If you’re participating…. PARTICIPATE!

Over the years, I have run a multitude of business promotions for all manner of reasons, the latest being an 8th Birthday Celebration for our Community publication. We offered a prize of $10,000 worth of furniture and/or bedding from a leading local furniture store. The winner could choose whatever they liked. Great prize eh? I thought so!

It was a brilliant prize and gave all 60 or so participating businesses the opportunity to thrill their customers no end. I mean, just think about it, you go into a shop, buy something and then get offered a coupon to fill in where you could win the $10,000 prize. I ask you – what customer wouldn’t appreciate that? Would that not also go a long way to exceeding any customer’s expectations and cause them to think well of you?

I also ask you, what business with that opportunity to give wouldn’t knock themselves out to make sure every customer that came into their business got an entry? Sadly too few.

Would you believe that although several of the participating businesses gave out a bucket load of entries to their customers, many didn’t. In fact when we collected the entries from one takeaway food business in the promotion, the total number of entries in the box totalled about 20. They placed the entry box over in one out of the way corner of the shop and left a pad of entry coupons nearby for people to fill in. From a business point of view, that’s absolutely crazy, particularly when you consider the business had recently been taken over by new owners and the previous owners did not have the best of reputations.

The new owners have the shop looking terrific, the food looks very fresh and inviting and the people behind the counter seem very friendly and efficient.

These things alone will all work in their favour as they set out to build new customers or regain previous customers, and as the word of mouth gets around but imagine how much quicker this process would happen if they had also given every customer the chance to win our $10,000 prize?

Who knows what the goodwill alone would have done for them.

The food shop mentioned was only one of many where the number of entries in the entry boxes when we picked them up, suggested that the participating business did little or nothing to capitalise on the opportunity the promotion provided. Very sad really.

The moral of this story is quite simple – if you pay good money to participate in a business or shopping promotion like the one I’ve mentioned, PARTICIPATE by not wasting any opportunity to thrill your customers… every one of them.

I’d even go so far as to say, to go a step further. Give thought to how you can use such promotions to even greater advantage. Anything that will help you build your customer base should be considered and if you do that, you might be surprised with the creative ideas you come up with.

Animation Sells!

Sometimes to get a better result from your advertising, you’ve got to go to a bit of trouble to get a really good ad produced.

On that subject, it’s also fair to say that most businesses expect the newspaper, radio station or television station that they’re advertising with to produce their ad or ads for them. The main reason for this being that they will usually produce them for nothing or at very reasonable cost because they also get the money for the advertising space as part of the deal. Independent graphic designers, and freelance radio and TV ad producers can’t afford to match such low prices and besides, the quality of work they do for you should be far superior anyway and obviously cost a lot more.

That’s a topic in itself and we’ll revisit that at another time, for now however, I want to talk about using animation in your ads.

Over the years I’ve had associations with a number of very talented animators and often used their talents for my clients. Animation can provide a very powerful and attention getting component to any ad, even an ad that has a simple and straight-forward message.

People are drawn to animation be it in the form of a cartoon in a print ad, a cartoon voice in a radio ad or just an animated television ad. If you have an ad campaign in mind, it could be worth considering if animation could be an option to achieve what you’re trying to achieve. If you think it could, ask your media reps who they know that might be worth talking to. Most media reps would have access to people who do animation in one form or another.

BADMAN_20110908To give you an idea how animation can be used effectively in press ads, I’ve attached a few examples of print ads that a friend of mine has done for our publication. I’ve also included one that he did for himself.

His name is Mike Badman and he’s a former Disney animator and one look at his work will show he has a special talent. If you’d like to contact him about anything here’s his details:

Mike Badman
Badman Ink

October 2015 Ad Spanish OCL ad 3

25% Energy Discount

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This one’s more a timely tip and possibly doesn’t apply in all areas.

My electricity energy contract is due for renewal later this month. I currently get combined discounts of 17% and have just received another random offer from another provider offering 20% discount for business customers.

To cut a long story short, I decided to approach my existing provider to see what they were currently doing and much to my surprise the current offer is 25% off with no change in the rates, and I can have it from today.

I’m based in the Central West of NSW and I don’t know whether this offer extends to other areas but at 25% discount, I just thought I’d pass it on. That’s the best offer I’ve ever seen, 22% discount was the best I’d heard previously and that only when my previous provider was desperate to get me back after I’d switched providers.

The 25% discount is being offered by Origin Energy so if you can switch providers without penalty, could be worth thinking about.