Why Newspaper Advertising Can Still Beat Social Media Hands Down

With all the interest in social media, especially the big boys like Facebook, a business-owners could be forgiven for thinking that old-fashioned types of advertising like newspaper advertising and direct mail no longer work or are no longer worth doing. There are now thousands of people calling themselves “internet marketing consultants”, and these people concentrate completely on online marketing, and don’t even think about some of the other methods. This is a mistake, and for two reasons.

Why Internet Marketing Is Not a Panacea

The first reason is that many internet marketing consultants talk about the latest fads as though they’re a cure-all, when many of them are completely missing the point. Just because a certain marketing technique is popular, it doesn’t mean it’s effective, and there’s no real hard evidence that posting on Facebook or creating hundreds of tweets a day puts money into your bank account. In many cases, social media can’t be tested, and there’s no way of knowing whether you’re getting a good return on investment, or even any return on investment at all.

The second reason is that internet marketing works only when you use it along with traditional techniques of direct response advertising. That means using the AIDA principle of advertising, getting prospects to take action, and then measuring accurately the returns you get. The business which uses these techniques will tend to get a much better return on advertising spend no matter which techniques it uses. It’s a bit like driving a car. If you’re a good driver, you tend to drive well no matter which car you use. If you’re a bad driver, you tend to drive badly. The make and model of the car is irrelevant.

Direct Mail Makes Money

A case in point. Many business-owners will swear that direct mail doesn’t work, and yet one of my clients recently sent out a direct mail piece and got a whopping 1,100% return on investment. And as if that wasn’t good enough, he sent out exactly the same letter a few months later, and got something like a 700% return on investment. Not too shabby for an outdated marketing method.

In another, case a colleague regularly places ads in the local paper. The ad costs around $2,500 to run, and he gets about $25,000 worth of business from it each time the ad appears. Why? Because after taking some advice from me, he created an ad that does all the things I mentioned above. It uses direct response principles to create attention and then asks the prospect to take action. The funny thing is that the “taking action” entails visiting a website and buying something – a great example of how old-fashioned marketing methods can be integrated with modern technology to great effect.

So next time you’re tempted to think the internet has all the answers to your marketing problems, spare a thought for that piece of direct mail and its 1,100% ROI. You’ll never think of old-fashioned advertising as being “old” ever again, and you might well have found a great way to boost your profits.

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9 Secrets Mark Twain Taught Me About Advertising

Advertising is life made to look larger than life, through images and words that
promise a wish fulfilled, a dream come true, a problem solved. Even Viagra follows
Mark Twain’s keen observation about advertising. The worst kind of advertising
exaggerates to get your attention, the best, gets your attention without
exaggeration. It simply states a fact or reveals an emotional need, then lets you
make the leap from “small to large.” Examples of the worst: before-and-after
photos for weight loss products and cosmetic surgery–both descend to almost
comic disbelief. The best: Apple’s “silhouette” campaign for iPod and the
breakthrough ads featuring Eminem–both catapult iPod to “instant cool” status.

“When in doubt, tell the truth.”

Today’s advertising is full of gimmicks. They relentlessly hang on to a product like a
ball and chain, keeping it from moving swiftly ahead of the competition, preventing
any real communication of benefits or impetus to buy. The thinking is, if the
gimmick is outrageous or silly enough, it’s got to at least get their attention. Local
car dealer ads are probably the worst offenders–using zoo animals,
sledgehammers, clowns, bikini-clad models, anything unrelated to the product’s
real benefit. If the people who thought up these outrageous gimmicks spent half
their energy just sticking to the product’s real benefits and buying motivators,
they’d have a great ad. What they don’t realize is, they already have a lot to work
with without resorting to gimmicks. There’s the product with all its benefits, the
brand, which undoubtedly they’ve spent money to promote, the competition and its
weaknesses, and two powerful buying motivators–fear of loss and promise of gain.
In other words, all you really have to do is tell the truth about your product and be
honest about your customers’ wants and needs. Of course, sometimes that’s not so
easy. You have to do some digging to find out what you customers really want,
what your competition has to offer them, and why your product is better.

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.”

In advertising, you have to be very careful how you use facts. As any politician will
tell you, facts are scary things. They have no stretch, no pliability, no room for
misinterpretation. They’re indisputable. And used correctly, very powerful. But
statistics, now there’s something advertisers and politicians love. “Nine out of ten
doctors recommend Preparation J.” Who can dispute that? Or “Five out of six
dentists recommend Sunshine Gum.” Makes me want to run out and buy a pack of
Sunshine right now. Hold it. Rewind.

“Whenever you find you’re on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.”

Let’s take a look at how these stats–this apparent majority–might have come to
be. First off, how many doctors did they ask before they found nine out of ten to
agree that Preparation J did the job? 1,000? 10,000? And how many dentists hated
the idea of their patients chewing gum but relented, saying, “Most chewing gum has
sugar and other ingredients, that rot out your teeth, but if the guy’s gotta chew the
darn stuff, it may as well be Sunshine, which has less sugar in it.” The point is, stats
can be manipulated to say almost anything. And yes, the devil’s in the details. The
fact is, there’s usually a 5% chance you can get any kind of result simply by
accident. And because many statistical studies are biased and not “double
blind” (both subject and doctor don’t know who was given the test product and who
got the placebo). Worst of all, statistics usually need the endless buttressing of
legal disclaimers. If you don’t believe me, try to read the full-page of legally
mandated warnings for that weight- loss pill you’ve been taking. Bottom line: stick
to facts. Then back them up with sound selling arguments that address the needs
of your customer.

“The difference between the right word and almost
right word is the difference between lightning and
a lightning bug.”

To write really effective ad copy means choosing exactly the right word at the right
time. You want to lead your customer to every benefit your product has to offer,
and you want to shed the best light on every benefit. It also means you don’t want
to give them any reason or opportunity to wander away from your argument. If they
wander, you’re history. They’re off to the next page, another TV channel or a new
website. So make every word say exactly what you mean it to say, no more, no less.
Example: if a product is new, don’t be afraid to say “new” (a product is only new
once in its life, so exploit the fact).

“Great people make us feel we can become great.”

And so do great ads. While they can’t convince us we’ll become millionaires, be as
famous as Madonna, or as likeable as Tom Cruise, they make us feel we might be as
attractive, famous, wealthy, or admired as we’d like to think we can be. Because
there’s a “Little Engine That Could” in all of us that says, under the right conditions,
we could beat the odds and catch the brass ring, win the lottery, or sell that book
we’ve been working on. Great advertising taps into that belief without going
overboard. An effective ad promoting the lottery once used pictures of people
sitting on an exotic beach with little beach umbrellas in their cocktails (a perfectly
realistic image for the average person) with the line: Somebody’s has to win, may as
well be you.”

“The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession.”

We’re all part of the same family of creatures called homo sapiens. We each want to
be admired, respected and loved. We want to feel secure in our lives and our jobs.
So create ads that touch the soul. Use an emotional appeal in your visual, headline
and copy. Even humor, used correctly, can be a powerful tool that connects you to
your potential customer. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling shoes or software,
people will always respond to what you have to sell them on an emotional level.
Once they’ve made the decision to buy, the justification process kicks in to confirm
the decision. To put it another way, once they’re convinced you’re a mensche with
real feelings for their hopes and wants as well as their problems, they’ll go from
prospect to customer.

“A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he
needs.”

Ain’t it the truth. More money, more clothes, fancier car, bigger house. It’s what
advertising feeds on. “You need this. And you need more of it every day.” It’s the
universal mantra that drives consumption to the limits of our charge cards. So, how
to tap into this insatiable appetite for more stuff? Convince buyers that more is
better. Colgate offers 20% more toothpaste in the giant economy size. You get 60
more sheets with the big Charmin roll of toilet paper. GE light bulbs are 15%
brighter. Raisin Brain now has 25% more raisins. When Detroit found it couldn’t sell
more cars per household to an already saturated U.S. market, they started selling
more car per car–SUVs and trucks got bigger and more powerful. They’re still
selling giant 3-ton SUVs that get 15 miles per gallon.

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”

Who gets the girl? Who attracts the sharpest guy? Who lands the big promotion?
Neiman Marcus knows. So does Abercrombie & Fitch. And Saks Fifth Avenue. Why
else would you fork over $900 for a power suit? Or $600 for a pair of shoes?
Observers from Aristotle to the twentieth century have consistently maintained that
character is immanent in appearance, asserting that clothes reveal a rich palette of
interior qualities as well as a brand mark of social identity. Here’s where the right
advertising pays for itself big time. Where you must have the perfect model (not
necessarily the most attractive) and really creative photographers and directors who
know how to tell a story, create a mood, convince you that you’re not buying the
“emperor’s clothes.” Example of good fashion advertising: the Levis black-and-
white spot featuring a teenager driving through the side streets and alleys of the
Czech Republic. Stopping to pick up friends, he gets out of the car wearing just a
shirt as the voiceover cheekily exclaims, “Reason 007: In Prague, you can trade them
for a car.”

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Change Management – The Lifeblood of Advertising World

It is easy to mock the tired conventions. We in the corporate world do this quite a lot especially when it comes to the flaws of the good old-fashioned advertising activities. While that’s hardly surprising, given that we are passionate about online and that part of our remit is to champion promotion strategy, this can also appear both arrogant and naive. What’s worse, though, is that it blinds us to our own outmoded habits. While we happily stand in front of clients and explain about the constancy of change in the advertising world, we forget what this means for us: that we have to constantly change the way we approach client beliefs. We may be young, but we have already amassed some tired old conventions of our own. Not least the banner ad and the structure. Now, rather like the advertising, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with these formats. It is the use to which they are put and, most critically, the way in which they dominate our thinking that needs to be challenged. If it is wrong to start with content, it is just as wrong to default to banners.

Better to start by reminding ourselves of the promise that great marketing adds value to people’s lives. The best TV advertising has always done this. However there are other modes of communication your message to your customers. Online, the banner ad has, historically, offered rather less opportunity to entertain and reward, so this is where the tangible display banner stands and Retractable banner stands have come in. This is an approach that is born in a period when there is a paucity of rewarding content online and when ‘community’ sites were untrustworthy or techie. Cost factor is another issue. The situation couldn’t be more different today – and yet we continue to deploy the same tactics. Why not to resort to economic, elegant and tangy banner stands? Do not we expect people to come to us, make them happy and satisfied with our product or service. To add value, a brand needs to go to them. These stands carry your brand name or product to your customers. Allow your customers to take away with them the image and reputation of your product or message. These banner stands are essential ‘advertising’ formats for the promotion world.

Of course, banner stands whether retractable or non retractable fit the idea of mentioning the salient features of your product or service. There is one convention that is not ever going to get tired and outmoded, it is the need for a good display structure. They are transportable, flexible, fit any size as per graphics, multi materialistic, elegant, bear great look and style. Most of them cater to any business need of small, medium and big enterprises. The non retractable banner stands like L banner and X banner can be disassembled easily to fit in small carry bag. Retractable banners give you the ease of fold ability in a professional and innovative way. Overall the banner stands are essential parameters of advertising and justified reason of change.Trying to find tienda de moda online bisuteriachic ? Check out this page: www.bisuteriachic.es

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Fashion Photographer’s Guide to Snow Location Lighting

Fashion photography is a specialisation devoted to photographing clothing and other fashion items, typically for advertisements or fashion magazines. As the fashion photography genre has developed so has the style and standard of the shoots with the clothes often enhanced by exotic locations and props such as vehicles or animals for an eye catching effect.

In the studio, commercial photographers are working with a blank canvas. They are in control of every aspect of their shot, from the choice of backdrop right through to the mood and atmosphere of the lighting. On their own, studio flash units simply produce a high powered burst of artificial daylight, which can be positioned as required and modified using a wide range of accessories to control the quality of the light.

On location, things are quite different. The weather is pretty much in control of the quality of the natural lighting. Apart from planning ahead, the best the photographer can do is to react to the prevalent ambient lighting conditions and, where necessary, to modify its quality. At the most basic level, this means that dull lighting will need to be brightened, or bright lighting softened using reflectors, portable flash or, in some cases, a combination of both.

For the fashion photographer, although the model has to look good, the client is going to be looking at the quality of the lighting on his or her products – the garments. It is for photographers to use the natural lighting found at a particular location to its best advantage.

Case study: Snow scene

Shooting for an Autumn/Winter in the Alps at 4pm the sun would have normally been fairly high in the sky, but at this altitude the angle is considerably reduced. The model is positioned with the sun at around 90 degrees to the left of the camera. With no cloud cover to soften the light, shadows are well defined and hard edged. To soften this effect, I positioned my assistant to the right of the camera with a 48in reversible gold/silver Lastolite reflector to bounce some light back into the shadows. Gold reflectors are traditionally used to warm up a subject, for example by adding a golden glow to a model’s skin.

However these warm reflections are very much more pronounced in low-light shooting conditions. For very bright-light shooting situations, I believe the gold effect is noticeably reduced, but that the light produced works better for him than the harshness of the light from the sliver side of the reflector. Exposure was carefully measured from both highlight and shadow areas; with and without the reflector.

Now of course the only real way to improve your location photography, whether for fashion, advertising or editorial, is to get out there and do it. And if you’re just starting out don’t wait to get paid; with digital test shoots meaning no expensive film and development costs there’s no excuse not to be out shooting anyone who will stay still for a few minutes! I hope a couple of these tips will help you develop your location photographer skills and look forward to seeing your published work soon!

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