Somerset Accountant Reports On: Making Your Ad Reps Sweat a Little

Somerset Accountant Reports On: Making Your Ad Reps Sweat a Little

September 12, 2011

“You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still don’t win, at least you can be satisfied that you’ve tried. If you don’t accept failure as a possibility, you don’t set high goals, you don’t branch out, you don’t try – you don’t take the risk.”
– Rosalynn Carter

Labor Day weekend is past…but no rest for the business owner, right? Sure…you may have taken some time off on Monday, but chances are (if you’re anything like me, or most of my business owner clients), it sure is hard to take a “vacation” from your family’s livelihood, right? Well, as usual, I’m here and armed with some strategy which–when you implement it–will help out your income.

But first, since I’m running the risk of ruffling a few more feathers with that subject line, I’d like to give my important disclaimer:There are LOADS of ethical and trustworthy ad reps–I don’t intend, with this week’s Note, to impugn an entire profession. Just the scoundrels.

Chances are, you know a few, as do I. And look, again, I’m just passing on to you information I’ve discovered to be true. I don’t pretend to be a “guru”, but nor do I want to be a victim — and I believe in the power of sharing strategies that work with my friends. In my opinion, we’re moving away from the era of being “closed” with one another, towards the era of sharing, and openness. So, in that spirit…Mark Clark’s “Real World” Business Strategy Squeezing Your Ad Reps

Have you heard that old line from your ad rep: “People Need To See Your Ad 8-11 Times Before They Remember It” ? Fine, but here’s the TRUTH: If your ad does not work one time, it won’t work eleven times. This myth is leveraged to sell all sorts of advertising space and campaigns that are a waste of money.  And because the people who tell you this ALSO tell you that you can’t measure advertising, you have no way of knowing whether they’re right or wrong. So … you pull out your checkbook, spend a bunch of hard-earned revenue, and you have no idea what you got back. That’s not a great feeling, right?

Here’s how you combat it:

First, figure out how much response you need to make it pay off.  Play with the elements of your ad, running it in an inexpensive place, until it gets the response you need — THEN run it 8-11 times.

Second, figure out how to measure the response. (I consistently urge business owners toward this). When you measure the effectiveness of advertising — and systematically improve it — you’ll discover that some ads produce 20 times as much results as others.  When you discover formulas that truly work, you won’t just run them 11 times, you might run them for years.  And you’ll make profits all along the way. And when you actually test marketing messages for performance and experiment with them, you’ll find that tiny changes in wording have ENORMOUS effects on response.

It’s absolutely scary to think about what can happen if you’re not testing things.  And it’s absolutely incredible what happens when you are. Adwords and Facebook ads enable you to bid on any words or phrases you want, have your ads ONLY show up when people search, and you only pay when people click and visit your website. It’s hands-down the FASTEST way to generate sales and sales leads. But it’s also an awesome way to test advertising messages in an inexpensive manner. And the even-better news is: 95% of companies don’t test their advertising. Your competitors almost certainly don’t.  If you do, you have a clear advantage over them. Don’t be a victim.