This column’s deadline was getting closer, and I was struggling with writer’s block. It seems like I shouldn’t try to write something worthwhile on an afternoon on a Friday. Following a phone call, which led to an opportunity for distraction, the story started to take shape.
The call came from an advertising sales rep. I thought it was odd because it was Friday afternoon. The conversation continued, and I realized the context of the call in connection to. To give you background, the client I work with, who is involved in a lot of advertisements within niche publications, gets numerous cold calls regarding advertising opportunities. I’m guessing that all reps buy magazines of their competition and call the companies that advertise to try and win new business. The client may forward the rep’s information to me in the event that he believes that this opportunity merits more research.
As I was talking to the representative, I went to Google to find out who they were. In a matter of seconds, I was able to identify them. I could tell from the questions they were asking that they were looking in order to make a sale, and I decided to join in and begin asking some measurements and return on investment questions. The representative’s voice changed, and it wasn’t going to be an easy sale after all.
I began to consider how many small and medium-sized businesses owners don’t take the time to ask the tough questions and are easy targets for smart sales reps and thus get ripped off? It made me furious. The story was beginning to take shape, and I was feeling compelled to stand up for myself – I was ready to take a stand. Instead, I decided to go over some suggestions to help small-scale business owners get a huge return on their marketing and advertising expenditure.
The proof is In The Numbers.
One of the first things to ask (and I will always ask) anyone who is a prospective advertiser is, “Are your numbers verified?” This is always a fascinating response and generally provides some important facts about the advertisement that is being discussed. (When I speak of audited numbers, I’m referring to those of the Audit Bureaux of Australia).
To be honest, to be fair, not every advertisement I’ve purchased in the past was examined. There are a variety of sources of advertising that are pertinent and will yield the ROI without audit numbers.
However, it is an excellent place to begin. It’s interesting to note that in the past, I was introduced to an advertising rep for an online magazine that was a niche. A few nights ago, while we were in a pub enjoying a drink, I asked her that she was unsure about how many magazines she was representing were sold or even printed, despite an advertiser’s claim regarding the magazine’s circulation in client proposals. I will never forget that conversation.
Be Watchful of Your Back
Are you aware of instances wherein you have been cheated of by an advertising representative in any way? If yes, then you’re not all alone. In the first week of my business, a small-business owner whom I have met, Kylie Watson, the owner of a niche online store, was deceived by a major publication for an entire-page advertisement.
Watson utilized his knowledge to negotiate better deals with different advertisers and now has a 6-month package that includes the magazine, which has been working very well. It’s not all negative news.
Find A Little Bit More
If you feel you’re in the position to make an investment in advertising, I’d recommend getting more mileage with your money by asking for value. Don’t be afraid to ask for this. Make your list of things you’d like and let the representative from advertising respond. Common things you can request are:
Product placements in the editorial space
Additional exposure through competitions and
The possibility of receiving a unique reward with voucher code or purchase to use for the advertisement method.
I also recommend that you think outside of the box and seek out opportunities to meet with editors to talk about your products, business and other opportunities that are likely to be in the near future. This puts you in a prime position to be featured in the editorial world. Make sure to be as innovative as you can, as advertisers are often open to new ways to present information to their customers. It’s also worth joining forces with them on occasions and participating in the social media strategies of their company as well as their email marketing plan. The list of possibilities is endless.
Examine The Results
Next, you must decide whether the advertisement being considered will be able to reach potential customers and have the potential in generating sales for your company. If you believe it’s the right fit for your intended market, The next step is the measurement.
Here are some helpful strategies to help you evaluate your advertising expenditure:
Ask customers who are new to you who they know about you. It’s a simple and simple question, yet it can provide useful information.
Make specific coupon codes.
Designate specific numbers for phone calls
Create URLs for specific websites
Create a gift card with purchase only accessible through one channel and
Promote products using one marketing method only.
Pay Attention To Your Spending
It is important to note that not all advertisements are targeted to increase sales directly, and this applies to large and small businesses. A great illustration of advertising for brands within the SME market is the Australian speciality snowboard manufacturer FreestyleMax. The company has a presence in many international markets, which includes those in the US, and has invested in brand awareness to boost the profile of its brand and persuade large wholesalers to purchase the product. Stephen Leong, the owner of FreestyleMax, is aware that, in addition to the fact that wholesale customers want to know about his name in the marketplace and would like to be listed as a stockist on the commercial. FreestyleMax paid for the ads, and it has helped in the expansion of the company.
I would suggest keeping your advertising budget up-to-date in your marketing strategy to make sure you are aware of the amount you are spending on advertising every year. Paul Benson from Guidance Financial Services has a valid point when he says that it’s not difficult for a person to invest $300 in one place or $400 there while not even realising that there are a lot of dollars put into it.
I have also experienced this in a variety of small-scale business owners I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. It is important to stay focused on the way you record your business, and this will allow you to make more informed decisions.
Don’t Forget Your Strategy.
Advertising cannot replace an ongoing marketing strategy. Small-scale business owners I have worked with who have put their money into the long-term impact in marketing are performing extremely well as a result of this method.
I was returning to the initial phone call I mentioned earlier in the afternoon of Friday. I emailed the representative from advertising an agenda of questions that I wanted to put forward in an official proposal. The rep didn’t reply.
Then they contacted the customer once more, and they offered the advertisement for 50 per cent less than they had originally quoted, and this was their reasoning” At the end time, we could discuss for hours about how well the site will be for you, and the kind of inquiries/hit rates we’ve received in recent times however the only way to gauge the efficacy of the website would be to visit us for a single time and observe the impact we can bring for your company.’