Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Do Your Customers Wonder If You're Going Out Of Business?

How’s your ad campaign?

If you said “what ad campaign?”, maybe you should keep reading.

In a recent advertising and media study by Ad-ology, a Columbus Ohio company that measures customer insights, they asked over 2200 consumers about their perception of companies who advertise, those who don’t as much any more, and those companies who don’t advertise at all.  Whatever your ad budget, the results will surprise you. 

The Ad-ology study showed that when consumers no longer see or hear an auto dealership advertising as much as they used to, 42% believe that the dealership must be struggling. Another 20% believe that the dealership is less willing to deal.

For banks, if customers no longer see or hear ads as much as they used to, 34% believe the bank must be struggling, and 13% believe they may not be in business much longer.

Hmmm. Do you think that advertising only works when it brings you a customer?  Maybe you should think about it KEEPING your customers as well.

Is your ad working? I’ve talked to clients and written in this blog for years: Don’t make your ad about the THINGS you sell ; make it about the benefits. The Ad-ology study asked consumers what makes a good ad.  Wow, imagine that. They asked the consumer. 

  • 68% wanted to be informed of something important or useful.
  • 59% thought a good ad should make them laugh
  • 51% wanted an ad to make them think
  • 39% said, “Don’t insult my intelligence”

I like that last one.  Unfortunately, there are some advertisers and some creatives who continually miss that mark.

In many respects, 2010 is looking like a good year already. Ad-ology makes a great argument for not cutting back on ad budgets.  And if you’re not advertising, now is the perfect time to start.

Look around you, and if you see your competition cutting their ads back, or not advertising at all, then they’re giving you the opportunity to move ahead.

For more information on Ad-ology’s insightful research and how to connect with your customers, visit www.ad-ology.com


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Working With Copywriters

People are getting good at putting their thoughts into 140 characters on Twitter. But I still believe that the hardest thing in the world to write is a 30 second spot. 

I wrote one recently for a first time radio advertiser.

"I'd like to also talk about (she inserted two more of her business concepts here)"

Me: "Well, this is written to convey the thoughts that we originally discussed. It's only 30 seconds, so there's really no room."

"Can you talk faster?"

"Sure. How much LESS do you want your message to be heard?"


"Radio listeners are doing other things while listening: driving, working, and a good spot needs to cut thru all that clutter."

"Well, maybe they'll hear it."

"Really? You're going to make this sized investment on a maybe??"

Remember that whatever it is that you sell, people don't want the THING. They want the EXPERIENCE. In other words, people don't want to buy a big, honking backyard grill. What they want is the experience of family and friends together sharing a delicious meal. 

Humans buy either to seek pleasure, or avoid pain. Your sales messages need to reflect that.

It pays to work with a good copywriter.  If you like what that persn has written in the past, or if he comes highly recommended, he'll be on your side. Work with him as you would a team member.

--Thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

But Enough About You, Let's Talk About Me

You’re at a party when someone you don’t know comes up to you and starts talking.

They talk about themselves. Everything. They tell you how great they are, and how many friends they have, and how many things they own. You smile and nod as you search frantically for somewhere else to be.

You’ve just met a typical radio ad.

The latest Adweekmedia/Harris Poll says that only 3% of adults find radio ads helpful when making a buying decision. It’s no wonder. Because most radio ads are like that obnoxious party guest: in your face and talking only about themselves. My Dad always said if you want someone to be interested in YOU, then you have to talk about THEM.

How many radio ads do you hear on a regular basis that talk about you? Apparently only 3% or less. 

Because the majority of radio ads are not compelling or engaging. They don’t tell a story; they give a laundry list of items or services, or tell you that they are simply THE thing for all your (fill-in-the-blank) needs. 

The medium of radio CAN be the most powerful communications portal on the planet, because radio tickles the emotion. It’s a best friend when it talks directly to YOU. Americans don’t gather ’round the radio like they did in the 30’s and 40’s for entertainment. They listen one on one. Radio stopped communicating one on one. It took too much time to establish that audience rapport; it wasn’t bottom line effective for 97% of advertisers. 

Looks like there’s only 3% of radio ads that are effective. If I were a radio advertiser, before I spent another dollar, I’d find out what those spots are doing to reach their buyers.

And then, I’d hire the best copywriter I could find.

–Thanks for reading