Sync & Swimm

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Archive for the tag “advertising”

Traditional Media’s Free Lunch

So, everyone is upsetfree-lunch-is-only-found-in-mousetraps (1) that Facebook has changed their policy and is suppressing media and business posts in favor of friend updates.  Keep in mind that for many people their Facebook feed is where they get ALL their news.  Crazy right?  Well, the media let it happen.   

Let’s go back about 10 years.  Before the great 2008 recession. Back when a hash tag was just a pound sign.  Let your mind drift back and imagine everything you seen and heard on mass media.   I’ll help you out a bit.  Most (at one point almost all) advertising had one central message…..”Like us on Facebook”.   DJ’s had contests to get the most fans and likes. The Facebook logo graced the end of every local newscast. Every major brand had one mission—Build their fans & likes.

It was as if overnight everyone forgot there is no such thing as a free lunch.  “A way to connect with our customers for free”  Wow!…Yea  wow.  The media spent ten years turning all the power over to Facebook and now are upset that their relevance has declined…..A lot.

Radio, television &  print all thought that Facebook put them closer to their audience, and traditional media would always be the first choice.  Instead of building databases, investing in new social media platforms and better websites, traditional media took  the easy way out…Connect for free on Facebook.

And Facebook, much like a drug dealer handing out free samples, kept giving and giving….Until they didn’t.

The easy path is rarely the best path.  So congratulations Facebook.  You got the entire world to help build a database over a billion strong…For free.  So maybe there really is a free lunch?

 

 

 

 

 

(For my Sales Friends)–Feel the Fear

fear

  1. Pick up the phone to make a new cold call—-Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  2. Making a big presentation to a board of twenty skeptical bankers….Feel the Fear—Do it Anyway.
  3. Pulling over and walking into a brand new prospect…Feel the Fear…Do it Anyway.
  4. Giving yourself a goal to beat your budget by 20%…Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  5. Giving yourself a goal to call on 100 new prospects this Qtr….Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  6. Giving yourself a goal to send out 80 new marketing pieces this month…Feel the Fear—-Do it Anyway.
  7. Hitting $200,000 in earnings in 2016….Feel the Fear…Do it Anyway.
  8. Asking for a million dollars of business this Qtr….Feel the Fear—Do it Anyway.
  9. Making one more call EVERYDAY before you go home…Feel the Fear….Do it Anyway.
  10. Doing something outside your comfort zone…. Feel the Fear ….Do it Anyway.

Perception is Reality…Woody The Internet Pecker

ImageWow…..I haven’t posted anything on WordPress for a long time. So, to get myself back in the saddle, I’ll throw the word “pecker” in the title..that should work.  

Perception problems are marketing problems. Don’t believe this?  Pop quiz…Who developed one of the first touch screen computers?  Well, the perception is that Apple started it all………and if that was your guess, you couldn’t be more wrong…But before you Google the answer,  the original touch screen was the most bizarre marketing blunder of all time and actually involves Panasonic naming it after a penis.

In 1996 Panasonic thought the mouse was too hard to use, and the internet was going to be the biggest development of the 20th century…They were right, but it didn’t  matter…The name of their touch screen computer was the Woody…Pretty bad right?  But  it gets a lot worse……They decided Woody Wood Pecker would be a great mascot to bring in the youth market  (In 1996??!) So before you connect the dots, yes,  the computer was named….Touch Woody……And if  it couldn’t get any worse,  Panasonic introduced  a new internet support feature called….wait for it…The internet pecker.

A touch screen in 1996!  Steve Jobs was just coming back to Apple and the IPad was over ten years away.  A touch screen was WAY ahead of its time.  But alas, you can have the best product in the world, but if people don’t know about it, (or laugh like 12 year old boys when they say the name) you will fail—-Just ask A. Wang, the creator of Wang Computer 

How You Learn Something New

To learn something new you need to hear it, see it, and do it….Right?  What if you just heard it? Over and over again. People learn the most through the ear. It may take longer, but once the message has wrapped itself around your brain, it never leaves…EVER.

Don’t believe me? Take this little quiz and see how you score.  I guarantee you get more than 90% correct.

  • A Diamond is _________
  • A _______ is a terrible thing to waste
  • An ________ a day keeps the doctor away
  • It takes a __________ and keeps on ticking

So, you think these are advertisements that everyone knows and it’s much harder to brand yourself in the modern age? Well, keep going.

  • ______ ______ Yahoo?
  • Got _______?
  • So easy even a _____________ can do it
  • Every kiss begins with _______

So how did you do? I’m not even going to give you the answers because I know most of you scored a perfect 100%. The “Apple a day” slogan was a campaign from the early 1900’s, and here you are in 2012 reciting it without thinking. A catchy phrase, with repetition and little bit of alliteration, can stay with you for a lifetime. Does your business stand out? What are you known for?  Will people remember you in 50 years?

I suspect you could make a lasting imprint with just a bit of thought….You do want to be all that you can be…Right?

Selling A Better Mousetrap–(Or Butter Spray)

In the late 1800’s Ralph Waldo Emerson is given credit for the metaphor that has proceeded every great idea…”Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door”.    The first problem is Mr. Emerson didn’t actually say that quote.  The phrase is actually a misquotation of:

If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The second, and even more important problem with the mousetrap quote, is that it’s just not true.  It’s not enough to have a great idea.  That great idea has to be sold. There is no greater frustration than having a terrific idea shot down.

  In 1987 I had this idea for spray butter.  I was in the Air force at a base picnic and watched as Airman from every walk of life put butter on their ears of corn.  It was painful to watch. ..And kind of gross when they rolled an already bitten piece of corn back onto a stick of butter.  So pecking away at my 1965 Smith and Corona I fired off a bunch of letters to the leading  manufacturers of margarine and butter….My idea?  “Mista” Butter.  (Yes, a ridiculous play on “Mr. Butter”–but my original thought was the butter would spray in a cool mist–Hence, Mista Butter)  I received one letter back, and it politely  told me that they would  hand my letter off to their marketing department.  No grand rewards, no earth-shaking discovery. My little idea just shriveled up and died without the power of persuasion.

When I arrived back in the states several years later, every margarine company in the world had a spray butter.  Go check your refrigerator–I bet you have one in there right now–well, thank me! 

America  knows how to generate ideas.  What the average creative doesn’t know is how to sell them.  Everything has to be sold.  Apple computer’s first ideas came from Steve Wozniak, a brilliant programmer.  The name Apple would have never been a household name  if  the sales guy, Steve Jobs, didn’t pour in his marketing magic. 

Sales, advertising, and marketing are all skills that need to be honed like any other profession.  It takes years of mastery before a salesperson really knows how to motivate the person with the checkbook.  That is why just about every product or service has the sales side and the research/production side.  It takes both left and right brain thinking to get the public to embrace something new.  The number one thing for a company to realize is decision makers aren’t interested in you..They really aren’t.  All they are interested in is solving their own problems.

Even when you do find a way to solve their problems, they still have to be shown and told.  Trust needs to be established.  If your incredible new product scratches the itch and makes your prospects pain go away, you need to prove it.  Over and over again. 

The world doesn’t have an idea problems.  It has selling problems.  If everyone was put on some type of commission plan, the human race would advance 20 years overnight—-And  have plenty of “spray” options–maybe ketchup and mustard would work!?

 
 
 

Big Game Commercials–Fumble or #Touchdown?

As the Superbow—ooops, “the BIG game” inches closer, the Monday morning quarterbacks will talk of football, and….. commercials.  Will Volkswagen be able to top the young Darth Vader spot?  Maybe, but in the quest to be the most creative, some companies try so hard on the creative, they forget to sell.  The problem with Super bowl advertising is it only allows for two parts of the advertising puzzle–REACH and CREATIVITY.  Great advertising that sells needs all four keys–REACH, FREQUENCY, CONSISTENCY, and CREATIVE. 

Like a Dad who only sees his kids on the weekends, companies try to OVERCOMPENSATE with the Creative–Plenty or reach, plenty of creative.  Surely if you miss the other two elements, just make up for it with more creative, right?  Well, maybe.  If the creative actually sells product. 

Effective advertising does one thing; it motivates a consumer int0 action.   It should contain one or two key messages.  Not a list of things that the customer will forget in five minutes.

FIVE ADVERTISING TIPS:

(1)-If you do not engage the consumer, nothing else really matters.

(2)-The only way to connect is to make the commercial about the customer.

(3)-Failure to immediately appeal to the listener/viewer’s self-interest will leave your ad unheard.

(4)-Pierce the heart.  Logic doesn’t sell, emotions sell.

(5)-Leave behind a mental image that can be shared and talked about at the water cooler.

You would think for 3.5 million dollars for 30 seconds of airtime, the commercial should sell a few units, right?  So enjoy the game, watch the commercials, and try to remember the companies who advertised the next day….If you can…TOUCHDOWN!

 

Thou Shall Not Commit the 7 Deadly Advertising Sins In 2012

The New Year is here!  What are you going to do to make this a great year for your company?  At some point every business has to advertise  along the way just to stay even.  That could be Yellow Pages,  web listings or  just a free Facebook page.  If you want to grow and get your “unfair share” of the money being spent in your category, you really need to find creative and cost effective ways to make sure potential customers choose you over the competition.

Advertising is the way to separate your business from the pack.  As I have written about on several other blog posts, the four keys to advertising are: -Reach,  Frequency, Consistency, and Creative  (Copy).

Now we will take a second and talk about the 7 deadly sins of advertising.  Break them and you could be wasting money.  Money that could help  your business thrive in 2012.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Advertising

1. Failure to attract the customer’s attention: The world suffers from information overload–What are you doing to stand out? 

2. Failure to appeal to the listener’s self interest: Don’t kid yourself, most people don’t care about your product or service–They only car about what you can do for them.

3. Failure to use words that paint pictures: Tell stories, paint pictures, make what you have to sell connect with the potential customer on an emotional level.

4. Being so creative that you forget to sell: What do you remember about the most funny and creative commercials?  If it’s not the product being advertised, there is a major problem.

5. Failure to give someone a reason to act now: Allow someone to put off a decision, and chances are, they will!

6. Cliché ridden copy: Don’t say the same old crap we’ve all heard for the past 30 years..Be interesting, or don’t waste your money.

7. Too much copy: Stick to one or two points.  Laundry lists only work when you go to the laundry.  Stay on topic; don’t overwhelm the customer with too much information.

There you go,  easy right?  I will hit each of these topics in more depth in the upcoming weeks. Good luck and I hope your business has a great 2012!

The Hard Part Isn’t Making Money–It’s Investing It Wisely

All advertising mediums work if you use them the right way.  Businesses and agencies get caught up in the price-CPP-CPM-Ect. The only thing that matters is the return on investment  (ROI).  If a TV commercial brings you  $10,000 in revenue, why do you care if it cost $5,000 to produce and air? Put that same $5,000 in a money market account (the only way to really have it be”risk -free”) and in a year you will have about $5,050 in your account.  Advertising involves risk, but isn’t risk what made your company successful in the first place?

When you advertise you hit a target audience.  Your target audience has about 150  friends and relatives they talk to.  (More when you factor in social media). If you get just get a few people in the door and treat them right, you will get a tremendous amount of positive word of mouth.  So what is a brand new customer really worth to you for future business? 

Of course I’m a radio guy so I believe strongly in my medium, but  it doesn’t matter where you invest as long as it gets results.  I don’t care what advertising medium you use, if you do it properly, your investment will get an ROI.  The only way to really monitor results is by how much is in the cash register after the campaign.

Read everything you can on advertising, and find a sales representative that you trust.  Follow the four keys. (1)-Reach.  (2)-Frequency.  (3)-Consistency. (4)- Creative  (the message). 

 I included a chart below to show the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular ways to market your business.  Advertising is an investment, not an expense.  Know there is always some risk, but there is a far better risk/reward ratio than investing in the hottest IPO or shoving it under your mattress.

Everyone loves Polar Bears….Right?

Thanksgiving 2011.  My Mother asks  if we have any Coke.  I can’t do justice to just the way she phrased it, but  to paraphrase, it went something like….”And not any of that diet crap”…  So, my wife proudly retrieves a brand new can of Coca-Cola in the special can that helps the Polar Bears.  Everyone loves polar bears–White, furry, look great in a Santa hat.  The problem is, the special polar bear Coke can looks just like, you guess it, a Diet Coke.  Granted, one is white and one is silver, but at a glance, they look identical.   No one at Coke thought this could be an issue?  Where is my Jolly 1930’s Santa Claus can?  Global warming has really become inconvenient when they take away my red holiday cans!

As everyone discussed (argued) about the validity of the white can, I cleared my throat and gave my famous speech on why this would fail.  Consequently,  it’s the same speech I gave my sales team when Netflix went temporarily insane and tried to rebrand  to the name “Quickster”.  The take away from my loud proclamations was that Coke would drop this new can by Christmas.

So as I awoke this morning my Yahoo news hit me with the big news—http://finance.yahoo.com/news/coca-cola-cans-going-back-221405690.html

America is confused by the white Coke can–It looks too much like a Diet Coke–It will be pulled from the shelves ahead of the time.  Some folks even said it tastes different! (Bread does taste better to me when it is cut diagonal!)

Now, some conspiracy theorists may say this was done to just drum up publicity—That I’m talking about Coke way more because of this stunt…Just like “New” Coke.  Maybe, but maybe not.  Coca-Cola is one of the biggest brands in the world–They have  the resources to market test better than any other company–So what went wrong?  My nine year old daughter thought the can looked like a Diet Coke, but Coca-Cola didn’t anticipate this?  Something’s  fishy.  (Don’t polar bear love fish?..hmmm)

So you decide–Are we talking about Polar Bears  and Coke more because of the campaign?  Will more money find its way to Atlanta and Antarctica because of the controversy?   Some of the best advertising campaigns don’t seem like advertising at all–The point is to make people talk, although it didn’t work for Netflix–That was just a major miscalculation–But then again, Netflix is no Coke.

Either way,  Al Gore has now switched from Pepsi to Coke–All is right with the world.

She Blinded Me With Science!—Or Was It Art?

You can buy advertising anywhere.  Radio, billboards, TV, Google, Facebook, direct mail, cable, gas stations, park benches, sky writers—Hell, you can even put your logo on one of those blue hockey pucks in a urinal.  Yes, you can advertise just about anywhere, but should you?  The answer is relatively simple–Advertise where you can afford to hit the largest audience with the most frequency– consistently!—That’s the Science.   Oh Yea–Be Creative!  That’s the Art.

 To put it more directly, there are four keys to good advertising—Reach—Frequency—Consistency—Creative.   The first three are the science—The last one is the art.   Break anyone of them at your own peril.

(1)-Reach enough people with your message to make a real difference.  Broadcast is the best way to accomplish this.

(2)-Reach them frequently. Find loyal audiences that allow you to get a lot of repetition.  This is essential to make your business desired before it’s required.

(3)-Whatever medium you choose, you need to do it Consistently.  Mindshare is fleeting – you must maintain it or it will disappear.

(4)-Use high-quality, emotional & compelling Creative.  Nothing can kill a marketing investment more quickly than poor-quality or flat creative. 

Advertising can take your business to new heights.  It just has to be used properly.  The four keys are the easiest ways to test your current campaign, and to ensure success for future advertising endeavors.

Go unlock some advertising magic…

 

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