Archive for the ‘Advertising’ category

What Do Three Failed Ads Say About Small Business?

February 25th, 2014

'theguardian small business network qr code' photo (c) 2013, fsse8info - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ Small Businesses (under 100 employees) in the US account for almost 98% of all businesses according to the US Census.  They employ about 50% of all private sector employees in US according to the Small Business Administration. So, why do they keep shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to print advertising effectiveness? Because they do not know how to make advertising effective!

Consider these examples that all appeared in a Weekly newspaper:

An ad that said” Log on Constant Contact…..for sale info.”

Many of us use Constant Contact for email marketing. This is the first time I have ever saw or heard of someone being directed to” Constant Contact” for information.

What is wrong with this approach?

  • Log on to Constant Contact with what URL?
  • What is the password and user ID?

Conclusion: A big waste of money and time

An ad titled “Fall & Spring Cleanups”.

It went on to list services that cannot be performed in the snowy northeast during the Winter.

What is wrong with this approach?

  • It is Winter, not Fall or Spring.
  • 6 of the 7 services offered cannot be performed in the Winter.
  • The one relevant service, “Snow Blowing/Snow Plowing” was the third item listed. It is pretty unlikely I would ever get that far into the ad when reading irrelevant information.

Conclusion:  A big waste of money and time.

 An ad where the headline was “Save this Ad!”.

What is wrong with this approach?

  • I do not know what the ad is about, so why would I save it?
  • The lead was buried “Young man with van looking for work!!!” was the next line.

Conclusion: A big waste of money and time.

The Takeaway

Small businesses can and should project an image of professionalism and attention to detail.

Over to you. Those are my thoughts. Please comment below.

1. Would you contact, much less conduct, business with one of these firms?

2. How do you employ print media in your business development efforts?

3. What advice would you give these small businesses?

If you would like to contact me, you may do so by visiting my LinkedIn page, following me on Twitter,  or e-mailing me at rcberman2 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

 

Expanding the Geographic Scope of Your Business

October 15th, 2013

'Metro Route 48 Strip Map' photo (c) 2008, Oran Viriyincy - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Most businesses operate in a fairly small concentric circle around their business address. In that trading area they try to maximize their opportunities. How do they do that? By taking prospects through the sales funnel.

Often, the traditional sales funnel can be shortened by making it easy and obvious to do business with you. Even if it is easy, the prospects must find you first.

Make sure you are listed in appropriate directories.

Google Local http://www.google.com/local/add

Yahoo! Local http://www.listings.local.yahoo.com

Bing Local https://www.bingplaces.com

InfoUSA http://dbupdate.infousa.com/dbupdate/index.html

Yellow Pages http://listings.yellowpages.com/Services/ServiceClaimSearch.aspx

Yelp https://biz.yelp.com/signup

In addition, the old standbys like direct mail, coupon packs, ads in local papers and flyers in mailboxes still work when properly executed.

Let me share two examples that were not well done.

  • Century Buffet: The coupon insert says, “Chinese, American & Japanese Restaurant”. Then on the side they start talking about Mongolian Grill BBQ.  So, what kind of food are they specializing in?  Do I have to wait for the “cook” to prepare my food or can I pick it up at the buffet table?  Even funnier is how they cannot tell time. I remember working with my kids when they were first graders about telling time with the big and little hands. The ad says lunch is served “11 AM till 3:15 PM”. Then, dinner starts at 3:20pm. Where did the 5 minutes go—to the twilight zone?
  • Snow removal et aI: I received a ½ sheet of paper in my mailbox. The firm seemed to have typed up a short ad. However, with all the snow we receive in New England, they expanded the ad. They poorly handwrote some other services. Mixed in were runs to the dump and cleanouts.

The additional info was taped onto the original ad and photocopied.  How do I know? I can see the lines where it was copied.  Why would I do business with what looks like a fly-by-night company? What if they fell off of my roof while raking snow off of it?

The Takeaway

Many of us would like to support our local businesses. Make it easy to be found and look and act professional when we find you

 Over to you. Those are the ideas. Please comment below.

  1. How do you make sure you are found by potential customers?
  2. Would you eat at the restaurant or use the services of the roof raking company?
  3. How do you like to find local companies?

If you would like to contact me, you may do so by visiting my LinkedIn page, following me on Twitter,  or e-mailing me at rcberman2 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Turning a Liability into an Asset

December 21st, 2010

mmmmm... taste that freedomphoto © 2005 Dave Morris | more info (via: Wylio)
Coca-Cola has introduced a new bottle partially derived from plants.  It is ironic since the soda giants who are accused of using so much sugar are now utilizing sugar to make the bottle. » Read more: Turning a Liability into an Asset

10 Fundamentals To Successful Advertising

May 4th, 2010

The Business Marketing Association published a White Paper years ago about 10 Fundamentals to Successful Advertising.  Those 10 points are still valid today. » Read more: 10 Fundamentals To Successful Advertising

17 Print Advertising Effectiveness Questions

April 27th, 2010

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on print advertising each year.  Is your advertising effective?  Answer these questions about your ads and see the results. » Read more: 17 Print Advertising Effectiveness Questions

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