Traditional Advertising is Dead

The world is a strange place to be in at the moment. The world of marketing seems to be even stranger yet. It appears rationality has simply gone out the window as people panic in times of economic crisis. You see examples of companies doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing and these are run by extremely intelligent people hiring other extremely gifted individuals to form teams, brainstorm, propose and ultimately decide upon the best approach. Yet there is so much crap out there its unbelievable.

Lets talk marketing. The average person (as well as the very average marketer) may think the best thing to do during times of crisis is to simply cut advertising budget and channel remaining funds into known and tested forms of media. Well lets dissect that thinking just a little.

* Times are tough and business is struggling

* OK we’ll need to cut budget

* The budget’s have been cut so we need to be careful where we spend our money

* Lets spend it on what we did before (you mean the same stuff that got you in this position in the first place right?)

* That’s a great looking ad! (it goes well with your competitors on page 3,7,9,11,17,22 and 33. Well done.)

* Im not sure how the ad performed but it looked good didn’t it? The others keep doing it so it must be working.

Does it seems a little clearer as to why the cut budget and spend safely simply does not work? You may well need to cut your marketing budget but it doesn’t mean you should stick to your usual, often fundamentally flawed ways. Remember those usual ways are exactly what got you (you being the advertiser, not specifically as in you) stuck in the first place! The only way out is to really set yourself apart from the bunch. Be different, act different and think different. Not being different is the exact reason why people stop buying or trying your offering.

Another major problem here is that everyone is trying to target the masses with the key defining feature that bonds this group is that they are simply indifferent however at the same time represent the majority of the purchasing population. They don’t care whether your ad looks great, or how your new football boot is worn by some bloke they could never be. You need to remember that times are tough for the masses, economic and financial crisis hits the masses hard, the same masses you are targeting.

So now tell me the reasoning behind this marketing approach. You are targeting people who don’t really care and don’t have the money to get out and purchase your product. How much money do you want to waste? How many ads do you need to print and display before you realise it’s just not working?

When things are tough those products that are a cut above the rest, those that are amazing and extraordinary will prevail. Why? Because these don’t interest and are unwanted by the masses. The property market in UK, US, and Australia is struggling but what type of property are we talking about here? We are talking about the property for the masses. We are not talking about water front mansions worth several million dollars. For example take Donald Trump, who in mid 2008 during a time when the housing market was in the pits, sold his Florida home for 100 million dollars! The housing crisis we are really talking about are the typical housing prices going down and bringing a large number of people down with them. The whole economic and financial downturn could possibly be attributed to sub-prime mortgages crashing heavily accompanied with the devalued nature of the properties (all be it a slightly abbreviated explanation!). Who were these sub-prime mortgages sold to? The same people who are not buying your products now, the masses.

I don’t believe I’m extraordinarily bright but you don’t have to be. Just think about it. The old ways of marketing and advertising are useless now because the people your advertising to simply don’t care. They don’t buy FHM to look at your ads and use TV commercial breaks to fill up their drink. TV advertising and Magazine advertising once worked because they were different and the alternatives were few and far between. Traditional media requires the diverting of a user’s attention in order to absorb the message you are trying to portray. This doesn’t work anymore! People are immune to ads and subconsciously and consciously tune-out or flick to the next page whenever they are subject to an advertisement. They have seen hundreds and thousands of these before, possibly even millions over their lifetime so why would they pay attention to yours? Do you read all your spam?

So the sad truth is:

1. People don’t care

2. People don’t have the money

3. People don’t even notice.

Yet I look through a popular men’s magazine and I see hundreds of crappy examples selling the same stuff and marketing to these exact people! Amazing.

How do you get around it? Create. Create something that genuinely ads value and will appeal to a dedicated minority, NOT to the masses. Hang on you say, that is where all the people and the money is! If you have just asked this question then please go back to the beginning of this post and read again. Going straight to the masses just puts you in the ‘me too’ category and you will inevitably fail. Even in times of crises, the minority, namely those who like to try new things (innovators and early adopters) will try new things if they believe it ads value to them. Go for the niches and source the ”sounding boards’ and target them directly. They are the ones who will be interested in purchasing and if they like it, they will talk about it, hence why I call them ‘sounding boards’.

Being different and adding value is the backbone of forming a sound business model. Watching someone acting different, doing well and then joining the group as a ‘me too’ is the recipe for mediocrity and inevitable failure. A perfect example would be Coca Cola moving into the energy drinks market and taking on Red Bull. Red Bull found a niche, offered something different and with value. It was unique in the market and didn’t even taste good but it added value to those who adopted it who then spread the word and the masses eventually came on board (once again an abbreviated story but you get the picture). In comes Coke, brings in Lift plus and Mother, says me too, makes it taste like garbage juice and says gimme my market share. What happens? It fails and it will continue to fail no matter what they try to do. Why? They tried to target the masses who are indifferent and don’t really care to change. “I’ll stick to Red Bull, thanks anyway” say the masses.

The key is to source out a niche, target the early adopters and offer them excellent value. This is how, now only in current economic conditions but from now on, you will be able to create a solid and profitable business model. Become a ‘me too’ and you will become another ‘me too’ scratching your head, waiting in line for your fortnightly government cheque thinking, what went wrong?

Social & Economic Impacts of Advertising

In recent times, the word ‘Advertising’ has become a fiercely mooted topic. Advertising has positive as well as negative, social and economic impacts on our society. Considering advertising as a public welfare is a positive social impact whereas exposing women as a sex tool comes at the negative side. As far as economic factors are concerned, funding for the media and stimulating an active and competitive economy, are the major examples.

Assorted techniques are enforced for persuading consumers that they want the product which is being advertised. These techniques usually give attention to the benefits that would be brought to the consumers rather than focusing on the actual products. For instance, an automobile advertisement adverting the mechanical attributes of a vehicle, most likely concentrates the exhilaration, reputation and social progression it may bring to the buyer. This swarming advancement is habitually sexual, or involving the opposite gender to attract the consumers with the glamorous women/men’s fancy car.

There are various blames that advertising is causing a negative social impact on the lives. The chief unfavorable judgment for advertising is that it hales the public to buy things that they are not their real want. It is arrogated that advertising plays with emotions and encourages people to think that buying and depleting are the activities of life.

According to advertisers, they state that people are capable enough to set their mind and no one can force them to buy anything which they dislike or which they think is not a necessity. Advertisers also think that there are positive impacts of advertising on our society and culture. For example, it can be used to generate awareness among the public that which product is OK or to which they should say NO. In other words, advertising also acts as an educator in the sense that it educates people what is good and what is bad for them and puts a ceiling on the harmful products like smoking and drinking etc.

There are not only social benefits of advertising, but it also has some economic advantages. Without advertising, the media, including newspapers, television and radio would never be much strong. Advertising provides revenue for commercial mediums which would otherwise need to be funded by the actual consumer of these mediums. So, we can see a major economic infrastructure based around advertising, in which the big companies fund and subsidize the commercial media by the way of advertisements.

The major economic negative aspect of advertising is that it boosts the price of goods and services. The source of this contention is that, when organizations subsidize the mass media with advertising, we, the purchaser, subsidize advertising by compensating a grossly increased price for heavily advertised goods and services. An easy example of this is that a box of Omo washing powder generally costs around two to three dollars while the market price of the product would be seven to eight dollars. The fact behind this is that the remaining proportion goes in heavy advertising in television and print media.

So, the impact of advertising on our society is in a jumble form, depending on the functions and implementations of numerous campaigns. Our society and the marketing of products depend very badly upon advertising. The companies have become much dependent of advertising that even its negative impacts can never outweigh the many positive social and economic effects.

Building Your List With Paid E-Zine Advertising

An excellent way to build your e-Marketing list is with paid e-Zine advertising. By using this e-Zine advertising you get almost instant results, something that article marketing can’t do for you.

Let’s take this step by step. The first choice you should make is whether to promote registration of your list or immediately promote one or more of your products. If you have a product that only has a short life, for example one linked with a particular occasion or time, then you need to get purchasers in fast. Direct paid e-Zine advertising of your product may be just exactly the way to do that.

For instance, if you have a product or service that is specifically related to Valentine’s Day then you need to get it in front of your potential purchasers in the few days running up to the 14th February. Hang about and your chance has gone for another year.

For the majority of cases though, the purpose of the e-Zine advertising is to get more members so you build your marketing mailing list. In this way you can e-mail them details and offers that can step through over time. Building your list gives you the opportunity of making linked sales or repeated sales so that you get the payback from your advertising spend over a period.

Advertising is always a risk. David Ogilvy, the marketing guru said “I know I am wasting half my advertising spend, the problem is I don’t know which half.” And that’s from someone who spent a lifetime generating really successful ads.

There are many ways of doing paid e-Zine advertising that are relatively inexpensive. Not the’ 000s of dollars that Ogilvy would spend per ad, but prices from 10 to 100 dollars will do the trick, depending upon your marketplace.

So what are the key points to consider when writing your ad and selecting your e-Zine? The three key points are ad quality, targeting and e-Zine list quality.

Targeting– does the e-Zine publish into the marketplace area that you are targeting? For example, it’s no good advertising a puppy training course in a specialist golf magazine. Even if the readers are thinking about getting a puppy, a long shot in itself, that thought will not be at the front of their mind as they are contemplating how to improve their golf drive.

List Quality– Do the constituents of the e-Zine publisher’s directory respond to the type of advertisement you are intending to place. This is difficult to judge as all you can go on is the publisher’s data and any historical reports you can find on Internet Forums. That is, except if you can discover someone who has had actual relevant paid e-Zine advertising experience with this publication. So try to see if you are able to view a specimen of the product in advance and discover how long the publisher has been in business.

Ad quality– you only have a small space to make your pitch. A regular advert is 5 lines by 60 characters. In this ad you must grab the reader’s Attention, tweak their Interest and build their Desire so they take the Action you want. Don’t forget that as you are composing– A I D A. Or as another writer put is so succinctly– “Remember the Reader and the Result”

Allow for repeated attempts in your budget. You can try variants on your copy and in different e-Zines. A one-off shot, unless you are very lucky, will not teach you much. That way you will be working to enhance your results and worth for your advertising dollar.

Make sure you run your ads in such a way that you can measure your results. For example, create a new list especially for respondents to this campaign, use a dedicated landing page or run it at a time when all other activity is very low. What you can measure in your paid e-Zine advertising you can improve.

So, should you try Building Your List with Paid e-Zine Advertising? It won’t cost you much to find out and, following the above guide you will be giving it your best shot. If it does not work for you then you can move on with that extra knowledge. When it does work, and the results flow through, then you can continue to build your e-marketing list with valuable members by repeating your successful formula of paid e-Zine advertising.

Attract Sponsors and Advertisers

This article examines sponsorships and advertising as methods for making cost breakthroughs and generating extra revenues. Let’s start with sponsorships.

What do I mean by a sponsorship? It is any way to combine recognition with providing access to desirable prospects and customers for someone who, or an organization that, makes a payment or otherwise subsidizes an activity. Sponsorships are more important than ever because they help marketers avoid being lost in advertising clutter by providing higher visibility and prestige to the sponsor. When a sponsor pays you, that’s income to offset costs you cannot otherwise reduce. The effect is similar to simply reducing costs.

As the primary benefit, sponsors are usually looking for access to attractive prospects for their offerings. In many cases, your prospects and customers are also highly appealing for other companies and nonprofit organizations, making them interested in sponsoring your activities.

You may have observed some of the ways such access is provided while attending a sponsored conference or seminar. Typically, the sponsors have a chance to speak briefly to the assembled group and to have lots of marketing people present for mingling during meals and breaks. There may also be banners on the walls and notices in the printed program carrying sponsors’ names and logos. On the event invitations, there are probably mentions of the sponsors. Publicity for the activity probably includes listing sponsors by name, as well.

Under such circumstances, it’s not unusual for the sponsors’ fees to cover more than the total costs of the conference or seminar so that all attendance fees contribute profits for the conference or seminar organizer.

You may not be holding conferences or seminars. How, then, can sponsorships cover some or all of your costs? Well, you can provide online services or material that can be downloaded for little or no cost from the Internet. Such an online site can also have sponsors whose identities are prominently displayed.

You can also develop offerings that sponsors purchase. As an example, a sponsor might provide your offering as a gift to those who buy their products or services. During times of high gasoline prices, for instance, some dealers in the United States have offered hundreds of gallons of free gas for people who bought new vehicles that didn’t get very good mileage.

A sponsor might also provide marketing access for other organizations. In our community, some charities play this role by selling inexpensive books of discount coupons. The charities keep the proceeds from the book sales, after obtaining the books for free from the publishers. The companies providing the coupons pay the publisher to appear in the book. Those who buy the books save lots of money by using the discount coupons. Through the coupons, coupon providers introduce new prospects to their offerings and bring some customers back more often.

In other cases, almost all offerings will be sold to sponsors who, in turn, directly provide the offerings to their prospects and customers. For instance, golf tournaments are often staged to provide funds for charity. Sponsors are given access to special venues at the tournaments and provided with most of the tickets for the events to distribute to customers and prospects. Sponsors also receive lots of visibility in the event’s promotions. The prestige of sponsorship is increased over the company conducting such an event just for itself by improving the quality of the competing golfers, the amount of media coverage, and the number of attendees.

In another variation, a sponsor may be a supplier seeking recognition that provides a lower price for its offerings in exchange for the sponsorship. An example can be found on the computer I am using to prepare this lesson. The machine has a seal on it that says “Intel Core™ Duo inside™,” indicating what brand and kind of microprocessor I have. In exchange for this recognition, Intel slices its microprocessor prices by about 5 percent to its computer-manufacturer customers.

Another way sponsorships are structured is through paying for “objective” measurements and rankings. Those who want to be evaluated pay a fee, which pays for the ranking process. The organization making the rankings distributes awards among those who sponsored the contest. The winners use the results to tout their superiority over competitors in press releases, interviews, and advertising.

You may not have thought much about how your marketing activities and offerings could benefit from encouraging sponsorships. Now is a good time to remove such blinders. Companies are more interested than ever before in sponsorships to replace more expensive and less productive marketing programs. You can cash in to make cost breakthroughs when you help such organizations to meet their needs through helpful sponsorships of your high-quality activities and offerings.

Now, how is advertising different from a sponsorship? Where a sponsor obtains recognition for making an activity or offering possible along with privileged access to prospects and customers in exchange for a payment, advertisers are solely purchasing the right to put their commercial messages in front of prospects through some form of media that you provide.

We’ve all seen television advertising. At regular intervals in the regular programming, short commercial messages are inserted. Companies pay large fees for such time slots in addition to covering their own costs for producing the messages. The fee paid relates to the number of people who will see the message and their potential value as customers for the advertiser.

The same concept generally applies to magazines and newspapers. All or part of a printed page offers the opportunity to attract the eyes of readers. Because the whole publication may not be read, the assumed benefit is considered to be less than the overall readership. In addition, television advertising provides the opportunity to create more emotion… which, in turn, can be translated into making a bigger and more lasting impression with more people.

Advertising is also sold for placement on commercial vehicles such as taxis and trucks. More recently, some companies have been paying to display advertising on personal vehicles. Such exposure is often cheaper than renting billboard space and may offend fewer people who are concerned about cluttering the sides of roads.

With the advent of the Internet, advertising possibilities expanded. Initially, advertisers were encouraged to buy so-called banner ads that took up a big space near the top of the screen and said little. Most advertisers found that such ads weren’t worth much in terms of adding profitable sales.

Yahoo, Google, and others found that carrying commercial messages with some relevance to those reading the online page worked better for encouraging purchases from advertisers. Rather than advertisers paying to reach people who merely see the ad, payments for such ads are tied to how many people click on the ad to reach a site where there is a more extensive commercial message or an offering can be purchased. This media approach was intended to be similar to paying for attracting someone to a store where he or she could buy an offering. Accomplishing the latter was worth quite a lot more than simply exposing the name and offering of the advertiser to more eyeballs.

Through Web 2.0, Web sites can become communities where people spend many hours a day. On such sites, the advertising revenues can be a vast multiple of the cost of providing the site… assuming that enough visitors are attracted who post and view videos and photos, exchange opinions, share ideas, and interact in other ways. As an example, a student of mine developed a very sophisticated social networking site of this sort for families at a software cost of less than $3,000, yet the advertising potential of her site was several million dollars a year.

If you don’t have such a site now, you can inexpensively develop one that can become a major source of cost-reducing advertising revenue by using software designers and programmers who are based where pay rates are inexpensive. While working on the site, you can speak with your developers at no cost over Skype or another Voice-over-Internet-Protocol service. Naturally, you can have as many sites as you want… as long as each one serves a different purpose and attracts enough visitors to more than cover its costs through advertising revenues.

If you hold gatherings of customers and prospects and don’t have sponsors for such gatherings, you can also sell advertising to place on the materials that you share with attendees. In many cases, your advertisers will also market your gathering to their prospects and customers, and you may attract a lot more potential customers to attend. When that happens, you gain direct cost savings for your marketing in addition to the advertising subsidy.

You can provide videos on your Web site as well and sell time slots on such videos to advertisers. Such online advertising opportunities have become popular with truck and automobile manufacturers.

You can also put advertising on your buildings, your packages, and anyplace else where customers and prospects may see the messages. Your suppliers, for instance, may want to be recognized on your final offering in some way (even placing their logos on a Web page may be of interest) as Intel does with its “Intel inside™” stickers on personal computers and laptops.

The sky’s the limit for attracting advertisers. You should realize that when print media were more popular, publishers regularly earned a profit on their entire operations just from the advertising revenues. The subscription revenues, by comparison, were usually quite small… just a tiny fraction of total profits.

Can you provide both sponsorships and advertising? Yes, as long as you keep them separate. A sponsored event usually shouldn’t include advertising from those who aren’t sponsors, but Web sites can offer a combination of sponsor recognition and pay-per-click ads from organizations that don’t compete with sponsors. Some magazines have been following this dual course for a long time. Fortune, BusinessWeek, and Forbes, for instance, carry lots of ads for offerings and sell sponsorships to gatherings that senior executives pay to attend. Such gatherings are potentially quite profitable.

What’s the key cost-reducing point about sponsorships and advertising? You can use zero-based analysis to create 2,000 percent cost-reduction solutions that allow you to gain new sources of revenue from sponsorships and advertising to support the minimum core offering by offsetting costs for you and your stakeholders in ways that will almost instantly expand profits after implementation to help reduce costs by more than 96 percent or increase social benefits by more than twenty times what you will be spending.