What Internet Marketers Can Learn From Obvious Ada

What Internet Marketers Can Learn From Obvious Adams

by: Jo Han Mok

A very long time ago, 1916 to be exact, The Saturday Evening Post began publishing a column about a young man named ขObvious Adamsข. Adams was a fictional caricature of a wouldbe advertising man who was so simple, and so guileless, in his thinking that he was brilliant in spite of himself.

The column gained popularity in business circles for its plain wisdom and straightforward advice. The Adams narrative wasn’t merely a ขgood storyข, it was a source of actionable information. Each installment found young Adams facing a new marketing challenge bestowed upon him by his employer. His knack for finding the solutions which hid in plain site earned him his namesake.

The story of Adams was finally published in book form by Robert Updegraff and used as a primer for new advertising executives. Although the text is somewhat quaint, it is a quick, pleasant read and I highly recommend locating a copy for your library.

So, what can you learn from Mr. ขObvious Adamsข? A lot! We will examine and discuss a few choice excerpts from the work, and reveal their application to your every day marketing challenges.

The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil

ขI want to get into the advertising business and I want to work for you, and I thought the obvious thing to do was to come and tell you so.ข

What is the lesson here? If you want something: ask! Likewise, if you want results, take immediate action.

Let me ask you this: how many opportunities have you let slip past simply because you were afraid to go direct to the source of profit? For example, how long have you had a super joint venture idea sitting on the backburner because you’re afraid to contact potential partners?

In the quoted material, Adams is addressing a fictional advertising big wig named James B.Oswald. Adams had promptly awoken in the morning to pay a visit to the man and ask him for a job. Do you find that a bit gutsy? After all, he’s a no name kid. Oswald runs a huge, profitable corporation.

Similarly, do you ever say to yourself: ขWho do I think I am? These big internet marketing gurus won’t give me the time of dayข? Well, guess what? They’re human just like you are. They got where they are by asking for what they wanted and needed and by taking action.

When you have a desire and a plan of action, don’t sit around hemming and hawing about it or doubting yourself. Follow Adams’ lead and shut out all other thoughts except the most logical. You want X, do Y. You need to make contacts, go make the contacts.

You can’t know what the possibilities are until you reach for them, and you can’t get what you want unless you ask for it.

Live and Breathe Your Market

ขAdams proceeded to study up on the subject of peaches. He though, studied, dreamed and ate peaches, fresh, canned, and pickled. He sent for government bulletins. He spent his evenings studying canning.ข

Do you really want to be more competitive? Would you like to know the absolute best price point for your products? Would you like write absolutely killer copy that pulls in sales and outperforms your current control? If you do, then you need to live and breathe in your market.

This is an obvious business principle that often gets overlooked by new home business owners. You jump into a niche and maybe you have some experience – maybe it’s one of your hobbies – but do you really know the industry? Do you know which trade publications to read? Do you know what the current wholesale price is for your product, or what the demand is for your information?

It is very difficult to sell something you don’t know much about. Pick a subject you aren’t familiar with, invent an imaginary product and try writing copy for it. Not very easy, is it?

Now, pick something you do know a lot about, and try to write out everything you know. You’ve probably got a sizeable list, but I ‘ll wager that you’ve left off more than you realize.

Adams went to great lengths to read up on peaches. Peaches! What more can be said about a peach than its piece of fruit, grows on trees and tastes good? Well, as Adams revealed, there’s a lot more to be said.

Don’t ever assume that you know all there is to know about your market, your customers or your product. There is always another feature or benefit hidden somewhere in the fine print, in those daytoday facts that we are so used to we become immune from them.

Are You ‘Selling’ Enough?

ขWe have been doing wonderful cake advertising, but we have overlooked the very things you have pointed out in your plan. We have been doing too much advertising and not enough selling.ข

Read that last sentence again. It reveals a very important distinction. Advertising and selling are not mirror images of each other.

In fact, the best way to discern the difference between the two is in the following definition: Advertising focuses on features and facts. Selling focuses on benefits.

AD

We offer the very best in leather jackets. Our spring sale features 50% discounts and free shipping!

Sales Pitch

The soft, supple skin of our topofthe line bomber jacket will make everyone envious of you! The woollined interior will keep you warm in the winter so you can brave the harshest elements. The zip out feature lets you use the jacket in cool weather, too – so you won’t be too hot or too cold but you’ll still look stylish!

An advertisement says: ขHere is our product. Here’s what it can do. Here’s how much it costs.ข On the other hand, a powerful piece of sales copy says: ขYou’ll feel 10 years younger and rekindle your love with our product: Here, touch it, feel it, test it, have a sample of it.ข

An advertising campaign creates brand awareness and creates general interest. A sales campaign captures that interest and converts it into desire.

So, if your conversion rates aren’t what you’d like them to be, the first thing to do is check your copy. Does your sales letter read like one big advertisement? You’re spending money on traffic, but what are the customers seeing once they arrive at your site? Are they being sold effectively?

There is always a reason for the customer’s decision not to buy, and failure to execute good salesmanship is one of them. It doesn’t matter how good your product is or what it costs. It doesn’t matter if you’re giving away millions of dollar worth of value for pennies on the dollar. If the customer can’t see the benefits of owning the product himself, he won’t buy.

The Path of Least Resistance: Common Sense

ขIt’s that everlasting obviousness in Adams that I banked on. He doesn’t get carried away from the facts; he just looks them squarely in the face and then proceeds to analyze, and that is half the battle.

Indeed, many of the answers to your most pressing marketing challenges are hidden within common sense. The problem is that many people just don’t enjoy thinking. They’re lazy and thought takes up too much energy. Imagine how much expense you could save yourself if only you were to put in the hard work of an honest analysis of your business – and that means sitting down and analyzing:

Your overhead

Your prices

Your copy

Your traffic stats and logs

Customer feedback

Keyword performance

Email campaign data on open rates and conversions

The answers you find can sometimes be as simple as having a server crash or a nonworking order link, or as tricky as a design element on your page which looks fine to you but confuses prospects and drives them away.

You should test and track every element of your sales chain. This means you need to pay attention to your traffic sources, to the copy on the links from those sources, to the landing page which gives visitors their first impression, to the follow up material you send. Each element plays an important role in finetuning the prospect’s mind and opening it up for your ultimate pitch.

Any weak link in the chain can cost you sales. Imagine one day that you send out an offer to your list without first double checking that the link works? Then, you have to send out a second message to apologize and provide the correct link. The odds are good that a significant percentage of your list won’t bother opening the second email. If you’d reached them the first time, though, there would be money in your pocket.

Some of the other ‘gotchas’ that can ruin a campaign: click fraud on the pay per click engines, product theft, missed customer support emails and wasted money on underperforming keywords and other forms of advertising.

There’s no real excuse for being lazy on these things! Yes, you can try to cut corners, but you’ll pay for it at some point. It’s like a brick and mortar merchant leaving the doors unlocked at night. You’re practically guaranteed to experience a wipe out sooner or later.

In Conclusion

There’s an old classic from the same era as ขObvious Adamsข called How to Live on 24 Hours a Day. The wisdom one can glean from Adams’ straightforward and common sense approach to business could be called How to Market on 24 Hours a Day. Too often we overcomplicate things when the simple answer is staring us right in the face. Learn to step back and execute a ‘horsesense’ analysis of the facts at hand. The time you save, and the profits you keep, will be immeasurable.

Copyright 2005 Jo Han Mok

About The Author

Jo Han Mok is a frequent guest and featured speaker at Internet Marketing bootcamps and conferences on subjects such as copywriting and Joint Venture Marketing. Discover his hardcore sixfigure pulling secrets of กsalesmanship in printก at: http://www.MasterWordsmith.com.

This article was posted on January 23, 2005

by Jo Han Mok

9 Tips for Great Design of Your Marketing Material

9 Tips for Great Design of Your Marketing Materials

by: Neroli Lacey

1) Don’t just hire a good designer. Hire someone who has had plenty of experience designing business collateral. Your designer needs to ask you the right questions about the project. And he/ she needs to be able to turn the design round reasonably fast too.
2) Write the copy first. I believe the copy drives the project. (Unless this is a print ad, in which case the visual and headline will often dominate).
3) Read your copy word for word to your designer. You’d be amazed how often designers don’t understand the project because they haven’t been properly briefed. Your designer is going to be expressing in design the same persuasive arguments that you / your writer will be articulating in words.
4) Ensure that your designer communicates your branding i.e. the values you are trying to communicate.
5) Check that the copy is easy to read once it has been laid out by your designer. If the design takes too much attention to itself, then your readers won’t be following your arguments.
6) A professional designer will give you a creative brief: he sets out on paper the brief as he understands it. This includes the brand and the benefits of the offer in question. The creative brief means misunderstandings get cleared up before it they are too expensive to change.
7) He’ll then present you with 23 design options for your review, about 3 weeks later.
8) Remember, you aren’t choosing the color for your sports car, you are choosing the piece that best reflects the brand and personality of your company or offering.
9) Finally your designer brings you the finished product. He instructs printers and oversees production.
WOULD YOU LIKE A WORLDCLASS JOURNALIST TO GHOSTWRITE AN ARTICLE FOR PUBLICATION FOR YOU? Contact Neroli Lacey NOW!
How clear and persuasive is your website, brochure copy or direct mail? Call Neroli Lacey NOW to win more business TODAY.
CALL ++ 612. 215. 3826 or email: neroli@beyondcommunications.com

About The Author

Iกm Neroli Lacey of Beyond Communications Inc. in Minneapolis, MN. I’ve been helping executives transform their businesses and their lives with outstanding marketing materials since 1995. VISA, 3M and Perot Systems are some of my bigger clients. I have worked with clients in Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Austin, Minneapolis, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin and Delhi. I used to be one of the top journalists in Britain writing for The Times, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Evening Standard, New Statesman, Vogue and Tatler.
Before newspapers I was an investment banker. I grew up in London, England, studying Latin with Greek at Bristol University.
Please visit my website: www.beyondcommunications.com

Or contact me at: neroli@beyondcommunications.com

6122153826

This article was posted on April 30, 2004

by Neroli Lacey

How To Ethically Sell To Your Prospect, Even If Th

How To Ethically Sell To Your Prospect, Even If They Say No.

by: Charles Kangethe

What you are about to read… is a closing technique I learnt many years ago whilst working as a sales rep.

Too many marketers let go on the first no.

If you really believe in the value and benefit of your product or service to your prospect, then you need to learn about กPreemptive Marketing.ก

Tip #1 Learn To Differentiate Prospects

There are three groups of prospect

1) Those to whom you will never sell because they have no need for your product or service. Vast majority

2) Those to whom you might sell, if only you can overcome initial objections. Majority of the rest.

3) Those to whom you sell automatically, because of your reputation and the quality of your products and services. Very small minority.

Your marketing should focus on the second group. There is nothing you can do about the first and the third largely take care of themselves.

Once you understand this you will be less fearful of alienating prospects which is the reason most marketers give up on a sale too soon.

Tip #2 Why Do Prospects Not Buy From You ?

There are four broad reasons why prospects will not buy from you.

* Money The product is priced too high, or too low either in absolute terms or in comparison to the competition.

* Functionality The product has too much functionality or too little. In the first case it is too complex or complicated to operate in the second it provides little benefit to the prospect.

* Timing Your prospect has just bought a competitors product, or they are just window shopping in anticipation of a future purchase.

* Competition Your competition has a powerful brand presence in the market place that makes it difficult for you to compete.

Tip #3 What Is PreEmptive Marketing ?

In order to apply Preemptive Marketing Tactics go through these stages.

Phase 1 Understand your prospect in detail. What motivates them ? What are their problems and issues ? What solutions are they looking for ? What value do they place on the solution ?

Phase 2 Brainstorm ALL of your prospectกs possible purchasing objections. Use the objection groups in step #2 to help you.

Phase 3 For each objection, decide on credible and persuasive responses.

Phase 4 Using popup technology and / or autoresponders deliver the responses to prospects who did not click on กBuy Nowก after reading your copy.

Tip #4 Examples Of Credible Responses

Here are some example Credible Responses to Frequent Purchasing Objections

* Too Expensive

Ask your prospect to make you an offer If your product has sunk costs that you have covered, then any offer is probably acceptable. If you still need to cover the production costs, give the prospect a floor price you are willing to accept and ask them to bid, above the floor.

* Too Cheap

Tell your prospect they can have the product at a discount to the already cheap price ! If they like the product then they can send another payment for what they think the product is really worth.

* Product Too Complicated

Offer a discount on standard price and offer to train the prospect for F’ree in how to use the added functionality.

When you design your products, do so in a modular fashion so functionality can be added or removed to the core product.

* Product Too Simple

Offer a discount with a guarantee of F’ree upgrades when the functionality is added.

Ask your prospect to make you a reduced offer based on their evaluation of the functionality.

* Prospect Was Window Shopping

Offer your prospect a discount for buying before a date you set in the future. Make sure the discounts are removed when that date is reached, else the tactic loses credibility.

* Prospect Bought A Similar Product From Elsewhere

Offer your prospect a discounted price and an extended returns period during which they can compare your product against the previously purchased one.

* Competitor Brand Is Dominant

Do a กwarts and allก comparison of your product against the market leader. Line them up and let your prospect make the buying decision based on information rather than กbrand awarenessก

Brand your own product, service and business with your USP.

Tip #5 Practical Preemptive Marketing

Armed with your list of objections and a response for each, create your sales pages and apply an exit popup to everything except the กBuy Nowก or กOptInก buttons.

You also need to set up an autoresponder with the responses to the objections as the topics for your mails.

The use of exit popups and autoresponders in this way is nothing new. However, what is different in this tactic is the detail of objections to which you respond.

You must have answers to the entire range of objections your prospect may have to make this work.

The way you present the information on your กPreemptive Responsesก Popup and autoresponder is also critical to the success of this tactic.

The objection must be headlined in an attention grabbing way, so that if that objection applies to your prospect they will be drawn into your response.

Relevant Resources

Quick Tactics To Brand Your Business http://www.simplyeasier.com/ownarticles.html

Article by Bob Leduc Neutralize Unspoken Objections To Increase Sales available from http://www.sbishere.com/article.html/598

When Objections Get In The Way http://common.ppmg.net/NEWSltc/021108.htm

The Psychology Of Closing http://common.ppmg.net/NEWSltc/021101.htm

Conclusion

Make it a business philosophy of yours not to let the sale go on the first no !

Use Preemptive Marketing tactics to persuade warm prospects that they can and should make the purchase despite their initial objections.

These tactics will not appeal to people who would never have bought from you, but a few of those who read your copy and are still undecided may convert much to their own and your benefit.

(c) 2004 Charles Kangethe

About The Author

Charles Kangethe of http://www.simplyeasier.com is a leading new wave Netpreneur and a published author from England. The กSimply Easierก brand name is your guarantee of high value, quality Marketing Products, Services and Resources.

charles@simplyeasier.com

This article was posted on April 16, 2004

by Charles Kangethe

Ready, Aim, Fire…Oops…Whereกs The Target?

Ready, Aim, Fire…Oops…Whereกs The Target?

by: Patty Baldwin

Everywhere you go on the Internet you find the words, "target market." What do they mean? What does it have to do with you? Well it has everything to do with your success in sales.
Let me give you an example. A few weeks ago an online entrepreneur asked me to review a direct sales presentation for him. Letกs call him "Joe". His product and service is excellent. Top quality and performance, excellent customer service and support. The product will produce desired results for any business advertising online.
In this particular case, Joeกs potential customer is in the furniture manufacturing business. The company owns a small chain of outlet stores and advertises on the Internet. Basically, an excellent candidate for Joeกs offer.
Well, Joe sent me his package. In the offline world, it would have required UPS to deliver it with a hand truck! Now, that is an overstatement, but it consisted of a threepage cover letter, with four separate attachments and a CD presentation that he was going to mail as a followup.
Hereกs my response to Joe:

"What a tremendous amount of work you have put into this presentation.
Having been on the receiving end of proposals such as this, I must tell you that it would be the recipient of the "delete" key. Why? Too much to wade through. Too much for me to absorb. Too much for me to do. Nothing to compel me to read on.
Having said that, letกs pretend for a moment that I am Mr. Jones.

Where are the needs development questions?
What tells me that you have done your homework and know about my industry?
What are my problems and how will you solve them?
How much does the average household spend on furnishings annually? (In the US itกs about $1,000)
How are you going to help me capture a share of those dollars?
How has the economy affected my business?
What qualities separate my business from my competition?
How extensive and how important are brand names to my customers?
What are my specialty areas?
What market do I target and why?
Why do my customers keep coming back to my stores?
What are some of the hot buttons or copy points that you might use to target Mr. Jones?
What is his business terminology?

Joe, here are two sites that can help you develop a more "targeted" approach to Mr. Jones:
http://www.furnitureinfo.com/1061.htm
http://www.furniturestatistics.com/statisticalreviewsales.html
I hope this helps, Joe. Decision makers are bombarded daily and we must be ever diligent that we are focusing in on "WIIFM" (Whatกs In It For Me)".

Now, what was the message to Joe? Do Your Homework. Mr. Jones doesn’t give a rip about your product unless it can fulfill his needs, but first you have to know what those needs are.
Joeกs presentation, which probably took him hours if not days to prepare, was a classic case of overkill. The two sites referred to would have given Joe all the ammunition he needed to prepare an effective presentation and in just a few short minutes.
By the way, the research tools that I use to study markets, trends, and individual sites are listed below. Both are free to download and are priceless.
http://www.copernic.com
http://www.alexa.com
Ready, Aim … Get Ready To Fire!

About The Author

Patty Baldwin is a former Better Business Bureau executive and the owner of several online businesses. A successful net marketer, she invites you to visit any one of her sites at:

http://www.allbizservices.com

http://www.4bstrading.com

http://www.allbizwealth.com

This article was posted on January 20, 2002

by Patty Baldwin

A Tale of Might & Magical Teamwork: A Mac OS X Wea

A Tale of Might & Magical Teamwork: A Mac OS X Weather Application Review

by: Cate Defrise

Once upon a time, a clever guy named, Matt came up with this simply brilliant idea for an app called Meteorologist, that allows you to choose several cities and display their current weather conditions on your menu bar or dock or both. He began working on it and it became a very solid and strong program, but he soon realized he could no longer go further with it as his life was getting in the way of its completion and maintenance. Fortunately, the project didn’t die there. He threw it up for grabs in the Open Source community at Source Forge and it landed in the hands of a small group of compassionate developers that came to his rescue and teamed up to continue his legacyin all of its glory as well as its trials and tribulations.

This group called themselves, ขThe M Team.ข You know, sort of like, ‘the A Team. กOkay, I lied. They actually called themselves, ขThe Meteorologist Group.ข

Back to Meteorologist! Meteorologist is a free weather program for OS X. It allows Mac users total control over their weather viewing enjoyment, including simultaneous interlaced weather reports from multiple weather servers worldwide. In other words, this program is cool.

So you say weather is too boring? Think again, my friend. There’s a reason why weather.com is among the top 100 sites (out of 4 BILLION sites, give or take a few thousand): inquiring minds wanna know the weather!

Meteorologist allows you to see the weather of cities of your choice directly on your menu bar or dock, and you can name them whatever you want. I prefer the menu bar because my dock has gotten too cluttered lately. It’s so easy to find Meteorologist and it’s so accessible. For example, I’ve chosen Nice, France because it’s near to where I live, Culver City, California where most of my family is, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey where my sister lives and Lille, France where most of my inlaws live. I just look up at my menu bar and it has the outside temperature with a cute matching icon. (Right now กchez meก it’s 57°F at nearly 8 PM, showing an icon with little gray clouds. I could change it to Celsius if I wanted too.) This is utterly helpful to me because it helps me decide things such as how long of a walk I can take with my dog, or, in case of rain, that I shouldn’t really go out at all.

For some reason, it’s also comforting to know the weather conditions of my loved ones. It’s sort of like your Buddy List on iChat or whatever chat program you use. You see buds and family online and chat sometimes but it’s just reassuring to know that they’re there whether you chat with them or not. You know what I mean? Knowing their climate somehow letกs me take part in their lives (somehow in my crazy way) even though I can’t be there inperson.

You can see a 3day forecast of these places too, great for planning part of your week. All of this information is current and changes accordingly if necessary by accessing the closest weather server. For instance, I can see that it might actually snow in Upper Saddle River on Tuesday! I know now I can plan to tease my sister about it because she hates cold weather. See, how indispensable Meteorologist is?! Don’t even ask why she lives in New Jersey.

Meteorologist doesn’t stop at the temperature; it also gives a current account of wind, humidity, dew point, pressure, clouds, forecast and the last time information was updated. However, the pièce de résistance has yet to be announced in this review!

Yes, the most innovative and clever characteristic about Meteorologist, and my personal favourite feature, is its ability to alert you in cases of severe weather conditions! How does it do this you ask? I’m glad you asked because here is the answer: You can choose how you’d like to be alerted with the following options (and you can select as many as you’d like): 1) via email; 2) a Beep; 3) Play a song that you can select from iTunes; or, 4) have the Meteorologist icon bounce violently in the dock.

Of course, having said that, I’ve yet to receive an alert, which is probably a good thing—because receiving an alert could mean, for example, that there’s an imminent tsunami ready to inundate this area in 30 minutes with millions of tons of the Mediterranean crushing everything in its path.

Despite this gloomy scenario, I still think this app is awesome, and so the story and review shall end happily ever after.

Meteorologist is a freeware and workinprogress by The Meteorologist Team (as well as the Open Source community) at Source Forge Note: You must have internet access to use Meteorologist.

Rated 4.5 out of 5

About The Author

Cate Defrise is a journalist and Mac fan based in the South of France.

This article was posted on March 15, 2004

by Cate Defrise

2005 Super Bowl Ads… Winners & Losers

2005 Super Bowl Ads… Winners & Losers

by: John Jordan

Well, Super Bowl XXXIX is history. Too bad for the folks who consider themselves the alwayspullinกfortheunderdog type. The Bandwagon team won.

But, as far as Super Bowls go, the losers played well. For those who care, the Eagles actually covered the 7point spread. T.O. is the deal, too. At least on the field, anyway.

They had a chance late in the game, but poor field position and bad clock management did them in. Scoring from 95 yards out with 48 seconds left? Thatกs a tall order.

So is getting/maintaining ad recall 48 hours after the final gun. Whose $80,000 per second ad was worth it? Who wouldกve done better by writing me a fat check for $2.4 million?

Read on, and find out. True to school yard rules: Suckers Walk. Losers are up first.

Losers:

Sorry, Donovan, but your three picks lands you in with GoDaddy.com, Quiznoกs, and Silestone. I don’t care if you were ill.

GoDaddy.com had a decent concept that quickly went bad. OK. Boopsie talking to a Senate subcommittee on CSPAN about indecency. Good start if they cut out any hint to last yearกs halftime debacle. But… they couldn’t resist. So the buxom wench wearing a GoDaddy.com tshirt has a near wardrobe malfunction. One of the craggy senators has to hit the oxygen mask.

This ad was supposed to run again, but Fox pulled it midgame. Good idea. I bet their stomachs were in as many knots as Donovan McNabbกs.

The Quiznoกs ad was mediocre at best. This talking baby concept is tiresome. As cliché as it may be, itกs still 80% less annoying than those whack rodents in pirate hats from a couple of years ago.

The one stinky Bud Light ad was one that the ESPN crowd really dug the parachuteless pilot heading out the door for the six of Diet Bud. Dumb. The desert island one with Cedric the Entertainer was iffy, too.

Speaking of stinky… what was up with Napster’s ad? Ugh! It could wind up doing more to shut them down than the Supreme Court.

This bad concept was in stark difference to their introductory spots featuring Flash animation based around their logo. Those were welldesigned and entertaining. This one was as fat and ugly as the seven shirtless blops they decided to show with a letter on each of their overdeveloped beer guts to spell NAPSTER. It was done in house and, boy, did it show.

The manufactured ขrealityข of the game and its atmosphere was lame and no one bought it. An ad taking place at the Super Bowl should be IN the Super Bowl done real time. And… trying to take on Apple’s iTunes on price? That was the second dumbest decision of this ad. No wonder it finished dead last in likability and recognition.

Now… Silestone. Valiant effort of an ad featuring Chicago sports legends. Voice over was good. It was shot nicely. But, it was a little too jumpy in the cuts to get the whole picture the first time through. The quick cut style hurt the name recognition of the line of counter tops.

Silestone and Diana Pearl are not exactly household names. And Dennis Rodman slurred his line. It sounded like กDinah Pearl, rather than, กDiana Pearl.ก Iกm sure the director or writer got dissed when they said, กUh, Worm… itกs กDiA naก.ก

กSure. Dinah.ก

As a side note, why were only Chicago Bears in it until Dennis Rodman at the end? No Scottie Pippen or Slammin’ Sammy?

On to the good กuns…

Winners:

This year, the game was nearly as good as the ads, as there were a surprisingly good number of breaking spots. Leading the pack was Career Builder, FedEx, Mastercard, and AnheuserBusch.

FedEx likes to make ads relating to advertising on advertisingกs biggest stage. They did it again patching together 10 ‘tried and trueก Super bowl ad conventions to great results.

Career Builder put a great spin on a stale category with the best work since Monsterกs กI Wanna Be…ก [a brown noser, forced into retirement, etc.] from ก98. Three ads featuring a hapless chump working for chimps managed to put their name into mind share largely dominated by two others.

MasterCard got a bunch of animated branded food icons together for a meal and a nice touch of nostalgia. Ad fans and agency folks dug this one.

AB hit emotional hot buttons with a nearpublic service ad saluting troops retuning home. Yes, they were real military not actors. Their uniforms just did not have any insignias, so the common soldier would be represented. For their light beer category, the ad with the head on the wall and the designated driver spot were the best for Bud Light.

Pepsi’s second year of an iTunes promotion kicked off well. They ran a humorous spot featuring people opening winning bottles for a free song. When the bottles were opened, a song reflecting the drinker’s taste in music would play. Although the spot was humorous and worked, Pepsi could’ve really hit a home run by involving the older ขauthority figureข more into the ad. But, keeping with brand tradition, they kept the focus young.

AmeriQuest had two entertaining spots revolving around the themes of misunderstanding and jumping to conclusions. Their message was, ขWe don’t prejudge.ข The ad featuring spaghetti sauce, a cat, and knife will certainly make some ‘Best Ofข reels this year.

Decent work also included Hondaกs new pickup/SUV product introduction. Good detail with benefit highlights. Left the กHondaก out until the end. Cadillac and Volvo had solid ads. Volvo should have bought another ad, if not two, as many people missed the early run. The audience also may have missed the details on their unique contest. But they did follow up with some net portal ads the day after. Fordกs F150 Biker spot was OK. Their line that กit makes YOU tough,ก really undercut the effectiveness.

About The Author

John is a freelance commercial writer based in Omaha, Nebraska. He publishes a free monthly ezine focusing on branding, advertising, and marketing from his web site http://www.brandedbetter.com. Speaking with both agency and inhouse experience, he knows the most valuable asset of a business is its brand.

brandedbetter@yahoo.com

This article was posted on February 10

by John Jordan

Simplify Your Message For An Effective ENewslette

Simplify Your Message For An Effective ENewsletter

by: Michael J. Katz

If you’re old enough to know your total cholesterol count off the top of your head (217), you may remember a man by the name of Jim Fixx.

Fixx gained prominence in 1977 with the publication of his book, The Complete Book of Running, and is widely credited with singlehandedly starting the jogging craze in this country. Unfortunately, Fixx died suddenly in 1984.

Hearing what had happened, my Aunt Esther — a woman known for sometimes not quite getting her facts straight — gave me the news: ‘the guy who invented running died.ก

Admittedly, a bit of an oversimplification. However, with those six simple words she had captured the essence — if not the absolute factual truth — of the story. Before Fixxกs book came out, running around the neighborhood for exercise was not a common practice, and in many ways, he had กinventedก running.

Iกm here to tell you that when it comes to effective communication with an audience, my Aunt Esther had it right — essence matters more than facts.

How many times have you been forced to endure 85 slides worth of a speakerกs Power Point presentation, getting to the point where you start looking for a way to unobtrusively take your own life? Invariably, the problem isn’t that the data is wrong or even lacking in value, itกs that itกs delivered in a way that is too detailed and too convoluted for the average human being to digest. You arrive eager to learn something, but the delivery itself gets in the way.

Many newsletters suffer from the same กgood information; poor deliveryก syndrome. The facts are there, but the reader is not able to — or not interested in — finding them. With that in mind, I offer some suggestions for being heard and appreciated:

Pick one idea. I always find it kind of funny that the biggest worry people have about producing a newsletter is กrunning out of content,ก and yet the biggest problem I see is ‘too much content in each issue.ก You don’t need to explain your entire field of expertise in each issue any more than you need to review everything you know each time you eat lunch with a client. Break it up into little pieces. Youกll have more content to choose from next time and your readers will find it easier to hear your message.

Boil it down. An ENewsletter is really just a glorified email, and mixed in with all the jokes, appointment confirmations and pieces of information that fly into our respective inboxes every day, this is not a medium that lends itself well to lots of detail. Be prepared to edit, simplify and throw out information on your way to getting to the heart of the matter.

Speak like a human being. I don’t know who started the rumor that business communication must be formal to be valuable, but it seems to have caught on nonetheless — thatกs an opportunity for you and me. Your readers will find it a breath of fresh air to กhearก the people behind the newsletter. Nobody is interested in reading one more กcritical communicationก from a company that claims to be, ‘the leading provider of cross platform broadband solutionsก (or whatever). If you can’t read your newsletter out loud to your spouse without bursting out laughing, youกve got too much marketingspeak in there.

Bottom Line: Youกve got 800 words of opportunity each month to get your message across. Sure youกve got to have something useful to give your audience, but remember that these people are busy, tired and often just plain bored. Make your publication the one they wait for and youกll never again live in fear of the delete key.

About The Author

Michael J. Katz is Founder and Chief Penguin of Blue Penguin Development, Inc., (http://www.BluePenguinDevelopment.com) a Boston area consulting firm that helps clients increase sales by showing them how to nurture their existing relationships, and that specializes in the development of electronic newsletters. He is the author of the book, ENewsletters That Work.

This article was posted on January 06

by Michael J. Katz

LowCost Marketing With Postcards

LowCost Marketing With Postcards

by: Bob Leduc

Hereกs a simple way you can generate lots of sales leads …or traffic to your web site. Use postcards. They’re highly effective and very lowcost. Plus, postcards provide the following 6 unique advantages over most other types of advertising.

1. Maximum Exposure for Your Sales Message

Postcards are delivered ‘ready to readก. Even people who usually ignore other advertising will find it hard to avoid looking at your message when itกs on a postcard …especially if you keep it brief.

With other types of advertising you often lose prospects who would have been interested in your offer …but they never saw it.

2. Simple and LowCost

Postcards are simple to produce and very lowcost. You can print 4 x 6 inch postcards on your own computer for less than 2 cents each. Or you can reduce the cost down to about 1 cent each if you print 4 at a time on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of card stock and cut the sheets into quarters.

Even postcards printed by a commercial printer are not expensive …usually about 4 cents to 8 cents each.

The postage for mailing postcards is low too. In the US you can send postcards by First Class Mail for only 23 cents. This reduced postage rate applies to postcards that are at least 3 1/2 x 5 inches but not over 4 1/4 x 6 inches.

3. Get Immediate Results

Because postcards are simple and easy to use they produce results quickly. Often your postcards can be mailed within a week from the time you decide to use them. You will start getting replies 2 or 3 days later.

4. Gain Control of Your Sales Activity

Postcards put you in control your sales activity. You can avoid getting too many or too few responses during any time period by regulating how many postcards you mail and how often you mail them.

That means you can quickly boost your sales activity anytime it slows down. And you can avoid losing customers you can’t handle immediately because you got flooded with too much activity at one time.

5. No Wasted Advertising Expense

Postcards enable you to spend your entire advertising budget on your best prospects. You don’t have to pay for advertising to a large audience in order to reach a few good prospects.

With a little advance planning you can make sure your postcards only go to prospects likely to be interested in what you offer …and who also have a prior history of acting on offers that interest them.

For example, analyze your customers and make a list of the characteristics they share. Then call several national mailing list brokers and tell them what you are looking for. Youกll be surprised at how specific some mailing lists are today.

6. Can Evaluate Results Quickly

Postcards normally generate 90 percent or more of their total number of replies within 7 to 10 days. This enables you to quickly and accurately evaluate the results of postcard advertising. Youกll know in about a week if you can confidently send more of the same postcards or if you need to make some changes.

Don’t overlook postcards when you want to generate sales leads or web site traffic. They’re highly effective, very lowcost …and they provide these 6 unique advantages you cannot get with most other types of advertising.

Copyright 2004 Bob Leduc

http://BobLeduc.com

About The Author

Bob Leduc spent 20 years helping businesses like yours find new customers and increase sales. He just released a New Edition of his manual, How To Build Your Small Business Fast With Simple Postcards …and launched *BizTips from Bob*, a newsletter to help small businesses grow and prosper. Youกll find his lowcost marketing methods at: http://BobLeduc.com or call: 7026581707 After 10 AM Pacific Time/Las Vegas, NV

This article was posted on September 28, 2004

by Bob Leduc

Can We Talk? I Mean Honestly? I’ve Got Some Good N

Can We Talk? I Mean Honestly? I’ve Got Some Good News and A Warning for You Too

by: Dee Scrip

1. Have you ever found an incredible buy somewhere and couldn’t wait to rush home and call all your friends to tell them about it? It is such great news and you know it will save them a ton of money.

2. Or have you ever been warned about a sinister person lurking under someone’s car at night waiting for their next victim to arrive? You are so concerned that you feel impelled to warn all your friends as soon as possible so they won’t become a casualty because of lack of knowledge.

Well, if your answer is ขyesข to either one of these questions, perhaps you can relate to what I am about to tell you…

You see, I’ve found the most awesome bargain since Alexander Graham Bell first invented the telephone! And I can hardly contain myself from sharing it with you because I know once you try it out, you are going to absolutely love it, and especially since it will save you a ton of money.

Well, here it is! Some ingenious person combined the features and convenience of the telephone with the power of the Internet, and came up with a computer phone. It intrigued me so much that I had to try it. And guess what? Now I am making all my phone calls from my computer! Plus, I have been pocketing almost 80% in savings after comparing the costs with what I was paying when using a traditional phone. It is a really simple concept too. How cool is that!

When I first tried the computer phone out, I found I didn’t have a built in microphone on my computer. That was a bummer until I discovered a microphone for a computer only costs $5.00 at a local store. And, all I had to do was plug it into the back of my computer so that I could talk. That alone was thrilling just from the simple fact that I am basically computer challenged.

Well, let me tell you, after I plugged that baby in and talked to a few people, I was off and running telling every friend I had about this incredible find! And now I am telling you too! You’ve just gotta try it! You are going to absolutely love it! I promise you!!

Even some of my friends on dialup connections to the Internet were able to use it too!

I don’t want you to become a casualty of computer phones either. So here’s my warning…

I found out there are a lot of computer phone (VoIP) companies out there offering their wares. But along with that, I heard a lot of clients using their services were given a virus or worm, and some poor folks even had their personal and confidential information accessed by some unscrupulous hackers who sold it to other villainous individuals information like their social security numbers, their birth dates all the makings for your personal identity to be stolen.

Being the naturally curious person that I am, I wanted to find out how that happened. Here is what I unearthed.

Over 90% of the VoIP computer phone providers were operating on unsafe lines – the kind hackers can easily access. How so? Because these computer phone providers were operating from publicly open and interpretable industry standard codec (codes) and industry standard protocols (IP addresses) to lower their costs. And being publicly accessible meant that hackers were lurking nearby just waiting for another innocent victim to prey upon.

I know it is hard to believe there are these types of criminal entities out there, but unfortunately, the harsh reality is that there are.

So, now I am thinking – how can I protect myself from these pathetic misfits while I am using my computer phone. Guess what? I found out how! It was just a matter of finding a computer phone provider that did NOT operate on these publicly open and interpretable industry standards.

In fact, here is some more good news I want to share with you too.

I found a computer phone provider that operated on its own proprietary highend encryption codec (code) hosted on its own proprietary patented technology. You want to talk about being optimally safe and secure…well, you’ve got it! Not only that, this one you can try out 7 days for free.

My thoughts are, if someone is so confident about their product that they would let me try it for free first – before even deciding if I wanted to purchase it, then they must have the real deal.

Personally, since I have been using the computer phone, I have kept in closer contact with my family scattered throughout the country, and I have made quite a lot of new friends in many other countries – all of which I talk to as long as I want absolutely free. Way too cool !!

Well, these are my great finds and warning for you. As an update: I have since become a computer phone solutions provider and can promise you that these computer phones are absolutely amazing in quality and safety, and are light years above the ขcompetitionข if you can call it that.

Why not try one out for yourself? It is free and you will have nothing to lose. Actually, you will have everything to gain, including putting some of that hard earned money back into your own pocket.

Here ya go – try it out 7 days for free at http://www.whypay4calls.com/gtp/to.pl?l=ARTFREE

Oh, and I almost forgot. I have put together a little Report entitled ขWhy Hackers Love Computer Phones – Shocking Inside Informationข which is absolutely free also. Here’s the website for that: http://www.whypay4calls.com/gtp/to.pl?l=ART04

© Dee Scrip – All rights reserved.

About The Author

Dee Scrip is a well known published author of numerous articles on VoIP, VoIP security, and related VoIP issues.

http://www.whypay4calls.com/gtp/to.pl?l=ARTFREE

This article was posted on February 09

by Dee Scrip

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

by: Dhiraj Bhikoo

Affiliate marketing refers to the promotion of products or services through affiliates. Affiliates are usually other webmasters and ezine editors who choose to act as sales people on behalf of their principals for a commission on every sale.

There are mainly two types of affiliate marketing programs: the onetier program and the twotier programs. In onetier programs the affiliate earns on a per referral basis and cannot recruit subaffiliates to assist. In two tier programs not only the affiliate earns from his/her direct referrals but also gets a percentage commission from referrals by coaffiliates who join the program through him/her. It is also possible to have multitier affiliate programs but these are not yet prevalent.

If you are an online entrepreneur or marketer and you have your own website then you can also promote your business and increase your sales through affiliate marketing. You will need an attractive and genuine product plus credible sales copy plus the appropriate software to set up an affiliate marketing program. Set out the program’s terms and conditions,frequently asked questions and online registration form and post them on your site and let prospects read and be able to join if they are satisfied with your affiliate program.

Apart from providing details about your affiliate marketing program on your website you need to send out the word out there that you have a lucrative and working program. Of course you could advertise in ezines or through ezine ad networks and high traffic websites. You will also need to register your program with affiliate program directories and networks such as www.associateprograms.com and www.comissionjunction.com so that prospects searching for new opportunities can find yours. You could also write reviews and articles and post them in free articles databases and request editors to publish them in your ezine.

If you have no products of your own and no website but want to earn money marketing affiliate programs you can set yourself up and succeed as an affiliate marketing. You would have to learn the ropes of online marketing and invest time, money and efforts to earn legitimate income from promoting other people’s products.

You can look for a product(s) in high demand, register as an affiliate and start promoting the products using various marketing strategies. How do you know what is in high demand and what can be a successful product to market could be found mainly through considered research. It is generally accepted that information products such as ebooks, special reports, etc sell well on the internet. To discover what particular infoproducts are suitable for you, conduct some research at online marketing forums such as www.warriorforum.com and www.ablake.com. You can read existing messages already posted there and ask questions to find out more. You can also search at affiliate program network sites such as www.commissionjunction.com, www.associateprograms.com, www.clicbank.com and www.google.com.

To assist you select the most appropriate affiliate program here are further tips:

The product must be genuine and legal so that you do not encounter legal problems.

The minimum payout should not be too high to make you wait for too long for the paycheck or to struggle too much to send referrals.

The product should not be too new as to make prospects tarry in making the buying decision or too old that almost everyone has bought it.

The price should not be too high as to make people unable to afford thus making you not get any or very few referrals or the product is too cheap that your commission is too little such that you would have to make many referrals to earn a decent income.

Does the affiliate program have one –tier or several tiers? The more tiers the program has and ability to earn residual income the better.

Do you have to pay or purchase anything to join the program? Purchasing may be fine for you to know the product but paying to join isn’t.

Ideally you should have your own website where you would post reviews and links to your affiliate programs. Use your own domain name when setting up the website to look professional. Since many of the visitors to your website will be there for a few seconds and may never return again, it is advisable that you capture their names and addresses so that you can further enlighten them on your programs and offers. This could be mainly through a regular ezine or an automated autoresponder ecourse.

Provide a means for prospects to contact you in case of any queries and reply promptly and courteously. Promote your website constantly and track your affiliate statistics regularly to gauge your performance. Ensure your links and banners are working and your affiliate ID is correct in all your links. Use text links more than banners as the latter are less effective nowadays due to their proliferation and distractive nature.

About The Author

Dhiraj Bhikoo is a successful internet marketer.He helps people retire faster by building a free search engine friendly website for top search engine rankings

http://www.workathomeopportunityformoms.com

You are free to use this article as long as you do not make any changes in its content, you keep all the links in it active and you include the information above about the author as it is.

info@workathomeopportunityformoms.com

This article was posted on November 06, 2004

by Dhiraj Bhikoo

Still กWaitingก In Line For Your Dream Results?

Still กWaitingก In Line For Your Dream Results?

by: Juanita Bellavance

Picture your life as a trip to a global amusement park. The opportunities surrounding you in life are the ขrides.ข At any popular amusement park, there is often a line at almost every ride or event, your learning curve. How do you handle the waiting?

Every ride or opportunity has a fantastic appeal. You ultimately want to ride everything in an amusement park, except rides you may think are too risky or too boring. Imagine yourself in line waiting for the ride you came upon first. In line you have progressed forward some and have a long time more to wait. You look up and see right over there is another ride that looks even more exciting so you go over there and get in line for it. You move forward a little in that line and just outside the que you notice the most exciting show! There’s not too much of a line for it yet so you can be near the front and get in fast, ขground level.ข That is when you notice show time arrives in about 30 minutes. While you’re waiting for show time you have lots of time to think. You realize you have just spent a few hours at the park already and have not ridden even one ride. You decide it was a mistake to leave the first one and change so you go back to the first one. While you are in the first line again, you realize why you changed to the other line in the first place and you really wanted to ride the other ride more so you change ขjust this once more.ข

Can you see how with a strategy like that you will never get to ride any ride? You could have ridden EVERY ride if you would have just seen the first one through, then had gone to the next one and the next. When you entered the park you were probably handed a map. If you had the patience to sit down and create a plan, connecting the dots for velocity of doing all or in order of favorites and stuck to that plan, you would have had time to do every single thing in the park and with no stress or frustration. You would have certainty that you would get around to each. Then, as you went along, if you did notice one ride taking way too long because of its popularity, you could have skipped it if necessary to get the most variety or you could stay all day in that one line if it were worth it.

Opportunity is like that. You MUST look around you and see the niches available. And you MUST know the niches that match your deepest core passion. If you’re like me, you can see something you like in just about any opportunity. But does that opportunity match your core passion? The first opportunity or ขrideข you take on must be the one that is the most deeply matching you to make sure you are fulfilled by the end of the ขride,ข the results. Having done this first, you will be able to ride the less compelling fun rides as well and with more joy since you are fulfilled in your deepest core of who you are.

There are people who just seem to know themselves well and know what they want very early in life. Most people don’t. They graduate from high school and even go on to college having no idea what they want their lives to be about. Are you one of those people? If so, you could wait in a lot of long lines getting almost to the mark and then falling short because you skipped the basic step of knowing yourself . Then how to move through the line with the most velocity possible to the result. You may not even know for sure what ขrideข or opportunity you even want in the sea of opportunities available.

Find the one key element to who you are first and then find the opportunity that most quickly gives you an access for expressing yourself. Then, you will save many years of ขwaitingข and will live a life of untold joy and wealth if you wish from this point forward. You are your own guarantee.

Copyright 2005 Juanita Bellavance

About The Author

Juanita Bellavance, the author of this article is known for understanding what a client needs to succeed. She can look at what’s missing and lead a client into seeing for themselves their own power over it. Because of this realization of their power, people have a shift in belief level. And that shift ignites them into action! Find your core passion with her Power Vision Writing Guidebook at http://www.powervisionwriting.com or contact her at: Success@assuredsuccesslifecoach.com. Visit Juanita’s website at: www.assuredsuccesslifecoach.com.

This article was posted on August 29

by Juanita Bellavance

How To Survive Speed Networking

How To Survive Speed Networking

by: Alan Matthews

Get More Clients From Networking – Follow The Rules Of Dating.

If you’re a business owner, you probably spend quite a lot of your time at networking events. In fact, it may be the main way you try to get new clients. But do you ever feel that you could get more from these meetings? Do you actually get the results from your networking to justify the amount of time you put into it?

If you don’t find you get a lot of interest from the people you meet, it may be that you’re going about things the wrong way. You may need a new approach.

My own view is that you can’t go far wrong if you think of networking more like dating. The two activities have a lot in common ( although, I must admit, I’m relying on distant memory here ). Here are some things you need to think about.

1. What sort of person do you want to meet?

If your answer is ข anyone ข you risk wasting time talking to a lot of people who just aren’t going to be ข the one ข. You also sound a bit desperate, to be honest. Not everyone is going to be your ideal client. Once you know who that is, you can be more choosy about who you talk to.

2. Where are you likely to meet them?

There are lots of places to meet people, but where will you find your ideal person – in a club, at evening classes, at the Bingo? Don’t just go to the first place you find, pick the event where you know the person you’re looking for is most likely to be.

3. Think about joining a dating agency so you can look through details of the other members.

Look at the members list of any group before joining if you can get hold of it ( ask for photographs if possible ). Also, look at the list of attendees before a meeting so you can make a beeline for the people you want to talk to.

4. Accept that it takes time to build a relationship.

Don’t expect too much too soon. People will need time to get to know and trust you and, in this case, you’re looking for a long term relationship, not a one – night stand.

5. Think of something interesting to say about yourself.

If someone asks you ข What do you do? ข don’t just say ข I’m a Financial Adviser ข or ข I’m a Consultant ข and expect them to swoon. Tell them what you do for people, how you help, the problems you solve. But don’t make things up to impress them, you’ll be found out sooner or later.

6. Don’t spend the whole time talking about yourself.

One secret for getting people to like you is to ask them about themselves. Be a great listener, not a great talker. People love talking about themselves, they don’t want to listen to you telling them how wonderful you are. Stop talking before they lose the will to live and ask a question. Prepare some good ones in advance so your mind doesn’t go blank. Avoid ข Do you come here often? ข or ข So what line of business are you in? ข Try to find something you both have in common.

7. Don’t be too pushy on your first date.

Just because someone shows an interest doesn’t mean you can bombard them with information about all your products or services. You’ll look too needy and that puts people off.

8. People always say they’ll ring, they never do.

Sad but true. Don’t rely on other people ringing you, make sure you get their number so you can call them. It’s much more important to get someone else’s business card than to give them your own. It gives you the initiative.

9. Keep your numbers in a little black book.

Set up a contact management system so you don’t lose the details of the people you meet. This might just be a card index or it might be sophisticated software. Whatever it is, have a system which you know how to use.

10. Keep in touch.

Do contact them again if you got on well, they want you to really. Call or write, refer back to your conversation and mention something they said. Send them an article about an interest they mentioned, it will show you were listening and you care about them. It’s amazing how many people go to networking events, then never follow up with the people they meet. Don’t expect ข love at first sight ข, it takes several contacts before someone is likely to do business with you.

I hope that’s given you some ideas. Of course, you still have to remember the basics, such as dressing up a bit and cleaning your teeth, but that’s down to you.

And, of course, there is one big difference between networking and dating – with networking, you’re allowed to see lots of people at the same time!

Good luck.

About The Author

Alan Matthews is a Marketing Coach, Trainer and Speaker. He helps business owners to prepare and deliver a clear, compelling marketing message to get more clients with less effort. To receive his free report, ก Why Isn’t This Working? How To Get People Interested In your Business ก email mailto:attractclients@getresponse.com

Alan Matthews

email: mailto:alan@trainofthought.org.uk

website: http://www.trainofthought.org.uk

This article was posted on February 07

by Alan Matthews