Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Timing is Everything!

Just yesterday, I got a postcard from an organization I just love doing business with. They raise funds by selling paintings done by art students. Some are reproductions of older and more famous paintings, and some are original.

The best part about some of these reproductions is that they are in the style of the student rather than the original artist. Some may think this is a drawback, but I like to see fresh interpretations of classic art. It tells me that the artists of today are indeed bold and not afraid to put their own spin on the paintings.

I have purchased many of these, but I never knew when I could buy them.

You see, there is no “shop” to purchase them at. They typically set up shop in front of one of the local Sam’s Clubs and sell the paintings for 3 days or so. At one point, my wife and I were so desperate to buy these paintings that we started “staking out” Sam’s in order to find them.

But last time we went there, we were delighted to know they had a mailing list and eagerly signed up for it.

Which brings me to the postcard I received yesterday. It stated:

“We will be at Sam’s Club from September 22-23-24!”

The problem?

I got the postcard on the 25th.

It’s really s shame because I was all ready to go out and spend more money. But this should be a lesson for all aspiring marketers.

Timing is everything. When you have a time-specific campaign, make sure your mail gets to your prospect on time.

To your continued success,

Carlon Haas


Monday, September 25, 2006

Why Most Image Ads are a Waste of Money

Dear Marketing Pros,

Long time, no blogging, huh?

Well, to make a long story short, my business has finally undergone its transformation from marketing consulting/copywriting to leveraging my international experience to help companies that do business in Korea.

But I also made a conscious decision to continue advising people on marketing.

The reason?

No matter what business you’re in, you are in the marketing business. I never stop marketing myself. And I will work more on creating products to help others market themselves more effectively.

That said. I am resuming this blog to dispense marketing advice. But I will no longer be offering my newsletter (haven’t sent one out in months anyway), as I won’t have time for it.

Now that that’s out of the way…I read something really good and a good lesson for all would-be marketing top guns out there in Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column, one of the few sports columns I’ve read religiously since I was overseas.

In today’s column, King sums up one my harping points quite nicely. He says:

“For all you advertisers out there trying to sell things to me and hitting me over the head with commercials hour after hour in sportsland, here are a few tips: I have no idea what Vonage is ... I have no clue why I should carry a Capital One card over any other credit card, and the idiotic commercials with the Norsemen doing stupid, brutal things does not help me understand why that credit card is any better than any other ones”

This is how companies waste money time and time again on image advertising.

Check it out.

I know the commercials King is referring to. In fact, they are pretty entertaining. But look closely at what King writes:

He doesn’t know what Vonage is (if you don’t tell someone what you do, something is wrong)
He doesn’t know why Capital One is better than other credit cards (failure to state USP)

If you write an ad, any ad, and fail to state what you do or why someone should buy from you or someone else, then something is wrong.

It’s one thing to put something out there with “awareness” in mind, but I am “aware” that the city of Phoenix, Arizona exists. But would you expect me to move there if I don’t know anything about it or have even one compelling reason to move there?

Awareness is not enough. So, when you are writing your next ad, keep what Peter King says in mind.

Clearly state:

what your product does
how it benefits your prospects, and
why the prospect should buy your product and not someone else’s.

That’s the minimum. Without that, your ad’s a waste of money.

To your continued success,

Carlon Haas