The North Denver Metro area used to be little more than a conglomeration of mining and farming communities loosely tied together. In the last few years, the landscape has changed considerably as the once bedroom communities have turned into bustling and vibrant suburbs. North Metro (Westminster, Erie, Thornton, Broomfield, Longmont, etc.) now boasts more than 650,000 residents—and it’s still growing.
The Yellow Scene Magazine was first in this emerging region, taking advantage of an untapped market. People are moving to the North Metro area in droves for the “Boulder lifestyle—without the Boulder address.” Our readers are adventurous, love the Colorado sunshine and loathe having to spend a half-million dollars on a tiny house in Downtown Boulder. That’s not to say we ignore Boulder; we focus on select, upscale neighborhoods leaving CU and the rental population to Boulder’s target publications.
Our readers have come to expect quite a bit from us since 2000 as the region’s premier source for politics, arts and entertainment, local news, and restaurant coverage. With more than 70,000 copies being distributed each month from 104th Avenue to Highway 66, the Yellow Scene is also the largest publication in the region. Lucky for us, this formula has worked, and we’ve established ourselves as the locals’ choice for quality coverage of everything local. This has translated into us being the top choice for advertisers to place their message.
The Yellow Scene is an indispensable resource for residents and advertisers alike.
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“Where should I advertise to get the most response?”
This is probably the most common question asked by small business. To that we say, there is no one place. In fact, starting your advertising this way is also, commonly, the formula for failed results. Here’s why:
First establish a market position.
Then you establish a plan. A Growth Objective Calculator can help with that. I am attaching an example of how to use one. But any advertising without a strategic plan is spray and pray. Using a GOC you can figure out cost of advertising, demographics of source, and how much you should spend. Obviously the more you spend (with a well throught out message) the more growth.
The most successful business strategic plans have primary and secondary platforms in all three stages of the Purchase Funnel.
I have been in advertising and media all my life and these are some of the basic premises I have learned.
The three biggest reasons advertising fails:
• Lack of a clear benefit
Most people write cookie cutter ads. Logo on top, some bullets. This only tells people you exist. Sorry, but who cares? Tell them WHY you exist to help them. A well written ugly ad will always get more interest than a pretty ad that is dumb. Tell a story.
A.I.D.A. Attention, Interest, Decision and Action are the four basic premises of the Purchase Funnell.
Sales people have no magical spells. We communicate. Your advertising is hiring a sales person. Therefore, it is important to understand the purchase funnel.
Mass Marketing reaches people in the early stage. Think of it as leaving thousands of voice mails. This is the influencer stage.
Direct reaches people in the Decision making stage. Your website, networking, are all direct marketing tools.
Internal marketing is the most important because it costs more to get a new customer than keep an old one.
• Lack of commitment
Buying the smallest ad possible and running it one time is not testing anything except your patience. He who owns the mind owns the market.
As with all human communications, repetition is key. This is just how humans are. Better to adapt your marketing to how humans operate than expect a miracle from your one ad.
• Poor Positioning
Are you advertising yourself as Mercedez Benz when you are really a Hyundai?
Are you spraying and praying?
Are you analyzing the demographics and distribution of the platform you are choosing? Like really analyzing? Know Thy Audience.
Finally, Don’t Ask people how they heard of you. You are wasting your time. They don’t know and they don’t know they don’t know, so they make stuff up.
He who owns the mind owns the market. An Equity Position is how to own the mind.
Here in Colorado the largest furniture store in the state is American Furniture Warehouse. EVERYONE knows Jake Jabs-he is in all his ads. He has tigers too. I highly doubt anyone goes to the store and buys a couch and says, “Jake, it was channel 2 at 4:30 ad that brought me in.”
The milk mustache campaign with the celeberties has never advertised on TV. It is a print only campaign. 50% of people polled claim they saw it on TV.
The recent Nike campaign with Colin Kaepernick launched in print. Yet social media created the extra buzz.
I have a jeweler who has ONLY ever advertised in my magazine. He has people tell him they saw him in the newspaper.
I know business owners want to believe people remember where they saw your ads, and sometimes they do, but most of the time we don’t. I can recall reading something but generally don’t recall where I read it-unless I am citing a source for an article. It is better to use analytics.
1. Make the product the hero. I have an orthopedic surgeon who advertises with me. Instead of featuring the nice doc, we feature a body part. ie. Hip replacement, knee replacement. Knowing advertising requires consistency, he will run each part for 6 months before changing. He says most of the time people don’t say where they saw the ad (once in a while) but he can tell because (in his words) “when I run the knee ad, my waiting room fills up with knee patients, when I run the hip ad, my waiting room fills up with hip patients”
2. Zipcode analysis
3. Floor traffic and phone volume. Know your average numbers, run a well thought out campaign, and measure through growth.
But all of these require Knowing Thy Customer. There is a rule don’t change your ads based on where people say they saw it.
It is always better to know thy customer.
Books I recommend: 33 Ruthless Rules of Advertising, Little Red Book of Selling, Ogilvey on Advertising. They are bibles. I am also including a free Marketing Guidebook I created for small businesses, from these sources and 30+ years of experience. I am also including a TIPS sheet I am working on adding to it.
It is one of the best primers for the business owner. I wish I had written this book. Each chapter takes about 2 minutes to read.