The Power of 26 – A Return to Form

This is a wonderfully refreshing Homecoming. Whenever you may see this, thank you for coming back.  I know I haven’t written in a while, but heck, neither has Shakespeare, and we were in grade school together.

Truly this is a wonderful in and out platform and I’m grateful for the exposure and the flexibility to chime in when I can, or not. It’s about 16 months since we said hello. I’ve missed you. But I’ve kept busy. Other writings have been required. I am going to share these in sequence as they are among the best ‘Professional’ writings I believe I’ve composed.

Some followers know I am a Media guy. Planning and buying advertising space and time in newspapers, radio, on-line, TV, outdoor and elsewhere as needed. A professional shopper negotiating for best advertising value for all my clients.

Recently I composed a series of the Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising and How To Avoid Them.  These have come full circle. Starting as Ten bullet points, to becoming a series of Ten videos posted on YouTube, my website, Linked In, then audio on Soundcloud, and transcribed to text to be picked up by an OnLine industry magazine and now as full fledged articles from 800 to 1,800 words each.

Your kind indulgence, I shall begin posting these perhaps once or twice a week.

I truly discovered The POWER of 26 in this exercise. I hope you enjoy the style and content and as always you are welcome to share and refer. These were taken from my videos, so you may encounter references which reflect that.

Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising & How To Avoid Them
Text from Video #1 – Ad Testing & Tracking

Greetings and thanks very much for joining me today. This is Dennis Kelly of First Impressions Media.

I’m so delighted you could join me today. It strikes me that there are quite a number of opportunities out there for you to showcase your product or service using just about any form of media, and that’s fantastic. There’s, as you have probably discovered,
certainly no shortage of media players and opportunities. However, what I found the most powerful is utilizing all of those resources to their respective individual and then collective advantages.

Sometimes campaigns work wonderfully well using the more traditional radio, television, newspaper, magazine, maybe out of home advertising. More recently some advertisers have had some success with one or more of the social media platforms and that’s terrific. I think they should all be embraced and all form part of your media mix.

Please make no mistake that it should genuinely be a mix of media because you never know exactly which particular component is going to pull the trigger and get your target group to say…..That’s for me, that’s the product that I want!

Your service is exactly what I’m after. You want to make sure you give yourself every opportunity to be seen and to be heard to promote whatever it is, whatever service or product you have out there. You want to stand head and shoulders above the crowd, in front of as many of the right crowds as possible.

So, what I’d like to share with you starting today is a series of ten of the Top Ten Mistakes in Advertising that I’ve seen through these three decades of being a professional media planner and buyer, and share some secrets and some tips on how to avoid getting into those very same advertising challenges.

So we’re going to space this out as a series of 10, done one at a time, today being the intro will perhaps be a tad longer I do hope you will you will indulge me but let’s getstarted with Mistake Number One.

And you see ladies and gentlemen, the single biggest mistake I see repeated over and over and over again is the failure to Test and Measure your ads. All too often too many advertisers simply write a cheque for the ads in the newspaper, online, TV, radio, regardless of the media and simply hope for the best.

Many of you will attest, hope marketing really doesn’t pay an awful lot of bills.
You wouldn’t put your own product, tablelamps, lawnmowers, keyboards, post hole diggers, floor tiles, into the marketplace without putting them through an extensive battery of tests to see if they can live up to your standards.

You’re testing the ad that sells the product and, unfortunately, maybe you’ve encountered this yourself, or you know friends of a friend of a friend who had this happen to them.But they put all of their muscle into one media without finding out how effective it could be on a smaller scale and all they heard was crickets. That’s a devastating sound when you’re in advertising, so here’s what I want you to do.

Here is how you fix this: To identify each and every ad you place in any and all media.  What? Dennis, identify everything? Absolutely!

You see, what you want to do is see how well every single piece of creative is performing in each magazine, website, leaderboard, big box, outdoor ad, in every radio commercial. You should have, an identifier, a tag of any description that’s exclusive to that ad so you can go back and say we invested X number of dollars in this media and it brought us two returns, five returns, a thousand returns, whatever.

The performance helps you to know exactly how well that worked. What it does is it helps you on the future campaigns by identifying for you what has been your best performer. It challenges you to come up with even better ads, better media mixes, better dollar spending, because now you know what’s performing.

Dear readers this is not new. Nor is it rocket science. But it takes time and energy
and patience which is, unfortunately, a little bit lacking in too many arenas. So when you’re preparing your ads make sure that all of that creative excellence that’s been developed has a chance to be evaluated and measured. You want to go back and track it so you can see how engaged your audiences are, how many times did they purchase the product, how many times did they go to the website, how many times that they raised their hand to say,
More. Hey I’m over here. I really like what you’re selling.
Show me more, tell me more. Give me some more information.

That’s what you want to deliver. So code your ad with the coupon exclusive to that campaign or magazine. Create a different URL or even a 1-800 number that can be tracked and monitored for every single ad.

You want to see how each ad is doing. Then, only then can you tell if it’s
working and giving you a return on the investment.

If it sounds like an awful lot of work, well you’re right. Yes. You’re right, it is. But you are setting a template that will help you refine every ad moving forward. And if you get it right, right out of the gate, then kudos to you and Congratulations.

But in the majority there’s going to be some refinement, some improvements, some
opportunity to tweak subsequent ads that says we, we know we’ve got to improve this line or this copy.

There is a famous advertising gentleman by the name of John Caples who was an aggressive and prolific advertising tester, way before the Internet came onboard.
He discovered that through all of his testing, one ad, by changing the headline performed 19 and 1/2 times better than every other ad that he had produced.

Same product, same newspaper, same service, same price point, all he did was change the headline and by changing multiple times he found one that struck gold.
You want a good return? Two times, three times better? Try nineteen and a half times better! That’s the difference that testing delivers.
Please remember when you’re testing there is no failure, there’s only results.

So here’s the strategy you might like, to give yourself a better return on investment.
One enterprising client in my history treated it this way. Because he came from a financial background each ad to him was considered different mutual fund in his portfolio and he named them before they went into the media. Now, because they were coded in names he liked, he was able to remember them but he was able to soon see how well each of his investments, as he put it, was performing. He would put more money against the ads which were performing, and changed any ads which were underperforming to a new one, to keep testing. To make sure of any money coming in he watched very carefully all of the money that was going out.

So my message to you for tip number one is to Track Every Single Ad you prepare.
It’s the only way to accurately measure what’s working.

Thank you I look forward to you seeing you on video number two.

You can view Video # One at these links:

Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising & How To Avoid Them

(https://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca/top-10-mistakes—videos-by-dennis.html)

OR

Top Ten Mistakes In Advertising and How To Avoid Them – Video # 1 of 10

 

 

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Thank you. It feels amazing to be back here again.  Be well.

 

Dennis Kelly
President
First Impressions Media
www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca

Ph & Fax: 905-427-3819
E-mail: dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca

 

 

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The Power of 26 – A to Z Connects You and Me

Never ceases to amaze me.

The infinite power you hold in your fingertips.

Wielding a firm grasp of the alphabet and the talent which
sends the reader to the skies with unparalleled joy and vision
of the landscape you have painted.
Artistry goes beyond the brush my friends. I have tremendous
admiration and a touch of envy for those gifted individuals who can
paint a portrait, landscape, emotion with the right colours and textures.
Equally it is hard to not be impressed by someone who draws well.

Regrettably talents which have eluded me to date.

For better or worse, my artistic passion was and remains the alphabet.
Or perhaps more correctly how we use those letters to form the words
which guide our heads and hearts.

Last night I stepped somewhat out of my comfort zone in presenting
a new speech format.

I was a ‘guest’ in a simulated TV interview and my ‘host’ asked
me 1/2 dozen or so questions. I learned, in reviewing my tape,
how important brevity is. My answers, while solid, were too long.

It was a departure from form which to my surprise, unnerved me
more than I imagined it might.

Change is always scary. And so is staying in the same place.
What last night’s experience taught me was the importance
to relax, have a conversation not one-upmanship with my host.

Several individuals commented how well they thought I did.
I ‘reached them’, engaged the audience and all those things that make
you warm and memorable to your listeners.

No doubt about it dear readers, If It Ain’t On The Page, It Ain’t On The Stage.

It became evident to me the importance of knowing the words of my
answers ahead of time…but the most startling moment was my spontaneity
when asked an unplanned question. And my tongue did not desert me.
The words were right where I needed them and I was
the master of the moment just as I needed to be.

Our ability to convey a thought or emotion on paper is, I believe, a great talent
in and of itself. Many people know how to write. Fewer are writers. Those who
are, are revealed quickly, as their words explode from the pages, and resonate
with the reader long after the passage was written.

As I continue to discover in my professional capacity, the carriers of these thoughts
and words are endlessly evolving.  Newspapers and magazines – The Print Media- are
being hastened to the sidelines it seems, by the masses who can’t wait to usher in a world
of exclusively digital communication.
This may or may not be a good thing. Every change means leaving something behind.
Sometimes the items brought forward are less valuable than they seemed.

The mere act of me connecting my A to Z’s with you through this electronic post
is proof enough that change is always constant. In another age, I would be hard
pressed to reach you as openly or as inexpensively as this media allows.

As you march your letters forward into your daily challenges, battles, praise,
I implore you to always remember the magnificent power you have at your fingertips.
The Power of 26.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca
http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca

 

The Power of 26 – Brevity

We live in an accelerated world.

A breakneck pace each day.

Deadlines galore.

Pressure builds.

Be better. Stronger. Faster. – NOW. We are racing to outperform the Six Million Dollar
Man,
portrayed by actor Lee Majors, in the 1980’s.

To accomplish such astounding feats, we find ourselves shortening everything. 

Long flowing eloquent correspondence, replete with smart descriptive informative
sales copy gives way to ROTFLMAO, or other equally muted descriptions which
pass for communication.

Brevity communicates volumes without writing them. We live in an age of unmatched
speed for delivering our thoughts. Our trade for this speed is the necessity to trim
everything to initials.
Text messaging it seems lives and dies by a race to shorten words to letters or symbols. 
The speed demand is insatiable.

Genuinely I applaud and respect those few who master brevity and clarity in one blow.

In a recent blog, I commented on the power of immortal words such as those conveyed by
Mr. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. A mere 272 words, he moved a nation for generations.

I think even his extraordinary writing talents would be hard pressed to fit that into
a 140 Character tweet.

Certainly I recognize not all of us are imbued with writing talents.  By his own admission,
prolific writer Edgar Allan Poe confessed that ‘writing is slavery’, in his ongoing quest that
every syllable be exact. Every nuance of his writing be noted. 

Few of us now have the time or inclination to devote ourselves to such noble endeavours as
improving our communication.

Equally I acknowledge that not all short messages are good. Or correct. Or engaging.

On the flip side, a story well told will engage the reader regardless of length.

Many of the most prolific authors would disdain a word limit if it compromised the
character development. 

I exhort you please, to take full advantage of the 26 letters and use them well.
If you can be crisp, engaging, brilliant, relevant, specific in 10 words, you won’t need 100.

Be certain your reader understands fully your intent or your brevity has just compromised
the time you saved.

We have the most incredible tool and force at our fingertips each day. The Power of Words.

And we diminish them for the sake of speed. Such a travesty.

The words we live by are our culture, our lifestyle and for some, our livelihood in multiple formats.
To see them reduced to initials and phonetics does such an injustice to the force they hold and
the dynamism they spread.

Readers, please understand, from the outset, I applaud those who can tighten the alphabet
to turn novels into paragraphs. Corporate mission statements into memorable taglines.

Convey the essence of a product or service to a few words.
Those are the gems. The ones that remain with us.

My career to date has seen me the composer of several ads, but more often the custodian
of their placement. Computer products in newspaper and radio ads. Financial and travel
service ads on TV for 30 or even 15 seconds. Outdoor posters with few words and a seven
second viewing span.  The placement of all these has enhanced my appreciation for the
talent which transforms a seven page creative brief into 3 or 4 words.

That brevity is brilliance. The distillation of a hundred pages of attributes.

Reams of pages about the technology embedded in a product.

All that, condensed to a memorable message, is the power of Brevity.

The Power of 26.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca
http://www.firstimpressionsmedia.ca