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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




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


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.


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….”

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:


The 1,2,3 of Advertising in REACH Magazine in Dayton

First you need to right target audience

When you choose any form of advertising, it is important to find out something about that media’s target audience. We have several with REACH Magazine.


REACH Magazine is opened by all and at least looked through. Everyone checks their mail, usually daily and REACH Magazine is delivered into their mailbox. Because we have lots of food and recreational activities in the magazine, one of our most powerful target audiences are FAMILIES.

Another benefit for you company that REACH is so popular (data, THE MEDIA AUDIT) is that all these ads for food and recreation give the magazine a long shelf life in the home. Families will go back to the magazine when it is time for a PIZZA, or when they need an OIL CHANGE, or when they want to try out a new CHINESE Restaurant. Each time they go looking for these things, your ad can be seen again and again.

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Another big part of what REACH offers is GEOGRAPHIC target areas. We mail all of the available addresses in given neighborhoods such that if you are a retail business with a bricks and mortar building location, you can focus your advertising budget in your primary target, those who live and work closest to your location and who are most likely to become regular repeating customers.


Consumer Trust

Many businesses are surprised about the power of REACH Magazine’s history in the market. This benefits you in two ways. First, because we have been a trusted name in direct mail advertising here in Dayton for so long, consumers bring some of that trust over to the businesses represented in the magazine. Many businesses over the years have expressed to me, their consultant, that consumers are not as suspicious when the lead comes from REACH Magazine. Although this does not make the sale for them, it is something that can make a noticeable difference.

Archived and Current Success stories

Second, since REACH has been around so long we have a deep file of ads that work. As a business interested in considering REACH advertising, I would do some research to find similar businesses who have or are currently advertising in REACH. If I find a similar business that is currently and consistently using REACH magazine in another market, then we already have some proven offers or incentives and even ad design to base your ad on. It might be a combination of a headline, photos, and coupons that have been proven effective which we can use in the design of your ad.


Last of all testing and measuring need to occur to evaluate your REACH ad. We have the tool of the coupon being redeemed, but we also offer call tracking for phone oriented sales companies. If an incentive offer is not generating enough activity for a business, we sometimes try again with a new more aggressive offer. Once the right combination is in place, ads that work can run throughout the year or at important seasons for the individual business.

My Experience

If you would like to learn more about REACH Magazine and whether or not it might be a good fit for your business, please give me a call. I was recently rewarded by the company for 30 years of service and I am one of the top sellers in REACH Magazine. I have clients who have been with me for 10,20, and 30 years and who have grown their businesses because of REACH Magazine.

Peter DeMott – REACH Magazine – 937-478-6222

Are you thinking “Oh my gosh, my kid has lice?”

Hear in Dayton there is a solution to your lice problem


At REACH Magazine one of our favorite target audiences is parents with kids

Today I finalized an ad that will go out in the March edition of REACH. It’s a unique service by a lovely lady named Wanda who is building a reputation of helping families with what many feel is a very embarrassing problem. REACH Magazine is great for reaching parents with children.


This is a common yet very embarrassing problem

She explained to me that in most cases if one person has lice, that there would be a good chance that several other family members would have the same problem. Rather than battle with various over the counter solutions, she tackles the problem head on at her private boutique with open by appointment only hours.  Each time that I have called to go over something with her, she has been working on being the solution to a problem for a family or individual. “Please call back as I am working with a customer right now”, is what she says.


Tell me what you think of her ad

I followed the look and feel of her web site which although it shows some educational drawings of these little pests, does not show any pictures that would make you close the page. It’s more mater of fact about a problem that almost every parent encounters one time or another while their kids are growing up and around other kids…ie, day care, elementary school, middle school, and high school.


Here is the ad we put together for Wanda and her unique business which is located in the heart of Centerville:

Lice Removal


 This problem does not respect socio-economic boundaries

Wanda explained to me that this is not a problem that is only encountered by lower socioeconomic families. It is something that can affect families at all income levels. If you have children in school, don’t be surprised if at one time or another you run into this problem. Keep this solution at hand because it is a problem you will want solved.


The solution to your LICE problem is a phone call away

If you have had this problem, as many parents of school aged children have, you know that you want it solved as quickly and effectively as possible. You can print out this ad and call for your private consultation or you can check out her web site at Total Lice Removal . net for additional information.

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


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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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.

Dayton area homes shows are great lead sources for the right businesses

As I mentioned in my previous post, home shows can be great lead sources for the right businesses:

What is the right business:

1) A business that has an outgoing sales staff that can interact without pressure with consumers as they go through the home shows. This would include having people at the show that know about your product or service AND who want to be there because they will be rewarded for their efforts.


2) A business that has a product or service that is wanted by consumers in this market.


3) A business that can demonstrate to consumers that they will be around 6 weeks after the show ends and will stand by their product or service in the market. This is about perceptions. At a home show you may run across a consumer who has been to the last 3 years of home shows considering a kitchen remodel and who saw you last year at the same place, but was not yet ready to dive in yet. This year it’s time and now they have seen you again and trust you.


That’s pretty much it. If you have those three things you can do very well in the Dayton area home shows.


What are some of the things that frustrate business owners about home shows?

If you happen to be one of the companies that qualify to reap the harvest of great customer leads from home shows as stated above, then one frustration is that they do not occur year round.  If you had a source of great consumer leads for your home improvement business throughout the year, you would continue to invest to get those leads. The problem is, the best time and the only time that home shows seem to work great is late winter and early spring (and in some cases fall). The rest of the year you are out of luck. If only there were a place where consumers would come to you to ask you questions and meet you so that they could consider you as their contractor of choice.


Some business owners find that they have to personally man their booth throughout the weekend because they are the only one who can answer all the questions that consumers come with related to their business. So although it can be very productive, it is also very time-consuming for those business owners. Time away from family and time away from important projects that are in progress can be very frustrating.


Home shows can be expensive too. You have to rent the booth space, create an interesting and captivating display for consumers to see, and man the booth throughout the weekend or weekends of that particular home show. If you have some reluctant employees who are not excited about representing your business during their weekend, then your investment will evaporate into nothingness leaving you with a big investment and no leads and worse yet, NO SALES after the show.


Although this is not generally the case, there are some home shows that are full. If you participated last year, you have first rights to get back in the following year. But if it is full, and you want in, there is not much you can do to change that situation. Perhaps you can get on a waiting list for the booth that is a no-show or who does not pay for their space in a timely manner, but then you have to jump to have everything ready and manned in time.


I have clients who do extremely well every year in the Dayton area home shows. I also have run into businesses who say, “I will never do that again.” even in the same category of business. Like I said above you must have THREE things listed above to succeed at the Dayton area home shows. If one of those things is missing, home shows will be a bust for you.


Alternatives to home shows:

Of course there are alternatives to home shows and there are forms of advertising that you can run along with your home show investment. My best clients do both homes shows and REACH Magazine advertising. Just go to the home shows and then look through your REACH Magazine. If you go to a home show and ask some REACH clients how they do in homes shows and how they do in REACH, they will likely talk with you so long as you are in a non-competing category of business.


Each form of advertising has to be considered for its own merits.

Although a REACH ad may not provide the number of leads that a home show does in one weekend, REACH is available throughout the year and for the right businesses it can be a continued source of productive sales leads. I have clients that invest and count on homes shows for a number of leads each year and they also advertise in REACH for the same reason.


In the past some of my clients have postponed their REACH advertising until the home show leads have settled down, but not any more. There are factors outside anyone’s control that can cause havoc to a home show. Really good weather or really bad weather can hurt home show attendance in a significant way. So whereas one year a particular show can do gangbusters, the next year it can perform poorly and so on. REACH magazine stays in the homes of consumers for many weeks. It has a variety of coupon offers from popular restaurants, auto repair shops, fitness centers etc. that give the magazine a good reason to stay put in consumer’s homes. For that reason, it is weatherproof. If the weather is great or the weather is terrible when the magazine arrives in the homes, it’s still there three weeks later when the consumer is ready to consider your product or service.


Since only a fraction of the population goes to home shows, even the best ones bring in only 7,000 to perhaps 10,000 shoppers, REACH can put your product or service in front of up to 260,000 consumers every month. If you reach a consumer who wants your service, but who does not want to go to home shows, you still want that business don’t you? Even during home show season, there are thousands of consumers who will choose to buy your product or service or that of your competitors during that PRIME SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT SEASON.


So if you do homes shows or not, you should at least be informed about REACH magazine. I’ve been selling REACH advertising for 30 years now and I have a no pressure consultative approach to what I do. If I think that REACH may not be a good fit for your business, I will tell you so up front. I am looking for business that want to grow and who consumers want to buy from. If you meet those criteria, I hope you will give me a call.

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