Know What You Want From Advertising

There's this prevailing myth that advertising sells. I personally would want to believe this. Imagine the cost you'll save if you don't have to go through all that recruitment, training and paying wages to get people to sell.

For sales people who earn solely on commissions, they would wish that advertising actually sells anything. Sales people know that the launch of every new ad campaign is merely an opportunity to ride on a short burst of interest for their offering.

Selling door to door is as common today as it was 50 years ago.

If you take extra effort to look at books and sales training materials now and 50 years ago, you'll find out that the training outline hasn't change much.

Even the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical and medical industry still rely mainly on door to door selling.

The amount of business cards and free sample products on a typical doctor's clinic is a clear demonstration of how pervasive is door-to-door selling in this industry.

Unless any form of advertising tool or device actually delivers a product and accepts payment, I suggest sticking to direct selling. Advertising outfits or agencies will make you believe that whatever they are doing is actually selling.

Very few people creating those ad campaigns in advertising actually do selling and very few still actually sell their services by advertising.

You may not believe this but most advertising agencies still use the old method of advertising: door-to-door selling.

Don't you think it's funny that a business creating advertising don't actually use advertising to sell their business.

I actually find it monumentally stupid that some business actually pay so much for a press conference to launch an advertising campaign that will "supposedly" sell a new product.

Most of these types of launching are really more appropriate for mass-produced consumer goods.

You see all these VIPs from the company together with advertising executives making speeches, making a toast, cheering and congratulating themselves after "unveiling" a big screen that will give you a preview of the advertising campaign.

Advertising in mass-produced consumer items require a consistent and ever increasing amount of investment. Competition for customer attention is keen in these markets.

There is so much noise and clutter created by this keen competition that all the players in even the smallest industries cannot help but invest in advertising whether they believe it works or not.

Even when I was in advertising, I always believe that advertising impact should be measured in some way.

Unless your brand is as popular as tap water to the whole of humanity, you have to selfishly define what you need to accomplish with every advertising copy you approve for release. By the way, today even drinking water is sold under dozens of brands through advertising.

There's two (2) advertising media you have to watch out for: newspaper and radio advertisement. As a small enterprise, the cost of TV ad maybe too way off your comfort zone.

In a newspaper ad, you will need a certain visual impact and readability.

Notice that I did not use visual appeal.

I use visual impact and readability.

You can use visual appeal on billboards but the same material may not be so appealing as a full-page ad on a newspaper because the whole paper only shows black, white and grey.

You may argue that there is already color in some newspapers today. Yes there is color but it's going to cost you from 25% to 50% more per color. You have to ask yourself: Will the additional color with its accompanying cost guarantee a certain level of return on investment in terms of actual sales?

The timing of your newspaper ad is important.

You may have to do a little detective work on what days in a week your target audience actually read their paper. Of course you have to know what local daily they actually buy or subscribe to.

You also have to decide if you are going to use newspaper ads on a regular basis.

Newspapers brag about their circulation in thousands per day. This figure actually indicates how many copies of their paper actually goes out to both street buyers and subscribers.

Don't get impress by their figures just yet. These figures may not have any impact on the kind of audience you want.

Let's assume the local daily has a circulation of 45,000 a day.

They quote 1200 bucks for advertising space for your advertising copy. They will make a sales pitch of translating this cost to about 3 cents per exposure.

They get this by dividing the cost of advertising space by the total daily circulation which is 1200 over 45,000.

I don't use this formula in measuring my cost.

I measure my advertising cost in real terms.

I usually get about three (3) ads in a week to not only get exposure but also to test the cost of the ad in real terms. This also works well if you already know how much it costs to acquire a new customer.

When I was marketing short courses for Microsoft Office and Network Administration, I measure results by actually documenting the calls made as a direct result of a newspaper ad.

I know that it takes about 75 bucks at least to get a new customer to sign up for a course. This cost includes sales people time, pamphlets, registration form and other things that eventually lead to a customer shelling out his cash for the course.

The local daily has a circulation of 15000 per day. We took an ad that cost us about 5,000 bucks but it advertised not just one course but the whole line of computer training brands.

It went out on a Sunday. From Monday to Saturday of the next week it recorded 680 calls in direct response to the ad.

Actual cost per inquiry from customers is 7 bucks and 35 cents!

Since only 32 actually signed up, my actual cost of generating new customers is 156 bucks and 25 cents.

Remember that my usual cost of acquring new customers is 75 bucks. This tells me that it will cost me a 100% more per new customer if I continue to use newspaper ads to acquire customers.

You must also view this cost in another perspective.

It is not the ad that actually made people sign up.

It's the person handling the phone inquiry trained specifically to close sales over the phone that made the sign up for the courses possible.

If the objective of the ad is simply to create enough interest to make people call and make inquiries, the ad campaign was a great success.

It took only 7 bucks and 35 cents per inquiry. The profit margin for only 15 people signing up was 7500 bucks.

You can actually apply this formula to radio advertisement.

The difference between a radio ad and a newspaper ad is that you can test the audio copy of the ad before you broadcast it.

I usually define the following objectives for my newspaper and radio ads:
  • induce the reader or listener to call and inquire
  • register for the service or product advertise via phone
  • make reservations via phone
  • ask for the freebies (if the ad is promising freebies)
  • capture specific information about prospects or callers
  • walk in to the store and present a cut-out coupon or gift certificate
  • log in to the website
  • leave name and email address in a registration web page
  • download a free e-book with a return link to our website
 Go through the above list. I have not included selling as one of the objectives. Until recently most conventional advertising do not lend to selling of any kind.

As I said, until recently.



Popular posts from this blog

The 20 Customer Service Facts You Should Know

A Helpful Attitude Builds Relationships and More

The Six Dimensions of Customer Service