Thursday, February 26, 2015
Here’s a question for you.

Are you a problem solver?

Do you have an expertise that provides a solution other people could benefit from?

Of course you do. You’re an expert gardener, dog trainer, computer programmer, social media marketer, advertising sales rep, dentist, florist, teacher, banker, and in all those capacities and thousands more, you have solutions to a multitude of problems and challenges faced around your neighbourhood and the globe.

You’ve been doing this for years and you’ve become quite good at it. But you’ve been going to ‘work’ for 8 years and you know your job backwards and forwards. You could do this in your sleep. It seems so easy…and it is…because in the majority, you have devoted experience, time, training to get to the expertise you have now. But because YOU do it everyday, it doesn’t seem that special to you anymore. Heck if I can do it, anyone can do it—or so goes the self deprecating commentary.

BUT YOU have amassed enormous knowledge, talent, expertise and you can solve problems that perplex thousands of others. This is EXACTLY what advertisers are doing. (and you can too!)

I would venture to say dear reader, that if you’re a good banker, there are thousands of people who would love to know what you know to improve their financial situation. Many large and small companies continue to offer their expertise in the form of products, or services we see and use everyday.

Maybe you will use cereal or toast or mouthwash everyday. Those manufacturers have sustained their presence in multiple media to make sure you’re not forgetting them and always put them in your grocery cart when shopping.

Maybe you need to see your dentist two or three times per year. His (or her) expertise is in demand and especially prized when you’re in pain. Chances are, you won’t see them advertising in the same channels as your mouthwash provider. But they likewise have the need to market themselves as a pain reliever.

Perhaps this is among the biggest challenges companies face and that is, who can best use their expertise on an ongoing basis and how can we best position (Mr. Ogilvy) ourselves to be the solution to their problem.

Importantly, it will in all likelihood take more than one media channel to reach them on an ongoing basis. Which channels, well that’s where the continual testing comes in to play.

Many advertisers have used one media as a stepping stone to the next. Starting with local newspapers, then local radio, then regional magazines, then a larger newspaper ad, plus they add another radio station, then they jump to local television – you know- to try it out, and when that’s worked, they invest more in bigger TV and Outdoor campaigns...and we applaud these behemoth corporations who grew from nothing to an omnipresence seemingly overnight.

In fact, as smart problem solvers like you, they have recognized the service they are delivering relieves pain or delivers pleasure, and they are bringing that expertise to wider and wider audiences and they have been testing all along to see what is working and what they can discard.

But what’s happened here?  Why are they growing the way there are?

Because they have taken the time to understand the commonality of their audience, and used the media which consistently, persistently and efficiently reach them, and deliver the triggers which cause their audience to purchase.

They have learned what works and what doesn’t. They have discarded or minimized the underperforming media and put their dollars into vehicles which deliver positive return on investment, and they continue to put their muscle behind them.

Remember please, not everyone uses every product in the same way or for the same reason or motivation. We are all different. But we all have some commonality that compels us to use mouthwash (we hope so anyway!).

Remember, the knowledge you have should be put to use in your media planning. You should have some presence of your expertise in front of your customers and prospects on an ongoing basis. It gets harder to be forgotten or dismissed when you are in contact with your customers everyday. After all Dear reader, you’re a problem solver.

Stay tuned.

P.S. Earlier in this series I’ve mentioned the importance – especially when you’re starting out- of picking one media and testing it to see how well it works. Then replace or enhance as necessary.  Ideally you want to have more than one marketing vehicle out there at any time.

If you needed some reinforcement to that idea, you may want to take a peek at this article by Mary Ellen Tribby.

"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.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Thank you for sharing a few minutes with me.

You may have noticed several Media Spikes so far have mentioned The Power of 26.

An expression I’ve coined and use as a subtitle in my Blog as part of The Spike of Angels. Quite simply The Power of 26 refers to the enormous power in the alphabet, and how those  26 letters are the lynchpin to our world and every level of communication.

And sometimes, in media presentations, you’ve probably noticed a lot of abbreviations and initials are used to take the place of cumbersome words and titles. 

While texting and tweeting have forced us to rely on phonetics instead of full words, I thought it might be helpful to elaborate on many of the initials and short forms you may see or hear or read in many media memos.

A Glossary of Media Terms could fill the next five to six e-mails in this series. That’s more than overwhelming. But I thought a few terms from each of the primary media may be of assistance. This is not meant to be exhaustive, but to give you some knowledge next time these terms show up in a media presentation (You’ll impress the media person too, if you know some of the jargon).

ADJACENCY: A commercial time slot immediately before or after a specific program (First spot when the program goes to break, or last spot before the commercial break returns to programming). If these two spots are the same advertisers, it’s often called Bookends.

Audience Composition: The characteristics which make up your target group. Based on demographics, lifestyle, income, education etc.

BCR-Budget Control Report: Sometimes monthly, quarterly or annually, it tracks actual expenditures versus projections.

CA: Census Agglomeration
: A geographical area, defined by Statistics Canada, with a population of between 10,000 and 99,999.

CMA- Census Metropolitan Area (CMA): Geographical Area defined by Statistics Canada, with a population in excess of 100,000.

CMA – Central Market Area (CMA):
Geographical area defined by BBM, usually centered around one urban centre.

CPR – Cost Per Rating: The costs of delivering a message to 1% of a pre-determined group.

CPM – Cost Per Thousand: The cost to deliver a message to 1,000 individuals- preferably the individuals who fit your target group.

CUME- Cumulative Audience: This is the total unduplicated number of homes or individuals who are reached by a schedule of commercials or programs or print issues within a given time.

EFFICIENCY: Evaluating how a good a buy you or your space buyer did based on CPM’s or CPR’s as above.

EMA – Extended market Area (EMA): Geographical area comprised of a market and adjacent counties or census divisions as defined by Nielsen Media Research.

FREQUENCY: The number of times an advertising message has been exposed to a target audience.

GRP’s: Gross Rating Points: The sum of all ratings delivered by a given schedule against a pre-determined target group.  GRP’s= Reach X Frequency ( Reach ie: 25%, times Frequency, say 4 times = 100 GRP’s).

HUT : Homes Using Television: The percentage of households with one or more televisions tuned in at a given time.

The total number of commercial occasions (or ads) scheduled, multiplied by the total target audience potentially exposed to each occasion. The media plan’s impressions are usually expressed as Gross Impressions. That is the total potential number of opportunities for the message to be seen.

A report of the estimated deliveries of a purchased media schedule.
POST BUY ANALYSIS: An analysis of actual media deliveries calculated after a spot or schedule has run.

REACH: A measurement of the cumulative unduplicated target audience potentially exposed once or more to a particular program, station or publication in a specific time period. This is usually expressed as a percentage of the target population in a geographically defined area.

There are easily over 200 additional terms of Jargon and alphabet soup related to the industry and to Media in particular.

As noted, this was not intended to be exhaustive - nobody wants to read a dictionary- but they may give you a glimmer of familiarity that will make future meetings and presentations clearer for you.

The Power of 26 is an indispensable tool for every interest and industry. In the abbreviated words of my son’s good buddy ‘Tigger’ of Winnie the Pooh fame, T.T.F.N.  (not a media term, but Ta Ta For Now!)

Stay tuned.

P.S.: If you are so inclined to learn more, please contact me-, and ask specifically for The Exhaustive List of Media Abbreviations and Terminology.

"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.

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Greetings dear reader.

So did you buy it yet?

That new suit? The watch? The sexy earrings? The new car? The sweater? The carpeting?

C’mon, the ad has been out there for three days now, why aren’t you running to the cash register?

Most advertisers will stall and hem and haw about what they want to say in their ads. Then when they at last pull the trigger for an online or radio, or newspaper, or outdoor, or television, or magazine or composite of all of these campaign, they’re startled when the cash register doesn’t light up within minutes.

Typically, most consumers receive their product information a spoonful at a time. Learning a bit more about you with each exposure. They may not want or need you right away, but when they do, you want to be the one they think of.

Can you remember a particular product you saw advertised and RIGHT AWAY ran out to buy it? It may have caught your attention. But you’re not impressed enough yet. The second time it caught you attention and piqued your Interest enough to learn more. The next time in front of you, it caught attention, held interest, created desire, but not action.

The following two, or five or thirty more repetitions continued until finally all elements of the AIDA formula came together and you took some action and purchased the product.

As advertisers, the sale can’t happen fast enough.
As consumers we’re not always in such a hurry for the purchase.

Thus repetition becomes necessary to overcome resistance until finally we agree to part with their asking price.

That repetition comes in multiple forms and we can see this same advertiser in newspaper and radio, or in online and magazine, television and outdoor, radio and on-line, in-store and in elevators and all the time you are driving sales and building the brand.

Personally, I believe if you are driving sales successfully, and making your customers happy with dependable, reliable service and products, the brand building will take care of itself.

Your name or logo will transcend all hesitation and speculation because your sales efforts and follow-up have earned you a trustworthy reputation. Something that many brands fail to achieve because of inconsistency.

Do you remember what I mentioned way back in Media Spike #3, that’s about six weeks ago now, that your advertising should be like an ongoing dating process.

That was true then and it still is now.  My wife agreed to our first date all those years ago, but I’m still trying to woo her and keep her attention and interest because the brand is ME.

Remember you are trying to cultivate a long term relationship with your customer. They are your bread and butter and need constant attention to keep coming back to you for whatever your service is.

Another key point to remember in your advertising and marketing is that YOU will tire of your message and media mix long before the customer does.

Too often clients have pulled campaigns that were still working simply because the ‘agency’ wanted to freshen it up.  BUT it’s still working. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is a key finding from your testing- you are still testing aren’t you? 

The testing will show you what message is working in what media and if one ad starts to falter, then try another, and another. Keep something going all the time and as well as you’re able, always be in front of your audience with some messaging.

You may not be persuaded on the first attempt, but multiple exposures will lead to enhanced opportunity to make the sale.  Maybe you only needed three exposures while your neighbour needed 19. As long as it continues to pull in sales at a respectable pace, then keep your messaging in the marketplace.

Stay tuned.

"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.

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Thank you for coming back.

Maybe this year you’re considering some advertising to boost your image and stimulate sales. How fabulous. We certainly wish you every success.  If any tips we’ve shared so far have been of assistance, we’re glad to have been of help.
If we can do more, we’ll be glad for that too.

Starting with a new slate is wonderfully exciting and intimidating all at once. You can’t wait to ‘Get Out There’ until you learn how much is out there, AND How Much It Costs!!

NO KIDDING. Staggering isn’t it? The cost of media space, in nearly all media can be very crippling and more than one company has rolled the dice and not recouped the investment. That hurts.

Others, like one client of mine several years back, dropped $100K ( yes one hundred thousand dollars) on a Special 2 page Newspaper ad in a major market paper with a circulation of ¾ million copies. A reasonably efficient $133 cost per thousand (CPM) for a National hit.

I can remember a time when that kind of money would have bought you several baseball players, for more than one season, not just one ad.

Regardless of the generation, advertising is not an inexpensive proposition. If it is done well, smart, creative, thoughtful, relevant ads, with a useable message which resonates with your target group, then you can enjoy a wonderful return on investment.

How do we get there?

Well if you’ve been noticing, we’ve dropped a few hints along the way about Testing. When you see empirically what’s been working, then you know you can refine and confine your spending to just those media which are consistently producing results for you.

The costs of media are always going to be a going concern for small, medium and large businesses. As your universe grows, you tend to want to attract more customers. Meaning casting the net wider and further afield.

To do that well, often means incorporating more extensive and more expensive media options which tell your sales story to more listeners, viewers, readers.

Price does not tell the whole story. EVER. It is certainly a factor, but if you buy exclusively on price, you certainly cheat yourself out of reaching some very worthy candidates for your products or services. Contrary to a wide held belief, many customers do NOT buy based just on price. If that were true, there would only be one style of car, one style of boot etc.

For the next few Media Spikes, we will speak to the costs associated with several media players. As an opening effort, we will look to social media which has the grandest bandwagon ever.

Certainly the Internet has opened many new doors for advertisers of all sizes to communicate a message one to one, and is often substantially less expensive. Although I wonder sometimes just how much is saved.

The savings derived by more modest space cost for social media options are somewhat mitigated by the necessity to have personnel constantly monitoring and responding to your customers.  The cost is now in staff (yours or your agency’s) and customer service follow-up expenditures and less in purchase of an ad unit.

Is social media truly the advertising saviour many are touting it to be?

Well, like everything else in marketing – IT DEPENDS.
    On what you want to do?
    Who you want to reach?
    What sort of message do you want to share with them?
    Are you prepared to devote the time to develop a relationship?

The proliferation of social media is global. A hugely daunting double edge sword for the enormity of reach potential, tempered by the obligation of sustaining a dialogue –multiple times per day, to create a relationship with them, to encourage them to try and buy your product or service.

Happily for this e-mailer, some Testing has already been done.

Done on a modest scale and time compressed, it can’t be construed as truly scientific. Nevertheless it serves as a barometer, a microcosm, of the options and challenges within all social media channels to date.

In March 2013, Mr. Christopher Null conducted this specific test. It was entitled Do Social Media Ads Really Work? We Put Them To The Test. This was reported on in Mr. Null conducted a campaign which was mimicked in five (5) social media channels: Google Adwords, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and StumbleUpon.

Varying formats, and price points preclude an exact match, but as near an equal measure as possible was used and the results are worth noting. The following italicized type is verbatim from Mr. Null’s article.
  • Facebook ads appear particularly ineffective at getting clicks, possibly because users have already become accustomed to ignoring these ad placements due to their location. Experiment with low CPC bids on Facebook when getting your feet wet.
  • LinkedIn is easily the most expensive service on which to advertise, and clickthrough rates are low.
  • Twitter's almost 1 percent clickthrough rate is double the rate of AdWords, and far and away the best I encountered. Ads are surprisingly cheap. It's difficult to target your ads on Twitter, but they still appear effective despite this limitation. Perhaps that's because promoted tweets are virtually impossible for users to ignore.
  • StumbleUpon is a great option for extremely inexpensive ads, and if you are targeting a broad swath of consumers, it's definitely worth a look.
If you're sold on social media advertising, consider these tips before you begin.
  • Start small. Set a very low budget for a CPC (not CPM) ad, and let it run for as long as you can to get a sense of how it's performing. Tweak the ad frequently and track your results. Some services let you run multiple versions of the same ad, so you can compare results among them.
  • Clicks aren't everything. Despite getting hundreds of clicks over hundreds of thousands of impressions, my business didn't net any new clients from these ads. Understand what value your clicks actually bring to you, and make sure your ROI is positive after you have sufficient history to examine.
  • Think about your target market. It's an old adage that "Twitter is for business" and "Facebook is for fun." My experimental results bore this out, so think carefully about what social networks your potential customers are likely to be using before charging ahead
See Mr. Null’s entire article and testing, here.

Does this mean social media isn’t working? No. Does it mean you should not try social media in your communications? No. What it does mean is that like all its predecessors and traditional counterparts, your advertising should be tested to see what’s working.

Perhaps you’ll have a staggeringly successful campaign with a mix of one social media platform coupled with radio and outdoor media.

Maybe the breakthrough comes with social media ads on mobile devices while the target group is in the mall seeing a mall poster ad and a store flyer. I would suggest no more a reliance on any one media than a reliance on any one golf club to play the entire round.

What I would suggest is that you use all the social media platforms as leverage and drive traffic to your website where customers are on your turf and you can educate, inform and sell them better.

Your ads are a bit like employees. “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” –Sir James Goldsmith. Don’t always opt for the ‘cheapest’ option, because you know what type of respondent you’ll attract.

Stay tuned.

"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.

Friday, February 13, 2015
Oh good, you’re here.

Are you shivering from all those cold-calls? If you’ve ever called 100 people a week, only to get voice mail, hang-ups, or rude prospects then you know it’s a brutal way to get your message out there. Even setting an appointment with people who don’t really want or need to see you can be tough slogging.

Yet thousands of professionals of all stripes continue this daily ritual in the hope
of striking on ‘exactly’ the right day when the prospect needs just what you’re selling. I wince at the odds. If you continue to do this, I applaud your tenacity.

While it is not a forte of mine, I do respect Cold-Calling. If done properly, it can be a very powerful lead generator. If you’d like to learn or polish your skills in this area, there is no-one better than Wendy Weiss, the Queen of Cold Calling. To find out more, click this link.

Certainly like any communication effort, if it works for you and is delivering results and sales at a price point that is efficient for you, then by all means continue.

I do encourage you though to consider multiple means of sales.
Test small to learn big.

You don’t think so?

This e-mail series did EXACTLY that. By the time you get to today’s message, there may be tens or hundreds or thousands of readers who have absorbed this type. Lucky me if that’s the case. BUT at the very outset, I tested small. It was sent to seven (7), yes seven people.  Contacts in Toronto, Canada, the United Kingdom and Florida, United States to TEST if it was working.

And you know what?  It WASN’T!! There was a hiccup in the original link that was to take you to the PDF for your first download.

If you were to come along now, hundreds or thousands of readers later, and I didn’t know it wasn’t working, imagine how sloppy that makes me look. Rather diminishes my prospects I’d say.

By testing small, I was able to isolate and fix the problem before my recipient list grew to the enviable size it is now. That’s how every ad of yours should earn its stripes. Being marketplace tested.

Stay tuned.

"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.


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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