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How to get more sales from each advert


What is the most effective way of increasing the return on each advert you create?

Over the years advertising to teachers has effectively become stuck in a groove.  A groove in which companies that provide stuff tell teachers that they provide stuff.  They go on and on providing stuff, until the teachers show that they have had enough and start buying from someone else.

Yet, despite this, many firms go on advertising to schools in the same way, year after year. 

Which is odd, because everyone knows that schools have changed. And yet the style of advertising hasn’t changed. 

Now there can be a very good reason given for going on and on writing in the same style this year as you did last year, and the year before.  That reason is summarised in the phrase, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

And in advertising there is a great temptation, of course, to obey this dictum, for when your advertising is bringing in the goods there’s really no reason to want to change it.

Now there are two problems with this.

The first is that repeating the same, or a similar style of advertising, not only reduces sales in the end, it also reduces the impact that your company has on the market.  For just as teachers can guess what your next advert will look like, so can your competitors.

While the chances are that most of your competitors are also following the “if it ain’t broke” dictum, there will always be one or two that are experimenting with alternatives.  And so, when teachers get to the stage that they feel that they want a change, one or two of your competitors will be there ready to take up the slack.

However. this issue of opposing the “if it ain’t broke” approach and changing the advertising before it loses its appeal, does not mean that you need to alter the entire look and feel of each advert.

Not at all.  What you should do is introduce some variety into your advertising as you go along marketing’s merry way.  Ideally you need to find something that makes them say, “wow!”

That “wow” can be a new product or it can be a new approach to your advertising.  Either way it really does make them take note.

To give an example from the Hamilton House approach – a lot of our advertising takes the form of articles like this which are sent out by email and placed on our three blogs. 

But we also throw in what is (I am told) called in cricketing parlance, a googly.  At present, our googly is thrown towards the end of each week on the Direct Marketing Secrets blog where we run a story from the infamous Toppled Bollard public house.  

These tales are not to everyone’s taste, but since we started the current series about six weeks ago, the readership of the DMS blog has gone up about 35%.

If you’ve not seen the blog you might want to visit the most miserable village in England or consider the Bollard’s regulars’ attempt to evolve a new way to grab attention.

When we dropped the series a few years ago we replaced it with reviews of two or three real life and fairly appalling email adverts each week.  “How to be very silly” was an example.  If you want to see more, just go back from that point on the blog.

What I am trying to say is that our style (lots of text, analyses, and some rather freaky humour) stays the same, but we do make changes as we go.  Our approach is the same, but each email and blog entry is different.

Yes we see our competitors copy us, but by the time they do we have usually moved on to somewhere new.  Somewhere still very “Hamilton House” but just that bit different from before.

Thus my view is that if you don’t do this – if you stay with the same style of advertising for teachers all the time (even though the products might change) - then ultimately you come unstuck.

And it is this sort of thing we try to avoid with our Velocity clients – pushing matters on while retaining the recognisable approach of the company.

In essence, the advertising is like a fast flowing river.  The boat stays the same, the way downstream is always the same, but what is on the shoreline changes.  (I thought that was quite profound and rather Taoist when I dreamed it up, but now I’m not at all sure.)

If you would like to know more about Velocity, and how we can develop your advertising over time, please do call 01536 399 000. Or please do visit www.velocity.ac  It’s mostly harmless.

Tony Attwood



 

 

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