The Best Place to Advertise in Your Town

In this week’s Duct Tape Marketing newsletter I pointed out a list of some the better resources for locating newspapers, magazines, radio, television stations, and other potential offline advertising opportunities in most major cities.

I also mentioned, although their is no national network, the idea of “community advertising”

Here is a list of some of the most “duct tapey” places in your town that you might consider testing for ROI. (Please add your favorites to the comments)

  • Church bulletins
  • Public Library bulletin boards
  • Coffee shop bulletin boards
  • Grocery store bulletin boards
  • School sports programs
  • Delivery service ride along flyers
  • Hotel rack brochure boxes
  • Pizza boxes

Add your favorites to the list!

Your Advertising Should Be More Like Dating

Not many people in this day and age would be drawn to the notion of marrying someone they’ve barely or never met. Yet, that’s the approach that most advertisers take. “Here’s my ad, here’s my phone number, you don’t know anything about me, but call me so I come on over and sell you something.” – more or less the same as if you walked into a crowd of people and ask the first person that appealed to you if they would like to get married. Flash around enough cash, ask enough people, and maybe you get lucky with this approach every now and then, but it’s no way to build a small business.

Advertising for the small business should be approached more like dating. Your ads should be asking for a date, not a sale! Give your prospects a compelling reason to meet you for coffee, in a public place – by offering some sort of free, valuable information that they can gain access to with very little commitment. Then, move up to the movie, add a nice dinner, meet the parents – maybe, just maybe, it’s time to ask for the order – or better yet, simply say yes when the prospect asks you.

Don’t try to do too much with your ads. Don’t try to be too cute with your ads. Use them to attract and educate. Then build an information arsenal that will allow your prospect to come to the conclusion that you are indeed someone they would like to spend the rest of their life with. (Or at least some of their money with.)

What Will Marketing Become?

The title of this post is the catchy positioning for The Influx M2 conference being held at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco’s historic Presidio on October 3rd. John Battelle, Chairman and Publisher of Federated Media, is a featured presenter. The line-up also includes Josh Quitter, Editor of one of my favorite magazines, Business 2.0.

Great location, great line-up, very reasonable fee to attend. Check it out.

My Secret Envelope Trick

Standing out in the crowded mailbox is one of the chores facing any direct mail campaign.

I’m a big fan of the regular old direct mail letter in the regular old #10 regular envelope. Problem is, that delivery mechanism can be, well, regular.

One of my secret weapons (okay, not really so secret, just rarely used) is to employ the #12, not so regular, envelope. The primary difference is size. A standard #10 regular business envelope is 4 1/8 x 9 1/2 in size while a #12 is – 4 3/4 x 11. This little extra size allows your envelope to stand out and get attention, whether you are mailing a handful or thousands. It also allows you to include some oversized materials inside as well.

While they may cost a little more to buy, you can still use regular first class postage on them. I believe the extra attention, sales and appointments are worth the extra cost.

You can acquire #12 envelopes from most any office supply store, your local print shop or online printers such as Action Envelope.

Opt-In Email Deliverability Checklist

Getting your opt-in email opened is one part of the equation, but you can’t get them opened and read if you can’t get them delivered.

Sparklist, an email marketing service provider, is offering a handy email deliverability guide, Opt-in Email Marketer’s Checklist for Inbox Delivery that features 10 very solid recommendations to help increase your email deliverability and identify service providers who care about fighting spam and working with legitimate marketers.

Notification of this white paper came from another service I like – White Paper of the Day – a daily email notification from DMNews promoting marketing white papers from a variety of sources.

Lead Generation for the Complex Sale

I had a great conversation with Brian Carroll, author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale over at the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.

Brian’s book book gets at the heart of generating leads the right way. He focuses on what he calls the complex sale, a combination of multiple variables including money, but I think the educational, integrated approach he outlines is how any business should think about lead generation, complex or not.

Brian also publishes the B2B Lead Generation blog that is worth a visit.

Video Ads All the Rage

Google launched a video ad option for AdWords this week and it is meeting with mixed reviews. Some Internet marketing types have been hailing video as the next coming of riches (they missed the blog thing so now they are trying to grab for the next train.)

One sign that this is still a test in the Google land is that they are not offering video ads on their own properties, which, from an advertising standpoint, severely limits the effective reach. Here are Google’s example video ads

I think video on the web and in ads will be valuable to some and a time consuming distraction for others.

Video is just another form of communication.

Having said that, for any communication (ad) to be effective, it must be done well. When someone sticks a camera in your face and you talk about your product you may actually do more damage to the trustability factor than if you stuck to the written word.

Video can add excitement, but it can also add distraction. Video can help get your story started, but it can also discourage click through.

For now, video is still tough to for the average Joe AOL to consume properly.

My thoughts on video on the web mirror my thoughts on most marketing tactics.

Use it wisely, use it well, integrate it with your other marketing tactics, test it and keep an eye on developing ways to employ it. But, don’t count on riding the video wave to riches.

Where Not To Advertise

Advertising pervades most of our waking moments (and likely some of our slumber). So much so that we are getting pretty good at tuning out what we see as sales messages. Desperate advertisers see this as a sign to up the obnoxiousness factor and extent the advertising space into some places it just should not go.

Advertisers should not put messages:
~ In public bathrooms
~ In school cafeterias
~ At the bottom of a cup of coffee
~ On the phone at dinnertime

And lastly, on my food! You think the telemarketing call at dinner is disruptive, imagine staring down at your dinner and finding an advertising message imprinted on your potato chips.

I love Pringles – and not the Ranch, Nacho, Light, Fruity, Blended, or BBQ kind – the original kind. My wife buys them to put in the kids school lunch and hides them from me, but I usually find them before they have been consumed. Picture my disgust when I grabbed a handful and found a co branded message from the Guinness Book of World Records had been sprayed onto every chip. That’s just wrong! I’m not eating these chips and I may have soured on the brand completely (we’ll see)

Note to Kellogs – if you are considering a promotion that features PopTarts and a World Cup Sponsorship with advertisings messages in the iceing – don’t.

I may just have to become a non-advertarian.

What’s next, will Chester the Cheetos Cheetah get his own blog?