Category : Branding

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Why You And I Must “Uneducate” Ourselves

I would contend that we spend much of our time uneducating the room. By that I mean that we have to lead people out of counterproductive advertising strategies and practices that have become engrained into the industry. We do that because using new technology with old approaches just multiplies the audiences for bad advertising.

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348: 5 Ways to Make Your Direct Mail Effective in a Digital World

It won’t surprise most of my readers that an auction company hired me to design more than 120 different postcards last year or that the people on their mailing list purchased millions of dollars’ worth of assets from them in 2016. What might surprise you is that this client mailed each postcard to less than 1% of their mailing list database—or that this same customer spent at least three times as much on Facebook per auction than they did on that very successful direct mail.

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307: Why Auctioneers Should Be Careful with Auction Hash Tags (Part 2)

No matter how the transaction is conducted, the marketing that brings the buyer to an auction or to a listing or to a dealer is pretty much the same. Savvy marketers know to determine the likely buyer and then build a campaign of the multiple media, public relations efforts, and/or interpersonal interactions that are most likely to attract those potential buyers.

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289: Are You Throwing Away Income on Facebook?

This doesn’t mean that we abandon unpopular opinions or that we avoid sharing them. It just means that we express them differently. Proselytizing or personal growth is more likely within the contexts of face-to-face conversations, book club discussions, thoughtful letters, careful essays, well-researched & sourced infographics, etc. Raise a hand if a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram post has ever changed your political stance on anything. If they’ve never worked on us, what hubris or ignorance does it take to assume they’ll sway others?

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282: 5 Ways to Know If Your Offline Media is Working

In a digital world, print media has the potential to be a tangible disruptor and a more personal interaction. Direct mail allows a broader range of sizes and formats than online media. When produced and placed well, signs are often the leading medium for obtaining auction buyers. Just because it’s more difficult to track them doesn’t mean they are necessarily less effective.

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Why “Shop Small” and “Buy Local” Send the Wrong Message

Local media should still celebrate local business culture. Municipalities should still offer financial and infrastructural incentives to businesses of all sizes—encouraging both local startups and organizations that are expanding or relocating. All of us who love our community should market the heck out of where we live and why we love it. We just need to save the charity for nonprofits and give our neighbors reasons why shopping local or shopping small is the no-brainer option that’s best for them.

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264: Keep Your Mission Statement to Yourself

If you’re living up to your mission, you don’t have to tell people. If you’re not consistently hitting those goals, why create expectations in the marketplace that you can’t meet? If, like many firms, you’re filling that part of the business plan outline with mushy cliches that give you a lot of leeway, what are you communicating with those vapid words?

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259: 5 Design Attributes of Premium Auction Advertising

The irony is that Bonhams showed more restraint for expensive items than we often do with much lesser lots. Maybe it’s not ironic, since most of us sell utilitarian items instead of luxury goods. Regardless, while it’s impractical for most auctioneers to put these principles in action to the degree Bonhams did, we can all move in these directions for advertising that competes in the marketplace—not just in the auction industry.

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243: 5 Rules for Celebrity Spokespeople

No small business can afford this level of celebrity endorsement, but many use this marketing approach at a much smaller scale. Regardless of the number of zeroes in the deal, the same rules of engagement apply. These five celebrity criteria should be true, if you want endorsement deals to work for your brand.

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241: What Is Your Competitive Advantage?

“What is your competitive advantage? Why would someone hire you instead of your competition?”

The answer to those two sentences should be easy. You need that answer to determine what your brand is and what that brand’s ensuing message will be. You can and should be leading your presentations by addressing how you solve your clients’ problems. Soon after that promise, though, you’ll probably need to explain why your firm best solves those problems.

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240: Academy Award-Winning Advertising

This practice can wipe some of the myopia off the lens through which we evaluate our advertising. It can also lead us to dismantle how we build our media and become more intentional with our creative processes—with both large, conceptual decisions and seemingly-small choices. The ensuing conclusions might not lead us to the best practices; but they should, at least, lead us to more self-aware and purposeful marketing.

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239: Subtracting Your Way to More Effective Advertising

For asset or auction promotion, we need to know that if someone isn’t interested in the headline attributes of an asset, they don’t need to know any more. We need to know that if someone isn’t motivated enough to go to our website for unabbreviated terms, room dimensions, or serial numbers, they probably aren’t motivated enough to attend a property inspection, register for the auction, or participate in bidding.

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236: Your Company History Matters Less Than You Think

Consumers don’t care how long you’ve been in business. At least it’s not a priority to them. Buyers want to know that you have what they want when they want it. Sellers want to know you’ve got a lot of recent experience marketing this exact type of asset in current market conditions. Whether you’ve been in business eight years or 80 years only matters as a tie-breaker, if all other considerations are equal.

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