Tag Archives: advertising

How Can I Communicate The Benefits Of Our Cement?

I have recently joined in marketing department of a company which is into manufacture of cement. The brand is good but is a bit more costly as compared to the brands of other competitors. It is justified by the good quality our cement have. But what is the best way to send this message to the consumers through our communications? And what promotions could be run to support the brand?


What specifically does an improved quality of the cement mean? Durable? Less likely to crack? More/Less flyash?

You need to highlight the key benefit(s) to the consumers. For example, if the cement is more durable, that would translate into stronger, more lasting foundations (that won’t need to be replaced as often). Perhaps it’s able to withstand acid rain, etc.

If it’s less likely to crack, then it’s great for both interiors (where a large surface area is hard to create) as well as for earthquake prone areas.

The flyash content would make it more eco-friendly.

The key is to identify what the consumer cares about for cement in general, and therefore highlight the benefit (especially when you have to get over the price concern).

Who Can Help Create A Personal Direct Mail Campaign?

The other day I received a postcard in the mail that was clever. The postcard was personalized with my name front and back. It pointed me to a URL which also included my name: myname.company.net. When I followed the URL the landing page greeted me with my name as well. This was I imagine done with a single technology that generates the postcard and the web site address and populated the page with my name.


The personalized postcard was produced using variable data printing (VDP). A number of companies also package VDP with direct marketing (as you saw). Here are some leads:


Should I Send Out Press Releases?

A few months ago I published a new on-line boutique website offering designer laptop bags. I have a small budget and would like to know if there really is any GOOD FREE PR websites; or any PR firms that you could steer me too. I have no experience in this area at all. I have written my own press release but don’t know where OR what to do next.


Press releases are great for disseminating something new (that may be of interest to the media). However, they’re not a substitute for marketing / advertising.

What I think you want is targeted traffic for your website that converts into customers.

Before you get more traffic, I would encourage you to enhance your website. To actually see a good picture of one of your bags for sale (ignoring the 2 that are on the home page), it took me 3 clicks to get to the page. My suggestion is since you have an ecommerce site, make the site easier to navigate, and quicker to see the merchandise to entice me. For example, when I want to buy bags, I don’t want to read about your bags (which is basically text that you’ve artificially created for the search engines) – I want to see them. Once the site is enhanced, then increase your traffic.

If you don’t have a big budget, then start by doing a keyword investigation to see what people are searching on and what’s (and who’s) ranking well. Given your price point, a PPC campaign may make sense as well.

You also want to get mentioned in the various fashion magazines, blogs, and websites if you have something special/unusual. For the magazines, a targeted press release to the proper editor would be better than an press release “blast”. On blogs, feel free to post something of value and get a backlink. On fashion websites, contact the owner and see if they’d be willing to give you a mention.

How Should I Advertise During A Slow Season?

Past research in my company (Residential HVAC) suggests that our business slows during the months of August and September. My question is, will advertising encourage responses during our “slow season” or will it go unheard because people simply aren’t buying during this time?


I would suggest offering a different service to your customers: year-round maintenance. Let’s say a typical service call costs $100 during the busy season. This new service would cost $75 (call it HVAC insurance) and avoid problems during the “high season”, peace of mind, etc.

So instead of telling the “same old story”, you’re telling about something new, something to separate you from your competition.

How Can I Find Sponsors?

I’m attempting to put together a White water jet boat racing team. I’m looking for a few sources that would be willing to sponsor the team and help us get into the water. Anybody have any ideas on how to get this ball rolling? I’ve never dealt with sponsors before and don’t know the first thing about it.


Is your team local, regional, or national? Has your team members been on any winning teams?

Approach companies that have a similar “reach” to where you plan to race. You looking for sponsor companies that want to be associated with “fast”, “water”, “risk”, etc.

The company is trading you money in exchange for an advertisement using your boat (and perhaps clothing as well as use of your images in their ads). The more you win, the more positive exposure you’ll be providing (especially in the photos of the winning boat & team).

To get some ideas of potential sponsors, look at the companies that already sponsor your competition. Consider contacting those company’s competitors. You’ll be saying, “Your competitor is advertising here, why not you?”

How Can I Market High-End Custom Homes?

In this difficult market, competition of new home construction is extreme. My husband builds new homes in urban infill locations and there is a lot of inventory out there. I’m planning 8-10 months out (when our latest project will be finished) and need advice on how to get the “right” realtors & buyers into our home. I work for an independent real estate company and find that I have a hard time getting the heavy hitter agents through our doors. Any suggestions for some proactive planning?


Instead of waiting until the home is done and then waiting to sell it – presell them (or at least, pre-advertise them). For example, imagine a series of postcards (or magazine ad, or emails, or website photos, etc.) which shows the artist’s rendering of the house with the actual home (as completed) overlayed. Potential customers will be able to see what it will look like, and that’s it’s in progress (also a thermometer-like display at the jobsite itself for passer-bys).

Another suggestion: do surveys of potential realtors / buyers. Find out what’s selling, what’s being asked for, and market yourself as meeting the need (and then some).

Thanks for your quick response. I will definitely think about doing the pre-completion marketing campaign you suggested.

As for the survey, I’m not sure how well agents will respond to that? I held a broker open today where we sent out 1500 fliers and no other agents, other than who we knew, showed up. Any out of the box ideas to get the realtors in the door? I feel that our product is superior to the competition but I just need to get the #’s paying attention to it.

Realtors are the middle-men/women. You really want buyers. You might even consider selling homes FSBO, and saving the usual agent fees (instead hiring a lawyer or realtor — depending on the laws in your state — to do the paperwork).

If you want agents to come, you need to market to them. They see homes every day. They generally are content with the facts (sq footage, lot size, #beds, #baths, etc.) and a picture or two. What would make your husband’s house stand out for them? You could dangle a huge agent fee (say 7-8%) as incentive. Or, you could talk to the agents to find out what’s going on. Again, you need to survey your audience (in this case, agents) to find out what they need to make a quick/easy sale.

Words That Work

Words That WorkHave you ever wondered how to make people react to what you say? While some people are better crafting words than others, this book shows how the pros do it. Written by the person responsible for crafting the words for the political parties, this book gives rules for effective wording.

Dr. Luntz doesn’t come up with his ideas in a vacuum. He uses focus groups and instant response dial sessions. Ideally, focus groups are (pre-screened to be) homogenous – people reveal their innermost thoughts to people like themselves. The problem with a focus group is that a dominant person can get bully others. A dial session is more personal; everyone in the group hold a wireless dial device which they turn to reflect how much they feel positively or negatively about what they are seeing. The dial session also gives everyone equal input. Both sessions can be recorded and scientifically analyzed. However since a dial session can be larger, you get better data to base your decisions.

Here are his rules:

  1. Simplicity: Use small words.
  2. Brevity: Use short sentences.
  3. Credibility: People have to believe it to buy it
  4. Consistency: Repeat (even it it bores you to tears).
  5. Novelty: Redefine an old idea.
  6. Sound: Rhythm matters.
  7. Aspiration: Say what people want to hear.
  8. Visualization: Paint a vivid picture.
  9. Questioning: Rhetorical questions require personal responses.
  10. Context: Why is this message important?

An effective message must be in alignment: the message, messenger, and recipient must all be “on the same page”. A perfect message delivered poorly isn’t as valuable. Neither is the right message for the wrong audience.

For example, which phrases are better:

  • “drilling for oil” or “exploring for energy”?
  • “estate tax” or “death tax”?
  • “personalization” or “privitization”?
  • “free market economy” or “globalization”?
  • “foreign trade” or “international trade”?
  • “health care choice” or “the right to choose”?
  • “deny” or “not give”?
  • “private accounts” or “personal accounts”?
  • “Washington” or “Government”?

Your message must first educate people (to the problem you’re solving). Then, provide them information about the problem. Finally, you motivate them to solve it.

Saying that you’re using “common sense” solutions gets people to agree sooner.

Don’t sell services, sell solutions.

His ideas have many applications: in your correspondence, marketing, advertising, and presentations. He even provides ways of using language to help you in your personal life: How to avoid a ticket (apologize), How to say you’re sorry (with flowers), How to ask for a raise/promotion (future goals), How to write an effective letter (start strongly), etc.

“People forget what you say, but they remember how you make them feel.” – Warren Beatty

P.S. – Other great business words to use/avoid are listed in Selling For Dummies (Tom Hopkins):

Don’t Say Say
Contract Paperwork, agreement, loan
Cost or Price Investment, amount
Down payment Initial investment, initial amount
Monthly payment Monthly investment, monthly amount
Buy Own
Sell or Sold Get them involved, help them acquire
Deal Opportunity, transaction
Objection Area of concern
Problem Challenge
Pitch Presentation, demonstration
Commission Fee for service
Sign Approve, endorse, okay, or authorize

How Can I Market Custom Designed Cribs?

We are a small furniture manufacturing company with an output of +/- 100 baby cots per month. We recently had to withdraw from our contract with baby outlets as we could not compete with import prices. Our product can however carry itself if we can reach the end user which naturally are pregnant women but is unsustainable with shops needing to mark up 120%. How do we reach our target market with low volumes of this type? Opening a shop or advertising in every magazine is out of the question because of low volumes. Do we need to rethink our business or just get out?


A website is ideal for this.

List your products on eBay, Amazon, etc. You’ll be stressing what makes your cribs unique. Get great close-ups photos of your cribs (including some with happy babies/parents around it).

List your products in online baby catalogs (search online for “baby catalog”). Offer to drop ship the cribs for the catalogs.

However, if your direct-to-consumer price still is higher than the outlet stores, you’ll need to focus on what makes yours better. Position your crib as a high-end model and prove it. Prove why it’s better than all the others.

What Is A Good Tagline For A Travel Agent?

I have had my travel business for over 6 years now, but I never could come up with a great tagline. I would love to get your opinions. My company name is Darlington Travel Center. I specialize in cruises, accessible travel and destination weddings and honeymoons. My agency is full-service.

I am trying to design a great yellow page ad, too. I have never done that before. Any suggestions as to what I should include in the ad? The one I have had since the beginning is a basic 5 line ad. Now I am going to probably upgrade to a Quarter Column Ad.


  • Air, Land, and See.
  • Relax. Leave The Planning To Us
  • Just Go Away!
  • We Specialize In Memorable Vacations
  • We Know All The Best Places

Your ad should highlight your specialties (cruises, etc.) – what makes you unique in your area. Don’t forget a website reference in your ad.

How Can I Better Advertise A Clothing Sale?

I’m faced with the challenge to think of a creative way to promote a sale of my retail products. I want to give the 2nd item off a purchase at a cheaper price (e.g. buy 1 and get the second at 20 or 30% off).

I have thought of conventional means of communicating this.: “Buy more save more”, “More savings with us”, “Your brand, your savings”, but I am searching for a more creative message.


The key is in the value of the 2nd item. Offer to donate the 2nd item (buy one and we donate one) to a homeless shelter, orphanage, etc. Your client gets PR + a potential write-off, the shopper gets their product (and feels like they helped), and the non-profit can help with the advertising as well.

If the product’s price point is high for the demographic (adults, teens, etc.), you can try another direction. Create a matching service for people who want to buy 1 of the item. You’ll match them with someone else who wants to buy 1, they both get their item for less, and once again you’ve got the opportunity for goodwill + PR. It requires additional work on your client’s behalf, though.