The Incomplete Do-It-Yourself Advertising ToolkitBy Mike HeronimeA client sent me an email a few weeks ago to ask my opini...
a PDF. Then I uploaded the whole thing to their website and placed my orderfor four copies for a total cost of $27. I had ...
look at all of those online tools that allow anybody to create a televisioncommercial or publish a book. They are the prod...
PHOTOGRAPHY, ILLUSTRATION & VIDEO BUYINGGettyImageshttp://www.gettyimages.comiStockPhotohttp://www.istockphoto.comRESEARCH...
SIGN DESIGN AND PRODUCTIONBuildASignhttp://www.buildasign.comWEBSITE/FLASH DESIGN TEMPLATESDreamtemplatehttp://www.dreamte...
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Do It Yourself Advertising - A Cautionary Tale

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Here's almost everything you need to know to handle your own advertising on your own. The big question is, why would you want to?

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Do It Yourself Advertising - A Cautionary Tale

  1. 1. The Incomplete Do-It-Yourself Advertising ToolkitBy Mike HeronimeA client sent me an email a few weeks ago to ask my opinion about the TVspot he had created. He wasn’t as interested in my opinion about thecreative as much as he was about the strategic approach he was taking. Hisapproach was taking a risky poke at his competition and he was unsureabout going ahead with it. Actually, he was dying to go ahead with it andjust wanted someone to tell him it was okay.Of course, I was having a hard time focusing on his question about thestrategy while my mind was too busy doing flip flops over the idea of hiscreating his own TV spots. I shouldn’t be too surprised. A couple of yearsago, I had to compete against a Flash-website design template service for hisweb business. And I never got to print his corporate stationary for him afterI designed their logo because he found an online service that was convenientand cost effective. And frankly, in case you haven’t noticed, he just likes todo things himself.But the TV spot really knocked me for a loop. Not only was my client able tocreate the spot online by selecting from a wide variety of industry specificstock spots, but he was able to customize the spot by uploading his ownscript, and he was able to plan and buy the media on network and local cablestations. If he wanted, he could have placed a national network televisionbuy and scheduled it for the rest of the year. On this one website, my clientwas able to create and customize a 30-second TV spot, develop his mediaplan defining specific markets and specific stations for a specific period oftime, and pay for the whole thing — all of this from the comfort of an over-sized couch at his local Starbucks.After I regained my composure and debated with him the pros and cons ofhis strategy, I hung up the phone and went online to create my own TV ad.My wife has her own financial service business so I decided to find out what itwould cost to run an ad for her business in our Dallas suburban community.$7000, that’s what. And that includes the spot I created online andcustomized with her business’ information, phone number and web address.The spot would run on local cable channels like TNT, The Weather Channel,Court TV, Travel Channel, TV Land, G4, and others for a full month. Hercommission on one or two customers would easily cover the cost.This service makes a lot of sense for a small business owner like my wife whowould never fork over the big bucks to hire a traditional advertising agency.As I processed the experience, I started comparing it with some similartransactions I had recently made.For example, I just self-published a 100-page book (The Execution of anIdea by Mike Heronime — shameless plug) using an online digital printingservice. I created the book using Microsoft Word and saved the document as numantra • 2900 Gateway Dr., Suite 620, Irving, Texas 75063 • 214.635.2300 • numantra.com
  2. 2. a PDF. Then I uploaded the whole thing to their website and placed my orderfor four copies for a total cost of $27. I had my copies in about a week. Icould have only bought one copy for just $6 and some change (and no set upfee) but I wanted to share the experience with a few colleagues so I paid fora few extra copies.A few months before that, I was using a web-based application to create andmonitor online surveys that I conducted on my personal website. And thenthere are the online ads that I create and run with another online service.And there’s all the stock video, photography and illustration that I regularlypurchase online for use in websites, ads, and commercials. I’ve been doingthat for years.These online services are not exclusive to advertising agencies. They areavailable to the whole world. Not just available, but useful even. The skilland knowledge required to perform these tasks are baked right into theservice, making it a cinch for anybody to arrive at a happy ending. Theydon’t have to be a skilled designer to create a website. Skillful designersalready did that part of the work when they developed the templates. Theydon’t have to be a knowledgeable media buyer. That site has alreadyacquired all the knowledge necessary and converted it into a helpful tool.There is one important thing missing. Something no web application canreplace. Something that no marketing effort should be without. And that’s astrategy. Knowing how to effectively align a company’s business goals andobjectives with their customers’ needs and expectations demands athoughtful plan before any tactic can be employed. Recognizing a marketingopportunity and building it onto an insight in customer behavior is not amechanical process. There is no formula for it. Like a Raymond Chandlerdetective who goes on his hunches, it’s a combination of experience andinstinct that produces effective marketing strategies.Can you create your own billboard ads and buy the space to run them, all ina matter of minutes from the convenience of your own office? Sure. But willyour message turn on your customers? Or turn them off? And just becausethe message worked yesterday doesn’t mean it will still be effectivetomorrow. Not in this fast moving, YouTube society which constantlyproduces new stuff like amazing websites that allow you to create and launchyour own direct mail campaigns with a simple click of a mouse.Whether you’re spending $7, $7000, or $700,000, it’s not really a matter ofcost. Wasting a small amount of money on a do-it-yourself solution isn’t thereal danger. How do you calculate the cost in lost revenue for eroding yourbrand? Alienating your customers? Or mistakenly driving them to yourcompetitor? A well-constructed strategy, a clever plan — that HAS to be thefirst order of business in the marketing biz.Effective strategic thinking was never more important than it is today. Just numantra • 2900 Gateway Dr., Suite 620, Irving, Texas 75063 • 214.635.2300 • numantra.com
  3. 3. look at all of those online tools that allow anybody to create a televisioncommercial or publish a book. They are the product of a culture that has putthe end user — the consumer — in control. The lady that said that thecustomer is always right said a mouthful. She convinced our entire society tohave things their way. To personalize, customize, and organize their worldto their unique specifications.Just try to market to today’s consumer with their DVRs, pop-up blockers, anddo not call lists. You don’t call them. They call you. So you outsmart themonce again. You evaluate their behavior. You find out where they live andwhere they work and what they like and what makes them angry. And then,real subtle like, you slip them exactly what they needed right when theyneeded it. And you did it because you’re clever. Really. You did it becauseyou had a plan of action. A strategy.So assuming you have a strategy already and you’re now set to jump intothe execution of your plan, here’s a few websites that might be able to help.A little toolkit I’ve cooked up to help you do just about anything online —from building a website or creating a brochure to producing radio and TVspots and buying and planning the media or deciding that direct mail is theway to go. It’s not by any means a comprehensive directory and I won’tpersonally vouch for any of them, so use at your own risk. But at the veryleast, you should check them out and see if they suit your needs. If nothingelse, you’ll be amazed like I was.TELEVISION AD PRODUCTION AND PLACEMENTSpotRunnerhttp://www.spotrunner.comTargetSpothttp://www.targetspot.comRADIO AD PRODUCTION AND PLACEMENTTargetSpothttp://www.targetspot.comMEDIA BUYINGMedia Wombohttp://www.mediawombo.comCLASSIFIED ADVERTISINGAdvertise123http://www.advertise123.comThe Ad Wizardhttp://www.theadwizard.com numantra • 2900 Gateway Dr., Suite 620, Irving, Texas 75063 • 214.635.2300 • numantra.com
  4. 4. PHOTOGRAPHY, ILLUSTRATION & VIDEO BUYINGGettyImageshttp://www.gettyimages.comiStockPhotohttp://www.istockphoto.comRESEARCH/SURVEYSSurvey Monkeyhttp://www.surveymonkey.comZoomeranghttp://www.zoomerang.comBROCHURE/COLLATERAL PRINTINGLuluhttp://www.lulu.comBROCHURE DESIGNBrochureReadyhttp://www.brochureready.comONLINE ADVERTISING PLACEMENTGoogle Ad Wordsshttp://adwords.google.comAdBritehttp://www.adbrite.comPRINT AD CREATIONAd Builderhttp://www.adbuilder.comPica9http://www.pica9.comONLINE AD BANNER CREATION & PLACEMENTAd Designerhttp://www.addesigner.comTargetSpothttp://www.targetspot.comEMAIL MARKETINGConstant Contacthttp://www.constantcontact.com numantra • 2900 Gateway Dr., Suite 620, Irving, Texas 75063 • 214.635.2300 • numantra.com
  5. 5. SIGN DESIGN AND PRODUCTIONBuildASignhttp://www.buildasign.comWEBSITE/FLASH DESIGN TEMPLATESDreamtemplatehttp://www.dreamtemplate.comTemplateMonsterhttp://www.templatemonster.comPOWERPOINT/WORD DESIGN TEMPLATESDreamtemplatehttp://www.dreamtemplate.comBLOG CREATION, PRODUCTION & MAINTENANCEWordPresshttp://wordpress.orgTemplateMonsterhttp://www.templatemonster.comBloggerhttp://www.blogger.comMoveable Typehttp://www.moveabletype.orgDIRECT MAIL PRINTING, LIST BUYING & MAILINGPeter the Printerhttp://www.petertheprinter.netExpress Copyhttp://www.expresscopy.comMike Heronime is new media strategist for Numantra (www.numantra.com),a fully integrated marketing and advertising services company. Reach him atmheronime@numantra.com. numantra • 2900 Gateway Dr., Suite 620, Irving, Texas 75063 • 214.635.2300 • numantra.com

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