Archive for the ‘Advertising / Marketing’ Category

Which type of advertising is best for your company?

Friday, July 30th, 2010

By: Selena McIntyre

The first and most important thing you must remember is that there are several different types of advertising.  No two types of media are the same; therefore, not all types of advertising are recommended for all businesses.  This article will tell you what kind of advertising is best for you and your business.

Billboards

Billboard advertising is a great way to remind consumers about your product right before they arrive at a shopping center. This is usually the last chance you have to get them to buy your product.

Billboard advertising is also a great way to direct people to your business.  Please do not underestimate the importance of including directional information in your advertisements.  Have you ever seen a sign that caught your attention, but after twenty minutes of driving, you forgot where to turn?  Billboards can help you stop losing customers this way.

Billboards are a great type of advertising for any national or local company.  They have the lowest exposure cost and the highest reach.  Billboards are highly recommended for restaurants, hotels, car rental companies, shopping centers, adventure parks, and any type of business that deals with traveling customers.

Direct Mail

Direct mail advertising includes postcards, catalogs, brochures, e-mail, and single letters.  This technique works great when introducing new products.  It allows you can give as much or as little information as you feel necessary.  Direct mail advertising is also a great idea for sales and or special discounts.

Direct mail advertising is recommended for all companies with a wide selection of products like office products, furniture, music, clothes, shoes, etc.  It is a great way to keep your current customers aware of new products, services, or sales.  It can also be used as a buying tool for new customers.

Unfortunately, direct mail costs more than any other type of advertising.  However, advertisers have had very good results with direct mail advertising and they do not mind paying these high prices.

Internet

The internet is constantly growing. More and more companies are building their own web sites every day.  The internet is a great way to reach people all over the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can put information about your products and services on-line, and your customers will come to you when they are ready.

Internet advertising includes banner advertising, pay per click search engines, classified internet ads, and standard internet ads.  This type of advertising is recommended for companies on-line that are able to ship products to a wide variety of people.

On line advertising works best when you choose sites that are related to yours.  Advertise on web sites you think your potential client will visit.   Don’t forget to advertise on local web sites.

Magazines

Magazines are a great way to target your audience.  For example, if you sell baby products, you could put an ad in “Parenting.”  If you sell flowers, put an advertisements is “Better Homes and Gardens.”

Due to the large reach of magazines, this type of advertising is recommended for large national companies.  Don’t forget about local magazine. You can get cheaper rates than national magazines.

Newspapers

The main goal of all newspapers is to inform the public.  This is why you see so many articles, weather forecasts, sporting event scores, calendars of important local events, crime reports, and even wedding announcements.

Newspaper advertisements are great ways to announce things to local customers.  You can tell them all about your upcoming sales, your brand new product, mergers of several companies, the opening dates of your new restaurant, and so on.

Newspapers are also good for seasonal products or services.  For example if you own a lawn care service, you will probably want to advertise more during the summer.

Radio

Radio advertising can be fun.  You can make up special songs, slogans, or jingles to get your message out.  If you do a real good job with your radio ad, maybe people will walk down the street humming your song.

Radio ads are recommended for local businesses.  Just like billboards, radio commercials can be the final chance you have to get people to buy your product or service, so choose your words carefully.  The possibilities of your radio ad are almost endless.

Television

The music, graphics, and motions of television commercials have helped television advertising become the most popular type of advertising. These commercials also build brand image, and create emotions.

Television advertising reaches a very large audience.  It is also great because you have the choice of running a national or local campaign. Television advertising is highly recommended when your business has a sale or special deal.  It is also a great way to get your company’s name and brief information out to the public.

Television commercials usually last for 15, 30, or 60 seconds.  Since time is limited with this type of advertising, we recommend using television ads for products that are widely known. This type of advertising works best for products that are understood easily like automobiles, food, clothing, furniture, jewelry, and office products.

Yellow Pages (print & online)

This is a very important type of advertising because when you use the yellow pages book or online, you already know exactly what you are looking for.  A majority of the times you use the yellow pages, you are ready to buy a product or service.

How many times have you searched the yellow pages to find a tires for your car, a lawyer, day care centers, or a television repairman?  Which company did you call first?  Was it the one with the big colorful ad or the plain typed name listed directly under Tires?  My point is that most people are going to look at the yellow page advertisements first.  Don’t give a potential customer a chance to miss out on your product or service.

Rates to Advertise:

Type of Media Average Cost Per
Thousand (CPM)
Billboards $2.19
Direct Mail: in-house customer list $761.00
Internet $30.19
Magazines: colored page $9.35
Newspaper: $22.95
Radio: 60 second drive-time $8.61
Television: 30 second prime-time $17.78
Yellow Pages $30.30

Sources:  OAAA, Forrester Research,
AdRelevance, Better Business Websz,

Powerful Advertising Combinations

Advertising is definitely a great way to increase your sales, but it can be more effective when it is used properly.

A new advertising trend is to put up a billboard that says “For more information tune in to XYZ radio station.”  You can leave a more detailed description of your product on this station.  This also enable you to tell your potential customers about similar products your company offers.

Studies have shown that television advertisements are remembered more than any other type of media.  The only problem is that most people do not go out and buy a product right after they watch a television commercial.  So your job is to leave constant reminders of your product around so potential customers will remember your product or service when they are ready to buy.  This can be done by placing billboards next to major shopping centers, and by placing radio advertisements
during major commuting times.

Test

No matter what type of advertising your company invests in, you must test the results. You can use surveys, web site tracking devices, or just ask your customers. You can also put a different phone number, or web page link on each ad.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “Get your moneys worth,” but this is not a good idea with advertising.  For each ad, focus on only one benefit or product. Don’t put too much information in one ad, because most consumers will only look at an ad for 7 seconds!

The more ways you choose to advertise, the better off your business will be. I know this can be very expensive.  The choice of how to effectively advertise is your, choose wisely.

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Sonny’s BBQ in Tifton changes to “Smokehouse Restaurant”

Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Smokehouse Restaurant Billboard (formerly Sonny's BBQ)

Smokehouse Restaurant's Billboard (formerly Sonny's BBQ

By: Selena McIntyre

After twenty two years, Bill Davis, the owner of Sonny’s BBQ in Tifton Georgia has decided to part ways with the Sonny’s BBQ franchise and to branch out on his own. His new restaurant is now called “Smokehouse Restaurant.” It is a family friendly atmosphere that supports America and God.

What caused this change?

On Sundays, former Sonny’s employees wore shirts with the American flag on it that said “I Pledge…I Pray” and Sonny’s considered this to be a dress code violation.

There is a trinket above the cash register that says “Jesus” which corporate did not approve of either. They require all Sonny’s restaurants to remain non-partisan about race, politics and religion.

Tifton’s Sonny’s BBQ franchise license expired in 2007. At this time, Sonny’s BBQ required all Sonny’s Restaurants to start selling beer, wine and whiskey. Mr. Davis did not want to do this so they gave him a two year extension to make this change. These major concerns could not be resolved so Sonny’s BBQ in Tifton closed its doors on November 30th, 2009.

Moving on…

Since then, everything has been changed to reflect the image of The Smokehouse Restaurant. We, at BPS Outdoor Media, had the pleasure of working with Mr. Davis to help him change his billboards. We support him and his decision and wish more people would be willing to stand up for what they believe in.

Get more information at:

http://www.walb.com/Global/story.asp?S=11602204

http://www.mysouthwestga.com/news/story.aspx?id=384363

http://www.tiftongazette.com/local/local_story_335220203.html

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Marketing Strategy involves Social Marketing!

Friday, October 16th, 2009

BPS Outdoor Media steps up our marketing strategy by joining several popular Social Marketing Sites!

What’s all the hype about anyway?

Interaction:

Social Marketing sites allow us to connect to people all over the world! Sure you can connect with people on-line via your company website and email, but social marketing sites take it much deeper than that.

You can easily find:

  • old classmates
  • people and businesses in a certain area
  • business colleges
  • people with the same interests and hobbies

Keeping in touch and sharing things is fast & easy. You just update your “status” and all of your friends can see it and comment on it.

Share Photos:

Most social marketing sites also allow you to post your own photos to share too. BPS has several billboard photos already posted.

Social Marketing Uses:

  • Blog Posts: Post your latest blog entry on your social marketing sites & link it to your web page. Some sites automatically do this for you.
  • Industry Related News / Trends: Share anything useful with your friends whether it’s a link to a web page, interesting article you read or video you like.
  • Share Thoughts & Photos: Be different from your company website: Let your friends get to know you & your personality. Share things that you like & find interesting- you may find out that you have more in common with your friends than you knew.
  • Discussions: Want to see what people think about an hot industry topic? Post a discussion on your social marketing site.
  • Events & Special Promotions: You can keep all of your friend informed of all of your special events, sales, grand opening, new store locations, and much more. With facebook, you can even sent out electronic invitations to all of your friends or a selection of them.

Social Marketing Sites:

Here are some popular social marketing sites that we (BPS Outdoor Media) are listed on. Please take a look at our social marketing web pages & join us by becoming our friend.

www.facebook.com/bpsoutdoor

www.twitter.com/bpsoutdoor

www.linkedin.com/in/bpsoutdoor

Question: Do you use any of these social marketing sites in your advertising? If so, which ones do you use & why?

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Advertising’s Best Kept Secret…

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

By: Selena McIntyre

With the current recession, businesses everywhere are cutting back and unfortunately, advertising is usually the first thing to go. However, most people fail to realize that when advertising decreases so do profits.

Waycross...rates need lowering?

Waycross...rates need lowering?

Marketing experts view recessions like this one as an opportunity to increase advertising and some even fill their competitors advertising spots.

One of the best kept secrets in advertising is…billboard advertising and now is the perfect time to invest in it.

Outdoor advertising costs:

  • 80% less than television advertising
  • 60% less than newspaper advertising
  • 50% less than radio advertising

Corporate Co-ops for Outdoor Advertising:

Several National Companies have Outdoor Programs set up to help pay for the monthly billboard rent and or the production. Get in touch with your Marketing Department to find out more.

Billboards reach 93% of all Americans! So don’t wait any longer, use this current recession to your advantage by stepping up your marketing and grabbing the good billboards before your competitor does.
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The Hidden Power of “FREE”

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

By: Selena McIntyre

Normally when I hear that something is free, I just think “yeah right” or “what’s the catch” because things that sound too good to be true usually are. But I want to talk about a different approach to giving things away that will actually help increase your business and not create any doubt. I’m not talking about flyer’s, coupons or any type of advertising either. I’m going to tell you about a small “free” item and small gesture of kindness has turned into a very powerful word of mouth and referral campaign.

El Cazador's billboard in Tifton Georgia

El Cazador's Billboard

A few years ago I was designing an billboard ad for a local Mexican Restaurant that had just changed owners and wasn’t doing very well. I didn’t do anything any different for this restaurant & had never even been there before. The owner loved my work so much that he wanted me to make matching business cards for him, which is something we normally don’t do, but for some reason we did this time. The owner came by to see a proof & loved it & his billboards that I did for him so much. He was thrilled that we were willing to do something out of the ordinary to help him out and was so happy with the artwork I did for him, that he told me to come by his restaurant & he’d buy my lunch. So my husband and I went by there & loved the food & the atmosphere. They bought both of our lunches that day and he didn’t have to. We were happy because we just had a really good lunch and didn’t even pay for any of it.

We came back shortly after that and still go there at least once a week. We started bringing friends, family and co-workers with us. Now everyone we brought are bringing people here and those people are bringing more people. Two years later, the place is always packed and it all started from one “free lunch” (and a few billboards.)

I’m definitely not saying to start giving things away to everyone, but small things do matter & can make a huge difference. Never underestimate the power of kindness. Treat everyone special even if they aren’t current customers. Talk to people you see on a regular basis (dentist, teacher, vendor, neighbor, etc.) about your business and give them coupons , discounts or even freebies occasionally. You never know how things will turn out. The best type and most powerful type of advertising is Free.

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How effective is your advertising campaign?

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

By: Selena McIntyre

Remember that old saying, “Money doesn’t grow on trees?” Unfortunately with the current condition of the economy we are finding that money is harder and harder to acquire. Jobs are decreasing and the unemployment rates are increasing. This is why it is so important to make the most out of every dollar.

In order to cope with the falling economy, businesses have been decreasing their budgets. Several companies are even cutting their advertising budgets. However, most businesses can not survive without some kind of advertising. With all this in mind, you can see why it is important to spend your advertising budgets as wisely as possible.

Cost per Thousand (CPM)

Since every type of advertising has its own unique price range and reach, it’s hard to effectively compare the prices of each media type. For this reason, advertisers compare the cost of each ad by how much it costs to reach 1,000 people (cost per thousand or CPM.) Here is the formula for CPM:

CPM = Cost of Ad * 1000 / circulation

Unfortunately the CPM for billboards is a little more complicated. Here is the easiest way I have found to figure the CPM for billboards:

  • Multiply the daily traffic by the number of days the billboard will be posted this month (usually 30.)
  • Divide the number you get by 1000. (Save this figure you will need it in a minute.)
  • Divide the cost of monthly rent by the number you got in Step 2.

Here’s an example:
Daily traffic (DEC’s) is 10,000, and monthly rent is $400.00.

  1. 10,000 * 30 = 300,000
  2. 300,000 / 1,000 = 300
  3. 400 / 300 = 1.33

$1.33 is the cost per thousand in this example.

Here is a chart of the average cost per thousand.

Media Types CPM
Billboard – 30-Sheet Poster $2.05
Radio Ad – During Prime Drive Time $8.61
Magazine – One page with 4 colors $9.35
Television Commercial – 30 Seconds on a Prime-Time Network $17.78
Newspaper – 1/3 of a page in black and white $22.95
The information on this chart is from OAAA.

Let’s see how effective your advertising campaign is:

Let’s start by making a list of all your current advertisements. You can do this on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. On this list be sure to include a brief description of the ad, the amount of time the ad will be run (exposure), how many people should see your ad (circulation), the price of the ad, Cost Per Thousand, and Profits.

Type of Ad Exposure Circulation Price CPM Profits
Bilboard
Newspaper
Television Commercial
Radio Ad
Magazine

The number of subscribers for newspapers and magazines is their circulation. To find the circulation of television and radio ads, you must multiply the number of listeners or viewers by a percentage of the air-rating at the time your ad is aired. The circulation of billboards is 1.35 (average number of passengers in each vehicle) multiplied by the actual number of cars that pass your sign in 24 hours (DEC.)

The Bottom Line:

Look carefully at the CPM and Profit column of each ad. These areas will tell you which ads are effective, and which ads need improvement. Compare the ads that are not bringing in good profits to those ads that are. Make the poor performing ads similar to the good ads. Find out how to design effective ads.

You can also take a percentage of the advertising profits to invest in new ads. For example, let’s say your advertising budget is $5,000.00 and your profits (after removing the advertising expenses) are $3,500.00. Let’s also say you used $1,500.00 of your profits to rerun or place more of your best performing ads. All the money you receive from these extra ads is profits. You can keep using the money received from the extra ads to buy new ads and earn more profits.

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How to start an advertising campaign

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

By: Selena McIntyre

A great product will fail unless the public is aware of its existence. So it is our job as advertisers to inform the public of our products. The best way we can do this is to create an effective advertising campaign.

Here are seven step by step instructions that will tell you how to start an advertising campaign and keep it effective.

1. What is your objective?

What do you want your advertising campaign to accomplish? Do you want to gain more sales, website traffic, or build product awareness?

Once you can determine what you want to get out of your ads, then you can figure out how to make this goal a reality.

2. Identify your target market

As much as we hate to admit it, your product or service will not appeal to everyone and neither will your ads. In order to get the most success out of your ads, you must make them appeal to the people who are most likely to use your product (your target market.)

Learn more about your target market and find out:

  • basic demographics (age, sex, income, interests, marital status, employment, and hobbies)
  • shopping behavior patterns (are they impulse buyers or do they put a lot of thought into major purchases, how tight are they with their money)
  • how do they feel about your brand & or product?
  • how do they behave?
  • what are their needs, desires, and fears?

The more you know about your target market, the easier it will be to design effective ads.

3. Relate your product to your target market

This is when you tell your audience how your product will benefit them and how it will fulfill their needs. The most effective ads will focus on just one benefit per ad.

In order to relate your product to your target market, you should find out:

  • What they want your product to do
  • How they are going to use your product
  • How much they are willing to pay for your product
  • What kind of emotions can you use to catch the attention of your target audience and relate it to your product?

Then make your ads reveal these needs / benefits.

4. Implement a Creative Strategy

This is the message you want your ad to give your target market. Keep in mind that the message will vary depending on types of media. However, it is a good idea to keep the creative as similar as possible so you can start to build product recognition.

When designing ads, be sure your ads answer the following questions: Why should your target market buy your product? What’s in it for your target market? Why are you better than your competition?

Here are some design tips to help your ads appeal to your target market.

  • Choose the correct tone or mood. For example, professional service ads look thoughtful, conservative, and neat; whereas, ads for night clubs are wild, wacky, and colorful.
  • Use appealing colors.
  • Make sure your ads are legible from your audience’s point of view.
  • Creditability is also important after all, if none believes your ad than they won’t buy your product.
  • Get more design tips.

5. Create or Review your Budget

There are several different ways to create an advertising budget. For example your budget could be a certain percentage of your projected sales, or it could be the previous year’s profit multiplied by the industries average profit ratio. The most effective ad campaigns will consider all factors before determining a budget.

6. Choose the correct types of advertising

Now that you know who your target market is and what they want from your product it’s time to decide which types of advertising you will use. Thanks to the World Wide Web, this task is now a lot easier. Now you can get on-line and search for magazines, newsletters, websites, newspapers, radio stations, billboard companies, and television stations that your target market will view.

Get as much information about each type of advertising. Then decide what ads will get the most results from your target market and which ads will fit into your budget.

7. Implement your plans

Start placing ads and track their results. You may want to place each ad at different times so you can tell which ones are most effective. You can also ask your customers how they heard of your company and where they seen your ads.

Wait at least six months before re-evaluating / removing your ads. During this time you should be monitoring your results and re-evaluating steps 1 through 6 to get ready for your next campaign.

Conclusion

Advertising campaigns can not be done once and set aside. You have to keep working on them so you can keep up with (and maybe get ahead of) your competition.

It is also important for advertisers to stay updated with the current trends. Since fashion and entertainment trends are constantly changing, our job is never finished.

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