Friday, January 16, 2009

10 New Year's Resolutions not to break

1. I will update my corporate profile. A good company profile is essential to selling your services to new clients and to attach to tenders. Make a point to update yours this year to save you time later.

2. I will finally do that media training. Don't wait for a crisis before you learn the basics of dealing with the media.

3. I will do my forward plan for the year before the end of March. Actually, I'd be happy if you managed to get it done before September.

4. I will update my website and remove profiles of the staff who left three years ago. Most of us are guilty of letting our websites get out of date. One of the ways to avoid this is to remove information that dates easily.

5. I will learn how to use Facebook, Bebo, Tagged, YouTube or LinkedIn. If not, make sure your children show you one of them.

6. I will schedule at least five networking functions with my peers and colleagues. It's easy to lose touch with peers and colleagues in the heat of doing business. Put them in your diary like every other important task.

7. I will subscribe to at least three newsletters, blogs, forums or publications that will help me learn more about my industry. Don't lose touch with the latest trends and news in your own industry.

8. I will check the news every day. Know what's going on in the world around you. If you can't catch the TV news, read a paper, listen to the radio or get your news online.

9. I will keep an eye on my competitors. After all, they might be doing something good that you can do better!

10. I will try at least one new marketing idea that I haven't been game to try before. Go out on a limb. Take a chance. Get creative. You might be surprised at your success.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Making the most of the classified ad

The classified ad is the staple of newspaper advertising departments.

From a consumer point of view, the humble classie does the sorting for us, allowing us to find exactly what we are looking for in a predictable place.

I love classies for a lot of reasons. But I do want to urge advertisers to use them for what they are good at.

First the pros…..

- Classies reach a very targeted audience: We’re constantly telling our clients to target their messages and classies do exactly that. When I am selling a car, my ad is going right in the place where people who want to buy a car are looking.

- Classies are accessible to everyone: You don’t have to be a big advertiser to place a classie. A small classie can cost as little as $20 or $30.

- Classies are sorted by subject: You don’t need to wade through every page of the paper to find what you are looking for. You simply flip to the Whitegoods section and there are all the secondhand fridges in one convenient place.

- Classies can be very clever: I’ve seen some brilliant marketing campaigns built around the classie. By using a series of small, cheap classies, you can leverage frequency to build a whole campaign at a very reasonable price.

Now the cons ….

-Classies cost more per centimetre: The classified advertising rate can be $2 or $3 higher than the standard display advertising rate.

- Classie centimetres are smaller than a display centimetre: A standard tabloid news page is seven columns wide while a classified page is eight columns wide. The page isn’t bigger – the ads are just skinnier.

- Classies don’t attract volume discounts: Big (and even medium-size) advertisers get discounts off casual rates on their display advertising. These discounts generally do not apply to classies (but ask anyway, as you never know what deal you can do).

- Classies don’t always have the same flexibility as display: You need to stick to fairly standard sizes with a classie. For example, you can’t have a three-column classie in most sections – only two or four (or more). Still, ask for special shapes because your rep may be willing to go out on a limb.

- Classies don’t account for passerby traffic: Just because you’re not looking to buy a new TV doesn’t mean I can’t tempt you with an ad cleverly placed in the sports section. Not everyone who will be tempted to buy a product will be looking for it in the classies.

All in all, use classies for what they are good for and use display advertising when it shines.

And don’t be afraid to talk to your marketing consultant, media buyer or newspaper rep about doing special deals and making special sizes.

Newspapers have come a long way over the past few years and you’ll be surprised at the range of advertising options available.

News Limited has developed a website specifically looking at the creative use of advertising space that is packed full of case studies, celever ideas and challenges to the traditional use of print media. You can visit the site at

If you are in the Territory, get in touch with the NT News or Centralian Advocate and ask to see the publication Think Outside the Rectangle for a fastastic range of ideas.