15 Point Checklist for Ads – Part 1

Unfortunately I don’t remember where I came across this great checklist for ads. If I do locate the origin I will make sure to post the link. Obviously there are more than 15 “points” for making sure the ad you are creating is effective but I thought this list was a great reminder and one I have posted on the board above my desk. So, here are the first 7 Points

1. Does it follow the “5 Second Rule”?

2. Does the headline make them read the rest of the ad?

3. Does it have an interest-arousing sub-head?

4. Make sure the first line of the body copy doesn’t sell anything, either.

5. Is your offer clear?

6. Does you ad make them want to buy your product?

7. Does it make the reader want to rush to the phone or go online to place an order or ask for more information?

Look for Part 2 tomorrow.

Marketing – Story – Trust

Marketing happens 24/7. It happens any time and any where our companies touch our customers or our prospective customers.

According to the 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer http://www.scribd.com/full/26268655?access_key=key-1ovbgbpawooot3hnsz3u trust and transparency are as important to corporate reputation as the quality of products and services. In the U.S. and in much of Western Europe, these two attributes rank higher than product quality – and far out-rank financial returns, which sit at or near the bottom of 10 criteria in all regions.

If we want our marketing messages heard, if we want to tell our story and we want people to listen then trust must be established. In Tom Wanek’s book Currencies that buy Credibility he outlines six powerful “currencies” that earn trust with our customers and in turn build our business. Those six “currencies” are:

  1. Material wealth – offering warranties, guarantees or policy that put the financial risk on you instead of your customer. Wanek gives the example of One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning which became the nation’s first heating and cooling service company to offer on-time service.
    They created believability by fulfilling the promise of “Always on time or you don’t pay a dime”. They risked material wealth to build credibility.
  2. Time and Energy – investing your time and energy to offer your expertise and help solve your customer’s problem. For a great example of this check out the online retailer REI. REI takes their
    content to an amazing level by offering expert advice to outdoor experts or wannabees. What’s your expertise? How can you highlight it?
  3. Opportunity – carving out your niche and becoming specialized to the point you are willing to lose some customer’s. A great example of this is the toy store “Geppetto’s Workshop”. This unique toy story differentiates itself and prides itself in NOT carrying any toy that is made of plastic or requires batteries.  They go all out so that they don’t become ordinary. The absence of “popular and trendy” toys is what attracts the crowds.
  4. Power and Control – in today’s retail world customers have the ability to instantly share their experiences with a product or service. While standing in line at your store they can instantly update their status on Facebook with an account of outstanding service OR let their hundreds or thousands of friends hear first hand of a terrible experience. Consumers have power and control like never before which is why it’s of utmost importance that you empower your front line members to make your customers experience the most amazing experience that it can be.
  5. Reputation and Prestige – you will never get everyone to buy from you so don’t try. Holding true to your core values will draw customers to you while making your store unique, distinct and trustworthy.
  6. Safety and Well-being – identity theft continues to rise and privacy risks are regularly exposed. It doesn’t matter if it’s your website or mailing list, you need to assure your customers that you have processes in place to product their identity and privacy when they do business with you.

Successful marketing begins with telling your story. Stories have been used throughout history to tell us where our ancestors came from to the parables of Jesus that explain truths.

So, what is YOUR story? What is the story, the mission of your retail store? How are you telling that important story?

Trust + Story = genuine customer satisfaction, growth, profit and impact.

I'm the Star of HP's Latest Banner Ad!

As I was looking at who was looking at my profile on LinkedIn, Doubleclick was “looking” at me and serving up a very personalized ad. The ad was about me and my network of trusted professionals. It even included my LinkedIn profile picture rising off of their latest printer.

Chris Rainey stars in latest HP Banner Ad

Chris Rainey stars in latest HP Banner Ad

Personalized targeting and re-targeting are continuing to gain ground. More companies are targeting consumers based on their online behavior. 24% of online marketers used behavioral targeting in 2009, up 50% from a year earlier, according to a Forrester Research Inc. poll.

I recently purchased a Droid X and I’m beginning to see some personalized targeting efforts within some of the games and apps I’ve downloaded.

So, will this cause banner ads to increase in their importance for marketing folk? Will the end consumer/target find them “creepy”? Will the be perceived as a violation of privacy?

Bump in the Blog Road

Over the past several weeks I’ve been working on putting together a new theme for my blog. I gave Thesis a run along with some other architectures and themes. Earlier today I decided to transfer everything back to WordPress – hosting, storing my content, etc…-unfortunately it all didn’t work out as smoothly as I had hoped.

I think most of my posts are here but if not, well….

So – back on track and pushing forward

Look Up!

Just because you went to market with one strategy and were successful doesn’t mean the same strategy will lead you through the correct door the next time. This thought was made very real to me yesterday while attending the Internet Retailing Conference and Expo here in Chicago where Blackhawk madness is at a fever pitch.

The conference is being held at McCormick Place – a great conference center. The sessions I attended all day were located in one area of the conference center and I used the same restrooms each time I needed too. The restrooms I used had two entrances into the mens room – an entrance on the left and on the right – it didn’t matter which door you went in you made it to your destination.

At the end of the day I was on my way to the shuttle bus and needed to use the restroom one last time. But this time I was in another part of the conference center. I looked up and saw the signs pointing to the restrooms. I took a left, walked down the hall a little and saw the restroom on the left. It looked just like the others I had visited throughout the day – an entrance to the left and an entrance to the right. I chose the entrance on the right but it was “wrong” as I soon discovered when I rounded the corner to see a lady washing her hands. Shock hit me and I quickly did a one-eighty and headed out in the left entrance which was the “right” entrance.

So even though you may be familiar with your market it doesn’t mean you can always reach your destination through the same doors you’ve always reached them through.

What are you new doors, new entry points that you are discovering?


It's All About The Customer Experience

I’ve had a quote posted above my desk for the past 15+
years that says, “It’s the customer experience that is the core asset of
your business.” In an economic climate where everyone wants to compete
on price we have to resist that temptation and deliver a customer
experience that trumps price and produces loyal fanatical fans.

It doesn’t matter if you are a supplier or a retailer, online or brick and mortar, service provider or non-profit – your success is measured and determined by the experience you offer your customers or donors.

What’s something you have changed or will change to give your customers something to talk about – in a GOOD way?


en·ga·gé – choosing to involve oneself in or commit oneself to something

How many opportunities have we missed because we were too busy and didn’t “engage” someone? How many sales have been lost because we didn’t just answer the phone? How many new clients slipped through the cracks because we didn’t answer an email or didn’t answer it soon enough?

Over the past couple of years I’ve been doing some straw polling of friends and business partners when it comes to “engaging”. What I’ve discovered is that the vast majority of company’s are seemingly too busy to engage their current customers let alone new, potential, customers. I have heard over and over from people – my customers and others – that we got the business or they got the business just because someone picked up the phone and talked to me.

How are you engaging with your team? With your customers? With your potential customers?

Take Care of Your Customers

MediaPost Publications Poor Customer Service Costs Companies $83 Billion Annually 02/18/2010.

Updating Site

I’m currently in the process of returning to WordPress as my blog provider – please be patient as things change.

Back (blog)Home

After spending the last several months with Typepad as the service for my blog I’ve returned to where I began – WordPress. I’ll be upgrading the look over the next few days – stay tuned.

Good to be back (blog)home.