Thursday, February 05, 2015
Media Spike #32 – Five Steps To Improve Your Ads
So pleased you could join me,


Perfect. Now that I have your attention, that’s exactly what your ads should do.
Jolt me from my sleep, clear off the haze, and make me pay attention to what you are saying.

Too many ads lack the Pizzazz of Spike #30, but get half of that right with lots of ZZZZZ’s.

Ever read a good book? By any author. What did they do? They kept your attention. The narrative was so vivid as to pull you in to its pages. The pace accelerating, then pausing and keeping you riveted. THAT’s what your ads need to do. Regardless of the media. Your ads needs to be Interesting. Exciting.Grab you by the lapels and take you along for the ride. Your ad can’t be too long- only too boring

Five Steps to Improve Your Ads

1. Why are you advertising? Not just blindly throwing bucks out there. Take the time to write out why. What do you have to say, and will you make it interesting and informative to your buyers?

Whether you do it yourself (even if you're not a professional writer), or through your agency, write out all the things that your product or service does. Please do this without pictures or images. No-one knows your product like you do. You'll discover some powerful gems that maybe you take for granted, but are the buried treasure for your prospects.

2. Stress the Benefits
Not just 'Better Service', but actually write out the features of your product. Then express it as a benefit that will be attractive to your customers and prospects.
  • Our Reinforced Impact Driver delivers longer lasting performance due to increased battery charge so your down time is reduced.
  • Our stocks have shown consistent short and long term growth due to our diligent research and careful investments, thus raising the value of your portfolio every year.
Pick one compelling benefit. Your signature benefit which catapults you ahead of the competition, and hang your hat on it. You can use multiple benefits of information, as subsets of your headline as Mr. Ogilvy did. Pick something that is a worthwhile benefit and a drawing card that attracts your audience.

3. When you place your ads, regardless of the magazine(s) you choose, please, please, please TEST the ad. Before you spend a boatload on a huge campaign, test the ad on a small scale to see if people are responding to it. The more you test, the more you will continue to improve your sales. It can be a coupon. A 1-800#, a Call to action to direct them to your website. Promise them and deliver them something when they respond. Not some vague idea of effectiveness, but actual measurement to show return on investment. TEST Your Ad.

4. Be Choosy. Remember that each magazine caters to a different audience, age, dynamic, gender, interest group. Use the 'halo' effect of a positive magazine to bask in its implied endorsement. Do not always be swayed by the lowest price. Several magazines may command higher pricing, but that should be reflected in the calibre of audience they reach. The paper stock and the imagery and their total circulation are key factors. By the way, don’t buy JUST based on circulation.  Many magazines have great numbers, but they are padded, or their readers may not be your target group. Volume does not always beget accuracy.

5. Be creative. Not just in your messaging- although that’s important. But have some fun within the magazine. Here’s a tidbit to keep you from overspending- The only ‘Premium Positions’ for any magazine are the covers. Usually only 3 of those are sold for ad space: Inside Front, Inside Back and Outside Back. Sometimes, Centre Spread- DPS (Double Page Spread ads are available, depending on the binding format of the magazine.)

Study after study, showed that once you are inside the magazine, every page enjoys the same level of readership and attention.  Most advertisers continue to seek out, ‘Well Forward, Right Hand Page’ as the Holy Grail for maximum readership.

, you can have your ad appear adjacent to, or within a relevant article or editorial, that won’t hurt your cause. But the statistical average is, all inside pages are equal. In addition, please remember You are not obligated to run full pages. (I acknowledge some magazines do limit themselves to only full pages or at worst, full and half-pages only).

Experiment to see what helps you stand out.
  • Use the magazines to run 3 consecutive right hand page 1/3rd vertical strips.Use it as a carrier for your insert or flyer (try to be 2nd or later in the polybag to save money).
  • If you have multiple magazines, stagger the insertions over alternating months. You'll stay in market and in the audience mindset, but you'll stretch your budget.
  • See if you can get a regional edition instead of National. It will save your costs if you don't purchase unnecessary geographic coverage.
  • If there is a Reader Reply Card appearing in the magazine for you or anyone else, try to be the ad page where the Reply Card is bound in. The typical heavier stock of the Reader Reply Card will have the magazine fall open to your ad gaining you a first glimpse from the reader at no extra charge.
  • Make sure you see and approve the magazine(s) BEFORE you place your ad. Please take the time to do this.I’ve witnessed too many apathetic or half-hearted efforts by marketers who should know better. Then they whine after it’s printed when it was literally in their hands ahead of time and could have been corrected. It’s time well spent. Get a hands-on look at the magazine environment where you will be featured.
  • If it's the only piece a prospect ever sees from you, make sure you can be proud of it.
The Power of 26 is word play at its' simplest, and its' most powerful.

Put all that marketing muscle into your magazine ads and you'll hear them talking about you, all the way to the cash register.

Stay tuned.

P.S. What did Mr. Ogilvy say was the #1 Most Important Decision?    

Mr. Ogilvy wrote: #1: The Most Important decision: We have learned that the effect of your advertising on your sales depends more on this decision than on any other. How should you position your product? Should you position Schweppes as a soft drink – or as a mixer? Should you position Dove as a product for dry skin or as a product which really gets your hands clean? The results of your campaign depend less on how we write your advertising than how your product is positioned. It follows that positioning should be decided before the advertising is created. Research can help. Look before you leap.

"Like to learn more? Nine Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising and How To Actually Make Your Ads Outperform Your Competition is not for everyone.  It’s for smart marketers who want proven tips to make their ads work harder and smarter.

Is that YOU?
If it is, click here for your copy of, "9 Secrets To Improve Your Advertising"

Do It Now. As a Masthead Online Reader, you can order your own copy for just $30, but only until you reach Media Spike #57.  After that, the price returns to $197.

- Dennis Kelly
About Me
Dennis Kelly
A professional to his fingertips, Dennis Kelly of First Impressions Media brings a deft touch as your media magician. Extracting incremental media value for you from suppliers is second nature for Dennis. His versatility in all media is bred of 3 decades of hands-on media planning & buying experience in the media trenches. As a steward of your media budget, Dennis excels in delivering smart, efficient, creative and targeted campaigns to showcase your creative to the right audience.

Dennis is the author of “ 9 Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising” and is available to Masthead Reader for $197 through a special offer at this link
Most Recent Blog Comment
Dennis Kelly says:
Thank you Gloria. What a perfectly apropos link. Thank you for sharing that. You are quite correct. ...
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