Ad Talk 101 Blog

Straight Talk about Advertising
September 22, 2009

It’s Advertising Package Time

Author: Mark - Categories: Advertising Tips - Tags:

As we approach the end of the year and begin planning for next year, many media outlets with packages and enticements will be approaching you for long-term commitments. The word package sounds nice because it sounds like you are getting something special. Packages are often presented as turn key advertising programs designed to make your advertising easier. But in most cases, packages are designed as a way for advertising media to fill unsold inventory and get long-term commitments.

If you are considering signing a package that requires a long-term commitment, take this into consideration. Advertisers in Central Pennsylvania who committed to long-term contracts for 2009 could have saved money if they bought just a few months at a time, as rates have been dropping all year. Based on predictions from media magazines and online articles we expect another volatile year in 2010.
In 2009, average radio rates dropped in the Central Susquehanna Valley by one third. Billboard rates for remnant inventory (unsold billboards), have been selling for about one third the regular rates. Many advertisers who committed to packages last year spent more than an advertiser who waited and planned advertising on a quarter-by-quarter basis.
Some media in Central PA bonus advertisers in order to fill their unsold inventory. But the number of bonus ads and when they run are unpredictable making it hard to plan for event and sale advertising. On the other hand, that can be good if your strategy is building top of mind awareness (TOMA).
The advice for buying packages in 2010 is to take it one quarter at a time. Predictions by media experts state that 2010 is going to be another lean year for advertising media. If you do not commit beyond a few months or less, the leverage you’ll have on the media will not only save you money but give you more flexibility in these uncertain times.

Tracking Your Advertising

Author: Mark - Categories: Advertising Tips - Tags:
Tracking advertising results has always been important, but never more than now. Here’s a new idea on how to get the info you need.
Typically advertisers try to track the results of their advertising by asking customers “how did you find out about our company?” Any advertiser who has done this to any extent has probably noticed people do not know the answer or give answers that are incorrect. A big reason for this is most people do not remember any single advertisement that may have persuaded them to do business with you.
Recently an advertiser of ours was asked how she decided to patronize one of our clients. The lady answered she found them “on the internet.” Her young son interrupted and said “No mom, you saw it on the screens in Weis Markets. Then you looked them up on the internet when we got home.”
We have always suggested running ongoing in-store promotions to get people to fill out registrations where they would be asked what media they had used in the past 24 or 48 hours. We used this technique because people tend not to remember when or where they may have been exposed to your ads. It is widely believed people are exposed to thousands of ads on an average day. So when you ask what media have you used in the last day or two they are more likely to remember.
Another reason we have used this technique is many people do not like to admit that advertising has influenced them. When the media being used appears frequently on the survey, it is a good indication the media is having some effect. If you do not see much response for the media you are using, it is probably a good indication it is not working so well.
With the ever-increasing number of ways people are being reached by advertising, we are finding the best way to get the most accurate information is to be direct. If you are advertising on Radio or cable TV, instead of asking if they listened to the radio or watched TV in the last day or two, why not just ask if they saw your ad on TV or heard it on the radio. While some people will tell you what they want you to think, I believe with the right approach most people will just tell you the truth