“Beware advertising reps bearing gifts”

It is only a matter of time before you are approached by an advertising rep with a “deal”. It is always great to get a deal, but be careful because the “deal” offered is often not in your best interest. For example, sales reps for online and traditional advertising options will often try to complete a sale (and get their commission) by offering some form of offer or sweetner.

Think instead about what you really want. It may be two smaller ads – important if you need frequency more than you need color, or perhaps you would prefer to go with just two colors.

In short, buy additional space or time only when it makes sense – and then set your own terms, as opposed to accepting the first offer presented by a rep.

Time to audit your advertising plan?

When we look at the ad buys of many companies, we often see a couple of elephants wandering aimlessly– and not much more. What that means is that the entire budget was devoted to a couple of big, bloated media buys. There is nothing wrong with big, provided you have sufficient budget to run many big ads. Then you have big ads and frequency. Big ads and low frequency are often unsuccessful because they are not seen enough to prompt a response.

Bloated ads are great for the suppliers who create the ads. They get rich on the added production values. The client gets stuck with the bill and then has the added disappointment of getting low response.

Chances are you don’t have the budget to go with big ads and high frequency. So try this: challenge your agency to produce a slimmed down ad that actually stands out because it is slimmed down. Now you have a low-cost ad – not a bloated ad – and you have more funds to run more ads.

Better ads. More ads. And virtually no change in your budget. Sounds good to us.

Read Wolfgang's latest marketing blog.

Wolfgang Franke is President & Creative Director of Words at Work Advertising & Marketing, a full service communications company established in 1988. Our growing list of valued clients are found throughout our local market, Markham and the Greater Toronto area, across Canada in cities such as London, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta, and an expanding list of international locations ranging from The Big Apple in New York to Kanturk, Ireland.

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