How to stand out in the advertising crowd

What the hell is that?

It’s the greatest source of frustration for business owners. You pay a pile of money, provide a great valuable offer and you get little to no response from your advertising. Is it the advertising venue’s fault? Is it the wrong time to do this? Is it that you didn’t spend enough money?

It’s probably because your advertising did not stand out enough to be recognized as relevant to your target market. In short, while they may have seen it, they didn’t SEE it.

Here are several ways to increase the visibility of your advertising, signage, street presence, online visibility, etc. in order of general effectiveness: Continue reading “How to stand out in the advertising crowd”

Is anybody out there?

I’ve used radio recently to advertise promotions occuring at the same time the ads were played. They were very successful at driving 30-50 year olds to the promotion. There was some print and direct marketing done ahead of time which hopefully helped create the success with the radio spots.

But even with such evidence to the contrary, I have to ask, is anyone listening to radio these days? I see my wife and kids plugging their music players into the car’s auxillary input jack all the time. And when home, their music players are their source of background music. I’ve noticed coworkers streaming Pandora and other music websservices for music at their desks unless they are using their music players too. I just don’t see/hear people listening to local radio stations any more.

So I put out a survey to friends on Facebook asking Continue reading “Is anybody out there?”

Your company’s brand, it’s not what you think

I hear the term bantered around and I simply bite my tongue. “I’m just advertising to build my brand,” “It’s just for branding,” and “That brand is really strong.” Just to be clear, what is really being referred to here is logo and/or company name recognition or awareness. Market familiarity with a company name and or its graphical representation is a good thing, it’s much better than none.

But this has nothing to do with brand. Continue reading “Your company’s brand, it’s not what you think”

Did the IRS just revoke your not-for-profit status?

153 Whatcom County not-for-profit organizations just lost their IRS-given tax-exempt status for “failing to file an annual information return or notice with the IRS for three consecutive years.”

Losing that status subjects organizations to paying taxes on future donations. But, upon closer examination, it appears the revocation is effective as of May of last year. This would put all donations received since then in the taxable income column of the organizations’ tax returns.

275,000 nonprofits across the nation lost their tax-exempt status this way. It is likely that many are no longer operating but this could come as a very big surprise to the rest.


Whatcom County organizations on the list Continue reading “Did the IRS just revoke your not-for-profit status?”

How to run a political campaign in the age of new media

It’s an election year in these parts so it makes sense to toss out some fundamental advice regarding campaigns that make use of social media and new media channels.

First is the recognition of how your messaging will play out across various personas, especially those who will want to either carry it forward or mock it using social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Recently presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, came out with the  campaign slogan, “Win the Future.” When this is broken down to an acronym you get “WTF.” Now most everyone knows that’s not the best acronym associate with one’s campaign. While it gave the candidate a lot of attention right at the point of announcing their candidacy (enviable to be sure), many saw him as stumbling, falling and pronounced dead just as he was leaving the gate. The failing here was not testing the messaging outside of one’s own camp of “yes”-men. I just hope grandma doesn’t show up to church wearing a WTF t-shirt. Continue reading “How to run a political campaign in the age of new media”

Exhibit or sponsor an event in Ferndale

Here’s a great opportunity to get in front of people having a good time! The annual Old Settlers Picnic in Ferndale runs from July 28th to July 31st this year and they are still accepting Vendor Space Applications (near bottom of the page) for craft vendors and “informational type” booths.

Sponsoring an Old Settlers Picnic event is another great way to demonstrate your brand’s support of community in a visible way.