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Advertising, Marketing, does it work?(graphic intensive)

UzZx32QU

Administrator
Staff member
I know some of us believe, location, location, location is the key, I believe a more balanced approach is better. Store locations are important but without the right marketing are we missing something. Word of mouth is fine but you got to fire that mouth up first. How do we do that. Well my Competition run several sales per year during slow periods to increase his business. I feel once you run a sale during a slow period people tend to wait for the next sale, So when the sale ends, your business dies. A classic example is Michael's 50% sale. It's now run all the time. They basically mark the Moulding up to have it on sale. We all know that. The other problem with sale ads are you get cheap sale people into your store, they buy small. You perceive your ads don't work because you do more business for less money.

Now, how about advertising for a customer that wants a quality job. The truth I've found after many years in this business is "Sell Yourself" it works. Do you get a mass of people in NO, but you will get good people. Good orders get more good orders. Cheap orders get you nothing. Don't be afraid to talk to your customers through your ads.






I run several papers a week 1 col x 4 inch ads, This is the size ad that really built, and continues to build my business. I do a little humor but not too often.






If you got a CMC tell the world, it will bring you business.



Last October with business still soft, I started an ad campaign to get Christmas orders early. It started out on the 21st of Oct with a full page wrapper ad in the local newspaper (I almost cancelled the ad with business soft). November has never been duplicated and more then made up for business lost in September. I followed up in every ad asking for customers to bring in there Christmas orders early and they did.

A follow up ad.



3 times last year I got a full page full color ad in a local paper. Every time they ran it was like a delayed reaction. But the figures over the next thirty days were high. Good quality jobs would come in and great people with them.



Well if you made it this far here's my view on designing an ad.

1. Sell Yourself
2. Put a good photo in your ad.
3. Box your message
4. Ask your customer to do something.
5. Keep it simple.
6. People have a short memory, run ads again and again.

Well, I don't always follow all of my tips but I try to use them as a guide.

Now do good work and word of mouth will work, do substandard work and that will be heard also.

I hope to address marketing here shortly.

Please feel free to discuss what I've presented and tell me I'm full of doggie dodo if you think I am. This can be a very complicated part of your business. FYI I spent 8.9% of my gross on advertising last year. My budget was 10% but business came in too quick at the end of the year and there was no point in increasing my ads at that time.

Thanks for listening to my thoughts on the subject,

framer
 
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cherryp

True Grumbler
framer,

First of all I do not think you are full of doggie dodo...I think you are one heck of a marketer! You have given me some great ideas to use. I have been struggling with what type of advertising would be best for my money. Since I just opened my shop on February 4th, business has been good but I know it could be better.
Thank you for sharing your ads and ideas. The framing world is a much better place because of all you do for us!

Thanks Again,
Cherry
 

ArtLady

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Framer I like all your ideas, but I think I would leave off the van and the CMC. The public does not understand pictures of equipment. I like to concentrate on planting idea seeds. The picture of the wedding mat, and the frames are definitely ideas that could take root and grow. How about cutting a picture hook mat with your CMC and mention something about special customized mats cut to your specifications, oversize no problem ask about our delivery services. A small picture of your storefront could be helpful also. People may recognize it and remember that they saw it and think about it next time they have something to frame. Or put the picture of your storefront under the picture hook mat cut with the CMC. Boy would that pack a woll-up.
 

UzZx32QU

Administrator
Staff member
The truck is one of the best ads I use. I'm on a busy road with 25000 - 35000 cars per day going by. I'm buried in the back of a shopping center, the shops set back about 20' and not visable from the street. I have no sign access on the street. Once I bought the truck and parked it out there, business tripled overnight. I used that ad to reminded people of a sight they see everyday. 3-5X a week a customer will comment on that ad with the truck and how it got them to stop and check us out.

framer
 

D_Derbonne

PFG, Picture Framing God
I started running a weekly ad in the local paper this year. I'm not sure that is the reason for increased business, but I'm committed to doing this for the entire year. I have used Larson's ad slicks up until this point but was planning to do some different ads beginning next week.
The Art & framing Council website has some good ideas too.
Thanks for the great ideas!
 

ArtLady

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sorry Framer if my post sounded critical. I always get in trouble when I start in the middle. I like all your ideas. I think the van is a great idea for the parking lot street visibility issue. But, I guess I just wouldn't put it in a print ad. I think print adds need to concentrate on what we can do for the customer. Customers love personalized anything so special cuts, lettering etc. However,I would leave a picture of the CMC out, I don't think customers would understand what it is.
 

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Originally posted by ArtLady:
However,I would leave a picture of the CMC out, I don't think customers would understand what it is.
Since I don't have a CMC (yet), I advertise as "Doing things the way craftsmen have done them for centuries." When I do get one I will say "Embracing all the technologies available."
If ya' got it, flaunt it!

Betty
 

UzZx32QU

Administrator
Staff member
Please criticize!
Thats what I'm here for, a good debate of the issues I've raised.

framer
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Hi Bill-I think the adage "Whatever works for you"applies well here. I think your advice, for a lot of the members, is sound. Your points on the ads makes sense, as well.

But with every ad campaign or marketing strategy, comes a need to validate the results. The one thing you need to be able to do is to identify the objectives of the ads and then be able to measure the results for effectiveness. Otherwise is just so much guessing. Do you have some objectives to share? And we need to define those objectives before the ads.

If one of the objectives is to get your name out there, these may be effective, may be not. But without a measurable standard, we are assuming too much. You can track consumer inquiries by simply asking, but often consumers answer the way they think you want. We've had people tell us they saw our ad in the Yellow pages (we haven't run one in years) and such. So that's the toughest part of knowing how effective a strategy is.

You can say that business grew by so much from one period to another, but again, we don't know if the source of growth was the campaign or other factors. It's just too difficult to do a blind test. You can measure coupons, but then you have to qualify the offer. Perhaps our friend Marc Bluestone could shed light on this. He is the guru of this type of campaign, and understands the subleties better than anyone.

So if a campaign like this "feels" good, keep doing it. Nothing wrong with feeling good. What you don't know is how much of a difference the same dollars spent would've yielded in additional sales if those same dollars were applied to a more visible location. Most marketing studies indicate a correlation to natural traffic and sales. Then you enter a whole other arena on measuring traffic and what constitutes the "right" traffic. I have a better feel for those mechanics, and as such put our dollars into what works for us

But the absolute right thing you are doing is doing something, and doing it with a level of consistency. The worst thing is to do too little and haphazard at that.

So, my take is if it works for you, I would continue more of the same. Besides there are some fun intagibles like seeing your name in print once in awhile. And good for you for taking some action to grow and develop the biz. I don't think you are doing anything wrong at all. In fact, you are doing something right, very right. And that's doing something as oppossed to nothing.

We can debate til the cows come home which is better, but it's a lot like boxers or briefs. Sometimes it's just about fit.
 

UzZx32QU

Administrator
Staff member
I agree 100% with you Bob. If I had a better location and did less marketing would I be better off? The real question is does advertising work without running sales as a marketing tool? Good location or bad I believe you need to market your business. I have no hard data to back it up but 30 years of watching others fail with a great location and little marketing plan makes me to believe the need. A great location and a strong marketing plan would be hard to beat. I believe for a business to reach it potential it needs both. The location will come next in my 2nd store. The formula for success must include a good marketing plan.
 

tnframer408

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Fantastic location. High rent.

DIRCT MAIL DIRECT MAIL DIRECT MAIL. Every eight weeks by targeted postal courier route arranged so my regular customers get "hit" twice yearly and once at Christmas.

PLUS: direct mail big catalogues of my limited editions to the customers who've spent at least $300 with me and those buyer who buy regularly specific artists.

OCCASSIONAL outrageous "over the top" ads in weekly alternative newspaper "Naked Walls are Not Sexy, Get Dressed Here" with name of gallery and that's it. Very high residual/mental impact and one customers remember for months.

WEBSITE PRESENCE with my limited edition publishers linked to the site. Good sales tools and some sales just over the phone. Quick, easy money and more than pays for itself countless times over.

No discounts. No sales. No free thises and thatses. Exception: now I'm dumping ALL open edition prints, so they're free when you frame.

WILL ELIMINATE THIS YEAR: Yellow page display ads. HUGE waste of money in light of all the above.

Cost of all this? about 5% of sales.

BIGGEST SOURCE OF NEW CUSTOMERS? "PASSING, WALKING BY"

Can I prove this? YEP. Lifesaver ad tracking features allow me to do it. :D :D
 

ArtLady

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
So getting down to basics, a good location has a lot of foot traffic.
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Hey Paulette, Not necessarily. You have to be able to define what the clientele market you want to attract. Then go to where that highest level of probability exists. Ten's of thousands student walk around ASU every day, but I'm not sure that's a target audience for us. So, it's really much more sophisticated than raw numbers.

But let's face it. Hardly any of us (me included) have the level of sophistication in our research needed to make valid decisions in this arena. Acknowledging my deficiencies prompts me to "partner" with people that really do this on a full time, single issue basis. We need to be able to learn from "experts" if you choose a market-based marketing strategy to grow.

Take a look at retailing leaders for clues. See where the Pottery Barns, the Crate and Barrels, the Aaron Bros go. They spend a lot of money and effort on selecting those "mirror" demographics. And they tend to be very good at it.

But don't forget for a minute, that as Bill and Mike have suggested, to develop a multi-faceted program. We simply don't have the resources to do it like the big boys, we can sure learn from them. We shouldn't reinvent the wheel, but learn to take a few spokes from them and put them into our own wheel.

Now, all these suppositions are based on the fact that you want to grow, that you have the ability to change, and that you embrace change as good. There is nothing wrong with a small, measured successful operation that provides all the things that you need from self-employment. Hey, it's the American Dream.

And dreams come in all sizes and colors.

But there are just somethings that if you want more that will help you get there with a minimum of mistakes. And hopefully, the things that Bill showed us, and William Parker teaches us, and things I share that have been taught to me, can help round out a successful strategy.

And to think that it all starts out with a thought.
 

tnframer408

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Paulette

Seems to work for me. My "foot traffic" is from a Hallmark store, a Storehouse, three of K'ville's better restaurants, two upscale women's clothing stores, Knoxville's oldest jewelry store, and MOST IMPORTANT a landlord who gives a d..n about how the place looks like upscale landscaping, patios where the restaurant patrons eat outside on a warm spring/summer night and walkways that are canopies to invite strolling in all weather.

That;s why the rent is high. that's why my foot traffic is high and that's why someone once said these amenities to your location could be factored into your ad budget

By the bye: errrored on my percentage. I was looking at Excel spreadsheet AFTER I dump Yellow Pages. Percentage now is closer to 8 1/2% of revenue ;) ;)
 

The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
This is from Buddy:
<hr>


at the risk of looking like I'm contradicting Framer's ad and his concept I am posting one of our ads. In this ad we are trying to counter the opinion that our work takes longer than other's and that the time we take is a fault. We do a lot more involved matting then most. But a lot of customers aren't aware of the time this takes. So we advertised the fact that "Good things take time" and 'Some things are worth the wait," we have a picture in the add of the type of matting and design that we do so they can see why what we do is different from those who are just FAST.

We feel we need to use our ads to educate the consumers to the fact that they need to compare "Apples to apples " and that we can do things like others but we prefer to take the time to create something unique. As obvious as this sounds to us, some consumers think that a quick job they get somewhere else is no different from what we work long and hard to produce. so we try to use these adds to change their minds and get them to come see what we do.

We have given some thought to also showing the same work done plainly and as it appears in this add while saying something like "Needles and Knots where you always have a choice," or "N+ K where your choices aren't limited ." We just attended a seminar given here by LJ where a very knowledgeable Marketing instructor (Lynn Fey) gave extensive methods in all venues to do just what Framer is suggesting "Sell Yourself." She said as framer has to show what you do best. Lynn called it "Creating your own Brand ,"Or as an another marketing Lady here on the grumble has said 'Find your own Niche.' Creative matting is ours and we are using adds like this to show consumers the difference in our work and others.
 

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Great job Buddy! Everyone should go to the framing design forum and see this design up close!

It's like I said earlier about the CMC, you have to capitalize on whatever you have or do. I thought caning and framing wouldn't work together until I started marketing it as "Art & Antiques", then BOTH sides of the business took off! Because I'm rural, I market it as something unique. "...located on an historic family farm in the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains"...

Whether we're "our street" or Main Street, whether we're fast or "worth the wait", there's always something to market!

Betty
 
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