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Each of us are completely unique, just like everyone else. Tip #7

Creativity in marketing is an absolute must but for some reason when it comes to marketing many people choose to be the same.

Yesterday morning I was driving down the street and saw a realtor setting up for an open-house.  Her Mercedes was pulled over to the side of the road and she was setting up the standard realtor open-house sign – just like everyone elses.  It was a standard open house sign cut to the standard sign company size for the standard coroplast sign stand to reduce costs.  It was designed using the coporate colours for the realty company – a beautiful green, almost exactly the same colour as the hedge that seperates your property from the noise of the traffic.  She took it a step further and highlighted her sign with a helium balloon as everyone knows that movement helps draw attention.  Amazingly enough, I think that the standard forest green balloon was a near perfect match for her logo.  Sounds like the perfect start to her day – signage is up and hopefully she is going to sell a house today.  I was lucky to drive by when I did, otherwise I never would have seen her setting up her green sign, with the green balloon in front of the green hedge at the side of the road.

I live in a city of 1500 realtors and likely have a short list of about 10 I could name off by memory.  They all offer pretty much the same thing: honesty, hard work and integrity.  They all have pretty much the same advertising with themselves standing beside their realty sign smiling like we have been long lost friends along with a short spiel about how different they are because of the honesty, hard work and integrity.  A few really get creative and follow up from when the kids made fun of their name in school by turning it in to a slogan I’d remember if I still had my bully tendencies.  I’m sure they go to a realtor school of sorts to be taught the tried and true formula that has made all 1500 realtors the success story they are.  Some are younger than the others and dabble in the internet where they have photos of the houses they have listed with the basic details about the listing, perhaps a mortgage calculator and some more photos of them looking like succesful realtors.

Will you get the standard open house signs?  Will you buy the full page ad in the telephone directory?  Can you make a nice flyer you can drop off to houses in the neighbourhoods?  Will you stick to the corpoate colors for everything you do?  Will your car be enough to represent how successful you are in order to become successful?  Lots to decide. Screw it, just do exactly what every other realtor has done – if it didn’t work why would all 1500 realtors do it that way anyway?

Or…you could reinvent the world of realtors and present a new brand to the community – hell it might even be the brand of YOU.  Different, unique, bigger signs, strange colours, fun materials – who knows where it could end once you broke loose from the normal standards – in the end, you might even stand out – which could lead to you being recognized.  Wow, creativity and imagination can be pretty cool for a person in business – maybe somebody has written a book on how I could actually do this. I’ll have to hit the bookstore if I get a chance after I get my signs and balloons up for the open house this morning.

www.quickdeal.com          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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Hey Stupid, when they talk about K.I.S.S., are they talking about you? Tip #6

Most business owners are too busy to handle everything that needs to get done during the day, instead they prioritize tasks and all too often marketing gets pushed off the table to another day. One day turns in to a week, turns in to a month, turns in to a year. Suddenly your website is completely out of date, your sales materials are inconsistent and your advertising is old, stale, weak and ineffective.

Marketing and advertising seems like it should be pretty simple but it isn’t. You can drop the ball in a million different places that will make the money you spend less and less effective. A marketing professional can take a good look at your business and tell you what you need to do to be more effective, where you need to focus first, what can wait and what needs to be handled immediately. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that business owners/managers are too busy to deal with marketing right now, that they need to deal with this or that and then in a month or two they can take a look at marketing. Stop it, stop it, stop it. Concentrate on managing your business but don’t put your marketing on hold for even a day – it is much too important. Get some good help that can walk in, evaluate and set your marketing on a path that you can handle.

Good marketing people will stick fingers in to every crevice of your business. Their job is to improve your business and make you money – with some initiatives providing short term wins while others will concentrate on the long haul.  They don’t have to be full time employees; in fact many great marketing people float from business to business on a contract basis. You don’t have to spend giant sums of money to get results – spend what you need to in order to ensure that your business is getting the best results it can afford.

Advertising opportunities present themselves to businesses every day and you need to be prepared to capitalize on those advantages now before they pass you by. Perhaps ‘Stupid’ can be changed to ‘Sensible’, ‘Smart’ or ‘Sharp’.

www.quickdeal.com          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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The world has changed. Did your advertising? Tip #5

The world of advertising has changed forever but many businesses continue along using the same mediums that worked in the past.  Why?  As business owners, aren’t we skilled enough to recognize that we need to change our approach?  I believe that the world of online advertising is just too out there for many to consider.  Perhaps online is just too scary and daunting to consider?  It’s not too scary.   Get out there and do something online and move more of your budget away from traditional advertising to online.   

If you take a hard, logical look at your traditional advertising, you’ll see that you need to make some changes.

Television:

  • 300+ channels to choose from means fewer viewers per channel.
  • Local television stations in many markets are in trouble because of lower revenues and less viewers – many will not survive without bailouts.
  • PVR’s allow commercials to be skipped.
  • Just too expensive and ineffective for small business to consider.

 Radio:

  • 100s of millions I-Pods and smartphones sold annually—how many teens carry an AM/FM radio?
  • Standard features on newer vehicles include CD players, Ipod docks, hard drives and satellite radio.
  • Digital music stations available over cable networks – commercial free.
  • Less people listening to the radio every day.

 Newspapers:

  • Newspapers have been closing worldwide or reducing publication dates because newspapers are old fashioned, losing money and going extinct quickly.
  • By the time they are printed they are out of date.
  • Classifieds have all but disappeared—gone to online.
  • Very limited functionality vs. online competitors.

 Telephone Directories:

  • Many markets have 2 or more phone books often with more than 1400 pages each—a massive waste of paper resulting in the destruction so many trees that you won’t even want to know how many.
  • Telephone directories tend to be very expensive and normally increase in price annually as they are priced based on market population and not use.  As your city grows, so does your price.
  • Phonebooks have gone online but rarely redeveloped so they don’t take advantage of the new medium.
  • Ask someone under 25 when they last picked up a phone book.  It is likely boosting their computer monitor up by 3 inches.
  • Reps lead you to a product that you think you cannot be without.  Truthfully, phonebooks are overpriced, largely ineffective and socially irresponsible.  
  • Very limited functionality vs. online competitors.

 The world has changed. Every newspaper, telephone directory, radio and television has gone online in hopes of recovering some of their lost revenue as you leave traditional media.  If they didn’t need to support their primary failing business – they might not need to charge you so much.  Spread your wings and make contact with an online business whose primary business is online advertising.  They’ll be happy to guide you through the process of gaining results and you’ll save a bundle of money at the same time.

www.quickdeal.com          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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Copywriting – a hundred different ways to say what doesn’t get read. Tip #4

Copywriting is salesmanship in marketing at its very best.  The job of the copywriter is to write words that get read and hopefully lead to a sale.  You can say too much or not enough.  You can grab attention but end up losing it.  You could make an impression – good or bad.  Or, sadly, it may never get read at all.

The Copywriter creates the poetry of the pitch that captures and maintains the interest of the reader/listener.  Once again, remember, if it isn’t read – it’s dead.  How are you going to capture the customers’ attention?  A spectacular offer, a guarantee, sale pricing or humour?  Write down everything you want to say and then start cutting it back until you are left with what works and what is truly important.  Save your notes for later because you might decide to start all over again.

In the case of online advertising, copywriting is made a little easier because you don’t have to sell.  Instead you have to get your audience to click – taking them to your website where the real pitch begins.  Keep it simple.  If you think about magazines, it is very rare that anyone buys one just to read advertisements.   How are you going to pull attention away from somewhere else towards your message.   As you write your copy keep in mind that we buy magazines for the articles,  the photos and the insight but rarely advertisements.   If you can cause the viewers attention to redirect, how will you get them to click and temporarily place their original reading intentions on hold.   The wonderful part of online advertising is that your messages can be changed almost instantly and if nobody clicks, you can go back to the drawing board and revise your ad without stopping the press or having to wait until next month.

Keep it simple, get to the point, engage, enlighten or educate and if you can, try to leave a lasting impression.  If you can afford a copywriter – hire one.  If you can’t, look to those that will advertise your message as they often offer the service free of charge in order to gain your business.

www.quickdeal.com          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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Hire a Graphic Designer or your Nephew Judd? Tip #3

Everyone has a computer and everyone knows someone that claims to be able to save you money by creating your advertising for you. We’ve got a name for those that take on the task of creative development that shouldn’t – it is called Nephew Art. You have planned your advertising to get you the most bang for the buck and now you decide to cheap out and get someone untalented to create your ad – it’s crazy – don’t make the mistake.

Having spent more than 20 years working with graphic designers, interviewing hundreds, and viewing the work of thousands, I can assure you that it is an area where you should invest some time and money. It doesn’t mean that you need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on an agency but you should take the time to find a designer that you can work with who is talented, open-minded, creative and has an eye for marketing. When working with an agency, you get Creative Directors, Art Directors, Copywriters, Account Executives and Media Planners all working together to give you the best product but for most small businesses, it will be you working directly with a Graphic Designer – so you both need to fill a few shoes to get great work.

Graphic Design ties together words, images, size, colors, fonts, space, borders and more. The challenge in advertising design is to take the artist and tie them together with the marketing initiative. True Graphic Designers are Artists first and foremost and sometimes have a tendency to drift away from what the ad needs to accomplish and instead end up designing a piece of art. Keep your mind on what you want to accomplish and encourage the Graphic Designer to be creative – discuss what you want to accomplish first and then discuss the finished design as a team. A collaborative approach works well, but only if you allow their talents to shine, be heard and evolve.

When working with a Graphic Designer make certain they understand what you are trying to accomplish, your timelines, budget and vision – then let them do their thing. Find a graphic designer that you can work with long term. The longer you work together, the less you have to discuss what you want because the brand becomes a collaborative understanding between the two of you. Your company brand will begin to evolve whether planned or not from what is designed.

In the case of internet advertising, most often it is meant to provoke a click which would lead to your website where more information is available. You and your Graphic Designer should answer these questions before deciding whether you created something that is good and ready to be uploaded:

  • Does your ad stand out from the page?
  • Does it grab your eye and capture your attention?
  • Is the message quick, simple and clear?
  • How are the colours and fonts for clarity?
  • Can the message be seen and understood or does the brain need to read it?
  • If the customer is motivated to click – will they find what they want at the other end?

Find a good graphic designer that you can work with – they’ll give you better value in what you deliver to the public in the way of advertising. Allow your Nephew Judd to look up to you because you make good business decisions without ever having to fire him for incompetence.

www.quickdeal.com          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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Go big or go home? Tip #2

Go big or go home? This is one of the most common mistakes companies make when purchasing advertising. Let’s face it, we all know that bigger is better – but when combined with frequency it just isn’t so – unless you have an unlimited advertising budget. Everyone wants to go bigger, but longer is much more important. Effective advertising is about frequency – get your advertising out there over and over again and have it out there for as long as you can. Repetition is what causes your company to become recognized by the public – ‘I’ve seen these guys over and over again’.

Advertisers often want the quick response but how often are customers ready to buy? If your business sells refrigerators, how often are consumers in the market for a new fridge – every 10 or 15 years? Advertising frequency is about establishing your business in the minds of consumers.  You want them to think of your business without seeing an ad when they are looking for that new fridge. Top-of-mind awareness is what frequency provides. You often hear sales reps for media companies say that you need to run your advertising longer. While that may sound like a sales pitch, it really isn’t. They know that the key to advertising is repetition. A good rep will tell you that you should pull back on your size in order to afford more frequency – same amount spent but with more impact.

In the case of online advertising, frequency is exactly what you are paying for and is why it can be so effective. Instead of going big, you get to use my two preferred methods of getting your ad seen – copywriting and graphic design. What you say, how you say it and the presentation of your message take priority for me over size but we can talk about those items in future tips. Meanwhile, get your message out there over and over again.

Way back in 1885, a man named Thomas Smith apparently wrote a guide called Successful Advertising. His message with regards to frequency paints a pretty clear picture on how frequency increases effectiveness.

“The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
The second time, they don’t notice it.
The third time, they are aware that it is there.
The fourth time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
The fifth time, they actually read the ad.
The sixth time they thumb their nose at it.
The seventh time, they start to get a little irritated with it.
The eighth time, they start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
The ninth time, they start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
The tenth time, they ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
The eleventh time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
The twelfth time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
The thirteenth time, they start to feel the product has value.
The fourteenth time, they start to remember wanting a product exactly like this for a long time.
The fifteenth time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
The sixteenth time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
The seventeenth time, they make a note to buy the product.
The eighteenth time, they curse their pverty for not allowing them to buy this terrific product.
The nineteenth time, they count their money very carefully.
The twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy what is offering”.

www.quickdeal.com          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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Getting the most from advertising – Tip #1

I’ve seen a lot of common mistakes when it comes to advertising, branding your business and the roadmap to growing your business but getting the most from your advertising is really very simple. Evaluating what you are doing and how you are doing it is very important. If you need to make changes – get on with it and get it done. It is always too easy to let months pass by without making changes to your Marketing plan because you feel you don’t have enough time in the day to get it all done – do it or get someone to do it for you.

Tip #1

 Everyone has heard of the KISS approach (Keep It Simple Stupid) and it certainly applies to advertising. Many creative people, website developers, graphic designers and marketing specialists will try to give you the latest and greatest and dazzle you with the cool things they can do. Keep it simple. Simple is clean, clear and precise and gets to the point. The first question you should ask yourself is what is your advertising supposed to do for you? In the case of online advertising, you most often want to drive people to your website where the real pitch begins. So don’t waste time with all of the information that you want people to know, they’ll get that with a single click. Instead, keep it simple and give them what they need to get them to make that single click. Interest them, grab their attention, use colour, use movement, use contrast and make them see your message. If it isn’t read, it’s dead – meaning, if it doesn’t stand out enough to grab their attention and interest them in reading it – it was a waste of your valuable marketing dollar.

I don’t know how many times I’ve been to hockey arenas where local advertisers support the junior teams by purchasing arena boards but have no idea what to use for a message. They add their business name, slogan, address, telephone number, photos of their people and even some bullet points covering their products and services. I went to a hockey game to watch hockey not read the arena boards all night – I don’t care about your message. Keep it simple. Go to an NHL hockey game and learn from what you see on the arena boards. You’ll see logos: Zerox, Canon, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Ford, McDonald’s, Reebok, Bridgestone, Subway and more – but just logos, no phone numbers or addresses. Keep it simple – if it isn’t read, it’s dead!

www.quickdeal.com          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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A cup of coffee a day

Is that cup of coffee helping your business?Did you know that a single cup of coffee every day can actually help improve your business? It’s true. Many people think nothing of spending $3.50 a day for a fancy coffee to give them a little extra boost of energy or calm the nerves as the day gets underway at the office. Will that help your business? Will it bring more customers through your door? Will it help establish the brand of your business in the eyes of the community where you operate? No, but that same money could be spent on something that can help improve your business. Can you go without one fancy coffee every day and invest that pocket change in your business instead?

QuickDeal can take that same amount of money and target customers in the area where you do business, driving customers to your website or your free business directory at QuickDeal and get you new business, repeat business and top of mind awareness for your business.

Fill your mug with water tomorrow morning and contact us at QuickDeal for a quick conversation. Ask us how you can ensure that your price doesn’t grow for 2 years while our business does and so does yours. Traditional media like newspapers, television, radio and telephone directories are likely proving less and less effective for you – their audience is disappearing while ours is growing by leaps every day Give your business some growth with QuickDeal

www.quickdeal.com          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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How to grow your business

QuickDeal can help your businessBusinesses today need to look for advantages everywhere they can find them. Advantages in costs, people, suppliers, location, features, communications, technology, etc. Every advantage joins together with all of the other advantages to give your company an edge.

When it comes to marketing, you really need to find an advantage. Everybody can spend thousands of dollars with ads in the telephone directories, newspapers, radio, TV and direct mail but that doesn’t give you an advantage, it just gives you less money. If you had an arrangement where you receive traditional advertising for free, that would be an advantage. If you could get regular advertising to help brand your business for very little cost, that would be an advantage. If you could get exclusivity in some way, that can be an advantage. If everyone is doing it, it might be a sign that you are better off finding a different way to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Find your business an advantage.

QuickDeal was developed to help provide small and medium sized businesses an advantage by providing advertising that works at little or no cost while thousands of people arrive at our site over and over. Here is a list of 5 great ways QuickDeal can help improve your business.

  1. Go to QuickDeal and add your business in the Business Directory – it is a free listing like the phone books often include you in except we let you add your logo, description of your business, tie together business tags and keywords that help people find you when searching. Our business listings are often indexed directly by major search engines so that the information you provide on your business ends up showing up is search results. Links to your business from other websites not only help improve your visibility but can also help improve your own website ranking within search results – it is FREE – that is an advantage.
  2. For a small fee of $60.00 annually, you can upgrade your free business directory listing with QuickDeal to an advanced listing – a small price to pay for the benefits you receive. You will be able to add additional text to your description, additional tags, photos, links to video and your website.
  3. Add some free listings for your products and services. Do you have some good deals, some special products, some clearance items or services that people should know about – Tell them. Shopping listings are available to everyone at no-charge and include up to 5 photos with each item you list – use one for you logo, another for the product, another for your business location or a map of where to find you. Get creative with your listings and grab some extra attention for your business, products and services – Free – that’s an advantage.
  4. Tie your business listing together with your shopping listings. Just sign up for a login with QuickDeal and then send us an email asking us to tie your shopping listings together with your business listings. Now anytime someone looks at your business listing, they also have a direct link to any of the different shopping listing that you have active. Again this is a free service – do it, it is an advantage.
  5. Contact us about advertising your business on QuickDeal. It is a great way to provide the frequency that all businesses need when it come to establishing your brand. Over and over again, people will see your ad, your logo and your message linked either to your website or even to your business listing. Advertising with QuickDeal is remarkably inexpensive and designed specifically with small and medium sized businesses in mind. Let us impress you with the results that we can provide – We’ve got a real advantage that we can offer you – give us a call or an email with your phone number so we can call you back and explain all of the details to you over the phone. We want to help small and medium sized businesses succeed – take this step and hear what we have to offer.

www.quickdeal.com          [email protected]          250-412-3500

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Over 400 Cities Worldwide

QuickDeal is growing larger and larger every dayQuick Deal Services is pleased to announce we have reached another milestone.   We are now serving over 400 cities and counting. 

 

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Inexpensive and effective advertising is now available directly through QuickDeal across North America.

Buyers await you at QuickDealEvery business needs to draw in more customers but the trick is getting them without having to gamble all of your hard earned profits. Television, Newspaper and Phone Directories are much too expensive for most businesses to consider and have proven to be less effective than the average business requires. While traditional media has lost its ability to perform as it did back in the old days, New Media has emerged with everything we’ve always wanted in marketing – a massive targeted audience that is growing daily and providing inexpensive alternatives for advertisers with integrated metrics.

We would be pleased to discuss the opportunities that exist within QuickDeal and how we can assist in driving customers to your business. Whether category specific, city specific, regional or site wide, one thing we promise is that a 10 minute discussion with us will give you a marketing advantage that seasoned marketing executives are always on the hunt for – inexpensive results, branding and frequency. Call us today at 250-412-3500 or email us and we’d be happy to call you.           www.quickdeal.com

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Our coverage is expanding

QuickDeal now serves all states and Provinces in the US and CanadaI am pleased to announce that we are now in All 50 U.S. States. In addition, we are in all the Canadian Provinces.

If you visit us for the first time @ http://www.quickdeal.com it will bring up the city seletion page.  If it is a return visit, you are able to change your city on the link at the top right of our pages.

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