Beware the Advertising Account Executive
Over the past several years, clients have increasingly asked me to help them negotiate and review potential advertising buys. With a little knowledge, it’s relatively easy to identify multiple places to cut out ineffective advertising.
Unfortunately, most advertising account executives (a.k.a. advertising salespeople) despise me. Why? Because I refuse to allow clients to pay for anything LESS THAN positive return on ad spend. It’s not personal, just business. In one case … a client did some simple marketing math and discovered that they’d be paying $420 in advertising to generate a $52.81 ticket sale. No thank you!
Most events can reduce their advertising budgets by 50% or more and still sell the same amount of tickets. How is that possible?
You need to hold your marketing and advertising buys RUTHLESSLY ACCOUNTABLE! How will you know that your advertising is working if you don’t have a quantifiable means of tracking its effectiveness? You must use a measurable means to test and track everything. It can be as simple as the cat ladies and their tally marks. (Check the “Room Full of Cat Pee” post for more details.)
People have asked me, “Eugene is there anything I can do in place of tracking everything?” Yes! I don’t believe it to be as effective, but it can be an alternative to tracking. Here’s what you can do. Before you buy any advertising or marketing do some marketing reconnaissance.
First, ask the account executive for references from other event organizers who have advertised with them. Second, find samples and call the advertisers directly. e.g., If you see a banner ad online, take note of who’s advertising and call them. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an event. When you call, mention that your thinking of buying the same advertising and inquire if they’re finding success. Most people open up with all sorts of information!
Years ago, I followed this simple strategy for a client and helped them avoid $5,000 of ineffective advertising. No tracking needed - just about 60 minutes of telephone calls.
By the way, advertising agencies DON’T want you to know and use the information above. Too many advertising agencies are great at taking your money and spending it. Please make sure you hold them accountable for getting you the only thing that matters here —money in to your bank account!
You'll want to check out the book in the middle of the shelf ... "Tested Advertising Methods" - John Caples.
Check out these resources:
Getting Massive Insight from the Classic Marketeers