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Predicted Ad Trends for 2011

It will come as no surprise to those of us paying attention to trends that advertisers are asking more of their audiences than ever before. In previous years, the modus operandi has been for advertisers to show pictures, play music, and try to impress while target consumers relax on the couch. Relax no more, audiences. In 2011 and beyond, advertisers will be putting audiences to work. The new rule of engagement is, in fact, “engagement”. New online ads will require the audience to “click” for the full story or experience that will drive a message home. It is predicted that online ads will, more and more, link an end-user directly to the point of purchase, cutting out any waffling a consumer may feel while considering a buying decision. The engagement revolution is not exclusive to online ads. Print and TV ads are, increasingly, requiring that audiences scan a code to find a hidden message or receive the chance to win some coveted opportunity that only those “in the know” get to access. The end goal of these more complex processes is to create loyalty through participation and to turn that loyalty, ultimately, into sales and evangelism.

Some Not-So-Secret Secrets When Buying Digital Advertising

When buying online advertising the approach is very different from that of purchasing traditional media. The language, the method of determining ROI, and the overall strategy have all changed. A BOLO workshop I attended introduced several web tools to help sort through the mystery and unknowns of online ad purchases. Remember, the internet is very transparent, researching the “audience” of an online advertising outlet is easier and cheaper than any other media. You don’t have to pay the high fees charged by the various TV, radio and newspaper quantitative research companies to find out who is visiting a specific website or how long they are staying there. The information you search for can be found through several free or low cost web services. Here are some recommended online research tools to help you determine the potential audience reach of a particular website;

Have to Yelp to Stand Out?

The holiday season brings a wave of ads and promotions. Messages about sales and new products or services to buy as the perfect gift are everywhere. Getting your company’s newest promotion noticed during this time of year can be a challenge but there are tools available to get your product noticed. Yelp’s newest Check-in Offers service is one of those tools. Similar to Foursquare, Yelp is allowing business owners to reward customers who repeatedly check-in to their location. This tool is ideal for retailers and restaurants this time of year. Read Yelp introduces ‘Check-in Offers’ to learn how this tools can be a way to increase your visibility.

Success Can Sometimes be Bought with a Coupon

Successful retailers have generated business through the practice of “loss leader” sales & promotion (taking the loss on one product to get customer traffic in for upsales). The decisions are not made randomly; these items are selected with purpose and by crunching the numbers to estimate the ROI. That’s exactly how you should look at using the online membership coupon services such as or social promotions sites like and In an American Express Open Forum Jennifer Van Grove, Associate Editor for Mashable, points out how the pomp and circumstance around Groupon’s success makes it easy to ignore the Posies Cafes of the world. Posies Cafe owner Jessie Burke describes offering a featured Groupon deal as, "the single worst decision I have ever made as a business owner thus far." Burke's primary problem was that after deeply discounting her goods -- $6 for $13 -- and handing over 50 percent of sales to Groupon, she was unable to cover her store's operating costs, including employee payroll.

And I Approve This Message

You’ll be hearing that phrase frequently as political season winds down this month. TV political advertising spending throughout the country is headed to set a record this year. It’s estimated that $3 billion will be spent by the Nov. 2 general election, breaking previous highs of nearly $2.7 billion in 2008 (a presidential election year) and $2.4 billion in 2006. Nationally, non-political advertisers should expect limited or premium-priced inventory availability this month. However, air-time inventory is reasonably available in the local market.

Load Your Marketing Tool Belt with Technology

Have you noticed that multi-tasking is no longer a unique skill, but rather, it is universally expected? The largest contributor to our lengthy, daily task list is technology. Some of us see it as a huge hill and have to prepare ourselves for the challenge. Others see technology as the wrapped package that sat under the Christmas tree the longest. You finally get to open it, but first you shake it, try to peak through the paper and then quickly tear the paper away and begin exploring it. However you embrace technology, consider it a tool on your marketing tool belt. It is a mechanism to help get you from point A to point Z, as society is no longer happy going from A to B anymore.

Local Advertising on the Rebound

Traditional media — television, radio, newspapers, outdoor — are seeing a bounce in advertising, especially from local companies. Solid business practices and client relations are bolstering this positive trend, according to media executives. “Two-thousand-eight was bad, 2009 was awful! This year is getting much better,” said Jeff Green, KVOA general sales manager. Historically, a large share of KVOA’s business came from national and regional advertisers — up to 80 percent. Now KVOA’s advertising sales are split at about 50 percent national/regional and 50 percent local.

Local News Focus, Expanded Products Improve Lee’s Revenue Trends

Shifting emphasis to local news and embracing a broad scope and portfolio of news, information and advertising products enabled Lee Enterprises, parent company of Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, to report at its annual meeting in February improved revenue trends and projections that advertising revenue would continue on a positive track. “The business is financially healthy,” said Mary Junck, chairman and chief executive officer of Lee Enterprises. Lee has outperformed the industry every quarter throughout this recession and back to 2003, she said.