Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

When You Make It All About You, You Lose

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Whenever I’m called upon to offer a critique on or advice about a company or consultant’s copy – whether it’s on a web site, in a brochure, an ad, a blog, or whatever – the first thing I do is read through the copy to see whether the focus is on “we/me” or “you/your.” Most of the copy I look at is the former. A quick, easy and relatively painless way to improve it (more…)

What Is Verisimilitude?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

Years ago I was fortunate to be able to work with one of the true gurus in the field of direct marketing copywriting—Herschell Gordon Lewis. A marketing genius, a horror-film writer! (he’s actually known for creating the “splatter film” sub-genre of horror, according to Wikipedia)— (more…)

Best Practices for Hiring Agencies, Contractors, and Freelancers

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

There comes a point in the life cycle of many businesses when advertising needs outgrow the “homespun” and it’s time to call upon the services of a professional agency or consultant. Even small businesses can benefit from the third-party perspective and marketing savvy that experts can offer. There’s a misconception that agencies are too expensive for small companies. That’s not necessarily true. What you want, though, is to find an agency that focuses specifically on your needs.

Here are some practical considerations that you should take into account when looking for an agency or individual to help you with your advertising and marketing needs. (more…)

The Power of Traditional Print Advertising

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

Over the past several years, the use of traditional advertising,  including print advertising, has declined sharply as digital marketing has taken off. This has been even more true during the pandemic as many traditional brick and mortar businesses were literally forced to adopt a digital business model or close their doors.

But does traditional print advertising still hold value for marketers? (more…)

Marketers Must Have Good Products But Sometimes Good Isn’t Good Enough

Tuesday, August 10th, 2021

Not many people remember a product called Zima, and that’s the point of this post. As a marketing professional, I’ve always been interested in new product introductions and advertising campaigns in general— how well do they work? how long do they “run” (suggesting that the positive effects are continuing to produce results or, if nothing else, that the agency and client haven’t “pulled the plug” prematurely).

In addition, as someone who is not a “beer drinker,” I was interested several years ago when a new product was introduced—Zima—a beer-based beverage that was supposed to be light and refreshing. Hmm. Sounded interesting. The campaign was extensive, attention-getting, and effective—to a degree. It raised awareness. It generated preference (at least initially). All was good. Right? Wrong. (more…)

Peloton: The Latest Example of Consumer Outrage Over Ad Content

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

Occasionally companies and their advertising teams will find themselves in hot water for controversial advertisements or campaigns that set out to be edgy or funny, but push the envelope a bit too far. Consider, among the many examples, Bacardi’s “ugly girlfriend” ad, Burger King’s sexually suggestive “Super Seven Incher” ads and Dove’s “Before & After” ad showing a transition from a black to a white woman.

Likely these companies knew they were taking a risk in putting those ads out there but didn’t fully appreciate the likelihood of the level of potential backlash. But sometimes ads not intended to contain any type of offensive content still manage to offend. (more…)

Benefits of Better Tracking for Marketing Spend

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

content marketing, content management, content strategy, strategic marketing, marketing strategically, strategic communicationsOne of the persistent challenges for marketing departments is the ability to determine a reliable and justifiable return on investment for their marketing spend. One common reason given for this challenge is the difficulty in attributing revenue to specific marketing activities. But in an article for Forbes, Stephen Diorio argues that there is a need for improvement in how the money that is spent is categorized and tracked. (more…)

No-Cost, Low-Cost Ways to Boost Your Brand

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

We’ve previously discussed the challenges many companies face when trying to calculate an ROI on their marketing efforts. For small and medium-sized businesses, this can make it difficult to justify increasing spend on marketing efforts.

But, just because you feel like you can’t spend more money on marketing doesn’t mean you can’t invest in your brand. (more…)

What Beer Companies Can Teach Us About the Dangers of Publicly Attacking Competitors

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

The growth strategyand corresponding marketing strategyof a company has a lot to do with the nature of its industry. When a new market is developed or discovered, we say there is a blue oceanan unmet demand in a market that isn’t served or is vastly underserved. Market share and sales can be increased by simply letting consumers know that a product or service exists and convincing them that they want the product. By contrast, in a red ocean, the market and the major players are already established, and the market is saturated. The only way to increase market share is to take market share from a competitor. That can be exceedingly difficult to do. (more…)

What Are White-Glove Advertising Services and Should You Be Using Them?

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

Publishers have a lot on their plates these days—from fraud and ad blocking, to Facebook’s recent News Feed changes, to GDPR, increasingly rampant technological innovations and more. On top of the traditional issues related to publishing, publishers also have increasingly been pulled into generating ad revenues through ad tech—a constantly shifting landscape that can certainly be a diversion from creating quality content to meet audience needs.

How are they managing? In some cases, they’re outsourcing this aspect of their ad operations (ad ops) to white-glove consultancy services. (more…)