A class in how to advertise your business
The following is a lesson in advertising for you, the business owner. Paw Prints decided to do this for one main reason, nobody did it for us. We learned by the seat of our pants and probably wasted more money in advertising than most small businesses spend.
The lessons will involve all types of media, not just Paw Prints The Magazine or PawPrintsTheMagazine.Com or Paw Prints Live. This tutorial is not meant to make you advertise with us, however the more you know about advertising the easier it is for us to talk to you about advertising. We have a very simple take on advertising with Paw Prints. If you have a gap, lag or problem in your business, for example you see 25 clients per day and you would like to see 100 clients per day. Its simple math, the gap is 75 clients. If one of our products can help fill that gap you should advertise with us. Sounds simple right?
I wish it were. People have been “taken” by so many different advertising opportunities over the years that it makes it difficult for the legitimate and respectable advertising opportunities to help.
I also run into so many people that feel they know how to advertise and aren’t afraid to tell me I don’t know what I am doing. Advertising is my profession. If it weren’t I would become a dog walker, carpenter, trainer or some other career. I can probably give you advice on how to train your dog, but I am not a professional dog trainer. My advice may be correct, but I couldn’t train your dog. Small business owners are quick to believe they know how to advertise. It is always funny when they tell me advertising here or there doesn’t work. Evidently advertising only doesn’t work for them. Without all of the other businesses advertising there would be no mediums left. No TV, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, and even no internet. It must be working for someone.
Show me an ad campaign that didn’t work and I can show you close to a dozen or more mistakes the business owner made.
Let the experts help you with your advertising. There are questions to ask that are pertinent questions and if the sales rep can’t answer them, you may want to think twice about advertising there.
I was asked the other day buy an employee of a doggie daycare, (after he told me I didn’t know what I was talking about and he did), what was the geographic reach of the radio station I was on.
Good or bad question? Answer: HORRIBLE question. This doggie daycare is located in a suburb of Kansas City, Mo called Lee’s Summit. What purpose did the question serve? A radio signal will reach the entire metro of a city. So what was the answer they were looking for? Unless they wanted customers from the 125 mile and out range, the question was idiotic. The question should have been “who is listening”? And “Is your listener a customer I would want to reach?”
We have thousands of loyal Paw Print readers/listeners that notice our advertisers’ ads every time they log on to pawprintsthemagazine.com or tune into to listen to Paw Prints Live or read our print magazine. The one thing we can’t control is how effective an ad will be.
If I had a penny for every time I heard the phrase, “advertising doesn’t work for me.” or “every body knows me.” This is always a good one, “word of mouth works best”. My favorite is always “I didn’t get a good enough response.” These are just a few of the hundreds of phrases that advertisers use on a daily basis.
The response to ads depends on several things; most of which you will read in later pages. The most important way to get a big response from an ad is for YOU, the business owner, to take charge and get involved in your advertising! Don’t hand the sales rep your business card and say “put this in there.” A BUSINESS CARD IS NOT ADVERTISING! Stop asking sales reps “How much is an ad?” That’s like calling Home Depot and asking “How much is a nut and bolt.” As a business owner you have to have a plan. You need to make a road map with clear objectives you want to achieve.
I have heard so many times “Well we’re just starting and can’t afford any ads right now”. The SBA and venture capital groups look at hundreds upon thousands of business plans from hopeful entrepreneurs every day. The very first applicants denied are those without enough budgeted for advertising. Why do you think that is? They feel if they are going to be the bank and invest thousands or even millions in your idea, they want to make sure your business has enough customers so you can pay them back. If advertising weren’t important they would just say “sure here’s a few hundred thousand to play with, I hope you do well so you can pay me back.”
Business owners need to be proactive with their advertising and to do that YOU MUST HAVE A PLAN. If you don’t have a plan you really don’t have a business, you have a hobby.
Advertising planning is one of the hardest things to do as a small business. I promise if you do not have a plan, YOU WILL FAIL! Don’t take my word for it; call the SBA or a Venture Capital company.
To create a plan in advertising, you must first set company goals, objectives, and identify gaps or problems in your business that you want to fill or fix. Until you do this, creating an ad plan would be useless. It would be like mapping out a trip without having a destination.
Take a look at the following pages, read through them. They are here for you to use. This will be a course in advertising that most people pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for, either through higher education or being trained by the best companies in the world. Trust me when I say, “We didn’t make this stuff up.” This information comes from over 25 years experience in school and from companies we worked for. Very successful companies I might add. I saw no need in reinventing the wheel. We just decided to make the wheel available to you.
1. Focus Your Advertising On Your Most Profitable Clients. How valuable are each of your customers? Many companies are surprised to find that a small percentage of their clients represent the majority of their profits. The top 5 percent of your customers may bring in 50% of your profits, or more. Customers at the bottom may actually be costing you money.
Radio advertising, like any other form of advertising, can work extremely well if it is properly planned, created and executed. But like all other forms, you MUST HAVE A PLAN! Otherwise you are just throwing your money away.
So how do you know what to do to make your radio campaign success?
WHY MARKETING FAILS
Marketing is a process that every business must conduct. But if management lacks the necessary commitment to the marketing plan, it is sure to fail.
If clear objectives and goals are not set, and a sustainable company advertising budget is not committed, marketing will fail. Unrealistic expectations will doom your efforts. Poor research, planning, and targeting will kill your marketing. And if management thinks that marketing [and selling] are unimportant or undignified, the program is destined to fall short of success.
So to learn some advertising basics just follow the links below or if you would like to advertise to our hundreds of thousands of readers, just go to our advertise with us page. If you have questions that you want us to answer, send us an email.
Recently we have been in many debates with many so-called internet advertising consultants over pay-per-click advertising versus traditional display advertising. Many consultants believe that the pay per click, pay for performance or what ever you would like to call it is the only way to advertise a business because that is the only way you can truly track where your sales come from etc, etc, etc.
My theory is that it has never been the job of an advertising medium to make people click, call, email or come in to a store. The advertising medium’s JOB is to put a businesses advertising message in front of that medium’s audience. One can not hold a TV or radio station, newspaper or magazine, billboard company, or Internet site responsible for the actions of a consumer. There are hundreds of reasons ads don’t work! The two most common reasons are 1.) NO ONE WANTS OR NEEDS YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE, or 2.) YOUR AD STINKS!
Internet advertising consultants argue that point with me on a daily basis. I have always said that consumer actions do not change habits just because the ad they see in a banner ad on an internet site.
comScore, Inc. Prepared the following for: Empirical Generalizations in Advertising Conference for Industry and Academia. December 4-5, 2008 The Wharton School, Philadelphia, PA.
They call the this HOW ONLINE ADVERTISING WORKS:
WHITHER THE CLICK? We call it, Pay for Performance, the Emperor’s New Clothes. In today’s economically challenging times, advertisers and their agencies appear to be moving their online display ad
dollars from CPM campaigns that require payment based on the number of people exposed to the campaign to “payfor-
performance” programs (“CPC” or “CPA”) that require payment when the consumer performs some desired action
such as clicking on an ad.
How To Make My Internet AD Work Over the years Internet advertising has raised many questions and generated tons of complaints. The following paragraphs are going to address these and hopefully answer any questions you may have about internet advertising.
I first want to address the major complaint of many internet advertisers; “I don’t get any click-through’s thus my ad didn’t work and your website and internet advertising SUCKS.”
Does Advertising Work In FREE Publications DOES FREE PET MEDIA WORK?
Researchers Confirm that Free, Niche Magazines Should be Key Players in Marketing Plans
• Price paid and circulation source do not predict reader engagement or demographics
• Differences in the ways subscribers, newsstand buyers and public place readers respond to magazines and to the advertising in them are often insignificant
Building a Successful Advertising Plan Building a successful advertising plan is as important as mapping out a journey to uncharted areas of the world. Without a plan your advertising will fail. Just as if the great explorers would have left port without a plan, A advertising plan give you a map for your journey. Are the maps always correct? NO, just as many of the explorers thought they had discovered places they had not, but they were not lost at sea. Advertising a business doesn’t come with GPS coordinates, that is why you better have a plan before you embark on your journey!
4 Deadly Marketing Mistakes
Avoid these mistakes to make your business a success.
By Kim T. Gordon
The road to business failure is paved with good intentions. Unfortunately, there’s no marketing road map with signs posted along the way that warn “Beware Steep Slope” or “Sales Dip Ahead.” But to help you avoid the hazards on the road ahead, here’s a quick list of the some of most common marketing mistakes business owners make—plus tips for how to steer clear of them.
1. Undercapitalization. Money’s not only the root of all evil; it may well be the leading cause of small-business failures. Far too many small-business owners underestimate how much money they’re going to need, not merely to get the business up and running, but also to sustain it as it struggles to gain a commercial foothold. Norman Scarborough, an associate professor of business administration at Presbyterian College in South Carolina, says, “Once you start out undercapitalized, that can start a downward spiral from which you can never catch up.
his advertising ’secret’ isn’t really a secret. It’s just hardly anyone uses it or appreciates the effect it has on response, and hence your sales.
This very simple addition to any of your ads will at least double response. I’ve known it more than treble response. It’s not a trick. It doesn’t add cost to your advertising. And it really is a cinch to use. What could this ’secret’ be? A Reply Coupon All you have to do is dedicate the last portion of your ad (bottom right hand corner) to a reply ‘coupon.’ That’s right. A coupon with dashed lines around it.
THE KING of Advertising What I’m about to share with you is what I call the ‘KING of Advertising.’ At the risk of sounding over the top, I can guarantee if you apply this one idea, your sales and profits will increase considerably – I kid you not! This marketing technique is based on the format of your ad – all your ads. It is a proven winner across all the advertising mediums. Better still…
You can do this yourself. You don’t need an ad agency (they hardly ever use this advertising technique, because they don’t understand its power). And you don’t need any design skills.
In marketing and advertising, synergy is a real thing. The total effect of all of your marketing and advertising activities combined should be larger than the individual parts.
This page offers some suggestions for creating synergy with your marketing and advertising.
The Advertising Calendar An advertising calendar is exactly that – a calendar. It tracks your ads and promotions on a weekly, monthly, seasonal, and annual basis. It will help you to actually see how you are covering your market, and where there are gaps in your advertising schedule.
Your calendar will help you to plan for success. As you learn the response and return rates of your clients to your advertising, you can plan how you will provide service.
You carefully target your clients, create professional ads, maximize your media presence, and get a great response. Now what happens?
Follow Up: The Typical Response
When a potential prospect requests information, most businesses send it out promptly. They send a brochure, or an e-mail, maybe make a phone call, or send a fax. Then they do nothing at all. The typical business does not follow up.
Testing & Tracking Your Ads: Advertising Is A Science Tracking the results of your advertising is fundamental to your success. There is no other way to know how you are doing. This is where it all comes together. Measure the effectiveness of your ads, and double or triple your customer response. Don’t measure, and you’ll drift endlessly.
For example, just by changing the headline of an advertisement, marketers have achieved a 500% increase in response. Same ad, different headline, 500% increase. How did they get that huge increase? They tested different headlines, and measured the results.
Do you want to be successful with direct mail advertising? This chapter has 20 parts, and each and every one is important. And this is just the overview of the subject.
But direct mail advertising does work, and if you stick to it, you will get the results you want.
Here are the 20 parts of Direct Mail Advertising:
Word of mouth advertising is more influential than any other form of advertising. People believe what their friends and neighbors say about your company, and they remember it for a long, long time.
Your company generates word of mouth advertising, whether you know it or not. People are talking about you. The question is, what are they saying?
Effective Brochure Design: How To Create Brochures That Get Action What is the purpose of your brochure? Is your brochure an advertisement? Is it a detailed product description-marketing piece? Or to put it another way, what kind of customers will be getting your brochure?
The first type of brochure design is created to attract a new customer’s attention. Just like an advertisement, it screams for attention, and plays on the emotions of the customer. It has a big headline, strong visuals, and a distinct call to action.
Local cable television advertising can be highly effective, and very affordable. If you have a product or service that can be visually demonstrated, television can work wonders.
Americans watch almost seven hours of television per day, and over half of them have cable. Cable television has the audience, and advertising there absolutely can work for your company.
In advertising, everything depends on the words you use. The right words have the power to bring huge numbers of customers to your door. That’s the goal and the responsibility of the sales copywriter.
Copywriting is more science than art. It can be, and has been, tested and measured. Advertising has been around a long time, and you can and you should benefit by what has been tested and measured by those who came before you.
This presents a very brief overview of how advertisers use psychology to increase advertising effectiveness.
Turning ON the Human Brain
The human brain does not have endless storage capacity. Most of the time your brain just scans its environment. It scans, but it does not memorize.
This page contains some excellent ideas for increasing customer response to your advertising. These are not just words on a page – they are tested advertising methods for getting results. Don’t let an easy idea stop you from getting better advertising results.
What do we consider better results? A better offer can double your response. A better headline can double your response.
A logo is an image that represents your company. It can be an illustration, a symbol, a name, or a combination of these. It works to project your desired company image.
Why Have A Logo?
The human brain more readily recalls an image than just words. Logos are about instant recognition. At a glance, your customer has found you. The brain triggers the relevant information about your company instantly. Symbols are much better and faster for recognition than words.
In the marketplace, there is nothing stronger than a product or a service that people ask for by name. If people demand to buy Coke, then the store has to carry it, or the people will go to a different retailer to buy it.
Customers will pay a premium for a branded product or service. They go out of their way to buy it. They buy more, and they buy it more often. Customers recommend the brand to their friends and family, and they are fiercely loyal.
If people don’t notice your advertisement, your chance of success is exactly zero. Your advertisement absolutely must get attention within the media it appears in.
So you have a great ad ready to go. Does it stand out on the newspaper or phonebook page? Your ad must get attention within the media it appears in. Paste it in your newspaper, and look at the results.
We want you to know quality advertising design when [or if] your graphic artist shows it to you.
Although we tell you about advertising design on this page, our goal is not to teach you how to be a graphic artist. [And we assume that you want to focus on your business anyway – not on becoming an advertising design expert.]
You want action at the cash register. You want customers to read your ads, be impressed by your advertising image, and march straight into your business.
Professionally done, advertising, works because each critical component that generates that desired customer reaction is in place. The advertisement, and your advertising image, is designed to create that customer reaction; it is not just thrown together.
First, a warning.
Paw Prints The Magazine does not recommend that you use humor in your advertising. A lot of people simply don’t have a sense of humor. You lose them immediately, and the potential size of your market shrinks.
And humor is in the eye of the beholder. It is commonly misinterpreted. Many people will not get the joke. Your market size just shrunk again.
43 Ways To Fail In Advertising
This is one of my favorite sections. To this day when I read through the 43 reasons, I am amazed at how many of these I have actually done. I go back to this section time and time again when I have an ad campaign that isn’t performing up to my expectations. I always am able to find more than one reason out of the 43 that my ad isn’t working. One thing I NEVER do is blame the medium I am advertising in. If I find the medium to be at fault it really falls on me. I chose it.
Pricing Strategy: Why Your Price Can Kill Your Ad No matter how you write them, your advertisements will always set up expectations of price with your customers. Set the wrong advertising pricing strategy, and your ads will fail.
Pricing strategy is about consumer perception of value. You use your advertising to position your company in your client’s mind.
Generating Better Qualified Prospects One of the primary objectives of advertising is to attract highly qualified prospects. You want prospects who really want your products and services, and can afford them.
You want prospects who have the power to decide, and the willingness to do so. Let’s go get them.
Successful Targeting: How To Hit The Right Person With The Right Message Your advertisements should do more than just bring in customers – they should bring you in more qualified, more profitable customers.
Proper market targeting strategy will reduce your costs of marketing, and will reduce your costs of screening out potential clients. The real power of advertising comes when you hit the right person, at the right time, with the right message.
How To Beat Your Competitors… Like A Drum When you start thinking about competitive analysis, ask yourself this question: What do your customers see when they compare you to your competition?
Let’s cover competitive analysis from your customers’ perspective. After all, your customers’ perspective is the only one that counts. Knowing and understanding what the customer sees is the most important competitive analysis you can do.
There are two ways to set a budget for your advertising campaign:
You can ask yourself what you can afford to spend, or, you can calculate the investment needed for your advertising campaign in order to generate the sales required to make your business successful.
Advertising Planning This is a very long section with tons of information. Planning an advertising budget and campaign takes a lot of time and a lot of work. Use this as a guideline if you do not have the money to hire an agency. Even if you hire an agency be proactive, this is your business not theirs. Have you ever seen an ad that made you wonder why someone would have put that terrible ad on television? Don’t let that happen to you.
What Your Print Ads Can Do: 36 Ideas For More Profitable Print Ads Your print advertising should do more than just bring you customers. Your print ads should bring you more profitable customers. Your print advertising should make your company stronger, faster, smarter, and better able to compete. Can print advertising do this? Absolutely. This article will start to show you how powerful your ads can be.
What advertising media should you use to promote your business? Simple. Use the one that is most influential and believable, and that comprehensively reaches the highest percentage of your target audience for the lowest cost.
Is that easy? No.
I always hate hearing that. Over the years I have spoken with thousands of potential advertisers and with out fail most of them will ask me if we’ll print an article about their business or service if they buy an ad. 99.9% of the time I say no!
The reason I say turn down the offer is because I feel magazines over the years have lost their editorial integrity. Plus, only rarely is a business’ story worthy of an article that readers would be interested in reading.
1. Grab the reader’s attention.
The #1 thing people pay attention to is the face of another human being. Your ad should feature a large photo of the face of an attractive, happy person looking straight at your readers. That’s how you draw the eye of the reader to your ad.
Careful with That Ax In business, as in algebra, certain formulas apply. An old reliable in the world of commerce is that when revenue gets tight and forecasts become grim, the cost-cutting ax is unsheathed, sharpened, and poised to swing. The first cut usually lands on the neck of the marketing department, which has its budget cleaved in the course of an unpleasant afternoon.