Archives for : March2016

Secrets of Advertising

When I first got into the online advertising business, I was looking for the magical combination that would put my website into the top search engine rankings, catapult me to the forefront of the minds or individuals looking to buy my product, and generally make me rich beyond my wildest dreams!

After succeeding in the business for this long, I’m able to look back on my old self with this kind of thinking and shake my head.

If you’re reading this article and you’ve come this far, you’re probably looking for the magic answer yourself. You’ve probably read a few dozen or a few hundred articles just like this about pay-per-click advertising, maximizing return on investment, keyword stuffing, black-hat SEO tactics, text-link banner exchanges, and the list goes on.

Well, I’m here to tell you that I have the one be all end all answer and I’m sharing it with the world!

The truth is that there is no magic secret to online advertising. No one method will generate the largest amount of income/exposure for every website or business imaginable – it’s all a matter of trial and error, time and talent.

That’s a pretty weak answer, I know. It would have been much cooler for me to tell you that buying tiny classified ads in your local paper was the key to success and riches. Well, I’m sorry. For the few of you that have been down this road before and are starting to get it, you’ll hear a ring of truth in my words. The sooner you stop looking for a quick fix to make your message stick, the better.

For what it’s worth, these are my thoughts.

1) The internet has only been alive for a few short years, and in that time it has changed dramatically many times over. Remember in 1995 when everyone first discovered the cool little animated envelope.gif that you would click on to send them email? Where was your online bill-pay, instant messaging, and dynamically generated page content then? And only a few short years later you can see how far we’ve come and use that as a measure for how far we can go.

The point is that the internet, like other forms of media, is a rapidly evolving monster. What works for online advertisers today might be completely ineffectual only a few months from now. That’s why the best advertisers are constantly researching and creating their own unique marketing strategies. The trick is to find out what works for you, and to make sure that you revisit it from time to time to tune it up as the market changes.

2) You Have to Spend Money to Make Money. It’s a tired line, but it’s that way because everyone says it. Don’t be afraid to add fuel to your advertising fire and take it to another level. Try investing (note that I said investing and not spending) five, ten, or fifty thousand dollars in advertising. If you don’t jump out a window the first time you do it, you may walk away with a big smile and a little pocket money!

The hard part about investing a big chunk of money is coming up with it in the first place. If you already have $50,000 laying around for advertising and are just looking for a place to put it, give me a call. If you’re not that lucky, try looking at the Small Business Administration for ideas on how to get a small business loan.

If you don’t want to go farther than your mailbox, examine some of those credit checks your bank keeps sending you in the mail. A lot of people take advantage of their fairly reasonable interest rates to fund projects.

3) Presentation is Key. You’ll find that excellent writing skills and good marketing go hand in hand. As you improve on one, the other is bound to follow. Knowing how to write, and how to write well will give you an extraordinary advantage of the majority of individuals vying for your customers’ attention. I don’t know about you, but I get a lot of spam for people wanting to sell me their cheap items.

Needless to say, I have never purchased anything from them and most likely, neither have you. If you have, please drop me a line and let me know how it worked out. I’m always wondering how many of those are a scam.

The emails and circulars that I do purchase from come from GoDaddy,, Google and a host of other professional companies that take a few minutes to earn my trust with good punctuation, grammar, and quality content.

If you don’t have a talent for writing (and you know who you are) you have two choices:

Get better – easier said than done. Like most things, writing is one part talent and nine parts hard work. Take some classes, do peer editing suggestions, or send it to me look over (first ten-thousand submissions only).

Or, get someone else to do it – leaving more time for you at the helm. I like this option not only because it’s a time saver for me, but also because the work generally comes out better than anything I could have done. This article is an excellent example. I provided a detailed outline, some good anecdotes, and the strategies above and the copywriters at did the rest. I made a deal with them to write the article for $149 and we share the syndication rights. Not bad for half an hour’s work.

If you can’t afford to hire a pro, be courteous to yourself and your audience by simply re-reading your work, running a spell check, and letting your wife/husband/friend/co-worker look it over. You’d be surprised at how many things invisible to you will stand out to a fresh set of eyes.

OK. That’s all I’ve got for now. Please remember though that how far you go is up to you. There is no substitute for your own work and effort in succeeding in this business.

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Advertising Habits Predict Brand Health

Article Excerpt: “Instead of making budgeting decisions arbitrary based on gut feel, affordabilty or previous decisions, Managers need to set their strategies based on comprehensive past advertising spending analysis and in relation to competitors.”

My thoughts – What competing businesses are doing with their ad activity MUST be a major focal point when determining what your ad spend will be. (This doesn’t mean a local business can not compete with a national company. Keep in mind these large companies are advertising nationally among many avenues of marketing tactics. A small to mid-sized business only needs to advertise locally at a mere fraction of the expenses the national chains are spending.)

Article Excerpt: “The impact of some marketing actions such as advertising can go beyond the current term and last for weeks and in some cases last for years.”

My thoughts – Ad impact doesn’t end when the flight ends and can influence sales over time. It’s important to know when analyzing a campaigns results. A general branding type ad airing over only one week is not going get any results during that one week. A carefully thought out strategy over time will get more results as time goes on.

Article Excerpt: “Smart advertisers consistently kept their relative ad spending above that of their competitors REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES. The smart spenders followed a persistent and increasing relative advertising spending pattern when compared to their competitors not only when their revenues surged but ALSO WHEN SALES DECLINED.”

My thoughts – Cutting back on advertising when things get tough is a path to losing market share as those who spend consistently do better in the end. This has shown to be true during all economic downturns since the 1930s.

Article Excerpt: “Unhealthy companies tended to spend less on advertising although occasionally they would increase their advertising budget dramatically but would soon revert back to their low ad spending ways. These unhealthy companies are early quitters who irregularly spend aggressively. When they do, they soon give up before seeing the results of their strategy come to fruition.”

My thoughts – Just like compound interest, many advertisers stop their advertising without leveraging their early ads to continue through their duration to allow it to work properly.

Article Excerpt: “Contrary to smart companies, a poor performing company’s ad budget was contingent upon sales. When sales declined, the ad budget declined. Such a strategy is problematic since it implies that advertising is a function of sales rather than sales being a function of advertising. This is dangerous as advertising can build profitability rather than profitability boosting advertising.”

My thoughts – Many businesses I work with figure their ad spending as a percentage of sales. Those that budget this way are looking through the wrong end of their telescope. The reason is because ADVERTISING IS NOT A RESULT OF SALES. SALES IS A RESULT OF ADVERTISING.

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Creating the Scene: Business Opportunities for Designers in Advertising

Designers should be able to create new opportunities for themselves – beyond the homes, hotels, department stores, malls, offices, and other usual clients that they encounter. And one such field they can take advantage of is the rise of below the line advertising.

Compared to above the line that focuses on multi-media campaigns (spanning television commercials, radio ads, out of home placements, and digital), below the line advertising is all about reaching out to the market through several touch points. This is about making the brand interact directly with its current and potential users wherever they are. With the designers’ know how in presenting such as employing 3D software rendering to provide real life simulation of what will happen, being in the thick of the action of below the line advertising is a great new feather on their caps to further push their business to new heights.

Here are some tactics wherein designers and contractors alike can get into the below the line advertising industry:

Events Management

Launching products has got to be one of the most effective ways to create so much buzz about brands with something new to offer the market. It can be held in a events place such as a hall in a hotel or a specific place that’s relevant to what is being introduced. The program usually involves the announcement of the official brand ambassadors.

Designers can come in to offer creative execution as to the overall look of the events place. First of all, the focal point of these launches is the stage wherein all the action happens. Instead of the usual Styrofoam or cardboard executions, designers can initiate full LED backdrops for example. If there are several things happening at the same time, they also plan the flow of the place with respect to the program.

Event launches also involve a lot of press conferences. With the help of a designer’s eye for detail, they can ensure that all attendees have easy access to a microphone for question and answer portions as well as checking the venue to make sure that all the answers are heard clearly.

Testing Booths

For fast-moving consumer goods, testing booths is a godsend. However, most booths do not reach their full potential.

Most booths are poorly designed that most people do not dare enter them during bazaars or offsite events. Designers can provide the best customer experience by providing the right amount of chairs for example without getting in the way of the trials. The designer can also go as far as suggesting how to best experience the product and executing it via the design of the booth. For example, a nail polish is better tested during a pedicure session than simply a stand and swatch set up while a coffee drink is best enjoyed if placed in a setup of a coffee shop.

In the end, the role of the designer is all about maximizing and increasing the brand equity through carefully designed avenues for consumers to experience the product in below the line executions.

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5 Reasons It Makes Sense to Hire Out Your Health Care Advertising

The modern-day medical field has certainly come a long way from the days of the buggy and cart and doctors conducting home visits. With the advances in technology and the surge in the population, it has become crucial to a business to engage in health care advertising to stay relevant and successful. Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult for a health professional to stay on top of both his medical practice as well as the marketing realm of his business. Thankfully, there are some great marketing firms that specialize in health care branding. When you evaluate the reasons for hiring a professional company, you realize that it can be easier to outsource.


The old expression, “Time is money, and money is time,” still holds true in today’s fast-paced world. A successful marketing campaign requires both experience, connections and most importantly, time. From mailers, to social media, to online ads, you have to dedicate a significant amount of resources to building a successful brand. Most medical professionals are focused on patient care and have little time to devote to advertising. A company who is dedicated to marketing is generally able to spend the time required.


The key to successful health care advertising is understanding which message, in which specific format, will make the biggest impact. This requires the identification of the type of person most likely to engage in a particular business. In the medical field, this person is known as the “best patient.” All of these identification methods require experience. Hiring a marketing company is a savvy move, particularly if you lack the knowledge and experience that can accompany a few years in the realm of advertising.


The means of determining the demographic most likely to respond to a particular health facility requires a good amount of research. The collection of this data is often a time-consuming and difficult process. Not only is pure data needed, but also research is required to understand how the best patient reacts to certain methods of advertising. Unless you have the tools available to conduct the necessary research, you will most likely have a misguided and unfocused advertising campaign.


To procure the correct data to conduct research, you must possess the necessary equipment. The seasoned marketing firms have advanced technology to aid in the process of gathering research. Software programs geared specifically toward health care advertising aid not only in research, but can also give guidance as to which methods of advertising works best for a specific demographic. This equipment alone would be a significant cost that most private businesses could not expend.

Social Media

The Internet has, of course, revolutionized the economy, including the way in which advertising firms market their products. With people able to check online reviews, see online ads and communicate via social media, many doctors and hospitals are now seeking to create a visible online presence. This is a smart move, as statistics now show that a large percentage of the population search for health care professionals online. Outsourcing your branding to a reputable marketing firm that understands the value of social media can broaden your audience.

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