I'm going to be very controversial and state that most of the money spent on advertising is wasted. Why? Because most buyers of advertising get sucked in and driven by the "sexiness" of their ads.
A classic example is advertising during half time at the American Super Bowl. This is where a 30 second spot could cost you over $ 1,000,000USD. It's where you get your 30 seconds in the sun and conventional wisdom would have it, the funnier and more memorable your ad, the better you'll do.
Problem is people remember the ad alright, but not the actual product that was being promoted.
How do I know this? Surveys of course. There are many surveys that are done after the event (naturally not published by the advertising companies), that show without a doubt that the vast majority of views have no recollection of the actual company or the product.
Sure they remember the ad, but if no one flocks to your door, the phones are ringing off the hook, and your company has not got a household name – what's the point? You've just done your dough!
So if this sort of advertising does not generally work, what does?
Before I get to that, there was an interesting snippet of news this morning, here in Australia. It would seem that our Federal Government spent around $ 1.2 billion dollars over the year in "selling" their programs to the weary Australian public. They mount huge splashy TV and print campaigns over concentrated periods to try and convince us to keep voting for them.
Harold Mitchell, owner of Australia's largest media buying group, (they do advertising billings of over $ 1 billion a year), was interviewed about the story, and his comment was that waste of money. To be successful, it was much better to "drip feed" the market so they got time to assimilate the message.
So how do you "drip feed" the market? Simple. You have to keep your name in front of your prospects – at least once every 90 days.
Here are some scenarios. If you buy advertising in newspapers or magazines, you need to keep advertising. So rather than buying a large ad once, keep a series of smaller ads going over an extended period of time.
The rationale behind this is – you do not know when someone will read your ad. And many of us are generally blind to advertising – after all, how many times do your eyes skip over the ads in publications unless you're specifically looking for something?
So by advertising consistently, when the reader is ready, they'll see your ad. This also covers the cases where you may have seen an ad – but thrown the publication away (or simply can not find the ad again). If the ad keeps appearing, your prospect will be more likely to find it and take action.
By consistently advertising, you'll also keep your name / services in front of the prospect.
The next question of course is: What sort of ad do you need? I'll answer it this way … When you're looking for a product or service, you're trying to immediately figure out if the advertiser can solve your problem. Period.
You're not interested in what they call themselves, or how great they think they are! So if you're placing a print ad, make it a display ad with a HEADLINE that states an obvious and immediate benefit to the person reading it.
Do not talk about yourself. Talk about what they get. How you'll solve their problem, remove their frustration and meet their heart's desires.
One strategy that has consistently worked around the world is the FREE Report strategy. This is where you offer a FREE Report that the prospect can ask for. The report details everything they would want to know about how you can fix their issue.
Remember, people want information, so give it to them. Of course the report has to have a particular format – it is actually a sales letter that reels the prospect in.
The beauty of this strategy is that you capture the prospect's details so that you can consistently and systematically follow up until they buy, die or tell you to go away. You can see it in action here.
Remember the cardinal rule. Keep in contact with BOTH your prospects and clients. You never know when someone is ready to do something and if you're not at the top of their minds, they'll go to the person who contacts them last. And it does not matter how loyal they are to you!