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.

 

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.

How to save advertising dollars…

STOP WASTING MONEY!

Advertising and Marketing is a Top 5 expense for nearly all successful businesses.  Yet, most business owners, marketing managers and quite frankly, ad agencies, waste tens of thousands of dollars quarterly in their advertising campaign.  If you answer “No” to any of the questions below, you are wasting valuable dollars in your ad campaign.

  •  Are you composing and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative research with each media vendor to match up the most efficient programming with your target demographic?
  • Are you negotiating HUT levels, shares and ratings with your TV buys?  (All three must be negotiated to ensure proper efficiencies.)
  • Are you pulling radio station rating rankers for your demographic in each market that you’re advertising in?
  • Are you buying exact time periods with radio?  (Buying spots per week as a broad rotator is generally a bad idea.)
  • Are you getting 30%, or more, in added value or bonus with your paid media schedules?
  • Are you negotiating exact ratings per time period with radio and TV?  If so, are you then posting your schedules quarterly and holding stations accountable to audience delivery afterwards?
  • Are monitoring ad fraud in your digital campaign?
  • Is your digital campaign customized to each aspect of your business?  For example, if someone goes to a website for a university to get more information on online degree programs for nursing, but doesn’t fill out an application, is that university re-targeting Nursing Online Degree Programs back to that user?  You can insert any business.  You should be re-targeting back to people who visit your website with customized messaging highlighting what, exactly, they came to your website to learn more about.
  • -Are you composing your digital campaign based on behavioral, contextual and geo-fencing?
  • -Do you track and analyze which key words in your digital campaign are searched the most?  And then adjust accordingly?