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.

Real-Time Creative Optimization Will Come To Native Advertising

Watch For These 3 Trends We Are Predicting to Breakthrough in 2017…

Native optimization goes “on-demand” with better research and creative tools:  

Native ads are comprised of dynamic, changeable parts and brands will want to optimize their creative assets while it still matters, instead of waiting for next year’s campaign. This speaks to the need for real-time creative optimization, or dynamic creative optimization.

Consumers read native headlines, even if they don’t click on them. It’s going to become important for brands to understand the true influence of their native ad copy decisions quickly—beyond mere clicks—and make adjustments to them while campaigns are still running. This means that this year, we’ll start to see a much more fluid collaboration between the people making the creative, the people studying the impact of that creative, and the platforms that the creative assets are running through. The entire process is speeding up and entering an on-demand era. 

In-feed native video becomes a premium video category for mobile:

Native video has proven itself as an incredibly powerful way for a brand to drive efficient video views and boost awareness of specific messages with accompanying headlines. Research has shown that brands can increase brand lift, message recall, and purchase intent in just seven seconds. This trend has combined with a general explosion in mobile video watching, especially among younger audiences, and has led to an overall increase in liquidity in the native video market. With the pipes in place for native video to be traded programmatically, this is bound to be a burgeoning area in 2017. Video will become the default setting for native advertising before too long. 

Creative strategy fully embraces the silent autoplay era on mobile:

According to the Martin Agency, 94% of the video ads it places on Facebook are viewed silently. Silent autoplay video has become such a dominant audience experience, both on and off Facebook, that a modern creative approach demands these elements be integrated into the experience. Brands have an “attention audition” now with silent autoplay video. Captions need to impart crucial information to people who scroll through the feed, and entice people to click through and watch the compete video. This year, I expect we’re going to see a much more sophisticated pairing of copy via captions—headlines and descriptions—which will increase the brand impact for people watching on silent autoplay

6 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Tactics This Year

Find a new type of customer – Chances are you have a pretty good feel for what your customers want, but you might still be missing out on potentially lucrative niches for your products if you haven’t considered how others might use them.  For example, the iPad’s target customer base might be professional thirtysomethings, but that didn’t stop Apple from marketing it to schools as a learning tool.

Live in your customers’ worlds – Have your staff attend the same events as your customers, mingle with them and get to know them.  Don’t have them try to make an immediate sale; instead, encourage them to learn more about what drives your customers.  Doing so will undoubtedly lend insight into how you can better serve them, spur product ideas and establish a loyal customer base.  Be sure they’re  handing out business cards to everyone they meet – after they get to know them.

Research … then take risks – A lot of small business owners I know blindly try new marketing mediums or buy media that THEY use without ever researching how well they perform for their products or services.  Research marketing tools, then make decisions based on their established performance.  You might also discover marketing tools your industry doesn’t use, so you can tap into them without competition.  Don’t be afraid to take risks… just make sure they’re educated risks first.

Outsource – You can’t do it all, but when you outsource to qualified providers you can accomplish more and make more money in less time.  There are many outsourcing guides available; the best advice I can offer is to make sure you select your providers wisely.  Do not waste money in retainers, fees, billable hours, etc. if you don’t have to.  When you have a great provider, you can achieve great things with little risk.

Have fun – Have fun with your new marketing ideas.  Don’t be afraid to brainstorm or to try something no one else has ever done before.  After all, the biggest prizes go to the innovators.

Consistency is king – All of our clients know, from me repeatedly stating this, that The No. 1 thing you need to do with your brand or product is be consistent. This means that your messaging, positioning and look should line up across platforms. It’s not about posting the same thing on each social media platform — it’s more about having everything have a consistent look.

 

2017: An Exciting Time for Research Suppliers and Clients Alike

1)   Marketing spending will continue to move mobile.

As ad spending continues to target Millennial and Centennial consumers, the focus will be on mobile and video – where these generations are plugged in constantly. These types of advertisements require us to rethink current models of ad testing and incorporate newer technology that can track and monitor how the younger generations respond to advertising on mobile devices.

Location-based marketing will likely see a huge increase this year. Consumers, especially younger consumers, have developed the ability to effectively ignore marketing that does not directly apply to them. Successful brands and retailers will incentivize engagement with brands through personalized marketing that catch the consumer in their immediate reality (time and place). Consumers appreciate the personalized touch of location-based coupons and sale announcements. Continuing to understand how consumers use mobile while in stores or while out walking around will be a big focus of experience-based research this year, which leads to our next trend.

2)   Brands will increase efforts to measure the experiencing-self of consumers.

As brands increase efforts to measure the experiencing- self of consumers along with the remembering-self of consumers that has traditionally been measured, integrating the two becomes critical. Research methodologies like monitoring and ethnography need to be paired with data from survey research to better understand the full picture of what is going on with consumers.

3)   The new shopping landscape is “buy anything, anywhere.”

Consumers want immediacy and they want everything custom tailored. Older retail models that don’t buy into anytime anywhere are severely challenged in the new marketplace.

The new three-dimensional structure of buying channels requires a more robust research initiative into the various ways people consume in the “buy anything, anywhere” age. Consumers do price comparisons in stores, and then buy online. Conversely, some consumers decide on purchases online and have groceries delivered or have their goods delivered to their car curbside at Target.

4)   Big data keeps getting bigger.

Storage is cheap; processing is cheap – so cheap in fact that companies are able to house and store massive amounts of data for very little cost. Data collection devices have increased the pace of data creation, IBM estimates 90% of the data in world has been created in the last 2 years. Every transaction, every event imaginable is being logged and recorded. The silos between the data are being destroyed and with the adoption of Hadoop and NoSQL databases, storing, accessing, and combining vast amounts of data while still challenging is a tractable problem.

Big Data represents an enormous challenge for market research, which is historically based on comparably smaller, point of time data sets. While Big Data is certainly a disruptor that the industry is fully aware of, it also represents a tremendous opportunity for researchers to incorporate real insights from huge datasets with a wealth of information. When this information is shared, incorporating this performance data into research initiatives not only provides deeper context, but a more well-rounded story.

5)   As video consumption increases, so does ad spending.

Every statistic about video consumption is on the rise and shows no sign of slowing. YouTube boasts that partner revenue and the number of channels earning six figures on YouTube are up 50% year over year. Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime continue to create compelling content that competes with the traditional networks.

Sure, video is important to consumers, but it’s also key for marketers and advertisers. The Online Publishers Association reports that four of five Internet users recall watching a video ad on a website they visited in the last 30 days. The majority of senior executives state they’d rather watch a video than read written text, according to Forbes Insight. Measuring engagement with video, particularly on mobile devices, is key to understanding its effectiveness on the target audience.

This year looks to be an exciting time for research suppliers and clients alike. As consumers expect a more tailored experience what they watch and how they shop both online and in store, the research providing deep insights into the consumer world will need to be flexible, customizable, and focused on the experiencing-self of customers. Continuing to find new ways to incorporate new technology while creating a cohesive story from a full range of research offerings is now more important than ever.  That’s why we work directly with business owners and their marketing teams to ensure that your business is seen, heard and relevant! 

January Client News

2016 was a great year for Bachman Auto Group!  Steve and Teresa Bachman, along with her son Ryan, and other family members successfully operate Bachman Chevy, Bachman Subaru and Bachman Volkswagen.  (As well as other companies like their Business Elite division.)  bachman-group-logo

If you live in Louisville, you’ve undoubtedly watched Teresa on TV countless times and can probably hear the jingle in your head right now….BACHMAN MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!

There are many factors in the success of their business.  First is the way Steve and Teresa treat their employees.  Many, many of their employees have happily worked at Bachman for more than a decade.  This directly carries over to how the Bachmans, and as importantly, their employees, treat their customers.  Their referral and repeat business is extremely strong and effective.

working-on-tv-adFinally, if you read my e-mails monthly, you know that I always try to incorporate the importance of consistency in advertising.   Bachman Auto Group always ranks #1 in their territories for many reasons, but consistency in their advertising is one very important reason.