodford Reserve, donated to equine and humanitarian organizations, stemming from those julep purchases. 
  • 522,000: Cans of beer expected to be consumed in addition 
  • 90 percent: Percentage of female spectators who will wear a hat 
  • $500 to $1,000: Price range of a high-end hat 
  • $200,000: WalletHub’s estimation of the value of the Kentucky Derby trophy, which includes an 18-Karat gold horse and rider, 350 rubies and 12 emeralds.  
  • $192.6 Million:  The amount wagered in 2016, one percent shy of the record set in 2015 
  • $2 Million: The minimum purse to the winner of the Derby, guaranteed by Churchill Downs  
  • 4-1: Odds for Classic Empire, the early “horse to beat,” for the Derby (as opposed to 9-2 for Always Dreaming, 6-1 for Irish War Cry, 7-1 for Thunder Snow, 8-1 for Gunnevera, 10-1 for Irap, 12-1 for Gormley, 12-1 for Practical Joke, and 15-1 for Girvin (SI Live)  
  • $163,000: The number of hot dogs that will be consumed. (WalletHub) 
  • $4 Billion: the economic impact of horse racing on the Kentucky economy (WalletHub) 
  • Zero: The number of female trainers and jockeys who have ever won the Derby (WalletHub)  
  • 15.5 Million: Average number of TV viewers for the Derby last year (WalletHub).

 Watch parties are a big event, whether you live in Kentucky or Kansas, and it’s unknown how many will be held across the U.S. But it’s a sure bet, they’ll include the essential components of mint juleps, hats and even betting pools.

 The good thing is that no matter how big your party, nobody will have to shoulder these statistics from Churchill Downs’ clean-up efforts (provided by WalletHub);

  •  35: Pounds of Tide detergent used to clean the 600-plus competitors’  jerseys 
  • 180 tons: trash generated during the Derby 
  • 12,000: The number of people on staff at Churchill Downs on Derby Day (many of whom will take on clean-up duties)