Avoiding Ad Overkill

Have you ever watched TV or listened to the radio and thought to yourself, ‘If I hear or see that ad ONE MORE TIME I’m going to scream!’?

That’s usually the case this time of year right around election time, even though it’s not just political ads that are over spending or over buying advertising.  It can happen to any business.

Recently one of our employees had talked about how her nine-year-old daughter had actually said, ‘I’m sick of seeing this commercial’ after the fourth or fifth time the commercial was aired during a program they were watching.  It wasn’t that the product was something they didn’t like.  It was because the ad was in one program too many times, which created negative feelings.

The risk of ‘ad overkill’ is very real.  That’s what we call the point of diminishing return.  You can over-saturate a television program, radio station, outdoor billboard market and/or print publication with your message.  The last thing you want to have happen is for your potential customers to tune your message out because they are seeing or hearing it too often.  The print ads or billboards become wallpaper; the ads on the radio or TV become white noise.  And that is totally counter-productive when attempting to grow your business.

Here are some key things to think about regarding your advertising:

• Establish an advertising budget that is realistic for your industry, whether it is a percentage of gross profits or sales.  Some industries have benchmarks established.

• Find out who it is you want to reach and be cost-effective in the use of the media outlets that your potential customers use. (research, research, research)

• Utilize multiple media outlets to create a synergy which will increase your efficiency.

• Spend your advertising budget effectively and efficiently.   Ask your media rep or media buyer to show you the effective reach and frequency for your targeted demographic or geographic audience.

So next time you’re planning your business’s advertising campaign, remember that too much of a good thing also applies here!  Don’t risk ‘ad overkill’ that may drive your potential customers away.

5 Most Common Advertising Mistakes

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Have you ever heard the John Wanamaker quote “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”?

Over the years, we’ve done many media analyses for businesses who struggle with the same dilemma. They know that they need to advertise in order to gain market share and compete for customers as well as to sustain their business. What they often struggle with is solving the mystery of how to create an effective and efficient media strategy.

We’ve compiled a list of what we refer to as the top 5 advertising mistakes (not in any particular order)  that businesses make in regards to their advertising strategies.

Ritualistic Buying 

Like anything in life, you can’t do the same thing continually and expect a different outcome. That is very true with advertising. Just because a form of media or a particular station has always worked in the past does not guarantee that it will continue to deliver audiences or efficiencies. Audiences shift, demographic needs change, and new trends in consumer behavior trumps everything. Be sure to get the most up-to-date ratings from your media buyer or representative. 

Putting all of the advertising ‘eggs’ in one basket

This happens fairly often. Businesses think that it is better to spend a lot in one medium to increase their frequency. Frequency is good, but in order to be effective, you also need to reach the right amount of people. When you put the entire advertising budget into any one media outlet, you sacrifice reaching more people. And you just beat the same people over the head again and again to the point of becoming wallpaper or white noise.

Cutting their advertising budget to save money  

But the statement has truth in it. Although it is tempting to ‘save money’ in the short run, when your business is no longer on top of the consumers mind, what you are really doing is eliminating any potential future business when they are ready to make a buying decision.

In the advertising industry, several people also quote the following: “The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.” I’ve seen the quote credited to both Henry Ford and Thomas Jefferson, although I’m not convinced that either of them actually said it!

We have often found  we offer the most value to a business who needs to cut their advertising budget or doesn’t think they have enough money to add new media to their campaign.  By targeting the media mix to reach the right people the right amount of times, you don’t need to spend as much to be effective.  It’s all in the strategy.

Buying a media outlet because they like the outlet not because it reaches their audience.

Of course we like to hear our own commercials or see our ads in print, TV, out of home, etc. However, isn’t it more important to reach your potential customers who will buy your products or services?

Being afraid to say ‘no’. 

It’s not easy to say ‘no’. It doesn’t matter whether it’s to your child, to a volunteer group or even a media rep that has become your friend over the years.   Not many people relish having to turn someone down. In business, however, you need to keep strong. Not every media rep has your businesses best interest at heart.

A strong advertising strategy includes multiple media outlets that deliver the targeted audiences most likely to buy your products or services.   Your business doesn’t need to spend more money than you can afford to budget just to get results.  But it needs to be sure to spend it wisely!

Our Quest for Effective Social Media

(This month’s blog is written by Monarch Media Solutions very own Heather Myers- Media Specialist)

Providing content for Social Media — relevant content that is — starts with knowing who you are talking to in your posts.  For example, when managing our Facebook page, it is challenging to know what kind of content to provide.  We don’t have a product to sell and the services we offer are not used by the ‘average’ person.  So, how do you effectively market this type of business through Social Media?

We have experimented with a variety of helpful articles that addressed specific marketing problems, solutions on better SEO, how to write effective emails to sell your product, time management strategies, habits of successful professionals and so on.  Articles on the lighter side have been sprinkled into the mix to address the personal life we all claim to have — routines to help you sleep better, how to live in the moment, secrets to happiness and the ever clever quotes.  The posts that we get the most engagement from are the light-hearted ones.

This raises a question… who are we talking to?  And are we talking to the right folks?  Like any business trying to grow their Facebook followers, we invite our personal friends to like our page.  They do and then what do we have?  We have a collection of personal friends and family reading our posts and not really anyone who is a potential client.  We do have our current clients on the ‘like’ list, so we are hopefully providing them with useful and/or entertaining information.  We want them to be interested in the information we share, to be engaged with it, to learn something new and mostly to stay relevant in their minds.  We adore our clients and want to help them in all aspects of their life.

So, aside from our existing clients seeing our brilliant posts (okay, that might be a stretch), how do we use Facebook to gain business?  After all, that is the main point of using Social Media.  Every post a business makes should be purposeful or it is not worth making.  We are going to do a little experiment and put all the Social Media best practices we have learned to work for Monarch’s Social Media strategies.  We feel confident that by doing so, we will be more equipped to help our clients by sharing our ‘real life’ experiences.

So, help us out in this quest for a better (more effective) use of Monarch’s Social Media efforts.  What type of content do you get the most engagement from on your Social Media channels?  How do you target your potential clients?  We would love to hear your experiences to add to our research!

Stay tuned .…

Balancing Life – It’s a Three Legged Stool

Many years ago while I was in outside sales for a local television affiliate I had a Sales Manager who often used analogies to relate his sales philosophies to the team.   One of my favorite analogies was that of a three-legged stool.


For our sales team, we had three distinct goals for our business that we had to strive to achieve.  Each one represented an aspect of the business that we needed to accomplish in order to be successful:  Maintain current clients, bring in new clients, and sell special projects.   He likened this to a three-legged stool.  If we only focused on one or two of the ‘legs’ of our business goals, our team and our goals would be off balance.  The trick to being successful was to focus on all three of our business goals to keep all three legs of the stool even so it would balance.

I’ll admit it… it got to the point where I wanted to tell him where to put that three-legged stool!  In fact, I had never even seen a three-legged stool so the whole concept seemed ridiculous!  However, I continued to humor him and eventually the principle behind what he was trying to teach was sinking in.  Because of this I was able to become a very successful part of the sales team and achieved a ‘hat trick’ award for meeting all three goals for the year.

Then one day while at an estate sale I made a discovery.  Guess what I found?  That’s right, a three-legged milking stool.  They did exist!!  Naturally I had to have one.  My intentions were to box it up as a joke and give it to my Sales Manager.  Time passed, I never got around to it and eventually he and I both changed jobs.

More than ten years have passed since the three-legged stool first came into my life. My former Sales Manager is now enjoying a very successful career in his dream job.  I have started my own business and to this day, I include the three-legged stool into my core values.  Each time I look at it, I reflect on its original meaning and fondly remember the way it went from being a simple business analogy to a life lesson that has forever shaped my path and helps me to keep my life in balance.   It currently represents finding a balance between running my business, managing my volunteer life and managing my personal/family life.  Focusing too much on any one part of the equation can make the other two ‘legs’ of my life get a little shaky.  I hope you can incorporate the three-legged stool into your life as well!