• Shoe ChoicesIt still resonates as one of the most profound statements I’ve ever heard from an auction industry professional. “You know, Ryan, this fancy brochure isn’t to sell this property. It’s to get the next one.” That sentiment became one of the intentional building blocks of biplane productions. I intend my work, in part, to give appropriate showcasing of the properties at hand and making their information easily absorbed. But my sustainable value is in building the look and feel of my clients’ respective brands, so that they will get more and bigger deals.

    That’s just brochures and postcards. How about the entire media mix? What criteria do you implement to choose the media you will use to promote your auction? How do you determine what new media to try? Why do some parts of your advertising budget get more dollars than others?

    It’s not always to sell the item at hand. But that’s okay, even if it’s the sellers’ money. Your media choices should accomplish at least one of the following imperatives; if it doesn’t, you have some media pruning to do.

    Attract buyers for your products
    Get bidders to the auction by taking the auction to the bidders. If you’re polling your bidders, you know where they hear about your auctions. Spend the largest percentage of your budget there. If you’re not polling your bidders, you’re lost.

    Secure clients for your service
    Impress potential sellers with the media your buyers tell you is primary, but don’t forget about trade or interest media that reflect your current and past seller base. Your forays into non-primary media do not need to be large, just consistent and professional.

    Convince sellers of your effort
    Sometimes, a web site or newspaper’s name trumps its real results. But your seller doesn’t care; and the extra expense may make them more motivated to accept your high bid(s) come auction day. It only costs $135-$685 (depending on state) to hit every newspaper in your state, even if it’s just a 25-word line ad. Buzzword web sites often charge little to nothing to post entry-level listings to their databases. Small ads in more media can help you assuage the demanding seller that you covered your bases.

    Keep up with (or trump) the professional Joneses
    How do ad reps make money? They convince competing companies that the other is sold on their media. Sometimes, you have to advertise where you do and how big you do to get your auctions and company noticed. Other times, you want to establish your brand in a media before your competition does or give the impression that you’re the market leader. Just make sure through polling and anecdotal observation that it’s not an emperor’s new clothes deal, where you all are spending on something that isn’t there.

    Build brand awareness
    The person who recommends your services may not be a friend or even a past client. It may be someone who only has seen your professional brand consistently and professionally presented. Potential strategic partners should know who you are. The same goes for your trade and community organizations. Your media should match the personality and strategies of your company, regardless of size.

    Not all media are created equal. Sometimes the same media, deployed in a different area doesn’t equal itself at home. Knowing why you’re using a specific media will help you determine how much money and energy you direct to it. You can tailor your advertising budgets to have the same reach while still devoting priority to the media that gain you the most impact—just by sifting your strategy through this 5-piece filter.

    Taking it Personally

    I’ve endured scores (if not hundreds) of long, drawn-out church presentations for people and people groups who (1) were not in the same place on their spiritual journey and/or (2) were not represented in the building. God’s Word is promised not to return empty, but that doesn’t mean its impact can’t be improved with planning.

    At our church (and, I’m sure, others like it), our teaching team sifts every talk through the filter of “the four chairs.” As much as possible, the topic at hand is tailored to apply to the four places from which people at our church come:

    1. the person running after Jesus, wanting to absorb everything they can to grow
    2. the complacent or status quo Christian, who follows God from a distance
    3. the seeker or religious unbeliever, who may even think they’re a Christ-follower
    4. the person who is far from God, who may even be a skeptic or practicing atheist

    See, the Bible claims to be profitable for all people in all situations. Church shepherds must guard against disenfranchising one or more of the four spiritual chair sitters, stunting their Jesus journeys or at least wasting their attention. For the rest of us, we need to be prepared to address all four of the chairs filled by those with whom we have God conversations.

    Photo used by permission with purchase from iStockPhoto.com
    This entry was posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 1:30 pm and is filed under Adverpreneur. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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