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February 19, 2017

A surprise to many, Businesses are buoyant with optimism

Consumer and Business Optimism in First Quarter 2017

The big surprise of the election of Donald Trump has brought with it consumer and business optimism that many did not expect. Christmas gift buying was up significantly and I would expect that many pent-up desires among consumers will show up this year with major purchases of various home improvements and services for the home in the first quarter of 2017.

Dayton area home show shuffle

This year in Dayton there has been a shuffle of home shows with Hara Arena closing down and the Airport venue being sold. However, even thought the Airport venue was sold, there will be a home show there, it will not however be over two entire weekends, just one.

For businesses with the right sort of staff and products, how shows can be outstanding producers of good leads. It’s important that people who understand how to connect with people man the booths during the shows. From time to time I have seen booths staffed with line employees who don’t make an effort to connect and don’t know how to inspire people about their product or services. Those are the businesses that say, “Home Shows are a waste of time.” Those who know how to do it right say,”Home Shows are a gold mine and high performers for us.”

No More Hara Home Show

In the past the Hara Home Show was first in line in January here in the Dayton market. Even though the numbers of people who come to that show had been going down each year, the home improvement companies who participated in that show frequently told me that it was always a great show for them. It was another example of people reaping the penned up demand from consumers stuck in their homes through the winter months and wanting to get out and get some home improvements taken care of early in the season. I’m sure that the retail “mop” and other retail vendors did very poorly due to the low attendance, but the major home improvement companies many times did better than to be expected mostly due to timing (being the first home show of the season). It will be interesting to see where that penned up demand and early shoppers for major home improvements shows up in the schedule of shows in 2017.

REACH Magazine

Interestingly enough, the product that I work with, REACH Magazine, also does very well in the early spring. Home improvements, home services, restaurants, recreational venues, and so on do very well in the early spring mailings. There are many home owners who never attend homes shows (a good home show will bring in 8-10,000 consumers in early spring). For those home improvement and home services shoppers REACH can bring products right to their home through the powerful mailbox delivery and Dayton’s most popular coupon magazine. We mail 260,000 homes in the Dayton market, far more than the 8-10,000 that show up to homes shows. Many of them are also ready to buy and without one of the home show frustrations that many experience.

Home Show Frustration

One thing that can be very frustrating to businesses who don’t make a strong enough connection at the homes show in the volume of leads and the number of businesses sharing those same consumers. If your company has the sales people who can get out there fairly quickly and close sales, you will do well, but many find that they are the 4th, 6th, or 8th company to come visit a home for a free estimate. Rather than just look for leads at the home shows it can be very important to make a connection with the consumers while at the show and many vendors don’t understand this.

If you think that you could do well at home shows, now is the time to find them and commit. With fewer shows, there may be fewer available booths. You may find it difficult to get in. If you are new to home shows you also have the expense of building or bringing things that will help you make a compelling and engaging opportunity to talk with consumers.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you would like to talk to me about your company and homes shows, I am certainly willing to help you out with ideas. Of course I can also discuss the benefits of REACH Magazine with you if you are invested in hearing more.

Peter DeMott

937-478-6222

pdemott@REACHusa.com

 

PS: Here is a project that we had done recently

      

Election year and the cost of TV advertising

There are two things that a bound to happen this year

It may affect how you promote your business!  Don’t be surprised!

photo of political event

Lower viewership because people get sick of all the political ads

First there are lots of people who will tune out from their TVs because of all the political ads. Between the primaries and the actual election advertising, there is going to be lots and lots of political TV advertising. Due to the laws governing TV broadcasting, I think that they have to give priority to political ads (at least that is what I understood to be the case – someone correct me if that is not the case). There is no question that TV advertising can be powerful for the right businesses with the right ad campaign, but it does cost a good deal and this year it is going to cost more in all likelihood.

Higher cost of TV advertising during presidential election year

The second thing is that because so many commercial spots will be airing, the cost for other businesses to advertise on TV will go up significantly.

It may be time for you and your company to explore other options for advertising for this year… Just say’n.

No matter how many businesses advertise using direct mail, everyone still checks their mail each day. It is still one of the most popular activities for the majority of consumers (checking the mail). They still need a pizza now and then. They still have a favorite restaurant they want coupons for, anything that will take them away from all the political TV advertising.

It’s not just hype any more, your online presence is important to your business

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20 years ago everyone was getting excited about websites

The only problem was that in a community of 100,000 people less than 10% of the people were what we called “Internet Savvy”.

10 years ago, more people started to get their digital assets in line for their businesses

You just had to have a website for credibility.

Today, 75% of people will explore your business website online before making a large purchase

People are becoming more internet and digital savvy because of smart phones. Just two years ago, most phones were dumb. You could dial and call people in your directory and that was about all. That Christmas it was rumored that smart phone usage would jump from 25% to 50% just because of Christmas. Amazingly it was true.

Today well over 90% of cell phones are smart phones. They are run by Apple OS or Android OS and you can do everything on them that you can do on your laptop computer at home or in your office (almost). Everyone is becoming more internet savvy by the day. It may be time for you and your business to catch up.

So your website from 5 years ago doesn’t hack it

Consumers expect fast, clean, easy to navigate, and mobile friendly websites. Mobile friendly means you can read it and navigate it easily on a cell phone of small table screen without having to expand the type of the words you are trying to read. You don’t have to be at a desk computer to see they copy and find the menu. If your website is just 5 years old, it may not be what consumers want to see. And if they don’t like it, it can affect sales for your business.

Here is what consumers said

Forty-eight percent of people said that if a site didn’t work well on their phones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business. (website Magazine / September 2015)

– See more at: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2015/10/01/a-match-made-in-heaven-seo-and-responsive-design.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter#sthash.VB7gY9aV.dpuf

Having the right website can be important to you getting noticed by the customers you want to reach

I updated my own photography business website to a responsive (read mobile friendly) WordPress DIVI website. It is much cleaner and more focused expression of what I do in my part-time business (evenings and weekends). Yesterday I received a letter from Getty Images asking if I would submit images to them and become a stock photography contributor. That would not have happened with my old-fashioned 15-year-old photography website. http://www.photosbypdemott.com

Are you giving your new competitors a Knee Up because of an outdated website?

So, if you are an established business, don’t give the new guys on the block a knee up (that’s horseback rider lingo for helping them get into the saddle) because you have an outdated website and they have a new one built to todays standards. With a small investment you can upgrade your website and get noticed.

How about a new modern designed, functional website that you can manage at a price you can live with?

At REACH Magazine we have been leaning, experimenting, and growing our digital assets for our advertising customers for years now. We have been investing thousands of dollars finding what works and what doesn’t for YOU. You don’t need an HTML programing team and thousands of dollars to build an up to date website. We now have an economical package to get you up-to-date with your business website. It includes up to 10 hours of website building to create a WordPress DIVI website that brings you up to current with consumers. It will be a website that you can manage without learning HTML programing. The basic package is $695.00. If you want a very complex website additional custom programing is also available, but we find that most do NOT need more.

We will show you how to manage your own website without having to learn HTML or any other programing language and we will help you along when you need it from time to time as you move forward. Then when you are ready or when you want to, we will help you with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), AdWords, and other locally targeted digital marketing to expand your business through digital marketing. Of course I am also available to help you with targeted direct mail incentive marketing with REACH Magazine ads as well.

Website Magazine’s Joe Drury went on to say

At the end of the day, responsive design is a no brainer in order to provide a good user experience. Add to that a heaping of quality SEO and it’s no surprise that we’re seeing a virtual stampede to responsive site development.

– See more at: http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2015/10/01/a-match-made-in-heaven-seo-and-responsive-design.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter#sthash.VB7gY9aV.dpuf

Who to call? Where to start?

If you want more information or even just a quick phone chat about your website you can click here to submit a contact form to me or you are welcome to call me just about any time at 937-478-6222 here in the Dayton and Cincinnati market. I can look at your website on the phone and tell you how it feels from a consumer’s perspective and go from there.

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I’ve been in advertising here in Dayton for 30 years now. I have a lot of connections that can help your business grow. I am a networker, consultant, podcast producer, website developer, photographer, and grand daddy. I’d love to help you grow your business. It’s something I love to do every day. Ask my clients.

Dear Peter,

I wanted to thank you for all your help. We have launched our new website, www.nextstepstransitions.com, three weeks ago. We did so because of your strong urging and encouragement. Our old website did not represent us well and you gave the push that we needed to have an updated, current and fresh looking website. You made excellent suggestions that we needed to hear and put in place like how important it is to have the right keywords in place to get clients using google to find us in their areas where they live. You helped me understand the importance to being on at least an even playing field with my competition. I now believe that our website is that and so much more.

 

When was the last time you updated the LOOK of your web site?

Time for a makeover, maybe

If you have a website that was designed more than 7 years ago and you have just been adding to it and making changes here and there, you may need to do more.

The expectation of people has changed and they now expect a simpler look with large images and the site has to work on cell phones, tablets and computers. If your web site is small, cluttered with lots of flashing or bright boxes with small images, then you are definitely needing a complete remake of your website with a more up to date look and feel. Sometimes you have to redo something rather than fix what you have.

I don’t build websites

I’m not telling you this because I sell websites. I don’t. But, I have been reading a lot about it and I am in the process of updating my own photography website. Getting unbiased input about my progress is a challenge. Some people are just too kind to say anything negative at all and others just will not do it.

I do learn as much as I can for my clients

I am subscribed to some blogs that talk about website designs and trends because I want to be on the leading edge for my advertising clients. I want to know what works best in all areas of advertising, not just REACH Magazine.

Would you like a 3rd party unbiased review of your business website?

If you would like a uninvolved third-party unbiased review of your web site, I will do that for you. Send me a link to your site in an email. I will look at your site. Give you my first impressions and tell you about ease of navigations and my overall feelings about your company based on what I see.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get objective reviews from people within your company (who wants to criticize something the boss worked on) or from the company that is creating the website. Again, I am not a web designer and I am not looking to redesign your website for you. I will not tell you how to fix the problems I see and the impressions I get from looking at your website. That will be up to you. And, of course, if you don’t like what I say, you can always ignore the ideas and suggestions completely.

As I am getting feedback from various people regarding the makeover of my photography website, some are very insightful and I have made changes as a result of their comments, others are too kind and provide nothing helpful, and others say things that I will just have to ignore or consider later. But, so far, the information that I have received from outside 3rd party individuals has been smack on helpful.

So, I volunteer. pdemott@reachusa.com Send me a link and mention you would like an unbiased website review.

Measure your advertising and invest in what is working for you

Is your ad working?

Early in my advertising career I learned to check around in a company advertising with me. One day I came in to talk with a business owner about renewing an ad with me. On my way in, there were two sales people for the company and I asked them if they had seen anything from the ad that was running. One said, yes, as a matter of fact, I closed two and I have another appointment for tomorrow. The other guy said he had one appointment so far.

This particular company had a fairly high ticket home repair/improvement product. Each sale was between $2500 and $6000 so each appointment was very important to the company and to their sales staff.

However, when I walked in to talk to the business owner, he said he didn’t think he would be renewing. My response, was… Oh, Really, Why? to which he said he didn’t think he was getting anything out of it.

I asked him if he knew about John’s two sales from the ad. We called John into the office to tell him. Then we called the other salesman in. “Tell me about the calls you are getting from this advertising.” They both explained that they were fielding calls and what progress they were making or had already made on those calls. Then he dismissed them from his office and signed up for another run of advertising. He almost made a bad choice, base on his lack of accurate information.

It is Critical to have Effective Measurement Tools in Place

I have several tools that can help to measure response. REACH Magazine is a coupon magazine, so obviously we can count coupons as long as they are collected and kept. For larger ticket sales like home repairs and improvements, or for companies that set appointments by phone, we have a phone call tracking services that provides weekly and very accurate and detailed measures of the number of calls from whom that result from an ad.

Many times business owners think that their phone staff are taking good notes on where their calls are coming from, but thinking it is so does not mean that it is.  There are some businesses that focus and really do keep good information, but there are many others where the persons answering the phone change throughout the day and where detailed (information you can make decisions with) information is not kept. Then decisions are being made from very soft information which may not be accurate.

Making decisions on poor information can cost you enormous amounts of money as a business owner. It can cause your business to fail as well.

Make tracking your advertising an important and critical role in your business. Then, strategically refocus your advertising dollars where they are being most effective.

The old 80/20 rule may be true with advertising for business. You get 80% of your calls from 20% of your advertising, but if you don’t prioritize measuring, you don’t know which 20% is working for you.

In addition, you may NOT have discovered the advertising that will propel your business forward yet. Continue to test from time to time in order to find your best-fit in promotion and advertising for your business. In several cases I have talked with failing businesses who exclaimed, “We didn’t start advertising until it was too late….”

REACH Magazine is the expert

REACH is the Expert

Today I sent one of my clients a couple of questions about ad content in REACH magazine.  I wanted to add a cute kid to the ad to give it a softer, more inviting feel for the people who would be calling for services. Calling a service contractor can be a little scary and if the ad looks harsh that could cause some to overlook it.

 

In any case, I work with both the local manager and the regional manage for this company to create the ads they are running.  Back when we were first starting I had to call the regional marketing manager to review the ad and he wanted me to run this or that offer.  I explained that the offers have to have a perceived value among consumers. I did not think what he was suggesting would have value to Dayton area consumers.  He listened and took my advice as I was able to show him a couple of examples from some of our other REACH markets and we created a very nice ad.

 

Two weeks ago, we again had a conversation and he explained that these REACH ads was the nicest looking print ads that they had run, and not only that, they were  generating calls like none before.  I explained that sometimes we have to tweak offers until we find one that will have consumer perceived value, but in addition EVERYONE LOVES REACH MAGAZINE. REACH is Dayton and Cincinnati’s most popular coupon magazine. It is well know and trusted by consumers.  He went on to explain that things were going great and he was very happy to be working with me.

 

Here is what he had to say in an email discussion with the local manager and me:

“I’m fine with adding a cute photo.   Reach is the experts, I trust that you know what works best.  If you need any additional info or pics just call me on my cell.”

 

That was a pretty gratifying statement from a multi-market business and marketing manager. Over 30 years experience comes in handy sometimes.

NOW for the other experience

I’ve worked with other businesses over the years who will not listen. What I mean is that they give you the offer they want to run in their ad and when you ask questions or make suggestions, their response is, “THIS IS HOW I WANT IT!”

 

They have no experience in inviting people to their business using a coupon magazine and yet they are the experts and will not listen to suggestions. They are not willing to learn or teachable. When the ad fails, they say REACH Magazine does not work.

 

Creative license

“This is a flyer we use in our offices to send invoices to customers. This can be a template for the artists. But some innovation would be appreciated.”

In this particular case, the ad was very so-so and clunky. I know that our graphic designer does some outstanding work, especially when I give her the materials and the offers and only a very rough sketch of what I am looking for. I just tell her to go at it and make something the client will love and she does.

When the client received the proof for approval, he had a list of small changes. He wanted to change one of the offers, but I convinced him that the wording that I suggested would be noticed more by consumers. Then I asked him, “You never told me what you thought of the ad overall, are you happy with it?”  To that he expressed great appreciation because it was so very much better than what he had given me…. and EVERYONE loves the ad.

These are just some examples of how REACH can work. I did not include the client names, but I have them here and these are true stories. I wanted to protect their privacy.

Not every Marketing avenue is knowledgeable

Last of all, not everyone has the experience or the Archives and knowledge about effective looking and effectively worded coupons. But, as a business owner, please be willing to listen and learn. You don’t have to be in control of everything and sometimes what you learn will mean the difference between your advertising working exceptionally well and your advertising not working much. To me, as one of the top REACH Magazine sales reps, learning about advertising, about business, and about REACH Magazine are lifelong learning opportunities. Each day I am challenged with new information and knowledge that can help my clients to grown their businesses more effectively.

I hope this was of value to you.

Peter DeMott. For more information about me, please click on the CONTACT menu button above.

Business categories that can flourish in REACH Magazine

If your business is on this list you may be missing an important opportunity!

You see, I receive sample magazines from our other REACH Magazine markets and when I see a category well represented in one of those other markets with regular repeating clients, then I know that is a category we need test here.

JUNE 2015 Cover of REACH Magazine. Did you want to be in this REACH Magazine?

June 2015 REACH Cover

Here are the current business owners I am looking for because I have successful ads to share with them so they can grow their businesses here in the Dayton market. We have zones as well as full market options, so pricing varies significantly depending the test package that you choose.

 

Recent successes:

I was able to start a new category for Dayton’s REACH magazine three months ago. The regional manager for this company just told me that on the third mailing things have really broken loose. Response if better than any other form of advertising they have done. In addition, he complemented me about the ad design (I passed than complement on to our graphics designer Kim as I give her guidance, but she does her magic on each ad to help make REACH Dayton’s most popular coupon magazine ), he said it was the best looking ad their company had ever used for a print ad. He is now looking at how to implement some of my ideas in his other markets.

 

Do you know someone?

If you know someone in any of these categories of business that is ready and willing for their business to grow, please have them give me a call (click on contact page in menu above). I will show them the ads that are working in other markets and we can come up with a reasonable test package for their business to try out REACH Magazine.

 

Right OFFERS, Right LOOK, in the Right PUBLICATION

It’s about the right offers, the right look, with the right publication. Consumers are looking for these businesses in REACH Magazine. And they love REACH Magazine which gives you a leg up in the eyes of many consumers responding to ads in REACH.

 

Who I am looking for right now

 

Garage Door Companies (service, repair, replace, openers, etc.)

Handy Man Services (who do I call for this or that small to medium-sized project? – I want it done now, and I want it done correctly and safely and I may have a spouse who is not good at home repairs, maintenance, and improvements).

Electricians (This is one project that I would prefer someone with knowledge and experience and education do. It’s too easy to make a mistake – a permanent one) This includes: Inspections, upgrade of service, service calls for repairs, installation of new lighting, additional outlets, computer network etc.

Deck Surface Staining and renewal This is for those with large decks that are looking a bit old and worn. Re-staining, power washing, and minor repairs can make a huge difference in your enjoyment of your outdoor living space.

 

If you are or if you know a business owner in any of these categories, these are the ones that I am currently looking for. My desire is for you to have the same response as they other business that I recently started up in REACH. Best response in any print ad we’ve ever done….. we got slammed on the third mailing in REACH Magazine.

 

 

Don’t let your SEO crash on April 21st because of a big Google update

On April 21st Google is putting out a big new update that may affect your website SEO

If your website is not Mobile Friendly this update will likely be a significant hit to the SEO of your website. Usually everyone is guessing what will change when there is a new Google Update, but with this one they have announced the importance of MOBILE FRIENDLY for your website.

How to test your website for MOBILE FRIENDLY

In addition on Google Analytics you can TEST YOUR WEB SITE easily. Just click on this link and put your website address in the line and Google will test to see if your web site is Mobile Friendly.

To test your site go here https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

The best and newest way to have a mobile friendly website is for it to be built on a RESPONSIVE platform. What that means is that there is just one web site, but that it looks different on different sized screens. You don’t have to pinch and expand the pages if you are trying to read the page on your iPhone for example. The responsive web site already adjusts the type size and the menu so that it can be read on a variety of sizes of mobile devices.

Call you web site guy right away if your web site says it is not mobile friendly or if you need some help I can get you what you need here. In some cases, for example if you work with a Word Press website, you can just ad a mobile friendly plug-in. In other cases you may need to rebuild your web site onto a RESPONSIVE website platform.

If you have not updated the look of your web site in 7 years

If you have not updated the look of your web site in the last 7 years you are due for a change anyway. The look and feel of  sites changes over time as does how people respond to different looks. If your web site looks older, it can affect the response of the viewer.

It’s like the difference of walking into a house for sale that has not been updated since the 70s compared to one with a very current look. If your web site needs to step into the present call your web guy/gale or again, I have the resources that I can point you to for some help.

April 2015 REACH Magazine arriving in homes by magic

Like Magic!

For consumers it seems like magic when they need a product or service and the very next week REACH magazine arrives in their mailbox with just the right products and services.

Working a month or two ahead to get consumers what they want

Our advertising consultants are always discussing well in advance which categories of business consumers want and when. Some businesses can advertise pretty much year round and get consistent results. Others have target seasons that are critical, times when consumers are getting estimates, making honey-do lists of things that need to be fixed, and getting a vision for what their home or yards will look like in the coming weeks.

May can be a VERY strong sales month for some businesses

We are just around the corner from the deadline for the May edition of REACH Magazine. Consumers typically have a much brighter and happier outlook once the drab gray color of winter is replaced with new landscaping, green freshly cut grass, a new patio, fixed gutters and so on.

Get your name in front of the eyes of consumers ready to spend money

Are you ready to dive into spring sales for your consumer focused business? Because they will soon be in a much better mood and ready to spend on the projects they want to get done this spring.

Print, Email, and Online coupons to get consumers off the fence

In addition to our print ads inside REACH Magazine we offer our clients featured listing in our eREACH.com coupon newsletter and coupons on our new REACH Magazine App. To find out more about any of this and to have me search our multi-city archives for a business similar to yours that is having success with REACH magazine, just give me a call here in Dayton at 937-478-6222 (Peter DeMott, 30 years experience). Or, you can click on additional REACH information in the menu above.

Here is the April cover of REACH Magazine in Dayton, Ohio:

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If my kids were little, I would be using this business

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All my children are in college or beyond now, but if they were little I would be using this service.

When I stopped in to visit this business for consideration in REACH Magazine, it was clear to me that this could be a hot item in our magazine. When we present to businesses, we want businesses that we feel that consumers want and this in my estimation is one that will likely do very well.

 

Their clients bubble over with praise

As I was talking to the owner of the business several parents came in to pick up their child or children. In each case, when I asked about the service, they bubbled over with praise.

 

In the old days (showing my age)

In my day, if you could not find the appropriate high schooler who happened to be free that night, you could not go shopping without the “kiddles” or perhaps that date you wanted with your wife would be postponed. With this service, once your are registered ($15 and forms once per year) you can show up any time they are open and just drop off your kids confident that they will have a grand time. The parents who I spoke with indicated that their children keep asking them when they get to go back to Kidz Watch in Dayton.

 

Show their ad to your friends when you see it in REACH Magazine

Here is the ad that will come out in REACH magazine on February 1st, but the owner has indicated to me that any first time client may use this coupon to try out their service so long as they pay the registration fee of $15 and fill out the appropriate (state required) paperwork. Once you are registered, just bring in the coupon for your first visit and your first hour is completely FREE. Hoping they do well in REACH because I think consumers with kids are going to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this business.

 

If you have a business that you think consumers will love, please give me a call. These are the kinds of businesses we want in REACH magazine.

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www.kidzwatchcenterville.com

Located in the Crosspoint Shopping Centre at the corner of Ste Rte 48 and Alex-Bell Rd. just off I-675.

If you use this, please tell them I sent you. Much appreciated.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!