Advertisement Ideas: Go Fund Yourself!!!
Many people want to be entrepreneurs but they forget the one fundamental principle needed to succeed and that is you must have funding for all aspects of you business. So many people open the doors and don’t have a marketing plan and then wonder why they have no traffic to their brick and mortar business. Part of the reason is that they didn’t adhere to the idea of funding themselves. I have watched countless businesses open only to close their doors with 3-5 months of opening. Those that closed all shared one common thread they did not set aside funds for marketing and advertising. Yes people there is a difference Marketing is primarily done to build brand recognition to put your brand on the top of the consumer’s mind while advertising is done to not only build your brand but to also drive traffic to your business. It is important to fund yourself so that you can have a solid marketing/advertising mix so that you don’t end up shuttering your doors. The key is to set aside money strictly to fund your marketing and advertising campaigns.
As someone who has been involved in some form of advertising and marketing for over 30 years I can tell you that I am always amazed when a business owner tells me they do not advertise and I ask what to you do to let people know who you are, what you do, and why they should use your products or services. I usually hear oh I do word of mouth. Word of mouth is a good start but should not be the form of advertising you do. If you are a local business you should be involved with activities in the community that attract your target demographic. It is important to fund yourself to reach your desired target audience as you do not want to be dog walker advertising in a cat magazine though some cat owners do own dogs. I asked a shoe store owner who his desired audience was and his answer was anyone who needs shoes. My answer was that this is to broad of a statement and that perhaps finding his niche market and planning to fund himself to reach that niche market might be helpful. I remember working for Footlocker and knowing the lay of land of the Wellington area and the surrounding communities. I asked the district manager if my store could have funding for 144 white tall tees in XL and XXL because one of the biggest football games of the year was being played in the area, The Muck Bowl, and the kids from both high schools shopped at The Footlocker where I was an assistant manager and had a tradition of decorating their own shirts. At first he hesitated and made excuses why not to do it and then I said well as a district manager you can fund yourself and he said what and I said you have a district marketing budget why not take the expense for the 144 shirts from there and make a sign for the window Prepare For the Muck Bowl Tall Tees available here. He finally agreed and my store received the 144 tee-shirts and in 2 days sold out. The key is know your audience and deliver what they want and to always find a way to fund yourself. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Get With The Program!!!
When I was kid I would here this phrase quite often as many of the activities that I was involved in were very structured. As I got older and started to venture into the world of marketing, advertising, media relations, and public relations I began to realize that many business people did not understand the importance of these areas and as a result struggled and eventually closed their doors because they did not get with the program. Today as I present opportunities to businesses and non-profit I hear many programmed responses like I don’t have a budget or I am not interested. There have been many times that I wanted to reach through the phone grab the person on the other end and simply yell GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!! I have encountered many people in positions of authority who simply do not get it and then wonder why their sales are down. Such was the case yesterday as I called the sales manager at Lou Bachrodt Chevrolet in Coconut Creek who I had been leaving messages for about The South Florida Gold, a professional basketball team that plays in The American Basketball Association. When I left messages I explained the relationship I had with the dealership and he didn’t return the call. He picked up the phone yesterday and after I introduced myself his answer was I am not interested. I replied sorry to hear that I can really be of service and value to you and I have been a customer of Lou Bachrodt for many years. He then said I don’t have a budget as I allocated all my advertising dollars. I replied I just want to meet with you to see how we can be of service and value to one another. His reply was I told you I don’t have a budget.I said okay I’ll call someone else. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Spread ‘Em Wide!!!
When you read the headline of this entry what was your first thought? Many probably went right to the image of the police officer getting ready to put the cuffs on someone and pat them down. Most conjured up this image as we have been programmed to react in a certain way through media manipulation and the repetition of many so-called norms of our society. When I think of the headline spread ‘em wide I think about marketing a frequent and consistent message so that when someone thinks of me they know who I am and what I do and feel comfortable about doing business with me. just as this phrase spread ‘em wide conjures up a certain image or picture ask yourself what image or picture does my brand conjure up when people see it or hear it.
Well established brands like McDonald’s and Allstate share one common thread and that is a frequent and consistent presence in the marketplace. A few years back Allstate partnered with The NCAA to sponsor the goal post nets that are put up for field goals and extra points and as a result has increased their brand awareness while also donating to scholarship funds thus creating a picture that they area company that cares about the community. McDonald’s has sponsored many sporting events including The Olympics.
Now you may not have the budget of a McDonald’s or Allstate but you should have a budget to spread your message wide. How many times have you been approached with an opportunity to spread your message and you have found all the reason why not to take advantage of the opportunity and the you see your competition did. As a result clients/consumers may be going to the competition. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Stop Missing Opportunities!!!
This blog entry was prompted by a phone call I had this morning (7/31/2015) where I was introducing myself as The PA Announcer and Team Ambassador for The South Florida Gold, a professional basketball team that plays in The American Basketball Association. In this role I am responsible for community outreach and giving businesses and non-profit organizations a chance to form strategic partnerships. As I called a real estate broker whose card was given to me by a colleague I introduced myself and then was told I do not have a budget for marketing to which I replied I just wanted to offer you free tickets to our home opener to which the reply was I am not interested. I hung up the phone and thought wow this is a so called successful business person who just missed out on what could have been a great opportunity as players need housing, staff may be looking for real estate, and our fans may use his services. I run into this type of mentality all the time those who do not see the opportunities and can not see beyond what is considered the normal way to market. The fact is if you are doing what everyone else is doing you will not stand out and you will continue to struggle. You can avoid the struggle by simply listening to people who are presenting unique opportunities and being open to explore a different way of doing things. In being aligned with a professional basketball team you build awareness while having frequency and consistency in the market place.
Think about it you as a business owner can pay $250 and select a game for you and your staff and clients to attend, set up a table at the game to speak to fans, hang a banner, and receive PA Announcements. This is an affordable opportunity and is a form of direct marketing where you can obtain qualified leads. There are many opportunities to advertise and market and you as as a business owner must seek some unique and different forms of marketing and advertising that will help you to stand out in a crowd,
Imagine your name on 250 mini basketballs to be given out at a home game for The South Florida Gold. Your fee to do this $500. All you do is supply the artwork and The Gold gives the basketballs away to its fans. Again a different way to strengthen your brand and create a buzz about your business.
Advertisement Ideas: Don’t Miss This Opportunity To Brand Yourself!!!
In August of 2013 I launched an Internet TV Show, The Anything Bucket, which airs on www.wrpbitv.com. I give business people and non-profit organizations and opportunity to come to The WRPBiTV Studios in Boca Raton, FL to do a 10 minute interview to reach my over 50,000 viewers. I give my guests an opportunity to purchase their clip for $175 that is fully edited with their contact information for them to use across all their marketing platforms. In today’s marketplace video content is very important. I am always amazed when a business person says no or they can not afford it. Again a missed opportunity to which I say stop missing opportunities.
Now the question is what will you do the next time someone approaches you with an opportunity. Will you consider that the person you are speaking with may be selling you today but may be a customer in the future or tat the person you are speaking with may know people that can benefit from your products or services. Remember every interaction is an opportunity to build a relationship and thus create business as people like to do business with those they know, like, and trust. Before you go into your programmed responses think how listening to an opportunity might benefit you. Each time you engage with someone it is an opportunity to share information and possibly attract new business.
Advertisement Ideas: Stop The Madness!!!
While American Citizens worried about this flag our government managed to fast track The Trans Pacific Partnership, which makes The North America Free Trade Agreement look tame. While Walmart banned the selling of this flag they didn’t stop importing goods from China. This is ironic for if you are going to stand against slavery and hatred but not stop using what is considered slave labor used to make the goods you are importing from China you are part of the problem and contributing to the madness. Now municipalities are taking down statues, renaming schools, and digging up graves in an attempt to rewrite history. So many of our American Citizens have become sheep and are being driven by the controversy of the day instead of looking at the real issues and understanding you can take down as many flags and statues but until you stop the madness brought on by the hate that is in some people’s hearts the real issues will not be resolved. It is time to stop the madness and stop majoring in the minor.
Another ironic twist is that while amazon and other e-commerce sites were busy banning The Confederate Battle Flag they were still selling Nazi Flags and Isis Flags. Heck a Walmart employee refused to make a Confederate Flag Decorated Cake but gladly made an ISIS Flag Cake, a great example of just how uneducated our workers in America truly are.
Now the question is how do we STOP THE MADNESS. The answer is simple educate the working population and train them so that they can be an asset to your business. The idea is to bring back a manufacturing and agricultural base to America and to eliminate the greed factor that is hurting our country. We must also eliminate the entitlement mentality and get back to the concept of hard work and being of service and value. If you have a talent you must find a way to utilize it and monetize it and to take action to build your personal brand so it attracts the people who you want to do business with so that you can thrive. How about you do a campaign that say we serve all people with our products and services. Instead of using the concept of I am (an insert nationality here) – American just start to say I am an American with a business designed to help my clients/customers who can benefit from my products and services. Then make it a point not to judge people when they come to your business. I have learned that we may not be able to attract everyone to our business but those that resonate with our message will choose to do business with us.
The best way to solve these issue sis to adopt Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements and do your best to adhere to them. The Four Agreements are….
If you can convey this is your advertising you will begin to create more brand awareness and recognition while also creating a buzz about your business and thus helping to stop the madness. The key is to create customer loyalty by being of service and value by enhancing the customer experience by looking at solutions for the real issues and making sure you become a problem solver.
The issues mentioned above affect us all because there will be current customers and potential customers that will not agree with the principles we stand for and may get offended so we must do our best to target customers who will resonate with our message. The nest way to stop the madness is to remember some will, some won’t, so what, some waiting, next. The greatest thing we can hope for is that our business will help to unify a community instead of divide the community. If we are truly going to stop the madness we must tackle the real issues and walk in our truth and thus have a message that is relevant and resonates with our desired target audience. It is time for you to become a problem solver and ask how are my opinions on these issues affecting my business.
By now you have heard of the couple who refused to bake a same sex wedding cake and how they have been sued and ordered to pay damages. My take is that this story only led to more madness. It is their right to refuse business from anyone and I am sure the couple ordering the cake could have found another bakery. This is another example of the media choosing to create madness and division. Personally of it were my company I would have made the cake taken great care of the couple as money on my pocket is better that in someone else’s pocket. The cake company owners stated it was against their moral values and that it went against the teachings of Jesus. Hello, wasn’t it Jesus who was teaching us to be kind to all people and not to sit in judgement. It is your right to refuse a customer and it is my right as a customer to go elsewhere. Again it is time to stop the madness.
Sometimes it is not about being right or wrong it is about doing the right thing so stop the madness.
Advertisement Ideas: Leveraging Relationships!!!
It was a few Tuesday’s ago when I was at Tijuana Flats and I met a group of business men from the Oakley Vault and they made me an offer to come to one of their stores and pick out a pair of sunglasses for consideration of promotion by me. Today (7/3/2015) I went to the store and picked out the glasses seen in this video. This had me thinking about how important it is to leverage relationships. I have learned in all my years in marketing, advertising, public relations, and media relations that the key is to make it a win-win situation. In this case The Oakley Vault had a product I could use and I had a platform that they could use. The key is to see how you can be of value and service and how the person you are dealing with can be of service and value to you. I began leveraging relationships at a very young age as I hosted my very first special event, A Backyard Carnival to benefit The Muscular Dystrophy Association, at age 11. I went to all the places where I spent money and asked for their support. It was at that time that I learned if you return the favor and give something of value you will obtain either monetary or in kind donations. The key is to make the introduction and then find ways that everyone can benefit. I have used the idea of leveraging relationships for many years and the examples I can give are numerous just like the one in the video.
You may be wondering what oracle cards have to do with leveraging your relationships. Well there is a story behind these cards that illustrate a great point of leveraging your relationships and having a purpose in mind. I am very involved with The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of West Boca Raton,FL and I have been the leading fundraiser for this relay for several years. In 2015 I raised $2726.90, the webpage http://main.acsevents.org/goto/jdogg2 will be up until 8/31/2015. One way I was able to do this is by leveraging relationships. I was on Facebook one day and I wrote to both Doreen Virtue and Sonia Choquette who I had been interacting with on Facebook for a while and I asked them for items to use in chance drawings and they sent me oracle cards and other items and in return I am promoting them to my followers. When you have something that can benefit the person you are asking for support be it in business or in your charitable endeavors you can better leverage your relationship. I have always believed that the worst someone who you have built a relationship with will say is no and no today does not mean no forever. Think of what you have to offer that will help you to leverage a relationship so as to strengthen your brand and increase your revenue. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Back To The Basics!!!
When I was a kid we has a supermarket in our area called Basics. It was place where you brought your own bags or boxes and most of the products were generic. The store did massive advertising and flooded the area with coupons. They were doing a good business but then the landlord decided to raise the rent and it got to be a bit pricey and cut into the profit margin and the store closed. The store sat empty for many years and now there is a Lowes Home Improvement store on that site. As I reflected on the concept of Basics Supermarket I began to think how many times we in business get away from the basics and then wonder why we aren’t having successes. How many times to we come up with an advertisement idea but we don’t implement it because we do not know if it will work and then we make many excuses as to why not to implement it. The key is to remember that if you do not advertise your business you will eventually lose so it is time to get back to basics.
The first basic principle is to get out there and hit the bricks. This sounds like an old school principle but it works. Last week as I was promoting my TV Show, The Anything Bucket, which airs on Tuesday at 6:30 PM EDT on www.wrpbitv.com I decided to walk a shopping plaza and share who I was and that I was seeking guests for my TV Show. I walked into Wise Little Shoppers in Sunrise,FL and the owner Sparkle was receptive to the idea of being on my show. She called me the next day and booked a time to come into the studio to tape a segment for the show. She came taped a segment and bought her clip to use in her marketing. In hitting the bricks you will meet people who can benefit from your products or services. I have been one to go business to business to share who I am and what I am doing and it has proven to be effective. Whatever I find myself promoting be it my TV Show, my charitable work with The American Cancer Society Relay For Life, or the South Florida Gold, a professional basketball team that I represent I find the best way is to get out in the community and go face to face, eyeball to eyeball, flesh to flesh to get the best results. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Lack Or Abundance – What Mindset Are You?
As I was out collecting donations for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life Of West Boca Raton today (6/24/2015) I ran into many people who were coming from a lack mindset. You may ask how I knew this, the answer was in the word’s they used like I can’t afford, business is slow, or how do I know this is legit. These words only hinder us in our personal and professional life as we hold ourselves back.One encounter at The Imperial Cuts Barber Shop really made me realize that as business people we must stop using the lack words and start tapping into our ability to create abundance. In the course of my presentation the owner stated business is slow on 4 occasions to which I sated if you keep thinking things are slow it will remain slow and I did my best to explain that there is plenty of business to be had if he would get out of the shop and start to meet people and share his business. His answer was he didn’t have time. I though okay you just told me things were slow, you were given a few solutions and you made an excuse that you did not have time. It was at that time that I realized that he was coming from a lack mentality. I also have started to put people into two categories action takers and excuse makers. The action taker comes from an abundance mentality and takes action thus making things happen for their business. On the other side is the excuse maker who will come from a position of lack and find every reason not to seek opportunities. I ask you to take a look at how you are expressing yourself and evaluate if you are coming from a lack mindset or an abundance mindset. Look at the opportunities that exist and take full advantage of them by shifting from a lack mentality to an abundance mindset. Instead of being an excuse maker start to become and action taker. Instead of saying I can’t afford start finding ways to invest in yourself and your business. Imagine if Imperial Cuts would have said thank you for coming in and here is $5 for your cause. They would have gotten shout outs on my Facebook Page, on my Twitter Account, and recommendations to my friends in the area who needed a hair cut. Instead they get used as an example of a business that is coming from a position of lack.
If you are to truly succeed in your business you will want to come from a position of abundance in all you do. Everything you do in business should give the perception of success from the way you answer the phone to what you put out on social media. Instead of complaining you can take action and improve the way things are going. Ask people what they think when they see you brand or hear your business name or your name. In coming from a position of abundance as opposed to lack you will see a loyalty from your existing customers and they will be more likely to recommend you to others. If you create an atmosphere where your business is perceived as thriving people will want to do business with you. I am reminded of the story of two steak places in my community one would donate gift cards to every charitable organization that asked while the other said no. One steak house would pay $15 per hour while the other paid $8, one would allow the manager to make marketing and advertising decisions while the other did not. Guess who is still in business and who is not? Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Making The Commitment!!!
If you are in business I highly suggest you get a copy of Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements a sit can truly help you in making a commitment to grow your business. Today (6/19/2015) I had an 11 AM appointment and arrived at 10:45 AM and asked for the person I was supposed to meet with and was told oh she may have forgotten. I waited until 11:15 AM and then handed my card to the gentleman who was there and I left. As I left I thought wow another person in South Florida who didn’t honor their commitment. As I drove to my next destination, my local Starbuck’s I thought it is her loss as she didn’t know that not only do I represent The South Florida Gold of The American Basketball Association but I also host a TV Show, The Anything Bucket, which airs on www.wrpbitv.com on Tuesday at 6:30 PM EDT and I have strong ties to the community and a fairly large social media following. The point is that when you make a commitment you should honor the commitment or at least give someone the courtesy of a phone call to give them a heads up on what is happening. The ironic thing is that today I may have been a solicitor but tomorrow I may have been a customer as I could use health and wellness products. When you make an appointment and you do not show it makes you look bad in the eyes of the person you were supposed to meet with and a a result hurts your business instead of improving it. Remember one oh crap will ruin 1000 at-a-boys.
Your level of commitment will determine your level of success. If you are not committed to honoring your word you will lose in the end because people like to do business with people they know, they like, and they trust. If you don’t honor your commitment to meet with someone you have breached the trust from the start and decreased your chances to have a business ally tremendously. What do you think I am going to say when asked about the business that was a no-show without a phone call? When you are doing your best to build your brand and increase your profits you need as many advocates as possible to be speaking well of you so tat you build your likability and your trust so that when people get to know you they are comfortable about doing business with you. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Stop Being Foolish!!!
When was the last time you turned down an opportunity and instructed your customer service person or secretary to use the programmed response of we are not interested? How many opportunities have you let slip away because of a foolish mindset and a preconceived notion of that won’t work for me? How many times have you said I am not interested and then realized maybe I should have listened to the options or at least gotten to know who I was dealing with? How many times have you been presented an advertising idea only to make excuses and not strengthen your brand or increase your revenue? How many times have you decided to pass up advertising opportunities? How many times have you chosen to advertise only to realize that your choice was not the most effective choice? Sometimes it simply comes down to making a decision to stop being foolish.
Sometimes in business we play the part of a fool because we turn down opportunities that could help us to build a stronger brand or that could actually increase our revenue because we do not see the value of what someone is offering. How many times have you let someone leave your business that could of been of service and value to you? How many times have you stayed in your office or in you brick and mortar building wondering why your business is slow? Instead of being foolish and wondering why things are slow it is time to be proactive and speed things up. I like using the example of the pizza place that I spoke with about going out and getting to know his neighbors who said oh I don’t have time for that. This pizza place was in a very heavily trafficked plaza with many store that had many employees so I asked have you gone to the bigger stores and offered them a lunch or dinner special. The answer was no. I suggested he do this and he got very upset and said now you are telling me how to run my business I said no I am suggesting a way for you to increase traffic and build revenue. He wasn’t to receptive so I left. Six months later his pizza place was closed. I thought what would have happened if he stopped being foolish? My advice to all business owners, marketing executives, and non-profit leaders is to get out there and start meeting people and stop being foolish with your decisions. Read More→