What Are Your Limiting Factors?

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Business anchors weigh down profits

anchor by flickr Plbmak

All too often business owners don’t know where they’re going or how to get there. They don’t even know they’re dragging the iron anchor of limiting factors down any ol’ endless road. Limiting factors keep your business from reaching its maximum potential, but limiting factors are usually hard for an owner to see, usually they’re hidden in the owner’s blind spot.

Here are 3 questions the Wizard of Ads Group asks every client we work with, as we look over their shoulder and into their blind spot of limiting factors:

1. What are you trying to make happen?

2. What is keeping you from where you want to go?

3. How do we fix it?

Now, these are 3 simple questions but often hard for the owner to answer, after all blind spots are hard places to see. I think Mike Webb said it best when he said “It’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the bottle”.

Here are a few possible limiting factors:

• Bad Reputation – Your reputation is keeping people from doing business with you. Good advertising can’t fix a bad business, a bad business idea or a bad business owner.

Solution: Find someone who will look you in the eyes and tell you the truth. Then get good customer reviews.

• Limited Market Potential – The trade area you chose to do business in does not have enough people to meet your financial goals and you’re hitting your head on the glass ceiling or the market already has monster competitors.

Solution: Open a location in another trade area.

• Staff – Your sales staff isn’t closing the deal.

Solution: Train, measure and have the courage to let underperforming sales staff go.

• Wrong Message – You have the right product or service but you’re blending into the background of bad advertising.

Solution: Find someone who can craft you a message worth listening too

• Media – You have a great message but you’re not leveraging media effectively enough to become a household name.

Solution: Find a media buyer that will get the maximum reach and frequency to the same audience over and over again.

• Are You Selling What People Buy – Are you under an illusion that just because you have passion for your product or service that others do too?

Solution: Sell what people buy and have the wisdom to know the difference.

Time and being too close to the business to see it objectively is usually where blind spots occur. Customers see what time has conditioned business owners to ignore. Business owners tend to think the customer cares about what they care about.

This is when they run towards advertising.  Advertising can only accelerate what was going to happen anyway, so why not find out what’s happening?

Wizard of Ads Group

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Recap of the Austin Marketing MasterClass from Wizard of Ads Group

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The event was a smashing success. The room bulged with over 50 people. These Wizard of Ads partners trained on:

Wizard of Ads Tower on the Wizard Academy campus

Wizard of Ads Tower

Jeff Sexton started out the day in rousing fashion. His presentation covered examples of specific commercials and ad campaigns. He talked about what they did well, what worked, and what didn’t work.

Peter Nevland – Supercharging Your Writing for Business or Fun

Adam Donmoyer – Where’s the Beef? Making Ads Powerful.

Adam focused on getting to the heart of your advertising message. Are you using adspeak like everyone else in your market. “We won’t be undersold”, “fast, friendly service” or other cliches. These are so overused nobody believes them. Plus there’s no risk involved in these so how can customers believe them? The ‘beef’ in your ads is a guarantee like “We’ll be there within the hour we said we would or you don’t pay a dime”. That’s a strong precise promise, shows a clear benefit, and tells what bad thing will happen to the business if they don’t fulfill. He also talked about using Music and the Music of Language to Make Your Advertising Campaign Successful

Chuck McKay taught A.P.E…the Advertising Performance Equation. It was a no-nonsense presentation going through the numbers of what factors make an advertising campaign successful. And if those factors are below the line then your radio ad campaign is losing money.

Jingles – mid-event saw a 30 year jingle writing expert and musician give tips and tactics on how he creates memorable effective jingles. Ray guided the interaction between the jingle expert and 1 of his clients. Mortgage broker Nick Flanagan used a jingle to get his phone ringing off the hook.

Before the jingle Nick got between 3 and 4 phone calls per day. He had been working strictly on a referral only basis. His business was good but he reached a plateau.

After the jingle Nick’s phone was blowing up with over 26 phone calls everyday. He had to hire out a phone answering company. He also had to put other scaling factors into play to grow his business. This is a high-quality problem you can have when you work with the Wizard of Ads Group.

Mike Slover gave an entertaining presentation about factors in creating your ad campaign.

Dave Young gave a presentation which solves a big problem most small business owners have…blogging. Local business owners know they should be blogging but the excuse of “I don’t have time” often stops them dead in their tracks.

Dave created a simple solution where they can get on a phone call with a radio personality, be interviewed about their business, talk about top questions customers ask, and have blog post content created and posted.

Monica Ballard discussed the high wire act of ad writing. She has experience working with Cirque du Soleil and brought the tactics that made Cirque such a success and bridged those into advertising. She took the fundamental factors from Cirque and applied them to writing highly profitable and compelling ads.

Adrian Van Zelfden is a local Austin CPA and talked about how to grow your business. There are 4 main factors which are:

1)    average ticket per customer
2)    how many times a customer buys per year
3)    how many new customers you can get
4)    how much new advertising you can do.

Ray Seggern, the Wizard ringmaster and host of the Marketing MasterClass event, spoke about the placebo effect and Henry Ford effect. He gave examples on how you can take tactics that are successful in one industry and bring them over to your industry and advertising campaigns for increased profits.

The event attendees were happy with what they learned and got a chance to network with each other at the end of the event. The Q&A session in the small groups was very enlightening.

If you weren’t fortunate enough to be there live, stay tuned. Because of the success of this Austin event the Wizard of Ads Group plans to host more of these live training Marketing MasterClass events on the unique and creativity inducing campus of the Wizard Academy.

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Keeping your Audience’s Attention

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Customer and Prospect attention Ads

gaining Customer attention by flickr H-Huynh

Today you’re like a termite in a yo-yo, bombarded by emails, text messages, facebook, twitter and cell phone apps. All are clawing, tugging, screaming for your attention.

You however have learned how to tune out the unimportant, irrelevant, boring, mundane messages. YOU are like ME and EVERYONE else around US…. WE are deprived of a long attention span.

Your attention span will never get better, in fact it will only get worse as time goes on. You must learn to accept that. Your customer’s attention span will get shorter as well. You must learn to get in step with that.

3 things you must increase in your ads to get in step with your customers:

  1. 1. Increase Relevance: Your ads should reek of relevance. You should get to the benefit early and often, pack your ads with “what’s in it for them”.
  2. 2. Increase Credibility: You must answer “why should I believe you?” If your credibility isn’t believable make it believable. Use the language you would use if you were telling your best friend the truth about your business. Do not use cliché overused phrases. Be real, authentic and transparent.
  3. 3. Increase Surprise: You now have about 5 seconds to hold someone’s attention, notice how I didn’t say “gain” someone’s attention. Today you are not only in a battle to gain someone’s attention, you are also in a battle to hold it. In a 30 second radio ad you have to surprise to hold attention every 5 seconds, 5 times in a 30 second ad or your listener is out.

You are changing, I am changing, we are changing, the world is changing. Let us not ignore, let us get in step.

Wizard of Ads Group

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3 Steps to Clear, Compelling Communications

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Know your advertising outcome before crafting

Begin with end in mind by flickr spieri_sf

Whether you’re writing an email, love letter, movie script or advertisement you need to know how to communicate clearly. The clearer you can communicate the more powerful you’ll persuade.

Here are the 3 Steps to Clear Communication:
(What ever you do don’t get them out of order).

1. How to End – Begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself, what will you deposit as a last mental image? What action do you want someone to take? What’s the point you’re trying to make? What is the outcome you’re trying to make happen? Not when or where to end but how to end. Always start with the end.

2. Where to Begin – Now that you have a destination in mind what will be your angle of approach? Most beginnings are predictable. Never begin from a predictable position. Open with something surprising, new & different. You want the listener/reader/viewer to participate without ever choosing.

3.What to Leave Out – Allow the listener to participate. Anyone can figure out what to put in, it takes a really talented person to figure out what to leave out. Show don’t tell. Cause the reader/listener/viewer to see it in their mind.

Follow these 3 steps and you will write better love letters, emails, movie scripts and advertisements. But get them out of order and you’re an average writer.

Start with the end

Open with an interesting angle of approach

Leave out what people already know

Take over the world,

Wizard of Ads Group

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Denver Wizard of Ads Marketing MasterClass Training Event – Oct 30, 2012

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You Can Make Your Advertising Work

The Wizard of Ads Marketing Masterclass Will Show You How.


There is no such thing as a diagnostic advertising repair shop. You must rely on your advertising sales rep to extract vital information about your business, hand it off to someone else then sit back and hope for the best. This is often more dangerous than painting black and white stripes on yourself and taking a dip in an alligator farm pond.


Wizard of Ads Masterclass is real-world tested business growth tactics based on the foundation of the best-selling book trilogy.

Wizard of Ads Roy H Williams best-selling book trilogy

Wizard of Ads books

For you we’ve created the Marketing Masterclass that will have your competitors thinking you’ve hit them with a proverbial sucker punch as you swipe their market share. You’ll feel as though you’ve jumped in a hot air balloon and your sales growth will too.


Spend the day in Denver CO with the Wizard of Ads group and you’ll:

 

  • Walk away knowing the difference between an ad campaign that works and an ad campaign that empties your bank account.

  • Learn how to identify advertising that cuts through the clutter and helps your business grow.

  • Have a solid number for what to spend on advertising.

  • Have your peers thinking you’re the smartest marketer in town but not understanding how you do it.

 

Stop leaving your advertising in the hands of the alligators and start learning how to make your advertising work and grow your business. Register now and join the Wizard of Ads Group October 30th at the Improv in Denver from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm.

Click here to Register

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Social Media Worth It for Your Non-Social Business?

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If you have a non-social business you’ve probably asked yourself this question.

Social media for owner operated starter marketing campaigns

Focus on 1 social network

Original post at TheDailyBlur from Tim Miles.

Social media campaigns take time and financial resources to pull off effectively.

It’s hard to track whether it’s effective. And it’s impossible to know before you start whether it’s worth your resource investment.

If you don’t consider your business tailor made for social here’s how you can dip a toe in the water without risking much cash or time.

1) Update your blog regularly.

Regularly is defined as once a week if your industry doesn’t have much news daily. 3 to 4 times per week is the ideal update schedule for most owner operated business industries.

2) Pick 1 social network

Pick only 1 network and dominate. Have a stellar presence there and only there. This is not a case where divide and conquer works. You can’t simply divide your time and conquer all 8 main social networks.

Your much better served with focus. Give people inside the 1 network you choose reasons to pay attention to you. Share interesting stories to help their lives. It takes less than 5 minutes to run through the headlines or major blogs in your industry.

Share 1 story of someone else’s that jumps out at you.

Share once a day on your chosen social network.

Don’t harass your friends to like or follow your page. You can send them 1 invite. Don’t harass them to invite their friends.

Build a social presence worth following and let it slowly build over time. Be willing to do this little bit of work. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Same with building your blog following.

Your Blog

Find interesting stories on topics you’re an expert in. Add your spin to them. Add a local angle or flavor to them. It’s simple and pretty fast but you’ll be amazed how your audience builds because of it.

If you like the story share why you liked it.

If you hate it and think the author’s an idiot state your reason why. And hopefully, back it up with data and facts. Personal attacks don’t help your business.

Search Engines

They’ll take notice immediately. But they won’t value you immediately. It takes time and regular posting to convince the search engines you’re for real and in it for the long haul.

Over time the search engines will reward you with higher rankings.

Converse

Be part of interesting conversations and debates without selling. Provide insider expertise they can’t get anywhere.

You can do it just give it time. If you’re a restaurant, bar or fun event place people naturally talk about your results will come faster. Just make it easy for people to share. They love to share interesting stuff that makes them look good in their friends eyes. Think about their status and prestige.

Before posting something ask “Would I want to share this story with my friends and family?”

Not all your industry stories will be shareworthy. But the more you do the more chances you have some will be.

If you’re not in 1 of those socialized industries just be patient and keep going. “All roads lead to Rome”. The more digital roads you have (in the form of permanent content published on the web) the more people who are supposed to find and buy from you will.

Read all about it by clicking here.

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Market Potential, Do You Know Yours?

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Measuring the size of your local market

business market potential

Do you have a measuring stick? You know, a device that tells you how much business is available in your trade area and how much

- you have,

- don’t have,

- are gaining

- or losing?

If you don’t have a stick, let me say this plainly….. “You can not qualify what you do not measure”.

The Wizard of Ads Group uses market potential for all of our clients. It sets real expectations and tells us if what we are doing is working. Our income is tied to their growth. The more our clients make the more we make, so we need a way to keep score.

Here is how you can keep score: Add up the total number of dollars spent in your trade area of every competitor, even the little one man operations. Yes, the guy in the Dodge Neon counts.

Derive a number, divide your annual sales volume by the total of all competitors, carry the decimal point over twice and you have your current place in the market.

You can also pull national sales volume estimates from trade publications for your category, divide that number by the population of the nation, then multiply by the population of your marketplace.

The best businesses on the planet rarely get 33% of the market and the rarest of the rarest can only hope for 40% of the market. The growth from 5% to 25% will be much easer to gain than the growth from 25% to 33%.

If you’re at 30% to 40% you’re the master of your trade and are probably bumping your head on a glass ceiling. It might be time to open another store in another trade area.

Have a stick, measure success, live well,

Wizard of Ads Group.

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How to Make Customers Mention Your Ads

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Customers Telling Their Friends About Your Ad

Word of Mouth Ads

Conventional wisdom tells the advertiser to ask “Um, where did you hear about us at?”

This has advertisers chasing a butterfly they cannot catch. While it sounds logical it’s almost impossible to pinpoint which media brought the customer through your door with any consistent accuracy.

When asked, some customers will try to be honest by saying television when radio planted the mental picture. Some customers will try to be helpful by making something up. Some will say the first thing that comes to their mind to get rid of you. This will leave you chasing the butterfly further and further down the road.

Instead you should plant a word flag in your ads. A word flag is an unusual word or phrase that is likely to be commented on by your customer. The only reason customers will mention your word flag is to make themselves look clever. Saying “mention this ad” will not work and is not a word flag.

Word flags are like these famous movie quotes:

  • “Hasta la vista, baby”
  • “Run Forrest, Run”
  • “Say hello to my little friend”

Word flags get the public quoting lines from your ads.

They not only have the power to make customers mention your ads, they also have the power to create a relational connection between you and your customer, an icebreaker so to say.

If you need more evidence, run a promotion for a specialty item in your store, only use one medium, ask customers how they heard about the item, then sit back and prepare to pick your chin up off the floor.

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How Rhythm Will Help People Remember You

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Rhythm in advertisements like a ballet dancer

Rhythm makes your ads

Kindergarten teachers have long known the secret to memory is found in rhythm. That’s why every kid in America is taught to sing the alphabet. Most people cannot say the alphabet without singing it.

Rhythm is seductive, we’re attracted to the pulling in and lashing out of the oceans wave, tribal dance of a midnight campfire and the marching of an evolving cloud.

Every hit song, blockbuster movie, TV sitcom, even reality television show employs rhythm. Your advertising should too.

Positioning statements, slogans and taglines should all have rhythm or meter in them. Here are a few examples of slogans that have meter:

“Bounty. The quicker picker-upper”

“melts in your mouth, not in your hands”

“Don’t leave home without it”

Taglines aren’t the only thing that should have rhythm or meter, your ad copy should too. Try using one of these types of meter when you write your next ad copy:

 

Anapestic Meter

Lambic Meter

Dactylic Meter

Trochaic Meter

Spondaic Meter

 

Rhythm holds the power of recall but you must not try to rhyme. Rhyming will only annoy your listener, viewer or reader. Your goal is to make their ears flutter without knowing that you’ve implanted rhythm. Rhyming is a dead giveaway.

Employ rhythm in your ad copy and you’ll have customers singing your abc’s.

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How to Turn the Average 60 Second Ad into a Powerful 30

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Most 60 second radio ads are jam packed full of more junk than an episode of Hoarders.

Ad Clutter destroys 60 second radio ads

Wizard of Ads clears ad clutter

Advertisers try to say everything they can in a time span of 60 seconds. To capture the attention of your listener you must narrow your focus, your listener is driving their car while texting their friends, engaging in activities or staring off into space thinking about anything but you.Here are 7 ways to turn an average 60 into a powerful 30:

  • Look for multiple ads in your existing 60. How many benefits do you offer? If you have more than one you need to write more than one ad.
  • To pop your listener out of la la land you must open with a powerful first mental image. Use a verb and open with a vivid benefit to the listener.
  • Choose a last mental image, the desired action you want the listener to take.
  • Eliminate redundant words or ideas. Usually 60’s are saying the same thing over and over. Just pick an idea and go for it.
  • Whack the modifiers. Make your point. Adjectives are the mark of a weak writer.
  • Amplify the verbs, if you’re going to hoard be a verb hoard.
  • Delete conjunctions when possible.

Clear and concise is always better, if you can use this chainsaw of techniques to cut your longwinded, average 60 into a 30 go for it, you’ll gain the attention of your listener and your radio ad will start working much better.

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