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Why I’m No Longer an Advertising Skeptic …

Author: Charlie Cook   |   July 14th, 2005

Ever run an ad or a send out a mailing and get hardly any response? I get calls daily from people who believe advertising can help their business generate leads and sales. What happens when they spend money on advertising? Too often, a whole lot of nothing.

Is advertising a waste of money?

I’m a skeptic about most things so when clients ask me to write ads for them I always wonder, will it work? I don’t want to embarrass myself by charging big money to write them an ad and then have it flop. So last month when a client called and wanted me to write a 35 word newspaper ad for their property management business, I was skeptical. Their current ad wasn’t generating a single response and I wasn’t sure if their target market was paying any attention.

I’d never written a marketing piece for a residential property management firm and didn’t want to embarrass myself. I bit the bullet and wrote the best 35 words I could come up with.

Did it work?

The only way to know whether an ad is any good, is to test it or at a minimum quantify the results. Three weeks after the ad began running in a couple of local papers I called my client for the good or bad news. I hadn’t heard a word from him since I’d delivered the ad copy so I was curious and concerned.

What news did my client have about the ad’s performance. In the first three weeks it had brought in a flood of inquiries resulting in nine new clients and $180,000 of additional revenue for the year. He been so busy handling the new business he hadn’t had a chance to call.

Now with those type of results its hard to be a skeptic about advertising!

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