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advertising

Ignorance Is No Defence

Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat

ignorance

If you are in business and are preferring to remain ignorant about the effects the web has on every aspect of life then chances are you may not survive. Because ignorance is no defence.

I am an advertising manager of a newspaper and somehow I have now become a multi media manager within a newspaper. It happened fairly slowly but over the last two years the rate at which we continue towards an ever increasing digital future is alarming.

Like  a lot of people in business I thought internet propositions would disappear so I played the game and kept my focus on the printed newspaper then BAM! digital hit me again and this time I knew it was sink or swim.

It takes courage and strength to change the way you work-as a colleague of mine says it’s like trying to turn an oil tanker on a narrow road. So I recently made a conscious decision to surpass myself and become a more competent manager better suited to today’s world.

So as a multi media manager I decided to make the conscious decision to almost ignore printed advertising- after 12 years in the industry I almost know newspapers inside out. Instead I decided to become a digital advertising expert to work in tandem with my knowledge about print.

What did I do?

First of all I briefed my team on how we are going to attack our digital targets in the most productive way-by breaking down our targets in to small manageable chunks. If I told you that my target in April is to generate over one million impression sales for our website then you should be able to better appreciate my need for turning this oil tanker.

Then I gave each person a sliding scale of impressions and their cost-to avoid the endless tapping of calculator keys but also to make it easier to build in to campaigns and tailor to the needs of their business.

Thirdly I made sure that every single day every member of my team was given daily visit information from the previous day. I also did spot checks on how much of this information they were taking in. Was it much-no! Is there improvement-three days of me spot checking and my team are getting closer to the right figures.

After this I started working on the creativity of the sale and pitched a campaign bespoke to a business which would mean them targeting sports readers on our website. It was a success.

Finally-I’m not going to stand back and watch the web take away my business-I am learning, researching, calling people for advice, tying, testing and above all enjoying becoming someone who understands online advertising.

My point-yes it was longwinded- is that it is much easier to sit back and say ‘Well I don’t need to learn’ ‘I don’t use the internet’ or ‘I don’t need online advertising’ because the truth is-you do.

Don’t think of the internet as a new way of doing business-think of it as an essential way of doing business that can ensure your company becomes accessible to people at any time of the day-even when you may be sleeping.

A new challenge can often make you develop a new love for your products or services.

I’ve said it before but the changes in my industry have been so refreshing and now, although hard work, are such amazing learning curve.

So please learn because gnorance will be no defence when a competitor takes your business.

 

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Businesses Don’t Care

If you keep seeing negative comments about your business then you need to do something about it.

People often vent because they think that businesses don’t care about their consumers or that you won’t respond to any concerns.

You need to change your attitude in to thinking ‘I’m glad I can see what people think of my business because then I can act on it’

You also need to share the good things people say about you to ensure that all of your customers and potential customers are reminded how good you are.

Don’t beat yourself up-no one can be great all the time. Feel brave enough to give yourself a pat on the back when you see something great about your business.

Here are some of my personal experiences for you to read and maybe get some ideas from:

  • (BAD) I rarely take the time to complain but felt the urge after opening a bag of crisps from Morrison’s Supermarket. The contents of the bag were wet which was strange. I Tweeted a photo of the crisps to Morrison’s with a 120 character complaint. Guess what? Within 5 minutes I had a reply. ‘Ewww’ it said ‘Message me your details and the bar code’-which I did. Within 7 days I received £3 worth of vouchers and a covering letter. The supermarket has risen so high in my estimations. (And this is a large business)
  • (GOOD) My newspaper produced a poster to back our local football team with a local business as a sponsor. The customer on Facebook shared a photograph of the poster he sponsored and publicised his backing for our campaign. His adverts looked amazing and really captured his brand, the poster would reach his target market as he is in the motoring trade and his praise for our product is such great feedback-comments like this you can’t buy so I re-shared his post for others to see. Lovely for me as I worked with the editor in providing a good platform for a local business on the poster, great for the member of my sales team who worked with the customer, great for the newspaper to hear positive feedback and finally a great opportunity for a local business to brand his business alongside a product linked with a Premier Football team. (Lots of greats I know)
  • (BAD) Although I’ve recently turned 40 I absolutely love being out dancing in to the early hours and am happiest when I’m in Revolution in Swansea. I love the music and if I’m out of a night you can guarantee once I get in to the venue I don’t come out for hours. I was really surprised when I added the bar to Facebook the next day to see really bad reviews on their page. And even more surprised to see not one of the negative reviews had any response. Why is that important? All I can see is one side of a story. If I didn’t know about the bar and had checked them out would I have gone in-no way! if your business has a Facebook page and you allow customers to review you please make sure you respond in a professional manner. It will speak volumes about your customer care

These experiences have given me food for thought.

Don’t believe me…?

consumer_reviews_infographic

Chasing audience

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Advertising has always been charged on how many people a product attracts that’s why advertising on television was always so expensive. Things haven’t changed that much-it’s just the people aren’t in the same places any more.

Think about it in terms of the new media platforms that have evolved over the last twenty years or so ago:

Television advertising expected high revenues from advertising and with just three channels to advertise on the expected audience was vast- in 2014 my Sky remote channel numbers go up to 999 so the audience will be diluted significantly and scattered across many channels.

Radio advertising-in my youth there was Radio 1,2 3 and 4-I can’t remember any others so again advertising could dictate high prices. in 2014 there is a radio station for every era and genre. There are literally hundreds and many change their target audience as figures rise or decline. DAB Radio has meant that radio listeners don’t have to only listen to local stations because that’s all they can get a signal for.

Newspaper advertising also dictated high prices as competition in the news sector was minimal-if you wanted news you read a paper or watched the news bulletin on TV. 2014 if you want news you find it on your mobile phone, on you laptop, on a tablet, in a newspaper, on the radio or on the TV. News travels via social media-news is accessible, can be localised or national and can be tailored to suit the reader.

There has been a significant change over the last couple of years-when the audience for content shifted to online the radio, television and newspaper industry creaked-some toppled, some completely lost their share of the market by refusing to accept the significance of the internet and some lost their heads.

But….

Some-after a little dunking under the water-re emerged as some of the Worlds most powerful magnets for the audience every advertiser wants.

Take for example the Daily Mail-a newspaper which now has more UK visits than any other newspaper site. It is read across the globe. Combine its audience with the printed title and the Mail reach a significant amount of people.

The BBC-once seen as channel losing it’s audience to younger, funkier channels-now reaches an audience of 256 million people per week with combines reach of television and online platforms. It’s phenomenal.

I work for the South Wales Evening Post newspaper and on an average week we reach an audience of over half a million people. When I began working in the industry 12 years ago, with a newspaper only we reached 172,000 people. It’s an amazing transition. Our website attracts close to one million unique users on an average month. It doesn’t feel real. I’ve seen the newspaper industry seem like the underdog in media as people only talk about losing circulation-with confidence and with pride I can say that my products can reach a vast local audience. It’s a lot more intelligent, it’s more flexible and what’s more I have a revived passion for the business because like in the old days we are at the top of our game.

So my advice to you today is don’t buy advertising on price-buy it on audience.

A former boss of mine used to say ‘You get what you pay for’-if something’s cheap then it probably doesn’t command a high audience.

An advert without an audience viewing it is like a football match with no crowd.

 

Tempt Me

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As an advertising manager I’m really interested in how people buy but when advising customers I think about how I buy and apply it to campaigns if relevant.

I’ve had some really good buying experiences which have really made me aware of how differently we operate with all the choice we have.

I very rarely buy on impulse now-I can shop online for days/weeks for something and never actually buy anything.

I visit lots of different sites before I buy too.

More importantly I am often ‘tempted to buy’

Here’s a couple of examples:

Every year I help to organise a food and drink festival and every year I think what I’d like to buy and yes-it’s always a locally sourced, delicious sounding product like Welsh Cheese.

That was before I used Facebook as a marketing tool for the event.

With every exhibitor I signed up a new post was added to the event to give all attendees a tempting preview of what they could buy. As I added the exhibitors to the group I liked some of the companies pages too.

You know what I’m building up to don’t you?

I bet you think I came away from the event with lots of delicious goodies don’t you.

Well I did but it was some lovely soya wax candles!

What?

Why did I buy that?

While I was attracting over 100 people to the event with my marketing on Facebook one customers website I’d liked was busy tempting people directly to their stall.

Every day a new customer testimonial was added to the website.

Every day a new candle scent was talked about.

Every day the enthusiasm of the owner reached me and before long I was virtually shopping and choosing what I’d like. I didn’t mean to but sub consciously the good things I was reading started to create a need.

I need candles! I can’t live without candles! These candles burn for longer! These are the best candles around!

I almost couldn’t wait to get to the stall and buy my candles. I chose lavender, lime and vanilla and a burner. I got home and lit the candles and thought -‘She was right-they do smell great’

So my point it that you heavily influence buying purchase by advertising and marketing in print and online by:

  • Being enthusiastic
  • Using customer testimonials
  • Describing your products
  • Let people know where they can get them
  • Thank people for the feedback they give
  • Showing your passion for your business

My other great example is slightly different but just as powerful.

I recently organised a health and well being fair which was run in conjunction with Tara Hammett- a personal trainer and TV personality. Apart from feeling like a sloth standing beside this glowing, sporty, healthy lady I saw how her passion for her business has made her so successful.

Tara reaches out to her ‘customers’ by giving away free content-you can go on to YouTube and watch her giving health and fitness advice, you can add her on Facebook and ask her questions at any time and she’s happy to reply, she’s written a book giving a wealth of her experience away plus scientific nutritional advice tips, you can join her fitness programme or follow her on Twitter.

Wherever you engage with Tara she is the same enthusiastic role model that inspires people on a daily basis.

She is approachable which is really important in todays society.

I wanted to join her fitness programme, I wanted to be fitter and healthier but more importantly I believed in her brand as I trust her and admire her.

This is such an excellent idea of personal marketing that I had to share it with you.

There is one thing about Tara though that you do need to know-she invented chocolate sprouts. Don’t diss them before you’ve tried them-they are actually very nice.

My message today is simple really-time spend marketing yourself in as many places as you can, to as many people as you with as much enthusiasm as you can will escalate your business in a matter of time.

It’s hard to quantify but every time you engage you could be slowly tempting a person to buy from you.

Invest in your business today but make people know it I you.

Be the King and make your move!

Has the internet changed the journey

people make when buying a car?

chess-game-wallpapers

Well it’s certainly added another researching tool in to the equation.

Auto shoppers now use on average 18.2 different sources of information-from TV, news articles, online, family etc. to finally form their decision

‘The zero moment of truth for automotive study’

Marketing and advertising for car dealerships has never been so important. It needs to target as many of those 18.2 sources as possible-now that’s no mean feat.

Google’s study which can be found above really delves deep in to the psyche of a car buyer. It might make you think your customer targeting is a little archaic but it’s really important to know these trends.

I have picked out some key facts from the report for you-things I think can provide enlightenment to local new and used car dealers:

  • Shoppers take several months to go from decision to action
  • Shoppers clearly identify in person experiences as the most influential-test driving, visiting the dealership etc.
  • The internet has added a new stage to the car buying process-pre-shopping
  • Top stimuluses’ for buying a car include TV advertising, magazine articles, newspaper articles, direct mail and advert in newspaper
  • Test drives were listed as the number one decision influencer
  • Second to a test drive looking at a car was a major influence
  • In newspapers people react most to price guides and special offers, financing options and style.
  • 59% of online car buyers were looking at style as a priority
  • People who buys cars more frequently use almost 4 more sources in their search than people who buy less cars

So what does this mean for car dealers?

I would suggest not putting your marketing budget in just one place-advertising to sell cars now means promoting via social media, online advertising, newspaper and magazine advertising, own website, search engine optimisation and branding.

I was going to say car buyers are much more savvy these days but I don’t think that’s actually true.

There are so many choices and so much information available it is possible to completely change a purchasers mind several times advertising/marketing needs to be consistent and the message needs to change to suit the medium. And the purchaser.

The average person test drives 2-3 cars.

Consumers love online video.

In the UK 23% of people experience “switchbacks” where they move backward into earlier stages of the journey.

It’s such an exciting market to be part of-a little bit like a game of chess.  If you think strategically then the other players piece of the market can be yours.

A sample a marketing campaign that encompasses some of the research data available might consist of:

Magazine article detailing a test drive of a new vehicle listing pro’s and con’s plus sleek images to target reader type.

Online advertising on an influential website to include a video of the latest car being test driven or link to national ad campaign video

Search engine optimisation to look at key search criteria (Linked with Google keyword tool)
Newspaper advertising to promote a good price, finance deal plus car profile

Social media to capture wants/ already has/ knows someone who has feedback

Blog to talk in a frank and honest way about cars in your showroom, adding in personal experience, likes, dislikes and knowledge.

This is a very broad basis for a campaign-what matters is that the reason and logic is behind each reason for advertising.

All you need to remember is

‘I WANT TO BE IN AS MANY OF THE 18.2 INFLUENCIAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION AS POSSIBLE TO BE IN WITHT HE BEST CHANCE OF GETTING PEOPLE IN TO MY SHOWROOM-ONCE THEY’RE IN I HAVE MY BEST CHANCE OF SELLING THEM A CAR’

Let me know if I can help you in any way

Dropping Balls

Are you finding it hard to market and advertise your business because you have so much to do and so little time?

business-juggler1-268x300

Over the years I have seen a lot of businesses go through challenging economic times for differing reasons and sadly cut backs are often made by reducing headcounts in marketing positions, admin positions and in advertising budgets.

With so many balls in the air you are bound to drop one.

I am yet to hear any business say in my 13 years experience that they have had an advertising budget increase!

So what happens?

  • Companies stop advertising themselves and become invisible to their customers which can result slowly in loss of business.
  • Employees have increased workloads covering admin duties leaving less time for strategic thinking/planning
  • Companies stop marketing themselves and lose their footing with their competitors

There are tools out there that can help you, however,  if you are finding it hard to juggle all these balls and run a business.

BUFFER

I’m really lucky to have a dedicated social media guru in my workplace who has helped me progress from a ‘tinkler’ on the internet to a blogger, Tweeter and social media competent. You just need to want to do it.

Buffer is a website that will schedule Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter posts to a time you choose depending on what audience you want to reach.

If you have no time in the day to use social media then don’t worry-spend a few minutes scheduling posts and they will be posted while you are working.

Buffer works best on Google Chrome because you can install an app that let’s you post directly from the web pages you are looking at.

Firstly join Buffer bufferapp.com

Link the accounts you want to post to

Share information now or buffer for later

You’ll look like you’re socially active all day-and you don’t even need to switch on your laptop.

TWERIOD

www.tweriod.com will show you what times your audience is most active. There will be a greater chance of your messages being seen if you schedule them on Buffer to the times Tweriod recommends.

ADVERTISING

(You knew I’d have to mention it)

I do really believe advertising is important to any business. Think of it as employing salespeople- an advert in a newspaper, on a website or a magazine can sell your products for you and broadcast your marketing message to hundreds if not thousands of people. Most companies will design the advertisement for you-kind ones will send it to you for you to include on your social media sites and like Buffer it will be working for you while you manage your business.

GET OUT FROM BEHIND YOUR DESK

The busier we get the more we can get caught up in admin. It’s a catch 22 situation-the more emails you send the more replies you get and before you know it all you’ve done is email. It doesn’t hurt every now and again to turn your emails off with an automatic reply saying all emails will be dealt with later. Or just ask people to ring if it’s urgent.  Lift your head up, get our of your chair and engage with your customers and employees.

Last week I went out on five appointments where I’m usually office based. It increased my enthusiasm for a job I already love-it reminded me why I enjoy it and gave me time away from the admin that can sometimes seem overwhelming. It’s important to help yourself climb out of what can sometimes seem like a quagmire of work and remember what’s important.

Keep those balls in the air and enjoy your week.

Please let me know if I can help you in any way

Who’d Have Thunk It?

work-hard

An advertiser called me today in a last ditched attempt to get his venue full for New Years Eve because he thought just by having a well known local band booked that people would come. I think he’d been watching Wayne’s World and truly believed if ‘You build it they will come’

When planning an event treat the event a bit like a shop-what are people going to buy in your shop? Booking a local band, cabaret artist, musician or celebrity etc. is the ‘product’ people will buy from you.

How will people buy from you? Think of how a shop advertises-they advertise in newspapers, on radio, they promote themselves with a sign outside the shop, promotes their wares on their website and via social media like Twitter and Facebook.

A busy shop doesn’t happen by accident and your event won’t be busy if you don’t ‘sell your wares to your public’

The customer who called me today hadn’t promoted the event on his own website-to the visitors which are his target audience. He hadn’t put it on Facebook either but would get his son to do it later.

Why wasn’t he fully booked by now he asked me.

RESEARCH!

It’s simple-people spend hours researching every aspect of their life-where are they going, what are they buying, who sells it etc.

If you’re not online you’ll start falling behind the competition.

You’ve got to start taking all this seriously if you want your business to survive in the future.

Learn how to market your business on Facebook- it’s a marketing tool and there is an art to it. Done badly and it can work against you. Learn how to use Twitter. Learn learn learn.

Someone said to me recently that they went on a short course to learn about social media and now update their pages while watching Eastenders. Don’t think of this as more work-think of it as networking.

If you need to advertise an event do it early and plan your campaign because you can’t expect a Wayne’s World moment to save the day.

The real motto is ‘Work hard and he bookings will come’