Ad Agencies Dirty Little Secrets

June 12th, 2010  |  Published in Marketing Secrets

Hey there

There are a few people in the advertising industry who are going to be very hacked with off with me for revealing their dirty little secret.

Frankly I don’t mind because every word I say is true and they have been profiting off your lack of knowledge for a long time.

Why am I telling you this? Because I am sick of seeing business owners like you who have wasted thousands of dollars on ineffective advertising because of so called “experts” have agendas other than your financial success.

I figured we tip off InBusiness readers on some inside information so that once you know the dirty little secret you can avoid being a victim to it.

The ‘Dirty Little Secret’ Advertising Insiders

Do Not Want You To Know

Here is the problem advertising agencies and media reps dare not tell you.

***Traditional advertising does not work anymore***

Yip, “does-not-work”, you read right!

OK here are the two main reasons why….

1. Congestion

Just 10 years ago the average consumer received 1,000 commercial messages per day.

Today the average consumer receives over 3,000 commercial messages per day.

Business spends three times more money on marketing today than it did 10 years ago.

Customer penetration has been reduced by 50%.

2. Inoculation

First, you must understand why some of what you have been taught about marketing is wrong, or at least outdated and incomplete.

     Most of the few great books on advertising were written more than a generation ago by legends such as John Caples, David Ogilvy, Claude Hopkins and one or two others. Most of their response-boosting secrets remain valid.

 However their main teaching: benefits, big benefits, are the key to high response.

     Makes sense. But there’s a problem. These giants wrote this advice long ago when, compared with today, prospects were under-marketed. So, yes, back then, flat-out big benefits and words like FREE and NEW got people excited.

     But today, more often than not, these same words and super-sized claims instantly trigger rejection. The problem is, words like FREE and NEW and the big-claim style of advertising they reflect, have been so overused, they have become bright red flags that instantly scream to your prospects, throw me away!

     Just ask yourself, do you get overly excited when you encounter an ad trumpeting free or new or some fantastic claim to make you rich, change your life overnight or grow body parts bigger than you ever dreamed?

     Of course not.

     You have heard such claims too many times. Your own exquisitely sensitive mental spam filter rejects all such messages instantly, as you think to yourself, YEAH, SURE.

90% Of Ads Are Losers

For the reasons above when you go to the local newspaper realise that 90% of the ads you see are losers, meaning the advertiser does not cover their outlay.

What makes it worse is that they do not even know how ineffective it was because they have no way to measure how it performed.

As PT Barnham said once “I know 50% of my marketing works… if only I knew which 50% I’d be rich”.

Advertising agencies may tell you ‘you just need to get your name out there’ or ‘you need to build your brand first and build your image and until today you may have nodded your head like an obedient puppy who knows no better.

Listen bucko, the only thing you NEED to do is to make a profit from each ad, building an image is secondary to getting a sale or generating a lead.

Do I mean branding is not useful at all? No, it is useful when you have millions of dollar to invest in building the image of your business in the mind of your buyers and can afford to get no measurable results in the short term.

Running that strategy is for the big boys who pump millions into looking good instead of getting an immediate dollar return.

Think of the great brands like Apple, Coke or Nike, How much do you think they have to spend at looking good?

As a business owner you are being conned into adopting branding strategies that requires VERY deep pockets to pull off successfully.

Why Advertising Agencies Don’t Advertise

Advertising agencies are very keen to spend your money on advertising but consider this, how many ads do you see in the paper or TV for advertising agencies?

Not many if any, right.

Don’t you think that’s a little strange they don’t eat their own dog food?

Well how do advertising agencies get their clients if not by advertising?

The answer may surprise you… because it is predominantly cold calling, referrals, schmoozing and responding to tenders.

Go to the Wellington yellow pages and see how many advertising agencies there are, I count about 60 listed with phone numbers only.

How many ads do you think they use? Three. That’s right three and they are pretty small. Check it out for yourself.

What do you think they know about advertising that they are not telling you?

Like I said they have a dirty little secret.

***Traditional advertising does not work anymore***


What Is The Solution?

Good advertising is nothing more than “salesmanship in print”.

The best creators of money producing ads are almost always ex salespeople because to sell using only paper and ink requires an outstanding understanding of buyer psychology NOT creativity! You only get that experience by running thousands of tests with live customers under battle conditions… this is what sales people do everyday.

Most agency creatives have never done a days real selling in their life and we entrust them with our budgets and expect a witty headline to make us rich.

When they tell you they want to start the ad with a catchy jingle ask yourself “if I walked into an office to sell face to face would I sit down across from my prospect and sing a catchy song?” Unlikely!

When they tell you that you need plenty of white space so we must limit the word count to no more than a hundred words in the ad ask yourself “if I sent a salesperson out to a prospect would I tell her she had to stop what she was saying once she reached hundred words?” Unlikely, you say what you need to say to get the job done.

Small business cannot eat the results of traditional advertising anymore because with the congestion of messages bombarding us constantly and immunity to advertising buyers are more resistant to traditional image based advertising.

The job of your ad is to sell, not be clever or make them laugh but to get the prospect to put their hand into their wallet and pull out their cash or credit card.

Getting measurable feedback is essential in assessing the value of any marketing investment.

Would you ever hire a sales person who goes out each day but never tells you his results.

Imagine you go to your investment advisor at the end of the year and she informed you that she had no idea what sort of return on investment you got on the $10,000 you invested.

Why do people except anything less from their advertising investment?

Stop ALL advertising that is not DIRECT RESPONSE ADVERTISING designed in a way that has …

  1. an offer
  2. a call to action
  3. gets an immediate response, so that every dollar spent can be measured and held accountable.

Following this advice is the best way to protect yourself from the dirty little secrets.

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