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View RussellAP's profile

Advertising doesn't cost...it pays.

by RussellAP
posted 06-21-2012 06:32 PM


50 replies so far

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

635 posts in 2024 days


#1 posted 06-21-2012 06:43 PM

GOOD advertisement pays . . . BAD advertisement costs!

Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Loren's profile

Loren

7825 posts in 2399 days


#2 posted 06-21-2012 06:47 PM

Badly conceived advertising will often fail and lose money. Cost
of creative work is often dwarfed by the investment of media,
so quality creative is worth investing time or money in.

Without a special offer like a coupon, you’ll likely have anemic
results. I’m sorry to tell you this but it is almost always true
in direct response advertising, which is what you are doing.

Split-testing is also most beneficial to making money with
advertising.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View DS's profile

DS

2132 posts in 1171 days


#3 posted 06-21-2012 06:51 PM

Free advertisment is better. Sometime your local TV news will profile local businesses in thier shows. It is worth looking into.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1737 days


#4 posted 06-21-2012 07:29 PM

For three years that is quite the deal!

I hope you come up with a great ad. GOOD advertising pays, mediocre or bad advertising costs.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2966 posts in 1037 days


#5 posted 06-21-2012 07:38 PM

Here is a rough draft of the ad, thanks to vistaprint who goes through pains to make it hard for me to capture the image. lol.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Doss's profile

Doss

779 posts in 1015 days


#6 posted 06-21-2012 07:57 PM

Are you taking suggestions or criticism?

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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Loren

7825 posts in 2399 days


#7 posted 06-21-2012 08:00 PM

I wouldn’t run that. Get yourself a web domain at the very
least. Pale lettering on any background causes catastrophic
drops in reader comprehension. The ad is very difficult to read.

Specific “package deals” with a specific dollar price will tend to
outperform percentage discounts in terms of generating
inquiries. Specificity sells.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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RussellAP

2966 posts in 1037 days


#8 posted 06-21-2012 08:09 PM

Yes I am Doss.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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RussellAP

2966 posts in 1037 days


#9 posted 06-21-2012 08:11 PM

Loren, the picture is a bit dark. any suggestions.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7825 posts in 2399 days


#10 posted 06-21-2012 08:16 PM

Run black text on a white background with a drawing of
the chair style. Put a small color photo in a corner if you
want with no text superimposed on it. The fundamental
thing your reader must instantly understand is that you
have adirondack chairs. Then if they want some they
want to know how much they cost, specifically, and
why they are an excellent value.

Retail furniture is sold on specific price appeals: ”$999 for
this 5 piece Bedroom set!” and so forth. I don’t want to
come off as coarse because I know there is a difference
between artisan work and factory-made, but at the early
stage of even planting the idea in the mind of your reader
of buying your stuff you’ll do very well to tell them up-front
exactly what they’ll get and for how many dollars as
succinctly as possible.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Doss

779 posts in 1015 days


#11 posted 06-21-2012 08:18 PM

”I wouldn’t run that. Get yourself a web domain at the very
least. Pale lettering on any background causes catastrophic
drops in reader comprehension. The ad is very difficult to read.”
Loren

This is why I asked this:

Are you taking suggestions or criticism?

Well, since Loren broke the seal, I guess I’ll partake.

- Your text and background colors are analogous. This is not good for grabbing the attention of people or for visual clarity of the text. Pick something more complementary.
- Try to be a little more consistent with font size. It’s changing too much and in strange places. Is your phone number that much more important than your email?
- Text on top of what you’re showcasing… don’t do it.
- “Year after year”... I’d just say “years”. It’s much cleaner and rolls off the tongue smoother.
- Maybe a font change. That’s personal preference though.
- What’s the DPI limit of the ad? I’d try to get a sharper image. This looks like it’s printed on newsprint already… it may be.

If any of that was offensive or out of line, it’s too late to do anything about it now. I can just say, “Sorry.”

Overall, there’s nothing really wrong with the ad. Just trying to give a few pointers… welcome or not.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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Doss

779 posts in 1015 days


#12 posted 06-21-2012 08:21 PM

Loren, the picture is a bit dark. any suggestions.

I’ll help. It looks dark b/c you have a large band of shadows from the hedges and you have shadows on your chairs and table. Wait for the sun to change position if that’s where you’re going to shoot it or aim some reflectors or artificial lighting that way. Sometimes we’re up at the crack of dawn to get the shot we want so the sun is right. Sometimes where out waiting for the moment the sun is about to set. Location and lighting dictate that.

If you’re shooting with a camera that can do exposure adjustments, use them. Or, leave the shutter open a little bit longer. Or, increase the ISO a little further. Umm… or you can try using photo-editing software. It takes way less time to adjust on a camera though. Also, use a tripod.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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Doss

779 posts in 1015 days


#13 posted 06-21-2012 08:29 PM

I also agree with Loren on the pricing. If I see an ad for something and it doesn’t list a price, I usually guess that it costs too much especially if they’re giving me a discount. If you could run several ads, you could better examine your market and how they react to more straight-forward pricing and discount unlisted pricing.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2847 posts in 999 days


#14 posted 06-21-2012 08:32 PM

Please do not take this the wrong way. I am a very jaded person because in my position, I get business cards, ads, flyers, and direct marketing junk thrown at me every day. Things I instantly ignore:

Specialty fonts. Instant trip to the circular file. It could be a 5,000 off voucher to woodcraft and I wouldn’t even read it.
Light colored fonts pretty much any background.
Fonts over or through the image. This can be done, but highlight your furniture, use the other space for writing.
Free email addresses (gmail, hotmail, etc). That tells people you are not serious. Get your own domain and get your email hosted
No website or a really long obscure website I will never type out

Suggestions – I am not in advertising but, and especially furniture, I like to see something that shows scale. You cannot tell how big or small those chairs are. Add some models having fun. If people are having fun, it must be good, right?
You have a facebook – add it with the proper identifier. Get a twitter and G+ and add that too. Use the same name and ad a “follow me here for deals!” or something like that.
K.I.S.S. (means keep it simple, stupid. I am not calling you stupid, that is just a saying) Don’t tell me to enjoy my evening outside! :) The mosquitoes here will pick you up off the ground after 7pm. What happens if I want to enjoy it during the day?
Add a package price.
Offer an additional military discount. that goes a long way with a lot of people – even non-service members and is the right thing to do.

Just some tips that would appeal to me. I am not in advertising though so take this as a consumer review. By the way, those chairs look awesome. I hope you do really well.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1601 days


#15 posted 06-21-2012 09:05 PM

Good stuff.

I’ll just add one point: The very first thing to do is to ascertain who is your target market and do they go out to eat? And if so, where? How often?

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View DS's profile

DS

2132 posts in 1171 days


#16 posted 06-21-2012 09:25 PM

Russ, the yellow text is very hard me to read, especially against the busy background of leaves.
Complicate that with the typically dim lighting of a restaurant setting and no one can read your ad.
I like the idea of showing your furniture in a natural setting, but, maybe plain text below a photo works better.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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Puzzleman

346 posts in 1695 days


#17 posted 06-21-2012 09:49 PM

My question is : Can you change the ad over the three years or are you stuck with the same one?

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2966 posts in 1037 days


#18 posted 06-21-2012 09:53 PM

Ok, is this one better.
Remember the table will be dark red around the ad.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2847 posts in 999 days


#19 posted 06-21-2012 09:59 PM

Much better, still too wordy though. If it were me, I would put:

Outdoor Furniture Design
Adirondack chairs and custom patio furniture
Long lasting <that> beauty and quality, made locally in Lees Summit
Chair and table packages start at $$$$

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Loren's profile

Loren

7825 posts in 2399 days


#20 posted 06-21-2012 09:59 PM

These days many people will go straight to a website via mobile
device so the whole idea of trying to sell your work with printed
pictures is becoming dated. In some areas mobile internet may
be unavailable, but the affluent under-50s who buy custom furniture
often carry smart phones and love to use them, especially men.

What this means is that people won’t be writing down your
phone number or email address much of the time. They certainly
won’t be calling you from the restaurant. What they will be
doing is punching your URL into their smart phones to look at
right then or bookmark for later.

The trick then, in this marketer’s opinion, is to give readers of
the ad as exciting a reason as possible to go to the website
and bookmark it. If you can collect an email or SMS number
in order to promote the shows where you’ll be exhibiting and
make special seasonal offers, all the better, but this is beyond
the scope of writing a print ad.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Loren

7825 posts in 2399 days


#21 posted 06-21-2012 10:06 PM

Why is it long lasting? Is it the special wood? The special finish?
The special joinery? Does it last longer than cheaper alternatives?
How much longer? What’s the guarantee?

Answering those kinds of questions as succinctly and as
early as possible in your ad will likely get more traction than
“Outdoor Furniture Design” which is what you do, but not
a selling appeal. Nobody wants the design itself, they
want the end product that lasts. Your designs may be
good but I’ll wager it’s quality and value that will be your
selling appeals for this product range.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Gatorjim

206 posts in 956 days


#22 posted 06-21-2012 11:55 PM

Speaking of smart phones how about a Qr barcode. Thats one of those little squares that you can scan with your phone and it takes you to a website. I for one scan them all the time just because I can.

-- My theroy in wood working will be. If I'm not enjoying doing it i won't do it.

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waho6o9

5294 posts in 1328 days


#23 posted 06-22-2012 01:06 AM

Good call on the Qr code.

Outstanding advice folks.

Congrats on the advertising gig Russell and may you have continued success my friend.

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1737 days


#24 posted 06-22-2012 02:20 AM

I agree on having a website, even if it is just a basic 3 page site with your phone number and some gallery pictures of other furniture you’ve made. I am likely (as a person who falls in your general target market) to take notes on it over my iphone while at the restaurant so I can check it out later.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2249 posts in 2298 days


#25 posted 06-22-2012 03:53 AM

Wow some really great input here. And Loren and Doss among others made some great points.

As for me, I am no marketing guru but I am on a successful path at the current moment and have good and bad experience to draw from. I have paid for ads that brought no work at all. I have utilized CL quite extensively with a fair amount of success. I no longer use CL because our current work load is maxed out and CL attracts more budget minded customers.

Sorry but I would be skeptical about your choice of paid advertisement. Most custom woodworking and furnishings are very costly to manufacture properly while turning a profit which means most woodworkers would want to reach a rather affluent population. You would need to assess whether or not the customer frequenting the resturuant is affluent enough to afford your product. Me for example, I work hard and make a fair living for my family but very likely would not be able to afford your work. So for me enjoying a great meal at the town’s favorite resturuant would help you none as I would assume I cannot afford you anyway, plus I have never been one to be drawn to table advertisements. I think they are more the equivalent of modern internet spam. In today’s period, I am more interested in focusing my attention with my dinner companion or if alone my smart fone.
Things I have found successful:

Cold calling builders gave me some success and great ROI since time invested was minimal.

Post card/flyers strategically placed would be low cost while providing decent ROI.

Our web site combined with SEO MARKETING provides us the greatest amount of customers. Referrals are growing for our business and that provides us the best ROI. We also benefit from walk in traffic.

Also public road signage could be great in the best locations.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4506 posts in 1131 days


#26 posted 06-22-2012 05:59 AM

GatorJim beat me to it but there is no way I would run that ad without a QR code. Most everyone has a smartphone and a QR code will take them directly to your website or at a minimum, display your contact information in their phone so they can take it with them from the restaurant.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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redryder

2233 posts in 1853 days


#27 posted 06-22-2012 06:25 AM

So a guy walks into a restaurant. Sits down and to the upper right of his plate is a picture of wooden lawn furniture. The furniture is covered with or surrounded by words. What makes this guy look closer??

1. He has recently thought about buying lawn furniture
2. Know’s someone with lawn furniture who is really happy with it
3. He’s had an experience with lawn furniture that was either positive or negative

What really sells advertising??
Sex and Funny…..........

A leggy blonde sipping an iced tea next to her handsome male friend would probably hold my attention for quite some time as I was sitting at that restaurant. I don’t care what wood it is made of. I don’t care what kind of joinery it has. I don’t even care about the finish. I just know I can get 15% off and look as good and comfortable as those two people sitting in those chairs.

4000 people a week for three years at the most popular restaurant in the city is a lot of folks staring at your chairs.
Go for it…................

-- mike...............

View Loren's profile

Loren

7825 posts in 2399 days


#28 posted 06-22-2012 06:30 AM

...’cept it’s not the “man of the house” who picks out the
furniture.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Jerry

2249 posts in 2298 days


#29 posted 06-22-2012 11:12 AM

I would add that the price you are paying is fairly good. Breaks down to 430 per year or about 35 per month. And if you can turn a profit from it within the 3 years then it pays for itself.

I would stress not putting all your eggs in one basket as far as marketing goes. Be creative and find 6 or so marketing options that are low cost but effective. There are many options out there.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View waho6o9's profile (online now)

waho6o9

5294 posts in 1328 days


#30 posted 06-22-2012 12:44 PM

Qr (quick response) bar code.

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/29449/How-to-Create-a-QR-Code-in-4-Quick-Steps.aspx

A plethora of info when googling how to make your own Qr code, very informative.

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waho6o9

5294 posts in 1328 days


#31 posted 06-22-2012 01:04 PM

http://coderqr.com Make your own QRcode with website on the left. Easy peasy.

There’s mine, theoretically, LOL

View JusticeBeaver's profile

JusticeBeaver

26 posts in 1259 days


#32 posted 06-22-2012 02:50 PM

Hey Russel, I sell advertising for a living. That means I see a lot of stinky ads and a handful of great ones. You’ve gotten some great advice on creative for your ad. And the advice that you need a website so that you can use things like Google Ad Words is solid. Might be instructive to consider what comes up first when someone searches the terms “patio furniture” or “adirondack chair” from a computer in your town. If you can get into the first page of results (first 3-4 really) then all of a sudden you’re the go to guy for that item!

I’m going to be a disenting opinion on the QR code. We saw a lot of codes in ads when they first came out but on the whole the result was not sending a lot of traffic to their sites. My guess is that it’s too much of a hassle and takes of valuable space on the ad that could be used for SELLING. Better to include an emotional picture in the ad. But it doesn’t have to be sexy or funny (although funny helps). As Loren mentioned the man of the house isn’t likely the decider on this purchase.

-- Lonnie - Peachtree Corners, GA

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JusticeBeaver

26 posts in 1259 days


#33 posted 06-22-2012 02:55 PM

Do you get to change out the ad over that three years? People start to ignore a particular creative fairly quickly. If you could change it out every 6 months you’d get a much higher return. With online banners (our speciality, but not our only media) we’ll see strong initial results taper off but if we can persuade the client to change the creative even on a monthly basis the results (we measure click through rate) return nearly to what they were at the beginning of the campaign.

We work mostly in travel and tourism. Otherwise I’d be happy to sell you some ads! (just kidding)

-- Lonnie - Peachtree Corners, GA

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RussellAP

2966 posts in 1037 days


#34 posted 06-22-2012 03:44 PM

These ads are built into the table top, that’s why they run three years.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View dpoisson's profile

dpoisson

184 posts in 1665 days


#35 posted 06-22-2012 03:59 PM

You know what would be cool: Have one of those square barcodes (QR codes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_Code) which contains your email adresse and web site.

For those young folks with intelligent phones, they could simply scan the code and could immediatly go on your website or email you without having to type your (web or email) address.

edit: Doh, should of read every post before posting!

-- http://picasaweb.google.ca/dpoisson

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DrDirt

2597 posts in 2493 days


#36 posted 06-22-2012 04:37 PM

Get the QR barcode made into coasters for the restaurant…. with a ”Scan me and see what the fuss is about” tagline to drive traffic to your website.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

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Gatorjim

206 posts in 956 days


#37 posted 06-22-2012 10:52 PM

JusticeBeaver – I am sure that you know a million times more then I do about advertising but it seems to me the the tiny amount of space that a QR code takes up would be worth it. It makes a weallth of info about the product avaliable that the add never could hold.

So since the folks that make virus’s make virus protection and pop up makers make pop up blocker’s do you make banner blocker’s ? LOL just teasing with you buddy keep them comming.

-- My theroy in wood working will be. If I'm not enjoying doing it i won't do it.

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DS

2132 posts in 1171 days


#38 posted 06-22-2012 11:18 PM

Russ, I like the direction this is going!
You could encourage people to scan the QR code for the 15% discount.
I LIKE IT!

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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dhazelton

1278 posts in 1048 days


#39 posted 06-22-2012 11:41 PM

“I am not in advertising ….” Well, I used to be, and this is exactly why I’m not anymore. Everyone and their spouse and kids and dog walker was a critic.

Often what sells more than specific creative is frequency. Well, three years certainly gives you frequency. I’d say keep the message simple and the call to action as large as possible. If you can tie in an offer to the fact that they are eating in that restaurant all the better (buy some chairs, get a gift certificate back for the restaurant). Don’t let people drive you nuts here. Just tell people what you have and how much it costs them (or they will save). K.I.S.S.

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waho6o9

5294 posts in 1328 days


#40 posted 06-22-2012 11:41 PM

Scan the Qrcode for your di$count.

Good call DS251. Can you hear it at the dinner table?

Oh honey, scan the code to see what the discount is.

View Luke's profile

Luke

260 posts in 1438 days


#41 posted 06-22-2012 11:48 PM

As someone who works with Marketing and Advertising, this is a great read! Spot on advice.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7825 posts in 2399 days


#42 posted 06-22-2012 11:57 PM

Will the QR code scan through the glass?

I don’t know but it would be relevant.

Personally I think pinning a special offer on scanning the QR code
will alienate many people. My phone may be able to do it but
since I don’t care to read the big direction book or play with
it for hours on end to explore its features I have no idea how
to scan a QR code. Such an offer would alienate me.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Gatorjim

206 posts in 956 days


#43 posted 06-23-2012 12:34 AM

Loren I had the same thougt about the Qr under glass I made one (it was a snap) I’ll try it under glass and see
if it works. Ok I just tested it under glass it worked.

-- My theroy in wood working will be. If I'm not enjoying doing it i won't do it.

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Rick M.

4506 posts in 1131 days


#44 posted 06-23-2012 07:30 AM

…’cept it’s not the “man of the house” who picks out the furniture.

You know what they use in advertising directed at women? Attractive women.

If you spend too much time worry about what will alienate some people you will end up with a boring ad that will alienate all the people.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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caroladacey

2 posts in 915 days


#45 posted 06-23-2012 10:03 AM

I quite think that it must cost on good advertisement but it depend upon the type of adv.

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becikeja

335 posts in 1564 days


#46 posted 06-23-2012 11:09 AM

Hello Russell,

What is the objective of your add? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to email you? Do you want them to know that you can build to match existing furniture?, Do you want them to enjoy their evening in a chair? I see too many objectives, simplify, simplify, simplify. Peoples attention spans are short, and they will not focus on multiple things. In fact most people reading this have already stopped. Think about what action you want them to take? I would suggest 2. 1) You want them to know the name of your company and 2) you want them drawn to your website. I assume you are reaching out to an audience that has a little extra cash in their pocket to spend on custom made furniture. This audience statistically has smart phones. Take advantage of this, people love to play with their phones, build a website where you can show multiple examples of your work, and design it to be seen on a smart phone. You can easily provide pricing examples (that are not fixed for 3 years), make the site interactive. The longer you can keep them on your site the better your chances of making a sale. If their waiting for their meal at the table you have a captive audience, this could be a great investment. Now how do you get them to the site? With today’s technology it’s simple, use a QR code (The black squares with all the dots and squiggles). No need to type out long website addresses. But some will state you must have the website for the people that don’t have smart phones. Forget about it, target your adds to those who have cash to spend on high end outdoor furniture. Statistics show they do have smart phones. To sum all this up. Focus – Simplify

Good Luck,

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

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dhazelton

1278 posts in 1048 days


#47 posted 06-23-2012 12:34 PM

Oh, I forgot to suggest…if you can do a gift card back to the restaurant (in lieu of just a discount), talk to the management and see if you can buy $20 gift cards for say $10. They get repeat business that way and everyone’s happy.

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waho6o9

5294 posts in 1328 days


#48 posted 06-23-2012 06:04 PM

Nice reciprocity dhazelton, good call.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7825 posts in 2399 days


#49 posted 06-23-2012 10:04 PM

I should note here that some of the contributors have greater
experience and direct knowledge of advertising principles than
some others.

I don’t want you to waste your money. It is very easy to blow
money on media if you don’t have a good ad.

Ask me how I know that if you must.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Doss

779 posts in 1015 days


#50 posted 06-25-2012 02:36 PM

“I am not in advertising ….” Well, I used to be, and this is exactly why I’m not anymore. Everyone and their spouse and kids and dog walker was a critic.dhazelton

Isn’t that the truth? If I applied that to my current career though (software engineer), I’d never get anything done. Any creative field is going to be wide open to critics and people trying to give advice. Don’t think software is a creative field? Well, I won’t even bother to explain that one.

The tie-back suggestion is a great idea BTW. The same can be said about the increased frequency. It’s the reason why lawyers run so many commercials a day, have so much billboard space, and so many print ads. It’s not necessarily because they’re better than other lawyers; it’s because those things increase the number of clients just by making them recognizable by what they provide.

The ad should present some call to action to get the audience to do something that they might not normally do. Ever wonder why those stupid infomercials and “as seen on TV” things work? They propose that for a limited time you’re going to get this awesome deal. You better act now or they’ll all be gone or you’ll have to pay regular price which is 4x more than this special offer. People laugh about those things and say, “Wow. What sucker would fall for that? I’ve seen this same commercial for the last 2 months.”

Well, people do fall for it. That’s why they keep running them.

On the ad, simple design with a clear message works best. What do you want them to do? Tell them. Also, try not to get them to figure something out. I think I’ve said it before, if you make people guess what you offer or the price range, they often will opt out of that interaction based solely on perceived cost. This is not true of all products, but it does hold true for things that already have a higher price associated with them (such as furniture).

Just some thoughts. Take them how you want them and hopefully your ad will be a success.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

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