“My Advertising Didn’t Work”

These words were spoken, I’ll wager, by a couple of companies who recently advertised in the Oregonian. And it wasn’t the O’s fault. Names are withheld in the hope that they decide to give radio a try — why embarrass them publicly when we could play the hero instead?

Advertiser #1 is a local clinic specializing in sclerotherapy — a treatment for spider veins. Their beautifully-laid-out display ad gave their web address in big, bold letters. Unfortunately, the address belonged to an identically-named business in Memphis, Tennessee. Two weeks later, it’s still not working properly.


Advertiser #2 is a practice specializing in elective surgery. Their ad, in a recent Sunday paper, said “To obtain information about this procedure, and the Portland-based surgeon who performs it, please call [phone number] or visit [web address].The web site had no information at all about the surgeon, and no contact information for the practice. It invited potential patients to come to a seminar, but there was no information on when or where the seminar would be. And if someone happened to call the phone number on Sunday or Monday, here’s the message they received, in its entirety:

“I am sorry, no one is here to take your call. Please leave a message.”  No business name given, or any other information at all. Not even a promise that someone would call back. Speaking as someone who recently spent some time talking to surgeons, I’d want a little more before I’d consider climbing onto the table.

Both of these businesses spent good money on advertising that might have generated results… but they forgot to check on the basics.

This is Mistake #6 in my white paper, The Seven Deadly Advertising Mistakes and How to Fix Them. If you’d like to read about all seven, click the link at the bottom of this post and I’ll send you a copy.

As you get ready to launch a campaign, you need to take some time and check your sales funnel.

·        Is the phone number correct in your ad? Pick up the phone and dial it.

·        Do you have people in place to answer the phone or check the web inquiries? Have your ad rep make an inquiry and see how quickly someone responds.

·        Is someone responsible for following up each lead in a timely fashion? Make sure that person is held accountable.

·        Do the links work on your web site? Click on them!

·        Do your people know what’s in the commercial? Are you sure? Gather the staff together and play the ad for them before it hits the air.

·        Is the featured product in stock, on display, and marked at the correct price? Go through the store and check.

A good ad campaign with poor follow-up is money wasted.


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