The purpose of Advertising Magic is to show you advertising methods which have already been proven effective… techniques that not only produce prospects, but qualified prospects… the kind that buy because they want what is being offered, not because they are pressed into buying it. Marketing costs can run up to 50% of your sales and every penny of your advertising/marketing costs may be justified. However, many small business owners/managers, simply don’t know what all these costs are.
If you are to get the most from your advertising budget, you must establish objectives for each of your marketing programs and then carefully measure the results. The many details involved in measuring the results is why so many operators never bother with this phase of their business. But without some type of measurements, you cannot hope to improve the effectiveness of your products or sales and increase the return on your advertising outlays. Knowing what is really happening to your marketing expenditures takes you a long way down the road to improving the effectiveness of your marketing program. But it takes work to learn what is really happening. Let’s look at an example of advertising analysis:
The Smith Company sold a line of home improvement products. Annual sales were several thousands of rands each year. The company spent an amount equivalent to 10% of sales to advertise its products. Although Smith’s management had never analyzed the effectiveness of the advertising expenditure, they considered it a necessary part of their marketing program.
A new marketing manager felt that the company could probably get more for its advertising money. Upon analyzing the costs and results of the programs, the manager made a number of interesting discoveries. The amount of money spent was divided evenly among three publications. However, inquiries by one of them outnumbered inquiries generated by each of the others by almost two to one. Analysis of the readers of each of the three publications revealed that the readers of the publication which produced the most inquires were much more closely aligned with Smith’s typical customer than those of the other two publications. As a result of these findings, the marketing manager increased the advertising in the most effective publication and stopped using the other two. In the process, advertising expenses were cut by nearly 50%, while the number of inquiries generated actually increased.
A second major finding made by the new marketing manager was that all the company’s advertising featured the entire product line and stressed primarily the quality features of the company’s products, rather than the benefits users might expect from them. Based on these discoveries, the manager began advertising only selected high volume items. New ads stopped stressing quality and began to emphasize user benefits instead. By carefully watching sales over a period of time, the marketing manager saw that the products advertised showed substantial sales volume increases. These increases more than offset the sales declines among the already low volume items for which advertising had been discontinued. Although this approach worked for Smith, it should be noted that, depending on competition, customer desires, and other factors, it may at times be a sound strategy to promote an entire line.
A questionnaire can also be sent to customers, or even prospects, to discover facts as to why the customer buys or not, and other information that could be of use in future marketing. It should also be taken into account that any ad that pays its way can’t be all that bad. At least you don’t lose any money and you may gain a good prospect list for follow-up.
Let us suppose for a minute that you have been in business for short period of time. When you started, you were well aware of the fact that one of your most important assets is your posting list, (subject to your business selling goods). During your time in business, you will develop a posting list, or should, small as it might be. This list should be separate as to prospects (those who did not buy) and customers (those who spent money for your products). These lists should be used and cleaned regularly. Cleaning is accomplished by sending a current offer to the entire list (after testing a small portion to make sure the offer will pay out) and by removing those names that have moved or otherwise where mail is returned as undeliverable. The list of customers should be used as often as you have anything new to offer. You have paid good money to find interesting prospects and many have proven to be buyers. They are to be tested as money in the bank. Former customers will know your company and your service. Products related to those which the customer bought originally may be of interest to many of your satisfied customers. And, as we began, follow up marketing requires the same careful measure of costs, including literature, postage, labor, etc. in relation to returns and profits.
A certain enterprise ran an ad in the mail order section of several mechanics magazines and then ran the same ad in several publications devoted exclusively to mail order. The response from the mail order magazines cost them almost one R10.00 each, while the responses from the mail order section of the mechanics magazines only cost about half that amount. However, they made no sales to the responses they received from the mechanics magazines, while the mail order magazines brought in more than four times their entire advertising and fulfillment cost. At first, it appeared that all the money they spent for advertising, literature, postage, labor, etc. in the mechanics magazines was wasted. However, a follow-up to that mailing list with another product proved profitable. Because they spent the time and effort to really look into what was happening with their marketing program, they made a profit on advertising that otherwise would have turned out to be a loss.
One of the easiest ways to make money is to sell something that is in demand, something that can be advertised and sold profitably and quickly. New ideas to move merchandise are being tested daily and those which are repeated by the same advertiser must be profitable, otherwise they would not be used. Watch for ads that are repeated and try to apply them to your line of merchandise or service.