Archive for the ‘Media Planning’ Category

Create Success by Association Now

In antiques online, Art and the American Way, Art business, business, Chinese art, Media Planning, selliing antques, Young Collectors on August 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I read in the NY Times that $1 stores are the new haunt of the middle class. It’s  instant gratification  2011 style. But that’s not good news for antique dealers and auctioneers who want to encourage shoppers to spend.  There is a way out though.

It is called “aspirational marketing.”

You see it all the time on HGTV, where realtors and decorators have created formats that make people want to buy a home, and redecorate the one they have.

You see on American Pickers, where Mike Wolfe makes junk look good. And if you think he’s not following  up those marginal picks with merch – check out his website’s line of accessories. The  guy is making people aspire to be him!

And later this week, the Keno brothers will launch Buried Treasure and people will get turned on to their brand of knowledge.

What these shows have in common is that they  educate  consumers.

They also have a distribution format – national TV – that gets the word out to millions.

And what happens then? The educated in the distribution pipeline are not content with what they learn – they want to own something that reflects their new-found knowledge.

Or, success by association with a product.  Your product, be it antique chair, Chinese jade, contemporary art.

Aspirational marketing. It doesn’t preach to the choir or attempt to mine an already established audience. It reaches new audiences and turns those new audiences into buyers.

Why? Because human nature being what it is, people want to be close to the things they like. And if they impress a friend or  boss in the process-so much the better.

So, think about aspirational marketing and how it can boost your sales.

And if you need expert guidance, you know where to come. PRT3 has several aspirational campaigns going now. There is room for another.


Suze Orman, WWD, Antique Sellers

In antiques online, Art business, business, Drive Website Traffic, Media Planning, selliing antques on June 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Last night on PBS, Suze Orman gave the nation permission to NOT spend money. Her coinage is “Stand in your own truth.”

This morning, WWD (the fashion retailing bible) alerted readers that “Retailers Brace for Tougher Times.” Their resources said a spate of sales is forthcoming.

Retailers Face Tighter Times

Tor the clientele PRT3 serves, the real news is in the sub-text.   The competition is much broader  than you thought.  It includes  retailers who cultivate current customers and mine new audiences with  sales, promotions, discounts and special offers.

Your best defense is a good attack. Get your sales machine in gear now. When back-to-school cost increases  hit their peak, people will be less inclined to spend.

Your campaign for customers should begin today.

Longer days offer you longer selling hours.  Take the tombstone our of ads and promote a benefit. Or test the frequent shopper model. Go for collective buying power – test  a coupon on Groupon.

Collective Buying Power

In outreach efforts – social media, eblasts, Twitter, Facebook – optimize your communications with bona-fide reasons to spend.

Of course, there’s nothing better than building name recognition through a daily blog, press releases and articles.

Bottom line: borrow ideas liberally from the big boys,  the retailers who cannot afford to sit out a season.  As people start to take in Suze Orman’s “stand in your own truth” advice, they will base buying decisions on affordability and future gain.

Finally,  Ms. Orman says the foundation to healthy family economics is spending with cash.

Now that’s good news.

Media Planning for Small Business

In Media Planning on November 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Not  so long ago, I created a media plan for an antiques and art based start-up. Like all media plans, it was based it on

  • the amount of money the client could afford to invest in attracting new visitors and
  • it was tailored to their audience.

Now this was a small business based in a remote state. The company consisted of four people. It had a limited budget. Sound familiar? Like most small businesses, the client’s audience was a niche market.

But it did have

  • vision and
  • the power of the internet.

In this case, the audience was highly affluent and interested in art and antiques and home decorating. Our research showed there are 4 million or so people on social networks that are interested in antiques. So, we went after them.

PRT3 came up with a plan to spend the client’s money in

  • contextually relevant websites
  • high traffic websites
  • print and web combos
  • slick home decorating magazines
  • and some collecting media.

Interestingly, as I negotiated each of the rates to make it possible for the client to get the broadest reach in media like  the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. (They can be affordable, given a decent media plan that takes into account frequency and size.)

For the best efforts on the women’s magazines, I looked at regional editions that matched the demographic profile. I even made sure the client’s ad appeared in the hometown newspaper. (Nothing a business owner likes more than to show off to friends.)

But when the client saw the media plan, he  freaked. Not because he loved what we did,  but because our mainstream picks and negotiations were far and away above anything  he had even imagined. In fact, we scared him with the high level media and the client declined the plan.

That was a first, I must admit.

Today I see that Bill Rau of M.S. Rau Antiques, perhaps the leading international seller in his market, is well represented in the Wall Street Journal. And that other icon of high net worth style, 1st Dibs, runs weekly in the New York Times – on the same page as Tiffany’s.

Both of these sellers are at the top of their game. Rau not only made it through the recession, the company grew. And 1st Dibs named the game.  So, what’s my point?

When you have the advantage of having a media consultant on your team, follow their advice.

The media you are used to using is probably too limiting. In the rush to find new prospects and engage them, you have got to break the mold.

Media selection is a game best played by pros.

You can afford mainstream media. You can afford the big names. You can afford contextually relevant advertising.

By contextually relevant advertising, I mean selected sites that cater to your audience. Unlike AdWords or Facebook ads, you will know exactly where your ad dollars are going. You will be able to test.  (Ever see an AdWords test spread sheet? It is Greek to most people.) You will be able to adjust your ads based on metrics.

A strong media plan will grow your small business faster than almost anything else. Will you have to do some budgeting? Absolutely. Will you have to bite the bullet? Absolutely. Will you have to give your media consultant the leeway to do the right thing? You already know the answer to that.

So, before we see the last quarter fly by, take a minute to list the goals for your advertising. First quarter is already being booked – much of it is booked! – in mainstream media. That means remnant space could be available for a small budget like yours. A professional media consultant who knows the ins/outs of media buying will be able to give you a plan that takes all this into account.

Bottom line: If you want to change the way your revenues shape up in 2011, now is the time to do the work. The other bottom line: take a risk and trust the pros.  M.S. Rau and 1st Dibs didn’t get where they are by relying on yesterday’s methods.

Grow your small business in 2011. Start now by knowing where your audience is and how you will spend you ad dollars.