Do Your Adverts Get You More Sales?

Philadelphia retailer and US Postmaster General, John Wanamaker, once said, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half."

If you're spending $10,000 a month on advertising $5,000 is going straight down the tubes. That wastes $60,000 of your hard earned cash every year. Money you could spend on better, more focused marketing.

Imagine if you could work out which half works and spend only on that half. The good news is you can. All will become clear in a little while.

In the meantime let me explain how advertising works.

Broadly there are two types of advertising. One is Branding and Positioning (BAP) and the other is Direct Response (DR) advertising.

Branding and Position concentrates on getting the company's name, or service or product continually at the forefront of its customer's minds. As you can imagine this needs continual advertising activity and can cost megabucks. Companies doing this type of advertising include Coca-Cola, British Airways, Nike and MacDonald's.

These are all major companies and everyone already knows their name and what they stand for.

Why do they do it?

The simple answer is that they're in a highly competitive market. They want to retain their large market share by ensuring that the most recent ad a prospect remembers is for their service or product. So when they're thirsty it's a Coke. If they're hungry it's a Big Mac if they want to fly they choose the World's favourite airline.

Picture the mountains of money that go towards that aim. But picture too the accountants horror ? they don't know which campaign makes a profit.

Profit is the one thing that tells you if your campaign is working. If you know your ad makes more revenue than it costs to create, run and service you'd keep running it wouldn't you?

Unfortunately Branding and Positioning (BAP) advertising can't be evaluated. You just don't know whether it's worth doing or not. How do you know which advert finally persuaded your prospect to do business with you.

Interestingly Bill Bernbach one of the founders of modern advertising said that, "Advertising doesn't create a product advantage. It can only convey it."

So why bother doing BAP advertising?

Probably because advertising agencies are happy to use BAP advertising for almost any company. Any slowdown in sales can't be attributed to their adverts. Any increase is claimed to prove the advert is working.

In reality you don't have a clue.

Former Canadian policeman turned fabulously paid copywriter John E. Kennedy coined the phrase, "advertising is salesmanship in print".

Would you tell a salesman to go see a prospect and to strip customer oriented benefits from their presentation? Also would you tell them not to ask for the order? You'd be laughed at and if you insisted you'd probably go out of business and certainly lose your salesmen.

BAP advertising does exactly that to your customer.

In contrast Direct Response (DR) advertising is able to directly relate a specific advert to an increase in sales. Or alternatively highlight a problem ad that needs fixing.

This type of advertising seeks to inform the prospect as to how your product or service improves their life, rights a wrong or smoothes a problem. Additionally, DR advertising almost always asks for a response. Either to call in to buy immediately (unusual), to get a free sample, free report, free voucher, free experience or other intermediary step before buying the target product.

Imagine the calls, letters and emails you can get from advertising that encourage your prospects to take action to contact your company immediately. You get to see whether the campaign is working. That means you can step in and tweak it if it's not.

But it also allows you to test different aspects of your advert to try and increase response further. So for instance you could run two adverts with the headline changed on one, or a different offer on one or a free-phone number against a geographic number.

You can see how every single word and picture in your advert performs. Doesn't that just feel better? You've control over your spend and the customers who are bought for your advertising dollar.

There are many people who would agree that DR advertising is the right way to advertise. But they still don't do it.

Why?

Usually the reason is simply one of ego. Direct Response adverts don't tend to be pretty or to win the Cannes Advertising Lions awards. If you're the head of the company or you're the director of sales imagine how tempting it is top run ads that might win awards?

You already have sales coming in. Running a BAP advert will still get sales coming in. And you might win that Lion at the Cannes awards for best advertising.

You're fooling yourself if you think it's for any other reason. Because almost without exception Direct Response adverts will pull more sales than BAP adverts.

Yet many advertisers don't realise it. They're convinced that an advert has to look "professional" to sell. WRONG!

Do you want more sales?

If you do, and I'm sure you do use the following steps:

Step 1: Learn how your products relate to your users. Which emotions, feelings and beliefs does it generate or speak to?

Step 2: Assess the best way to convey that to your ultimate user.

Step 3: Do the newspapers/magazines/radio/tv channels you've chosen to advertise in get read by your preferred prospects?

Step 4: Check and test each ad with a single entry in your chosen media. (Do not run ad series until you've tested the pulling power)

Step 5: Buy the smallest display ad possible. Then each time it makes money buy the next size up until it starts to lose money. Then go back to the last one that made money - the optimum size.

Step 6: Continually run split tests to find the best pulling direct response for your product

Step 7: Use some of your advertising saved to buy other means of marketing

Jim Symcox, also known as the Marketing Magician has worked as a consultant since the mid 1980's. He is a marketing coach, copywriter and the author of "How to Leap Ahead Of Your Competitors".

web: http://www.acornservice.com
blog: http://www.blogspot.acornservice.com
tel: 0161 278 1919

In The News:


Motley Fool

Instagram Is Set to Make a Killing in Advertising in 2017
Motley Fool
Most recently, the company announced it surpassed 1 million active advertisers. That's up from 500,000 just six months ago and 200,000 around this time last year. Instagram's rapid advertiser growth is accompanied by an acceleration in its user growth.
Snapchat 'will be bigger than Twitter, Yahoo and AOL with advertisers'The Guardian

all 2 news articles »

Farhad's and Mike's Week in Tech: YouTube's Problematic Advertising
New York Times
Under rules created last October by the Federal Communications Commission, Verizon, Comcast, AT&T and other broadband providers had to ask your permission to track your online behavior to sell for advertising purposes. On a party-line vote, Republicans ...


New York Post

YouTube Hate-Speech Ad Fallout Continues: US Advertising Trade Group Urges Google to Rectify 'Crisis'
Variety
More big advertisers have joined the YouTube exodus over concerns that their commercials have appeared in extremist hate-speech videos, and as the crisis spreads the head of the Association of National Advertisers on Friday urged Google to take steps ...
Google's bad week: YouTube loses millions as advertising row reaches USThe Guardian
After a worldwide advertising boycott, it's time for Google to face up to its responsibilitiesNew York Post
YouTube is facing a full-scale advertising boycott over hate speechThe Verge
TechCrunch -AdAge.com -CBC.ca -Google Blog
all 393 news articles »

Sioux Falls Argus Leader

Tough DUIs laws, ISIS advertising and bumblebee protection
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Bumblebees listed on endangered species list: The Trump Administration reversed course last week and allowed for the listing of the rusty patched bumblebee on the endangered species list. The Natural Resources Defense Council applauded the ...


Autos a no-show on list of advertising stars
Automotive News (subscription) (blog)
Granted, three of the 40 individuals work at agencies or advertising consultancies that do work for automotive clients, among others. But none are associated with an agency that is known primarily for its automotive work. It's possible that no auto ...


AdAge.com (blog)

Brand Safety Issues Go Way Beyond YouTube | Special: Advertising ...
AdAge.com (blog)
AT&T and J&J are the latest big advertisers to pull YouTube ads, but the problem of ads placed in offensive content extends way beyond Google.
Top ten takeaways from Advertising Week Europe 2017CampaignLive
Kiran Rai presents Advertising Week Europe 2017 | West Bridgford ...West Bridgford Wire

all 6 news articles »

AdAge.com

J&J and Verizon Join Major Marketers Suspending YouTube Advertising
AdAge.com
Johnson & Johnson has suspended its YouTube advertising globally, joining a growing group of advertisers and agencies stepping back from the dominant video platform over ads' proximity to hate speech, terrorist propaganda and other objectionable ...
AT&T, other US advertisers quit Google, YouTube over extremist videosUSA TODAY
Google advertising row spreads to US brandsBBC News
Australian advertising industry holds talks to protect brands against extremist contentThe Guardian
Business Insider -Financial Times -Los Angeles Times -Google Blog
all 536 news articles »

Radio Ink

Advertising Is Key For Radio's Future
Radio Ink
Interruptive advertising models are challenged to create great user experiences in an on-demand, curatable world. Consumers are doing their best to tune out ads and get just the content they want. The advent of the DVR made it easy to start skipping ...


MoneyWeek

The crisis in internet advertising
MoneyWeek
Many of the companies boycotting Google had discovered only by reading The Times's investigation that their advertising budget was being used to place banner advertisements over these videos, thus indirectly funding extremists and damaging the prestige ...
Buyers fear going to extremes on Google advertisingThe Australian
Advertising controlConcord Register

all 6 news articles »

Adweek

Sling TV Is Partnering With Adobe for Programmatic Advertising ...
Adweek
Sling TV is getting into programmatic advertising, partnering with Adobe's newly unveiled Advertising Cloud to let brands bid in real time on livestreaming and ...

and more »
Google News

Whats The Frequency?

The more things change, some say, the more things stay... Read More

Is Your Yellow Pages Ad Putting Cash in Your Pocket... or Sucking Cash Out?

Any idea? It's a question that more than a few... Read More

Advertainment is Sneaking Into Music, Movies, TV and More

The very name "advertainment" sends thrilling vibrations up the spine... Read More

What Do Your Ads Say?

Make a list of everything you think should be included... Read More

How to Write Ads that Pull Orders

If your ads aren't paying off then you need this... Read More

Crazy Ads? Maybe Youre Just Out of The Demo!

My father called me to complain, again. He's 82 and... Read More

3 Things Every Yellow Pages Advertiser Needs to Know

Too many business owners and marketers know that Yellow Pages... Read More

Yellow Page Advertisers: Your Calls are Going to Decrease - Heres the Remedy

Response rates to Yellow Page advertising are decliningThere's no getting... Read More

Testimonials Convert Prospects Into Buyers

Big businesses get instant credibility with their well-known company name... Read More

Free Publicity With Dogs, Cats, and Rats

Here's a fascinating idea.. Having noticed that there always seemed... Read More

How to Create Ads that Sell with Little Effort

One of the main problems people find with marketing, is... Read More

Trade Writing - For Cash!

Often considered as "plain Jane's" of the print world, trade... Read More

7 Questions to Ask Before You Advertise

Most business owners and managers keep a fairly close eye... Read More

Dont Be a Secret Agent

This tactic of the game was hard for me to... Read More

Why Most Advertisements Stink!

Question: What do you think the most important part of... Read More

Get Free Radio Advertisement

Here's a neat trick to get lots of radio advertisement... Read More

Take Your Radio Ads to the Next Level

Most small businesses do not have a high powered advertising... Read More

What Colors Make Your Services Most Attractive?

This information is based on the principles of Laws of... Read More

Tips for Using Paid Advertising

Quite a few business out there can't survive without some... Read More

Diamonds Are For Evil

The task of executing successful advertising campaigns for products made... Read More

Placemat Ad Advertising

Starting a placemat ad business can create more business for... Read More

How to Write Great Headlines

According to experts, just changing the headline of an ad... Read More

Power Headlines for Promotion Success

Do you send email to your Online audience to let... Read More

Media Savvy - Treat Them As You Would Your Best Customer

The ability to lead, persuade and influence are integral skills... Read More

Create Your Own Business Cards, Part 2

This is the second part of creating your own business... Read More