Turning a Blind Eye...

Have you ever been so enamored with one or two forms of media Woman Blind Eyeadvertising that you turn a "blind eye" to everything else? Hey, you're not alone. That's why, years ago, we made the decision to listen to all the pitches we got from advertising folks. You never know when you might hit on the "silver bullet".

So, let's talk about an ancient advertising vehicle that you may dismiss because, heck, that "social media stuff" is new, flashy and..."free"! (Well, not really but you know what I mean.)

So, let's talk radio.

What? "Boring old radio?", "Nobody actually listens to radio anymore." "I only listen to satellite radio!" I've heard them all and never mind that, according to the Pew Research Center on Journalism and Media"Traditional AM/FM radio, meanwhile, continues to reach the overwhelming majority of the American public – 91% of Americans ages 12 and older had listened in the week before they were surveyed in 2014."

Yeah, never mind.

Chuck Meford MPL Talking Two 3 march 2015The issue isn't that "nobody listens" to AM/FM radio the issue is that you don't know how to advertise on radio and you won't listen to people who know the business. So, rather than seek the answers, rather than ask the question, rather than do the work...you turn a blind eye toward radio.

So, let me make this really easy for you. And if it seems like I'm shilling...well fine...but it's because I believe this might help your business.

On the 3rd of November, here in Des Moines, a fellow by the name of Chuck Mefford is presenting a FREE seminar on branding and radio. Chuck isn't some "fly-by-night" huckster he's got years and years of success in Chuck Mefford Book helping big and small corporations focus on their brand and their brand message with a focus on increasing sales. (Because that's the real measurement.)

Here is a link to the Des Moines Radio Group Registration Page and NOPE they are not paying me, they did not ask me, they don't even know I wrote this (until now). If you need more proof here is a link to Brands Formation the Chuck Mefford company. (Don't let the BIG NAMES scare you..radio is still affordable!)

Your cost to attend?  A little time.  And, if you tell me, "Michael, I've been to these free radio seminars before and they don't work!" I'll tell you that the reason they don't work is that you didn't work the system.

Does that mean "print is dead"? Nope but that comes later.

Thanks for reading! 



How To Buy Stuff - Chapter Two

My friend and I have been working on a book idea.  Both he and I believe How to Buythere are enough "How to Sell" books.  What business needs is a book on "How to Buy Stuff".  Tips on how to move your business forward by paying attention to sales and marketing...not yours...but "The Pitch" and then how to and how not to take action.

Chapter Two, we've decided is "How Not to Allow Deadlines to Assist in Not Buying". Ready?

Here is the set up: Let's say you manage or own a business and every day of the week you are called on to listen to a pitch. (Here's what I think about your duty to listen to every one!)  When the pitch is complete you say to the salesperson, "This is fantastic! It's exactly what we need. Let me get back to you in a week."

Then the week goes by and the salesperson, who has kept in touch with you during the week hears nothing back. Crickets!  

The day comes and the salesperson finally catches up with you and you say, "I know today is the deadline for the offer but, I just can't get it done today.  I'm sorry!"

So, we went from "Gotta have!" to "I don't have time to put my signature on a document."

The customer used the deadline to help him/her fail to follow through with the buy.  Sad.

What should happen is the buyer, during one of the interactions between the pitch and the deadline, should have said was, "Look we considered this but, in the end, it's not going to work for us because..."  It's important the salesperson hears the "Why.." because perhaps the objection is something you just don't understand.

Or...you just made up your excitement during the pitch which is phony and not a good way to do business. 

Your thoughts?


So, What's The REAL Cost?

We'll listen to any pitch. We've always thought that if you don't you run the Sales Pitch Image risk of missing out on the magic bullet that will drive customers to our clients. That's also a tip for you. Don't just wave somebody off.  Listen to the pitch; who knows, it might be magic!

We recently listened to a pitch about some online marketing.  It went like this: "Our customers get 70,000 impressions each month and it's only going to cost your client $500 each month."

Sounds like a heck of a deal right? Less than a PENNY per impression! But then you do the math: 70,000
impressions, divide that by their stated "click through rate" of .03 percent. That comes to 2.3 page views...before the industry standard conversion rate of 8% (Conversion rates mean converting a "looker" into a "buyer")

But, let's just go with 2.3 clicks onto our client's offer.  The cost now comes to $217.39 to attract each new customer.

Not bad if our client were selling $150,000 cars or legal work that could amount to $200,000 in billable hours...but our client, in this case, has an average ticket price of $45.

Marketing Tip:  Impressions do not mean sales. They mean impressions like in, "Oh, I see that."  Getting the consumer to then DO SOMETHING and convert them to becoming a buyer is a whole different discussion. 



What's Your Value?

We've always believed that if you live by the price, and are a commodity, Man Value you'll die by the price.  However, if you build value into your business people will continue to ask you for...business.

There is always somebody out there that can match your price or, just for kicks, beat it.  However, if you build value into your product/service nobody can take away your customer.

Of course there will always be people who buy on price alone and couldn't give a rip about value.  And, those consumers are usually less loyal and can cause most of the trouble for your brand.

So, how do you add value to your product or service?  Exceed the expectations of your customer.  How do you do that?  By thinking of them...first.  If your focus is always on the bottom line if you are scrambling to make ends meet you're in a commodity business.  If you think, really think, of how you can bring extra value to your customer you'll have a transforming business.

High Value trumps Low Price

That's what we think.  How about you?




Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications is a full service advertising agency and is also the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour.

Thanks for coming by!

Selling Value

I was having a conversation with a client the other day and we got Man Sales around to talking about different sales techniques.  He's seen companies that are selling value because they have high margins and high costs and he's been witness to companies that sell items like a commodity...low margins and low cost.

I asked him which, in his opinion, was the easier sell.

"I would much rather sell high-cost/high-margin products because it's easier for me to sell the idea of the value this type of product brings to the consumer."

He went on; "But, that's me.  I know sales people who like to sell on price only and, based on my experience, the sales professional who sells on price has a very hard time switching over to sell the idea of value for higher priced products."

I thought it was an interesting discussion.  So, what about you?  Is there a difference?  Do you think a salesperson who can sell value can also sell price?  Which is better?  Selling on value or selling on price?

Thanks for reading..



Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency that is also the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour heard Monday - Friday between 5PM and 6PM on 1350-KRNT with our business interviews located on our Podcast Page




Sending Folks to the Competition...

The other day I was visiting with a sales and marketing professional who works in a very competitive industry.  He was calling on a perspective client, learning how they approach the marketing their product. Man Pointing Away

When the discussion came to "leads" the perspective client said, "This is the email I send out to individuals who have contacted us and want more information about our company."  The form email said, in part, "If you would like to see photos and find out more information please go to..." and at the bottom of the note were two live links to national websites that specialize in this industry.  No, not THEIR website...but sites that contain nearly every competitor in their business.

My friend asked, "Why would you send your leads to the competition?"  The employee had a "blank look" on her face and said, "Because it helps me get leads!"  My friend answered with, "But, Susan, you already have the lead in your hand.  When you send the person to a mega industry site that has nearly every competitor also vying for business your begging them to look elsewhere."

She still didn't get it.

Sometimes business people don't "get it" and just because they have always done something the same way, over and over...it makes it "right".

The question needs to be asked, "What changes can you make in your marketing/advertising methods that will improve your chance of closing the sale vs. sending your customers elsewhere?"




Let's connect by email, give us a call or on Twitter it's @InsightADV and our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.  Thanks for coming by!

Sometimes It's Just...Tired

We see this often.  A brand that enjoyed superior market share rests and  Jc penny logo starts to lose its way.  All the while the folks responsible for the marketing insist it is just a "blip" and things will turn around.  When they don't the folks in charge of the bottom line get involved and the heads roll...the brand has a new launch and...sputters.  Why?

That's a question that plagues our friends over at JC Penny.  In 2012, despite increasing their media spending by 14% to $504 million, the company posted a sales loss of 25%.  In the fourth quarter alone sales slumped by 28%.

We have a theory that the company simply waited too long.  They waited too long to re-brand the chain as "hip" and young.  They waited too long to adjust their media spending patterns to match the "new hip" JC Penny.  They had a "tired brand" and coming back is going to take...time and money.

So, what about your business.  No, you don't have the cash JC Penny does but have you seriously considered how relevant you are to today's market? Have you spent the time and money to sit down and review what you are doing and where you need to go?

You better...and while you are pondering your business future you might want to invite somebody who "reads consumers" to the meeting. They may ask the questions which will help wake up your brand.

What do you think?  What are some of the best moves to "wake up a tired brand"?  Go:




You can connect with us on our Twitter Stream @InsightADV and/or our advertising agency Facebook Page which is right here.  Or heck...shoot us an email. Thanks for coming by!

Does It Matter?

I was in a meeting the other day when members of a business based non-profit were talking about their fund raising project.  The leader of the People Business Sleeping committee said, "The advertising spaces on the calendar just have not sold very well this year."

Advertising spaces on a...calendar?

I get it.  This is a fund raiser for a non-profit and the "advertising spaces" tend to really be a gift of support.  But (and this is critical for us to understand) even gifts need to generate something in return for the...gift.  And while selling ad space in on a calendar was a neat way to generate income...ten years ago...it ain't so hot today.

But here is the clincher.  The group leader went on and said, "One of the advertisers, who dropped their support, offered a coupon last year but didn't see much return."

Changing times create the need to change the way in which we sell...anything.  But, at the same time we need to be aware that WHAT we are selling must be relevant to the consumer.  If it is not...nobody is buying.

One of the biggest errors companies (profit and non-profit) make is doing the same thing over and over again.  Even when it is failing.  Rather than doing that wouldn't it make sense to sit down and examine the consumer base and then come up with something that matches their...needs/wants?

We think so...



If you would like to leave a comment here...feel free.  You can also join us on our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV or our company Facebook page which is right here


Creative Thinking & Selling

I love it when we get to look at an issue, break it down into the realChild Magnifying Glass problem and then the real fix.  That's what happened early this morning during a client meeting.  The client said not enough sales were happening on-line and/or at special events where the products were showcased. 

I listened to about fifteen minutes of the discussion they were having regarding:

  • Branding - "Is it the right message in the brand";
  • Ads/Message - "Is our advertising/marketing plan on point";
  • Consumers - "Maybe nobody is buying because it's new";
  • Budget - "We really don't have more money to pour into advertising."

When they had exhausted each topic they looked in my direction and I said, "You've never asked consumers to...buy."

You could hear a pin drop and the three very bright people looked at each other and realized the "new guy" was right.  They've got all the cool social media thingys, they have a great product and they have the drive.  But...they have never "asked for the sale".  They just put it on the shelf and figured it would, because it's so great, "Sell itself".

Your take-a-way is this.  No matter how great your new product or service is, no matter how much marketing and advertising you do...unless you "ask for the sale" it's not going to happen.




Thanks for coming by.  If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free or join us on Twitter @InsightADV or our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.

Social Media ROI

One of the biggest perplexing questions most business people have isMan Question  the ROI of social media.  Our answer to the concern is that the return for not using social media correctly to engage consumers is a huge mistake.  We also have said the real ROI of social media is in...sales

Sure branding is important, so is consumer loyalty and so is all the information you can gather about consumer trends.  But, at the end of the day, most business people want...sales.  So, here is a sales story tied directly to social media.

Last week one of our clients attended a major sales event for a distributing company.  It was held in a motel conference room where buyers  listened to pitch after pitch from sellers...for twelve hours.  By the time our client got in front of the group of "middle-aged men" it was afternoon and the room was a little...."tired".  Our client made the pitch, showed off the product and talked about retail support the company is willing to give.  The buyers listened, said some nice things and dismissed them.

QR Code Video Then...just as they were leaving the room, they heard our spokesperson's voice from a "how-to" video.  The video can only be accessed through the use of a QR Code which is part of the point of purchase display we built for them.  Someone in the room said, "Wow, this is neat!".  Other buyers then started accessing the additional videos by activating the QR Codes on their smart phones.  They waved our client back into the room and wanted to know more about the technology, products and retail support.

In the end they placed a number of orders.

What might have happened if they had not used this social media component?  If sales are the real ROI of social media...are you there yet?