Posts Tagged Consumer Marketing

What Satan Taught Me About Content Marketing

Remember that English teacher who taught you to write five-paragraph essays? The pattern was simple: introduction, three supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Tell them what you’re going to tell, tell them, and tell them again.

From this basic structure, the writing assignments evolved. They moved from exposition to more complex arguments, pages instead of paragraphs, primary and secondary research, visual rhetoric, a companion video or slide deck.

For me, it all came together in a paper on John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost, arguing for an interpretation of Satan as epic hero that differed from popular criticism. My desk was littered with the flotsam and jetsam of my efforts—the primary text (PL); a position to take; a list of key points, supporting data, and examples from the text; a somewhat annotated bibliography of my research sources; what might pass for a flowchart that laid out the argument and possible objections; and a rough outline of the paper.

That desk doesn’t look much different today.

Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, of John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Those same writing and research processes from academia are useful tools for any kind of business writing, but especially for creating collateral such as white papers or case studies, or posts aligned with defined blogging strategy, or the email messages used in a lead nurturing campaign.

As content marketers, our most fundamental goal is to persuade an audience and motivate them to take action. We take a position—our unique selling proposition —and we develop, support, and defend it.

Sure, it feels good to say our main goal is to inform, educate, and nurture our audience, but a business needs to keep the lights on.

Each message in the customer lifecycle, from marketing to sales and services, is another piece of evidence in support of that position. Its effectiveness in getting, closing, and retaining customers is more measurable now than ever.

The ROI of our efforts is splashed in bright colors across the pie charts and graphs of our CRM dashboards.

While the simple five-paragraph structure is hardly feasible (or desirable) in our marketing communications, the exercise is. The creative process of writing that paper for English class can be adapted to help content marketers develop a messaging framework, and then use it to produce content that’s consistent and value-based, across marketing channels.

From 5 Paragraphs, 5 Concepts for Content

Whether writing a post on the company blog, a case study, or a status update, marketers can deliver an effective and consistent message by keeping in mind five basic concepts:

  • Audience
  • Argument
  • Appeals
  • Evidence
  • Opposition

Audience. The art of persuasion is equal parts writer and reader. Good content is adapted for a target audience, never one size fits all.  Not only do we need to create content for a specific buyer persona, but we also need to set expectations for that audience, and deliver a content experience that meets those expectations.

In B2B marketing, there are often multiple people involved in the decision-making process, each for different reasons. Segment that house list for targeted communications. Offer content relevant for the end user (how a specific functionality saves time), and something for the business decision maker (how the complete package saves money).

Argument. Again, the Unique Selling Proposition. Who should buy your product and why? How will they benefit? Do existing customers feel good about their purchase decision, and will they stick around? A product or service can’t be the best at everything for everyone, so this core concept should focus on what differentiates that product or service from others in the marketplace.

Appeals. To persuade and motivate that target audience, look to the Aristotelian rhetorical appeals ethos, pathos, and logos.

  • Ethos refers to the appeal of the speaker’s character or authority. It’s how we position the “About” page and our online company profiles, what we put in our bios. A good example of ethos in advertising is celebrity endorsements.
  • Pathos appeals to the audience’s emotions. It can be used to convey feelings of confidence and integrity in a brand and trigger the desired response.
  • Logos is logical appeal. This persuasive strategy is usually marked by facts, figures, and data.

The most effective content combines all three appeals.

Evidence. This one is closely tied to logical appeal but worth calling out on its own. General statements only bring an audience so far. Providing credible evidence to support a claim shows the buyer how other people just like them have realized tangible benefits from a product or service. And it doesn’t need to be boring. The statistics part may be a bit dry, but things like video testimonials, case studies, and online communities can turn this evidence into a more interactive experience for the audience.

Opposition. What are the opposing viewpoints in your marketplace? The reasons for not buying your product or service? If the price point high, for example, then provide some quantifiable ROI data from current customers. Opposition to a change in process or technology? Reinforce the benefits of making the change with evidence, and remember that change brings about feeling of both excitement and fear. Build on the former while addressing the latter with a solid nurturing program.

Putting these concepts together in an internal corporate essay, so to speak, with an introduction, supporting ideas, and conclusion helps clarify positioning, communicate value, and motivate the audience to the next step in the sales cycle. Those ideas make up the parts of the whole, the overarching narrative told through our website, blog posts, social media efforts, sales collateral, and customer service.

It’s worth noting that the essay outline mentioned earlier wasn’t so much an outline as a collection of sticky notes and pizza napkins that could be rearranged while the argument in my paper developed based on new research and perspectives.

The corporate narrative should be organized this way, too—it’s a fluid process as we learn more about our audience and how they interact with our communications, or introduce new products and functionality.

A messaging framework based on audience, argument, appeals, evidence, and opposition helps content marketers tell a consistent and compelling story. It may not be the same as writing about Satan, sex, and the phenomenology of sin in Paradise Lost, but the same concepts of argumentation that we learned in English class can inspire a content strategy that adds color to the marketing dashboard.

This blog post originally appeared on B2Bbloggers.

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5 Principles of Fiction for More Effective Content Marketing

Marketing these days is all about content. Storytelling.

Online marketing is an iterative story. Content may be final—published on website, posted on the blog and promoted through social media—but the story is in a constant draft state, a work in progress that is created and developed as much by the agency of the corporate author as the community with which it speaks.

In these stories, characters and plot lines are distributed through multiple online channels, each quite different, from purpose and audience intent to profile character limit. Our audience expects a different tone on our company Facebook page from what’s delivered in a standard news release. We pour syrup on our pancakes at breakfast in an 80/20 pattern every morning because 80% is about the audience and their needs, and 20% is about us.

(De)constructing the corporate narrative using five key attributes from the craft of fiction and storytelling provides a solid frame of reference for translating business goals into online content strategy.

Somehow it seems prudent to provide a disclaimer here that we should emulate not the imaginative nature of fiction in our marketing, but rather its structure and style.  Storytelling is, after all, the oldest form of human communication.

1.    Tight Lines

Good writers can produce tight lines of copy that are creative, compelling, and persuasive. They tend to have a healthy aversion to adverbs, hyperbole, and exclamation points.

These writers can use metaphor and analogy to convey complex, technical information, or to tease an emotional response from the reader that leads to an action or contributes to feelings of brand affinity. Here are a few tips for being more like them:

  • Use active voice. It means the subject of the sentence is the agent, performing the action. Instead of writing donation was given by {company} to benefit… , write {company} donation benefits…. Not only does active voice eliminate unnecessary words (the be verbs of passive voice), it’s more engaging for readers because it emphasizes the action and clearly conveys the main idea.That said, there may be times when passive voice is useful for de-emphasizing the performer of the action or putting focus on the recipient. (The distinction between active and passive voice for marketing and professional communications is, perhaps, another blog post altogether.)
  • Show, don’t tell. This is Fiction 101, using setting, character, and tension instead of description to illustrate action and create sequence. Marketing communications, whether online or offline, illustrate with data points, customer testimonials (social proof), and specific evidence given at various decision points in the sales cycle.
  • Be grammatically correct. Always get your ideas out before worrying about copy editing a blog post or product marketing email, but do take the time to proofread the content. If you break the rules, do it for style, not by accident. An excellent resource for grammar and punctuation is Purdue’s Online Writing Lab.

2.    Character Drives Action

It’s true in fiction, and it plays out in marketing.

The process of identifying and understanding a target audience for marketing efforts is like developing characters for a work of fiction. You know who they are, what they make a year, their educational level, where they eat and shop.

The marketer needs to create content for the individual buyer and her needs. Audience strategy isn’t a matter of B2B vs. B2C so much as a combination of immediacy of need, complexity of product, and to some degree, price point.

For example, the simple B2B software sale may rely in part on emotional triggers related to time/labor savings, while the B2C buyer may be facing a more complicated decision-making process for a product or service (higher price point, status, longevity of product, its prominence in daily life).

Serving up content that’s relevant to the business audience is critical to everything from generating interest to keeping a customer. To do this, marketers create buyer personae that guide their efforts and help uncover what motivates that audience.

This persona is literally a profile, or character sketch. It’s all those demographic characteristics, habits, and behavior patterns scribbled on sticky notes across a fiction writer’s desk, color-coded to indicate role in the story or a specific scene.

The marketing lesson from fiction writing is to think like the characters do, and use that knowledge to focus editorial strategy and create content that attracts the most qualified sales prospects.

3.    The Plot

Plot is what happens in a story—the sequence of events, conflict, cause of the action, the outcome. Writing workshops present a five-step formula: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution.

The corporate storyteller can use these elements of plot to guide an audience along a conversion path, which is marketing babble for a reader or viewer taking the intended action, such as submitting a form or dialing a phone number.

This writer strives to lead prospects through a sales funnel by engaging and educating them with content. Information architecture and website copy function to drive a visitor along a certain navigational path that results in an action—the writer decides what information to provide at each decision point in order to move the plot and its audience forward.

Another plot development exercise in marketing is mapping communications, such as email campaigns, to where an audience is in their decision-making cycle.

Is that person in the discovery stage (exposition)? Is she being nurtured with informative and relevant content (rising action)? Has she identified a problem or need (climax)? Is she evaluating technical solutions (falling action)?

For most marketers, the plot lines are many. Following this dénouement of the sale, the story begins again with the customer relationship.

4.    The Narrative

Narrative creates the reader’s experience of the plot, how the sequence of events, conflict, and resolution are presented. The narratives of effective marketing communications follow the same arch of explanation, rising action, and resolution—whether in a 500-word blog post or a 140-character interrogative.

Marketers can employ narrative technique to get the attention of their audience, tell a story, and elicit emotional response in the reader. Effective narrative vehicles include advertising campaigns, white papers, case studies, and online content such as blog posts and videos.

In a crowded, always-on marketplace, it’s not enough to make a story stand out—it has to carry meaning that resonates, too.

Audiences are overwhelmed with information and communications. They go online to find to the information they need and, depending on the scope of the problem, a website has a limited amount of time to gain the interest and trust of this audience.

Don’t just present the plot, but create an experience of the plot for the reader. It’s the difference between using your website homepage as the landing page for a PPC campaign, versus a page that uses content specific to the reader’s search, a form to request more information, and a follow-up email campaign to keep the audience engaged.

5.    Setting the Scene

“It was a dark and stormy night…”

That doesn’t work in business writing, either.

Threading together character, plot, storytelling, and copy is scene, the place where these other elements of the narrative interact.

Developing the themes that tie an online corporate narrative together requires content to be organized and somewhat consistent.

The narrative is the combined content—the blog posts, status updates, news releases, static web copy—that reflect the ethos of the business in order to appeal to the character/buyer personae.

Effective online content strategy speaks to both humans and search engines in order to provide value, whether facilitating immediate purchase or bringing prospects into a months-long educational sales cycle.

Setting the scene is often a function of public relations. PR positions the company in the marketplace—its strengths, limitations, competitors, and even corporate personality—setting the scene for the action to take place, for the sales lifecycle narrative to unfold.

The company’s culture, list of awards, digital footprint, and online sentiment create a scene that tells an audience whether to trust or retreat.

These five lessons from fiction writing can string the thousands of words from our content marketing efforts into a narrative experience for the reader, who alone can drive the action for the corporate narrative.

This post was originally published on B2C Marketing Insider. It is a revised excerpt of this post (sans fuckwords), inspired by reasons 1, 2, 5, and 8.

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Tight Lines: 12 Reasons the MFA is a Solid Degree in the Technology Space

Tonight I had the pleasure of sitting around a table drinking wine and sharing crème brûlée with some friends from graduate school, specifically the MFA program in creative writing at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Pulling up in my minivan I realized it had already been a good 5 years since my last writing workshop around that blessed, beat-up and beloved table in Weld Hall library.

One discussion stood out over the Cabernet and custard, perhaps because of where I’m at academically, professionally, and personally. It was whether an MFA degree had any value in today’s workplace for those not interested in teaching at the college level, and how those skills might be applied in the workforce.

At the table for tonight’s conversation were four MFA graduates and a faculty member. The grads included a software developer, a local magazine editor, a PhD student/professor, and a marketing director. Not a bad as products of the program, I’d say.

This post outlines some key areas where the MFA program directly relates to the creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills that are very much in demand in today’s job market. It’s time to start that dialogue around how those of us in the arts and humanities can create some pretty kick-ass careers for ourselves.

The perspective here is from a fiction writer (as opposed to poetry or nonfiction), and it’s from the marketing point of view (versus a visual art like design or a sales role such as business development).  It deals mostly with applied professional writing—as a “creative” on an in-house team or at an agency, for example. (I’m sure the linguistics or communications theory-laden post will soon follow.)

One more disclaimer is that I have split personalities when it comes to writing about marketing.  I’m a B2B marketer marketing an advertising product to folks who market B2C. But at the end of the day, we’re all fucking human. Write that way and you can sell a product or service or otherwise inform and persuade an audience. That’s all we really need to do.

Here’s that list, from my own experience as an MFA graduate with a pretty sweet career. I may not have been placed on that path because my credentials state this particular degree, but the skills needed to get there tie directly to experience in a creative writing program.

Copywriting

1. Tight Lines. These people have the ability to write tight lines that are both creative and persuasive. In fiction, the writer needs to create believability and truth, or verisimilitude, in the story.

2. Plot Lines. Web copy, for example, needs to drive a visitor along a certain navigational path that results in that person taking an action, whether it be submitting a contact form, calling a business, or even moving on to the next page. Creative writers, too, drive their visitor—their reader—along with intent. The audience is brought on that proverbial journey, as the business writer strives to both pull a prospect through a sales funnel and engage them in interactive content, and a fiction writer so convincingly delivers a narrative that can pull the reader along the story’s path without question of the reality or the characters created—they simply must get to the next part of the story.

3. Buyer Personae. This one is huge, but it’s covered in the Marketing/Sales Cycle section below.

Public Relations

4. Positioning. PR positions the company, setting the scene for the action to take place. It’s important in PR to be completely transparent, to stay away from embellishment, but this is where command of English language comes in handy.

5. Storytelling. These are the folks that tell the company’s story, and they need to do it well. Hire a storyteller. Or become one. Enough said.

Marketing/Sales Cycle

6. Audience. Identifying and understanding a target audience for marketing efforts is akin to developing characters for a work of fiction. You know who they are, what they make a year, their educational level, where they eat and shop.

3., Part Deux. Buyer Personae. The ability to serve up content that’s relevant to the business audience is critical to everything from generating interest to keeping a customer. To do this, marketers need to create what’s called a buyer persona to guide their efforts, to know what makes that target audience tick. This is literally an outline or profile of a character—for me, it’s all those characteristics scribbled on sticky notes across my desk and color-coded to indicate mannerisms or role in the story. But again, working within the framework of buyer personae is where the ability to create and develop characters in a fictional work becomes a skill that transfers nicely.

For these writers, it goes well beyond the numbers that identify age, location, and income— the ability to create and give voice to these buyer personae, understand their pains and how to manage their egos, and bring them along on that storied journey are inherent in those who’ve spent time writing fiction in first person or as a member of the opposite sex, to name just one exercise in character development.

7. Lead Generation and Nurturing. Think like the characters do. Where would you place the ads that would reach you if you were that character? Where would you be located? And engaged in what media? Where and how do you participate online? Think of what content gets the most downloads, and later, analyze what content was downloaded by the most qualified prospective customers and focus your editorial efforts accordingly.

8. Content Strategy. Oversimplified, this is creating, running, managing an editorial calendar.

In addition to providing the right content for your audience, this includes understanding how to work with people in order to elicit guest posts and suggest changes that keep the contribution on par with the quality of other writing on the site while maintaining author’s style. Experience in MFA program workshop dialogue, copyediting, and working with any published or up-and-coming authors are all great ways to develop a foundation for business content strategy and how to execute on it successfully.

9. Engaging. For marketers, this means creating dialogue around a topic or issue, whether in person or online. For MFAers, it’s the ability to deconstruct, put back together, and discuss what we read. “Nice work” is a comment that brings nothing to the table.

10. Case Studies and White Papers. The former is an in-depth profile that tells the story of how a business solved a problem or made more money using your solution. The latter is a paper that also solves a problem, typically research-intensive and from a thought-leadership perspective looking at improvements that can be made overall in an industry (and of course, in the About section in tiny print on the last page, how the corporate author is positioned to solve those problems).  Naturally, these are my favorite pieces to write.

Software Development

11. Stories. Using sticky notes and whiteboards to piece together the story of how functionality or a process will work in a software application is similar to performing this exercise in order to piece together a novel, story, or poem, or even the core argument for an essay (for the creative writer, it’s possible the whiteboard is instead a Moleskine®). This also applies to telling the story from the end-user’s perspective and the actions they take during the software testing/QA process.

12. Complexity. Being able to understanding complex processes and communicate them is useful skill. The correlation? A research paper on something like “Burnt Norton from T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets or Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire.

Other Skills

  • Interviewing for a job (MFA: Engaging conversation and defending position in MFA workshop.)
  • Taking (and applying) feedback and critique of professional work (MFA: Feedback from professors and peers during workshop.)
  • Working independently (MFA: We write alone.)
  • Write simple code for web development, design, and animation (MFA: Knowing how language works.)
  • Research skills (MFA: If it’s out there, we can find it.)

Thus ends my preaching—for now—on the virtues of an MFA degree for those who aren’t ready to or have no plans to teach.

It’s interesting to note it wasn’t until later in the evening that said software developer, local magazine editor, PhD student/professor, and marketing director observed that none of us had actually graduated the MFA program together and were, pretty much, barely classmates. This attests to the community surrounding writing programs such as these and the craft itself.

If you do nothing else in life, perfect your craft. If you have a talent, use it. Get involved with the community around it. As fellow MSUM MFA graduate Kristen Tsetsi writes, “I no longer know the grass of forbidden lawns, because I drive past it.”

Exploring the craft before that forbidden lawn of unbridled creativity becomes unfamiliar is an experience that we’ll draw from inevitably in our careers, whether we realize it or not. We MFA grads had the opportunity to develop a mindset that allows for creative, critical, and analytical thinking–a stage on which to practice freedom in our art, engage in healthy debate and discussion, and advance our writing abilities both technically and creatively, all while participating in good conversation and community.

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From Advertising Message to Consumer Action–A Framework

This post was originally written for Avenue Right’s blog, but I thought it may be of interest to the folks reading here, too.

As consumers, we’re inundated with advertisements every day, whether on TV, the radio, our favorite websites, the billboards we pass on the way to work. They’re in the newspapers and magazines delivered to our door or piled in the drop-bin at the local coffee shop or grocery store, sent to our mobile phones.

These ads use the visual, auditory, interactive, and persuasive opportunities afforded by their medium to create brand awareness, promote events and ideas, influence perception of product value, generate sales, and increase share of voice in a competitive market.

Advertisers, ultimately, are buying access to the audiences that can help them achieve these goals.

When planning an ad campaign for a local business, beyond hard numbers measuring CPM, CPP, GRP, and other mystical formulas, factors such as the ability for an advertisement—and the media in which it’s delivered—to reach and influence an audience should also be considered in campaign development.

The ability for a media channel to engage an audience at a specific stage in the consumer decision process should be considered relative to its effectiveness as a communication vehicle to inform and persuade.

It’s a balance between media, creative, timing, and repetition that drives results from when an audience has first become aware of product or service through their decision to purchase.

Researchers Demetrios Vakratsas and Tim Ambler put together a framework for how advertising works and ultimately affects consumers. This framework can help advertisers and media buyers understand how advertising (content, timing, repetition) is first filtered by the consumer before bringing about a mental effect such as awareness, attitude, and memory, ultimately impacting the purchase decision.

Today’s consumer can get through the purchase decision-process in three seconds flat, but what seems like an impulse buy may actually be the result of advertising recall, crafted through repetition in media scheduling, in addition to past experience with the product or service.

Optimizing the media mix for the decision-making process of the target consumer depends on messaging strategy, timing and delivery of the advertisements, the product, and the market.

*Vakratsas D. & Ambler, T. (January 1999) “How Advertising Works: What Do We Really Know?” Journal of Marketing Vol. 63 (January 1999), 26-43.

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Local Advertising & the Consumer Decision Process

This post originally appeared on Avenue Right’s blog, Nue Media Mix. I thought it was worth posting out here as well.

Consumers are empowered more now than they ever have been to find information when they want it, and block out unwanted or irrelevant messages on the radio, television, their favorite online magazine.

The ads that do make it through the clutter have to compete for attention.

Recent studies prove that not only are we engaged in media from more sources than ever before, but a large percentage of the population does it simultaneously—already in 2006, 60% of adults surfed the internet occasionally while watching television.  Then there are those who listen to the radio while spending time online or reading a print publication. The possibilities for concurrent consumption of media—and advertising—are endless.

As we engage in these media channels, we both seek out and are exposed to advertising messages designed to inform and persuade our feelings toward a business or brand, or our inclination toward a purchase.

This brings consumers through the decision process of
•    Awareness
•    Consideration
•    Evaluation
•    Purchase
•    Loyalty

Shaping that path for the consumer are such factors as motivation for the purchase (physiological, social, personal fulfillment); buyer persona; and the way the consumer retains, organizes, and interprets information, which also affects purchase behavior (i.e., impulse purchase online vs. moving through consideration and evaluation stages).

Here’s a closer look at what’s going on in each of those stages. The time spent in each stage varies depending on the product or service and its price, but in general, it looks something like this:

•    Awareness – Identifies a problem/need/desire, whether it’s a need for gas in the minivan or a desire that had a little help from marketing, such as a ticket to an upcoming concert or play.
•    Consideration – Searches for information or solution related to problem/need/desire.
•    Evaluation – Compares options and considers price, quality, benefit, and risk factors.
•    Purchase – Decides what, where, when to buy.
•    Loyalty – Repeats purchase behavior depending on level of satisfaction with product or service experience.

Keeping the general stages of the decision-making cycle in mind along with the attributes and message delivery attributes of each media channel can help create a media plan that drives consumers from awareness to purchase.

More on this topic coming soon. Watch for Avenue Right’s newest white paper, “3 Tips for Aligning Local Advertising with the Consumer Decision-Making Process.” Don’t want to wait? Request it now by writing to jessie [dot] johnson [at] avenueright.com!

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Leveraging the Medium to Deliver the Message

As a form of persuasive communication, advertising seeks to guide an audience through a decision-making process that begins with awareness and results in a purchase.

We deliver rational and emotional appeals through words and sound and images that reach our audience based on who they are, where they live, where they shop.

How far that message will reach and with what impact is determined by both the creative and the media through which it’s delivered.

An advertising campaign that uses multiple media channels to target local consumers will be most effective in reaching its intended audience. This allows media buyers to leverage the advantages of each media channel and their unique properties in the overall message delivery strategy.

Different media channels deliver different experiences to different audiences. The success of an advertising campaign ultimately depends on a combination of factors—messaging strategy, media scheduling, creative execution, and audience recall.

When it comes to reaching and influencing an audience, each local media channel has unique advantages and disadvantages that result from a combination of audience media consumption patterns, popularity of the media outlet in its local market, and the nature of the medium itself.

This might be the ability to use emotion or sensory experience to increase recall, or deliver just enough information in just the right place or number of characters to influence the consumer to make that purchase or visit that website.

Understanding how media resonate with the audience through different levels of sensory and emotional engagement helps media buyers leverage the strengths of each advertising channel included in the campaign. The table below illustrates some key points of comparison not only in terms of message delivery, but ease of execution and cost to produce.

Here’s a link to the original post as it appeared on Avenue Right’s blog. If anyone would like a copy of the full white paper, please email me at jessie[dot]johnson[at]avenueright.com.

Attributes of Traditional and Online Advertising Media

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Book Review: Media Buying “Demystified” in New Advertising Book

Media buying is a fast-moving, complicated process that demands a mix of both hard data and intuition to be executed successfully.

It’s not as easy as making a few phone calls and plugging some numbers into a spreadsheet, neither for ad agencies nor the businesses and organizations that plan and buy their own advertising.

Each media channel is measured differently, and the formulas used to determine the best placements vary depending on the advertiser’s goals, the different media used, and how the campaign results will be measured. And if you stare long enough, the formulas can turn into one big circular reference.

There’s a mountain of information to collect and manage that—if printed out and piled—would rival the height of the campaign budget in dollar bills.

To make sense of it all, Michael J. Massey and Chrissie VanWormer offer their media buying experience and expertise in their new book Your Ad Here: De-Mystifying the Business of Media and Advertising. Your Ad Here The Book

In fewer than 100 pages, the book provides a high-level overview of basic advertising concepts and how to implement them in a media plan. The chapters are laid out in an order that follows the process of a media buy, making it a quick read with easily digestible tips, tricks, and examples. It’s worth the time spent following the case study of retailer Crazy Boy Jeans, who is making a buy to promote an upcoming denim sale.

Not only does the book demystify the esoteric language of media buying by providing clear definitions for words like flighting and makegood, it also offers practical tips on negotiating placements and for managing and organizing all the information related to a media buy.

In the first section, Massey and VanWormer cover

  • Audience profiling and targeting
  • Budgeting
  • Account management
  • Avail requests
  • Data management
  • Trafficking and creative

The second section reviews all media and the strategy and tactics behind the ads—from broadcast to word of mouth—and provides tips for incorporating those media channels into an advertising campaign.

Your Ad Here captures some of the key challenges that media buyers face, especially when working with a tight budget. There’s also an overriding theme of “win-win” that applies to everyone who participates in getting the message out there—agency, media outlet, the business, and even the interns looking to get into the advertising space.

And above all, note Massey and VanWormer, the message needs to be good, too, to help it spread.

Read the rest of this book review at Avenue Right’s blog, including my top 10 tips from the book.

Learn more about De-mystifying the Business of Media and Advertising and purchase the book at www.YourAdHereTheBook.com.

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