March 2016

Stop Wasting Your Advertising Budget

advertising budget

imagesWould you seriously knowingly waste your advertising budget? I hope you answered NO to that particular question.

Recently I had a very interesting conversation about advertising budget with a fellow internet marketer from the world of digital marketing. The conversation took place at a social gathering and over a glass or two of wine.

This particular persons job involved marketing her company’s cloud services to those who wish to use such a facility.

Being naturally interested in marketing I asked her what methods she used to promote her organisation’s services. Her reply was Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and several others whose names have escaped me, basically social media platforms which are of course all the rage right now.

Of course, being in the digital world of commerce it is only to be expected that her marketing campaigns will be on digital platforms.

When I enquired whether she would consider a direct mail campaign, she felt that such a marketing method would not be the correct way to approach her prospective customers. As her marketing campaigns were b2b campaigns we both agreed that a residential leaflet distribution campaign would probably not be the best marketing tool for her particular plans.

I then asked the question that all of us involved in various advertising and marketing campaigns ask marketing people “are your campaigns successful?” her answer surprised me.

“I know half of my advertising budget works; I just don’t know which half it is.” Yes, that was her answer.

Now, I have heard advertising people use this phrase for many years, and I suppose in the days before computers made it possible to compile accurate mailing lists and other information to enable advertisers to focus on their target markets, marketing was of a bit hit and miss affair.

However, I thought now there is a wealth of information and methods available to companies to identify the right people to target, the days of hit and miss marketing were over. It appears I am mistaken.

This lady openly admitted to me that half of her advertising budget was wasted, money down the drain as it were.

I wonder how many people using door drop leaflets would tolerate such a waste of money.

The beauty of using leaflets to advertise goods and services is that the results can be seen at the end of the campaign as long as they are carefully monitored and effectively tracked, and if all the relevant steps have been taken before the distribution is undertaken, the results should be very profitable.

I cannot envisage any marketing manager who commissioned a door drop campaign being willing to accept that half of the money allocated to the project was going to be wasted. Especially taking into consideration the fact that leaflets remain in the home for 38 days and that the message they carry is easily passed to friends and colleagues

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Leaflet Distribution Poor Relation

leaflet distribution

imagesIt amazes me that when a discussion takes place around the merits of direct marketing, leaflet distribution is still seen as somehow the poor relation in the process, leaflet distribution is not and never should be regarded as a cheap alternative.

This unfortunate state of affairs was brought to my attention recently while I was reading a book on copy-writing and a chapter on direct mail. Part of this particular chapter gave the reader some twenty-eight creative tips for a mailing.

The creative tip that occupied the seventh position in this list was “The door drop mailer.”
Now some people will think the seventh place in a list of twenty-eight was not a bad position to be in, but it was not the position of seventh place that irked me, it was the way the idea that door drops were the poor relation to direct mail.

The benefits were described as having control of where the leaflet goes and the timing of its delivery. However, I believe these benefits should have been granted much more attention than the one sentence it was given. In fact, I did not think that door drop leaflets should have even been in the list of creative mailing tips.

The reason I think this is that I believe it reinforces the perception, in people who do not understand direct marketing, that leaflet distribution is a cheaper alternative to direct mail. When the truth is door drops can be an integral part of a larger advertising campaign, or they can be used as a separate campaign. Either way they have proved to be a highly effective way of reaching customers and creating sales.

Another area where I believe door drop leaflets do not receive the credit due to them is in the field of their creative work. Unlike the writers of direct sales letters, the copywriters of leaflets do not have the luxury of several pages to get their message across to the prospective customer.

They have to use a very limited space to get their sales message across. They employ their skills in copy-writing to produce short but informative text to emphasise the benefits of their offer as well as it features.

And you will not see “clever” tricks used in the creative work of leaflets. No sensible designer of a door drop leaflet will use the dubious techniques often seen in some magazines and on some so called “classy” website where an art director or designer places a large body of text on a solid black background with the type reversed out, making difficult if not impossible to read.

Door drop leaflets need to catch the attention of the prospect and make it easy for them to read the sales message. The writers and designers of these will use the correct typeface to utilise the limited space available.

Of course, the things I have described above are not widespread in the advertising and marketing business, but there are still a few unenlightened people who look upon leaflet distribution as the poor relation of direct mail. Let us all hope one day the penny will drop and they will see it for what it is, a valuable professional industry filled with highly talented and knowledgeable people who know how to use their talents and knowledge in creating sales for their customers.

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