Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Welcome to Checkpoint Number Five

A summary of our fifth series of two weeks, and 10 more Media Spikes presented.

Let's take a look back at what we covered.

#41: Trying to decipher industry jargon. Every business has it's own language of terms and abbreviations known only to the insiders of each business. Just learning Reach and Frequency and GRP's will put you miles ahead of your competition.

#42: You don't have to be a rock star like Elton John to stand out from the crowd. Just be consistent and memorable and keep showing up.

#43:Why do you advertise? You're creating store traffic. You are attracting new customers. You are encouraging repeat business. It tells people you are here with solutions for them. It keeps you competitive and it conveys a successful image. Advertising doesn't cost- it Pays!

#44: What happened to all the money?  Does more good money disappear into oblivion once you use online ads? We hope not, but it's important to not abandon what's working just to go where all the action is. There may be a lot of activity in new media, but how much of it produces results for you?

#45: Who is your target group? The better you can define and refine who your target group is, the more focused your ads can be. The less waste you'll experience and pay for. We whittled an original audience of 31 million Canadians to a very specific audience for computer printers. It pays to focus.

#46: So what do you choose? You have a blank cheque to run ads anywhere. Where do you want to run your ads? You finally have the chance to do anything you choose. So what do you choose?

#47: Flavour of the month? Too many campaigns have short life cycles that are expected to drive the sales for an entire year. Why? Wouldn't it be a better use of funds to have a consistent push out there all year? Maybe a couple of extra hits in seasons specific to what you do but regular presence will sustain profile, build longer term brand recognition and keep your costs amortized over a year and not a sudden spike. It's not always about buying more, its about buying smarter.

#48: Whether the campaign works or not, it still costs you the same. Remember to use all the tools at your disposal to clearly identify who your target is and where they are so you spend smarter. Test small to succeed big.

#49: With any luck- you've never heard of me until now. Sharing my history of agencies and clients.

#50: You can always make a case for and against any media. The court of last resort- your customers- is the true barometer to see what works/sells, and what doesn't. Testing will separate the shell game from the sell game.

Dear reader, can you believe it. You already have fifty days of tips, recommendations, insights and teaching to help improve your advertising. We're coming into the home stretch of seven more- HANG ON!!

Thank you for your continued interest and support. The Media Spikes will resume their standard delivery pattern. I'm so pleased to field your questions and look forward to hearing from more readers. Thank you I look forward to hearing from you.

Stay Tuned.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca


"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.
 

Monday, April 27, 2015
Greetings,

Seems somehow appropriate doesn’t it?

Media Spike #50 to talk about 50/50.

Many campaigns have evolved from year to year using tried and true media that consistently delivers for them. Such was the case from the insurance company I referenced in earlier Media Spikes. Only Bus Cards and radio. But these worked. So they stayed with them.

Other campaigns seem to flit from media to media with no rhyme or reason from month to month, season to season. Consider this debate:

Is newspaper a good contender for us? Absolutely yes, because of the local coverage and large space detail opportunity in a ½ page or larger ad.

Is newspaper a good contender for us? Absolutely no, because it typically has a 24 hour shelf life, the colour costs are exorbitant, and other media are displacing it.

Pick a media: radio, television, newspaper, magazine, online, social media, rink boards, coffee cup sleeves, elevator door wraps, taxicab top signs, exterior bus card, transit shelters, horizontal posters, blimps, stairisers, and the list goes on…you can argue a case for and against any of them at any time.

Thus it’s very critical that when an agency says ‘This year we’re recommending radio and magazines...’ you want to understand why they’re abandoning the TV and newspaper and Online campaign they vociferously pitched last year.

Last year’s campaign may have had muted success. But the agency should still be able to defend the recommendation.

Many factors go into the success or failure of any campaign.  If it tanks, yes it could have been a poor media choice, or equally a lackluster creative, or a natural or manmade event (Earthquakes, Princess Diana’s death) may trump all advertising, no matter how compelling.

If, If, IF…you have been tracking and testing each ad in each media, you’ll know empirically what is working and what isn’t. This is your best barometer for or against changes to the campaign.

I am always in favour of exploring new media. Testing different options. See what works. What can be edited out. What should be the new piece.  Learn from campaign to campaign what is working. Change what’s underperforming and try something new.

For comparison, would you change over your entire wardrobe just because you get a hole in one pair of socks? Not likely. Although I would hope you’d replace the socks!

Mostly though it should be a signal to introduce something new.  You can always make a case for and against any media. Ideally you want these based on merit.

Too often, media inclusion or exclusion is done on a whim, or a gut or feeling, or a necessary budget surgery, when it should be based on measurable results.

As I mentioned recently, you will spend the same whether the campaign works or not. Why not take the time to be certain it’s working before you start making wholesale changes?

Stay tuned.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca

"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.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Hale and well met, dear reader.

We’re in the home stretch. Have you enjoyed the ride?

The finish line is in sight. Including today’s effort, there are nine (9) Media Spikes remaining in this inaugural series. I hope you have found it informative, helpful, provocative (?), and entertaining.

Inquiries have come from different corners about my background, my client and agency history, and what campaigns have I worked on to somehow verify my authenticity.

I often expressed, With any luck, you’ve never heard of me. If you don’t know me, then I’ve done my job.  The media person isn’t supposed to take centre stage, the client is. My job is to get them on as many stages as possible so they can be seen by all the right prospects, while I’m in the shadows pulling the curtains. However the inquiries persist so to give more credence to everything you’ve read from me to date, here are many of the Ad Agencies I’ve worked with, and a litany of clients, where, I’ve been privileged to be the steward of their ad budgets.
 

AD AGENCIES

Agency 59 (Axmith McIntyre & Wicht)
Bright Red Communications
Canadian Media Corporation
Cardon Rose Inc.
Carrot Marketing
DMB&B Advertising
FPR Communications
Grey Group Canada
Langmuir Mangialardo Advertising
LMA
Lackey Communications
Larter Advertising

Media Buying Services
The Backroom Agency
The Marketing Garage
The MacDonald Kerr Partnership
Thirteen (13) Advertising
Method Branding
Orange Bazooka
Promotivate
Triple P Promotions
DEC Sports Marketing

CLIENTS
Automotive & Transport
Canadian Kenworth Trucks
Firestone Tire and Auto Centres
GO Transit
Mercedes Benz Canada
Suzuki Automotive
TNT Kwikasair

Clothing & Accessories
KIWI Shoe Polish
TANA Shoecare
Timberland Workboots
Young Canada Children’s Clothing

Entertainment
Ontario Director’s Guild
Kaneff Golf
Let’s PartyTalk.com

Financial
Central Guaranty Trust
Interac
RoyNat Capital Lenders

Floor Coverings
Altro Flooring
Harding Carpets
Monsanto Canada

Food Products
Chicken Farmers of Ontario
Jordan’s Cereal
Pinnacle Foods

Government
Federal Government of Canada
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General-(Drinking & Driving)   
City of Toronto

Health
Clear Nail Laser Centres
CINOT- Children In Need Of Treatment (Dental)
Heart & Stroke Ontario
Great West Life Insurance

Hospitality & Travel
Air Canada Vacations
Globus & Cosmos Touring
Howard Johnson & Knights Inn
Niagara On The Lake
Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Toronto Prince Hotel
TICO-Travel Industry Council of Ontario

Humanitarian & Spiritual
The Salvation Army ( Pro-Bono)
The Canadian Bible Society

Music
COSMO Music
Yamaha Canada Music

Technology
01 Commiunique
Canon Canada Inc.
Forminco
Pioneer Electronics
Rockwell International
Telehop

For 3 decades, you may have unknowingly witnessed my handiwork. In the majority I had nothing to do with the message you saw. But I had everything to do with you being able to see it.

Stay Tuned,

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca

(P.S. While I’m on the subject of my history, you can also visit, our site and you’ll see several entries of Praise for our efforts from agencies and clients alike.)

"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, April 16, 2015
Thank you for coming back.

What an eye-opener!

A turn of phrase that stares you right in the face everyday, but sometimes from left field it hits you like a thunderclap.

To this point, my Media Spikes have spoken of different budget levels from $100,000 to a million, to levels above and below that.  The budgets available certainly offer you different media combinations, but one truism remains, no matter what level you’re spending at, your media cost will cost you the same whether it works or not!

Did you get that? Whether you campaign is successful or not, it still costs you the same.

$5,000 for two newspaper ads.
$25,000 for a 3 weeks radio campaign.
$55,750 for a 2 month Outdoor Poster campaign with local magazine support.
$612,350 for an integrated multi-media campaign of radio, online, newspaper, magazines, TV, etc.

You’ve spent the money. Whether it works or not. You’ve spent it. Don’t you want, at a bare minimum, to be able to recover those costs with product sales?

Certainly you hope for a substantially better return on investment than just breaking even. But it begs the question, is just buying ‘more’ the answer?

More TV to reach a wider audience?
More radio to support the outdoor campaign?
More magazines to give more detail and colour to the campaign?
More online via BigBoxes and skyscrapers and leaderboards and Vokens and scrolling catfish to stay in front of the elusive websurfers?

Those are all good things. As a professional buyer, I can always spend more money smartly.

But for too many advertisers, the rush is there to buy now, now, now—don’t care what it takes just get it bought now. So they limit their choices by not leaving enough lead time for planning and negotiations. Then everything becomes last minute and they puzzle over why they don’t get the choicest positions or programs or options, but are gungho to spend the money anyway.

In truth, I’ve seen clients who spend more time and energy agonizing where they’ll go on vacation for a week that sets them back two grand than they will on a campaign where they’ll spend six figures and not care where it goes.

Perhaps this is why I push so hard for the Spike of Angels Media Briefing Template which you received when you signed up. The key element within that document is to help you focus and drill down and as clearly as possible, identify your target group.

In Media Spike #45, we noted our real life sample to help identify our computer printer purchaser candidates. We trimmed our candidates from 31 Million to a smaller universe of well educated males living in specific cities with a specific income and age bracket. And that’s a big enough audience to pursue.

Please, please resist the temptation to drill too deeply.
So much data.
So many numbers that could be used.

Age, gender, geography, employment, income bracket, kids in household, marital status, shoppers, savers, total assets with and without real estate, own luxury vehicles, like to golf, or play tennis, or drink tea more than coffee, buy organic dog food, are smokers – or non-smokers, play games online, have devoted more than 30 minutes a day to their commute, like to listen to the radio in the car...and the list goes on, and on, and the trouble is you can get to refine your audience so tightly that:

A) It becomes too small a universe to target with any media, and becomes statistically unreliable

B) It eliminates some serious prospects from your buying list because of one too many filters

C) You put restrictions on your audience which may not be relevant.

One of my favourites was distilling a client’s universe so precisely that it ended up being targeted to:

All Ontario males between the ages of 25 to 34, who were unmarried, had a college+ education, were working in technology fields, who were left-handed, and liked to smoke cigars when they walked their dogs!  The resulting audience size was—well to say laughable is being generous.

You are going to spend the money for your advertising and marketing. By all means do all the testing necessary to refine your messages and media mixes. Certainly use your research tools to help you focus your message.  But don’t get so caught up that it becomes analysis paralysis.

Take the time to learn small to succeed big.

Stay tuned.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca

"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.
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Welcome. Hope it’s a good day.

Flavour of the month?

If you’re around to enjoy all 12 months, that’s not a bad thing. But many campaigns are designed around a 4 or perhaps 8 week cycle and then disappear.

A huge cacophony of noise shouting  ‘I’m Here’, ‘Come Try Me Now’, ‘Limited Time only’, and it may or may not trigger sales, awareness, interest and then marketing flatlines.

No question the money has to be spent smart. Efficiently. Timely and deliver results. But your campaign should be based on specific timing, using best research for the media which can consistently, persistently be in front of your target for as long a period as you’re able.

Today I may not be in the mood to buy your hamburger, or purchase winter tires, or need that cruise vacation, or a new bicycle.  BUT that does not mean your message won’t work next week, or 26 days from now, or 4 months from today. Therein is the challenge for most products.

Keeping your name top of mind to an audience who may not need you at the time you’re advertising. But you need to keep enough profile in front of them so that when the time comes for them to want a hamburger, winter tires, cruise or bicycle, YOU are the provider they think of.

In my experience to date, perhaps yours too, the most successful clients I’ve enjoyed working with had one thing in common – they advertised consistently.

Sometimes different spend levels. Often different media mixes as we were experimenting what worked and what didn’t. Very often different products within the same family.

But they were in the marketplace on an ongoing basis. Their year might look something like: In for 3 months, out for one, in for 2 months, out for ½ month, back in for 3 months, out for one, back in for 1 ½ months.

They were never out of their marketplace long enough to be forgotten. The residual of recognition they had built up carried them through their short hiatus periods.

I grant you not every advertiser has the resources to keep consistent weight up through the year. But importantly, they maintained some presence to a primary market, and kept their message(s) out there on a reliable consistent presence.

When there is a specific seasonality or time sensitivity to your product or event or service, then it makes absolute sense to create awareness in advance of the peak sales period and sustain presence through that flight.

When your campaign is not tied to specific months of the calendar, it can be very advantageous to keep your name, product, service out there on an ongoing basis.

If you roll the dice and spend the lot on a two month campaign in March and April, you’re counting on less than 20% of the year to deliver 100% of your sales and revenue. Better be really, really sure that your two month flight can generate a year’s worth of presence and keep you top of mind for your client in the face of all your competition for a full year until the next campaign.

It’s a lot easier to sell to an existing customer than continually generate new ones. That’s why a sustained presence over the long term will build the brand and increase long-term memory of what you offer.

Do not rely on your clients to remember you. You have to make yourself unforgettable.

Stay tuned.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca

"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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