Don't Be a Tom, Dick or Harry

Written by Karen E. Hipp

Don't Be a Tom, Dick or Harry

(Karen E. Hipp, Author, Do-It-Yourself Marketing) You've followed allrepparttar "rules". You took out a few ads to promote your company, ranrepparttar 101001 ad frequently and gave it time to turn into sales. Yet, here you are left with advertising bills to pay, and not much to show for it.

What went wrong? Maybe you were a Tom, Dick or Harry.

That means thatrepparttar 101002 actual ad itself that was produced by you,repparttar 101003 newspaper, your graphic artist etc. looked like every other ad you see in print. "But, you say, I was just doing what everyone else does." Exactly. Hopefully you don't have a product quite like everyone else so why should your advertising look like everyone else?

Just like your product, your advertising must "stand out" fromrepparttar 101004 crowd to get noticed.

I'm not making this up. But when I was working for a large company, I was responsible forrepparttar 101005 "creation" ofrepparttar 101006 ads. The size, headline, overall look, etc. We placed a lot of ads. Sometimes up to 5 times a week in our local paper. One day as I was skimming throughrepparttar 101007 paper looking for our ad, I couldn't find it. Irate because someone atrepparttar 101008 paper must have screwed up, I called my account executive. She started going through that morning's paper on her desk and15 seconds later said,

"Here it is, on page 4."

Yup. There it was. Sheepishly, I apologized to my account rep and gently put downrepparttar 101009 phone.

I couldn't find our own ad! And it was big! If I couldn't find it, I'm certain there were many others who didn't either. Ok, there were two possible scenarios.

I had seenrepparttar 101010 ad inrepparttar 101011 paper so much, that it became invisible to me. The ad never really did stand out.

Neither one of these scenarios is good. I asked people who had never seen our paper to find our ad. No problem. So that left #1.

What Advertising Can and Can't Do For You

Written by Karen E. Hipp

What Advertising Can and Can't Do For You

Mostly, advertising is misused and misunderstood. A lot of people confuse "marketing" with "advertising." Advertising is a part of marketing, but notrepparttar whole thing! The downside ofrepparttar 101000 "misunderstanding" is that small businesses look at this as their only means of getting sales for their business. Many times,repparttar 101001 result is miss-spent money with little to show in return.

Advertising can be most effective when you are selling a mass-market product like laundry detergent or coke. However, many small and home owned businesses sell more of a specialized product or services that appeals to a much smaller "niche" market. To understand what can work for you, lets first clear up a few myths about what advertising is:

Myth 1: Advertising is what you have to do to get business. Advertising is simplyrepparttar 101002 purchase of time or space in order to promote a product or service. There are many other marketing methods available such as publicity, promotions, signage and referral programs that could work better for your business.

Myth 2: Advertising is too expensive for small business. It doesn't have to be. You can find very cost effective advertising methods through local community papers, classifieds, "zoning" in your main papers local section (to hit certain zip codes only), industry newsletters and small ads that are placed repeatedly inrepparttar 101003 same spot ofrepparttar 101004 paper. Cable TV can be targeted and cost-effective as well.

Myth 3: There is only one best advertising method. Just like investing inrepparttar 101005 stock market, it is important to diversify. You don't want to put all of your eggs into one basket, at least until you find what works best for you. There can be a lot of trial and error, which means that it's crucial to have some type of results mechanism in order to see what works and what doesn't. Sample several approaches all at once, once you have narrowed downrepparttar 101006 field to those you feel worthy. You will then findrepparttar 101007 best one or two methods that work for you. This also tells you to avoid any long-term contract with any media outlet until they have been proven a good source. You can even sometimes strike a bargain with a particular media source that you are interested in to allow you to "test" response at a reduced rate.

Myth 4: You only have to advertise on a limited basis. The success of advertising is all about "frequency." It can take up to 5 times before anyone notices your ad, then 10 or more times before they might act on it. Therefore, you have to have enough money in your budget to testrepparttar 101008 ad over time. Remember that we are exposed to hundreds of ads a day. As a result, we act like "screeners", filtering out any information not useful to us. So, blowing your advertising budget on one 1/2 page ad in your local paper will surely not producerepparttar 101009 results you are looking for.

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