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A $1600 Mistake....

composite1's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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Here's a good little article I found where a gal trying to advertise her photography services made a typical newb mistake (that many of us made!) Though it's about a photographer, anyone who aspires to be a pro 'vidiot' can easily fall into the same trap. Read and beware....

$1600 Advertising Mistake


Woody Sanford's picture
Last seen: 5 days 1 hour ago
Joined: 10/19/2010 - 7:33am
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It was an interesting piece. There seems to be a lot of movement from old school ad's to new ways of doing things but its somewhat dependant on what industry and what region. I'm sure there are still some that benefit from the Yellow Pages, ex: Pizza delivery places.

Reading the responses to the article, to me showed how limited a print ad can be and how interpretation is completely out of your control once you let it go. Personally I think people are becoming to rely on video to learn about any business and the more effectively you can direct them to some on the net, the better off you are. You can provide more information to cover a wider audience to avoid confusion and at the same time convince them as to way they would give you their money.

Of course I could be wrong and all the time and money I've been spending gettinginto/learning HTML5 and smart phone tech could wind up being just another marketing loss. :-)


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 2 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

here is what she should have done instead:

take $1600.00

1) hit a bunch of garage sales. Buy some stuff.

2) buy some aquariums/cages, a;long with fishies and critters that are easier to breed.

3) place a "Free for the taking" ad in all free local serving online classifieds.

4) set up her phone line to answer with her business name and web address.

5) direct everyone that calls to her website to get her address to pick up thier free item.

6) put a brochure in with each free item.

people love something for nothing.

but there is always a string attached...



Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 12 months 1 day ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

She would have been better off using pay per click on Google. Direct mailings would have been less expensive than a full page advertisement.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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Definitely expecting immediate results with any type of ad is setting yourself up for disappointment. The thing with ads I do my best to get clients to understand is that what they are paying for is the implantation of an idea in potential customer's minds. That's all. When someone decides they need a thing or service and they are thinking about where to get it, the client wants them to think of them. That's no guarantee of any sales, but if it occurs to them to look to the client that's half the battle.

Most people and businesses don't burn cash on so abstract a possibility for a potential sale. Not to mention for every single sale, you needed to reach the eyes and ears of several thousand people first. Print ads are growing less effective particularly for visual media people/businesses because the medium is dying. The tough part about selling a service is people need to either see what gets produced or know someone who has. Like Rob said, 1 $1600 ad wasn't going to do it. That same ad appearing month after month, year after year may have brought in a handful of sales. Probably not enough to justify the cost of the ad space.

To advertise as an independent or insurgent business or single-person shop, you have to go unconventional, widespread and cheap as you can. That and you have to place the ads where potential clients will see your stuff. Putting an ad for your production services here on VM is great for them (as they bring in the ad revenues) but it won't do squat for you because most people who read this are looking to get into the business or already are. Advertising video services in a wedding mag is good if you do wedding videos. However, you'll also have to gauge the type of women who are mag's primary demographic. Your style of videos may not appeal to them or they may find you too high or too low tech for their tastes.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


EarlC's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 10/15/2008 - 1:15am
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I know from personally having been in the published advertising industry that two things matter in print advertising: repetition and page dominance. Budgets for sustaining/maintaining either or both call for a lot of money. But as Rob pointed out and I also know for fact, a single ad regardless of size is like putting all your money on 21 or 00 on the roulette wheel.

Visibility and linkage in print advertising is established by repetition and page dominance (full or half page sizes) and color (huge added expense) is indeed effective ... if you can afford such an ad campaign in the first place.

As Charlie pointed out, a MORE affordable and effective way to spend $1,600 would be to establish a specific interest, limited direct mail campaign focused on exactly the market you seek to attract ... martial arts dojos, dance schools, public school events, youth sport leagues, and of course brides (if that's what you want and you work the local bridal fairs to get HOPEFULLY some decent mailing lists ... not always the case).

I've spent as little as $100 developing basic large (8 1/2 x 5 1/2) postcards, sending out 50 or less to a specific market and getting better than 10 percent response. I've ALWAYS had a R.O.I. and more than recouped my costs with these campaigns. I talk about them a lot, and other video production/marketing strategies on my blog.