• Reach More Customers
  • Get Your Brand Noticed
  • Grow Your Business
  • Take the Guess Work Out of Advertising

by Stuart Leventhal

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Many peoples’ idea of advertising seems to lie with the assumption that if an advertisement didn’t work it is because the place it was posted stinks. They blame the magazine, website, blog for their lack of returns on their investment and they don’t post there anymore. The rest of the advertisers blame their ad agency. “The copywriters were not creative enough!” They switch ad companies. Both type of advertiser will gain some better returns because they each have hit on the secret…partially!

The problem preventing them from reaching their goals of optimal advertising every time is that they have become numb to poor advertisement performance. Experience has taught them that 99% of ads don’t work or at best underperform based on projected expectations or promises by their agency (flavor of the week).  Many advertisers actually expect to lose money on their ad campaigns and they don’t blink an eye when they see negative report results. Yet, they continue to advertise because they view advertising as a necessary evil that all business must incorporate into the budget.

This cavalier attitude towards flushing money down the drain leads to advertisement hopping. One month they try radio, the next place newspaper ads, the next they are talked into the newest internet fad or purchase pencils with the company name on them. Obviously the trend continues, zero or low return on investments.

These people are not stupid. They are business men and women who are leaders in their fields. Walk into their shop or office and they will sell you! Find your way to their arena and you’ll discover how competent they are at closing the deal!

As sales managers, division managers and owners; we demand that our sales force performs. As sales managers as well as all kinds of other managers; we are eager to train the new sales person. We are all extra generous with sales tips and advice plus, more than willing to arrange for all the support a sales person needs to sell more, to be within their easy access. We truly want to give our sales person all the help they need to succeed. We realize our success ultimately rides on our salesmen and saleswomen. Now, doesn’t our success ride just as much, if not more, on the success of our ad campaigns? Isn’t that the definition of an advertisement; a digital or textual sales person, a photographic sales person or video sales person? If you want your ads to perform you need to give them the attention they need to do their job.

You must hold you advertisements accountable when they under perform. You wouldn’t fire a new sales person if he didn’t earn his keep the first week. You’d sit him down and ask him what the problem was. You would coach him then send him back out into the field with encouragement. You don’t give a new salesman a company car, his pick of the offices with the best views or his own personal secretary. He or she must earn those perks! Your advertisement deserves the same respect and dedication as you give any sales person on your team. An ad needs to be developed from a new hopeful sales concept into an ace performer. Treat your new ad like a new sales person. Expect your ad to underperform and to be given a stiff reception at first. Take it back to the shop then analyze every aspect, angle, fact and figure about that new ad idea. Discuss the problems and come up with proposed solutions. Re- arm the ad with new weapons (adjusted text, more engaging photos, a different background color…) Then, send it back out to do its job!

Even our best sales people fall into a slump, so you should expect your best ads to underperform at times. That doesn’t mean it is ready for the retirement party. Maybe all that is needed is a fresh coat of paint! Remember the goal of good advertising is not to have a great single ad run. The goal is to further the reach and influence of a company’s brand. This is never done by sporadically choosing a different advertisement platform or ad style. Brand awareness and authority is built by consistency of message, honesty and value. We don’t create single ads. We create ad campaigns around a single powerful and influential theme!

So how do we assure all our advertising is ace advertising? How do we make sure every ad out performs our best salesmen and sales women and usually out sells the whole sales force combined? I know what you all are expecting; here comes the sales pitch! “You hire me.” Well, yes that is one way but the more humble answer is you test and tweak…BEFORE YOU SPEND! I’ll repeat that last part…BEFORE YOU SPEND!

Stop the insanity! As a manager owner or sales director; just as it is your duty and obligation to manage your sales team as well as take full responsibility for their performance, you must also manage your advertisement campaigns! And, take full responsibility of and for their performance. If your ad campaigns are consistently failures then as the man or woman in charge, you are failing in a very important area of your job description. An area that can be a game changer once you turn it around!

A successful ad campaign starts with you! The first step is for you to stop thinking of advertising as a crap shoot; you win some you lose some. From this point forward every time you roll the dice you win!

When you spend money on advertising you want to get more money back than you spend, PERIOD!

How should you design your ads? Give them the same traits that make your best salesmen and saleswomen so successful. Their demeanor works in person to person sales, their tone works in person to person sales; this style has proven time in and time out to work when a sales agent is standing toe to toe with a prospective customer. Your best sales people have developed pitches that they tweak slightly according to certain situations that crop up again and again. And you can believe your top sales personnel are prepared to counter any and every objection! There is your perfect advertisement already written for you. Paste your best salesmen onto the page of every relevant magazine across this nation and beyond. Still looking for ad copy? Check your sales people training manuals. Everything you teach your sales people to strive for, you need to make sure your advertisements are also design to do!

Seriously! Don’t your individual sales people excel with specific types of audiences? Ron is great at converting men his age over 50 into loyal customers. Janet is suave with young single prospects. Betty Lou is an expert at selling to young married couples. I hate to break the news to you but your ads have to each be specifically tailored to speak to a particular audience too. Men and women are not interested in the same things and therefore the same advertisement does not attract both sexes equally. Since we are all about optimizing all our ads to be ultra-productive we must design different ads as well as place the ads in different types of media to get the most out of them.

You pitch differently to youth than you would to mature prospects. No ad can sell everyone, so stop expecting them to!

Pick out a demographic. Use your sales knowledge and industry intuition to design your new ad to ignore everyone else except your target and then sell! Sell!…SELL!

Now if you learn anything from this article, I hope it is; TEST every ad idea by placing an inexpensive ad BEFORE YOU SPEND BIG! Then take the knowledge you have gained with your low cost test run and improve the ad. Test and improve, test and improve, until you develop a winner. Now…SPEND BIG!

Now we have taken the guess work out of advertising. It is no longer a gamble to advertise. We know exactly what our return will be before we place the ad! And, all our ads perform!

If your ad company insists on creating one advertisement for multiple promotional platforms, click below and get a free quote on any or all of your creative copy writing or re-copywriting needs.



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