April 16, 2002 Volume 1 Issue 45
45 Years & Going Strong
Most often we don't date advertising.
Oh, we may remember something special ... such as the Coca Cola television commercials of the late 1980's featuring football player Mean Joe Green. Or the launch by Apple of their MAC on the Super Bowl in 1984. Maybe the Wall Street Journal direct mail package that tells the story of two young men - it started mailing in 1974, as I recall (the day I wrote this article I received another of these packages!). Yet, for the most part advertising comes ... and it goes.
Not so with a full page magazine ad from McGraw-Hill. First on the scene in 1957 - it is still going strong. The graphics changed several times - when the gentlemen featured in the first version died ... they got another guy to sit in the chair. And when it went into Arabic and Chinese versions, a man more suitable to the culture and language translation was used.
Still, it's the same ad. And it's back. Again.
You may know of what I speak ... yet, if you do not, here is the copy ... and message;
First, a description. I've seen the advertisement in black/white ... and with a dash of color. It doesn't matter, the full page in any business magazine is powerful either way.
The scene is meant to be an office, although from the cut-out you may not catch that in the beginning. There is an executive chair, with a rather serious, maybe you'd call him "scowling", gent sitting. Looking straight out. Some might say he looks mean - or angry. This is what he is saying to you, a sales rep or corporate executive, standing in front of him;
Ah, that I was the copywriter that pulled those 52 words and 8 sentences together! Great stuff. Because it is true. You gotta tell your story. And repetition certainly does build your reputation.
McGraw-Hill, being in the business-to-business publishing business, is using this self-promotion to sell advertising in their magazines. Running the ad for free in their own pubs - and buying elsewhere. Obviously, it works - they keep running it.
Yet, the message is much, much stronger. It crosses all disciplines. And all business. Consumer as well as B-2-B. Small. Medium. Large. Young, mid-life and older companies. Service as well as products. If you offer something to an audience, the McGraw-Hill message applies.
So, it's fitting that I share a collection of reasons as to why you need to repeat your message. The base for this list came from Jock Falkson of South Africa - a long, long time ago. And each point is still applicable today.
If you want your message to stick, remember these points:
1. Your audience forgets 90 percent of what they see and hear within two weeks.
These numbers are "facts" ... every day in the life of your marketplace this is what happens;
What this says is 32,000 times a day something passes in front of our eyes. That we are exposed to 570 advertising, marketing, PR and promotion messages daily. We "see" or "hear" only 76 of this lot - by the end of the day we can name a dozen ... and 3 of the 12 we think of as negative. We did not like it, understand it, believe it.
And we are suppose to be good in marketing and sales with odds like this. WOW!
So yes, we need to repeat our message.
2. Your market changes constantly.
The marketplace is not stagnant. Because we move, because of better communication and transportation, because we get bored, because we want new challenges, because we want to dive into new opportunities, the market changes. And when your market changes, you have to chase it - which means you need to repeat your message.
3. Test new ideas on a continuing and ongoing basis. And re-test old ideas.
Because your marketplace is like an octopus - never staying in one place for long - you need to find out how to best reach it. And you need to do it in an ongoing fashion. Also, test old ideas that worked when you used them before. Try them again. Who knows, the re-cycle may work as well, or better, than the first time 'round.
4. Reach out for new business.
A while ago I lost two-thirds of my business within 60 days. One of my major accounts went bankrupt. Another decided to walk.
Because I had not been searching for new business, it took me almost 9 months to get even. Every week since that time, I spend a little time reaching for new business. Not at the expense of current customers - still, for the benefit of you!
5. You must have an offer ... and then promote your offer.
And promote other reasons to do business with you, too. Your offer - the 'extra' you offer your marketplace - is many times the reason someone decides to consider you. Not always buy - consider. So, you must tell your audience, over and over, what your offer is, and why they should do business with you.
6. Talk to your customers on a regular basis.
There is no reason for you to think your audience remembers what your offer is. Or why, they should respond to it.
You must promote on a continuing basis. Use multimedia. Use a combination of the web, direct mail, print, telephone & fax, broadcast, trade shows, take-ones and other marketing tools to let your market know what your offer is.
7. And then you must AFTO ... Ask For The Order.
The organization, Sales and Marketing Executives International has done a study, indicating 81% of all sales are made on the fifth call or later in the sales process.
What this says is you need to ask for the order over and over again. You need to repeat your offer, repeat the benefits, repeat the request for actions ... and ask your prospects and customers to give you some additional business.
8. You need continuity in the marketplace.
You are more likely to be remembered when it's time to buy, if you are seen frequently.
Coca Cola is the world's most recognized logo. Why? Because they are every where all the time. You will not live a day in your life without seeing or hearing something about Coke.
Most of us are not Coke - we can't do what they do. Yet, we can be where we need to be - often. Maybe not every day - maybe not every week. Yet, frequently.
9. You need continuity of sales efforts.
No matter how you sell - by a captive sales force, by a telemarketing unit, by a distribution network of some type, through a retail store, via the WWW and/or through a combination of methods, you need to have your sales force selling on a continuing basis.
Your sales team will find it easier to close sales if you are more visible in the marketplace. Continuity in the marketplace and continuity of sales effort tie together.
Well, you get the idea. Doing something once or twice equals doing nearly nothing. Burning money with little to no results. So, repeat your message. Remember, repetition builds your reputation.
An eon ago, when I began camping seriously, I discovered REI. Recreation Equipment, Inc.
REI mails 30 million catalogs each year - a sizeable number. And they operate in 59 retail locations - BIG stores with lots of merchandise. This six decade old company out of Kent, Washington is a co-op ... meaning when you buy and join for just $15. (it used to be a lot less!), you participate in the positive results at the end of the year. You get a certain amount of the money you spent, back. The average is 10% returned - nice. Nearly 80% of their business is from co-op members.
They are also big time on the web ... 78,000 products over 45,000 pages. Their Internet sales are in the upper teens percentage wise against their totals - and growing greatly. And profitably! In-house research has shown those that begin shopping online spend 24% more in the REI stores, too. One of the reasons could be you can pick-up or return merchandise at any store. Sounds convenient to me.
If you're into camping, hiking, cycling, paddling, climbing, snow sports, or need boots, bikes, tents, boats and more - visit www.rei.com ... you'll find it fun.
There are times the feature article in this E-zine and the Anonymous quote are on the same page. They're related. And other times on a distinctly different page. Different ball parks. Not wrong - just different.
This is one of the times when it's different.
"The palest ink is better than the best memory."
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
"Real" life is an ongoing, moving and some would say never ending negotiation.
From an early age kids "learn" to negotiate. They play mom against dad. Or the babysitter. Brother against sister. Friend vs. friend.
This carries over into the workplace. What time you show up for work. When a specific assignment is to be finished. Time off. Your work station location - sometimes your work mates. Certainly the tools you work with.
Let's look at 13 Platinum Negotiating Ideas you can use in marketing and sales. Ideas to gain you more of what you feel you need to be successful. For the entire Baker's Dozen Collection visit the archives at http://www.rayjutkins.com/baker/.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.