why advertise here?

I was flipping through an old Money magazine the other day looking for print ads to write about and I noticed that the most interesting thing about the ads in the magazine was not what they were selling individually but what they were pushing as a whole.

An important part of understanding marketing is understanding why certain advertisements appear where they do.

I would say 95% of the ads in my Money magazines are for travel (automobiles, tires, hotels, airlines, or similar products and services) or financial products (banks, money managers and other financial institutions). The latter makes a lot of sense to me, but the former is where you will find the proof that Money and the companies that purchase advertising space within the magazine both understand the people who read the publication very well. Much effort, time and money go into gathering data on and breaking-down the folks that read Money, and any other magazine.

Publications like Money might serve other purposes as well, but the number one reason why it still exists is because the people who run it have gotten (really) good at understanding the people who read them.

everything is marketing

I can remember finally breaking down and buying my first iPod when I was in college.

Everyone I knew already had one. I had been fine with that fact for a while, but then, slowly at first, I was not fine.

A television ad can tell you about a product, it can even make you want it. But an advertisement cannot make you NEED it.

I would see the white ear buds every day around my college campus. It seemed like everyone had them. I had a CD player, which was becoming more and more embarrassing to pull out on the buss or in the library. I needed an iPod. The feeling that owning one was a necessity rather than a desire built inside me until I just could not bare it any longer.

Sure, there were plenty of Apple and iPod commercials on T.V., but seeing the devices every day was what finally put me over the edge. I was slow to catch on that these things were cool but when I did, I felt like the last person on earth without one. And that felt crappy and lonely and lame.

I can remember ordering my new iPod online and getting it in the mail. It felt amazing to finally have one, my own words etched on the back and my music filling its memory. The first day I went to classes with my new iPod I saw the world differently. I stopped noticing the students WITH the white cords trailing into jackets and backpacks. All of the sudden I only noticed the people WITHOUT them. And I was not one of them. I had the white head phones. I was in.

A television ad can tell you about a product, it can even make you want it. But an advertisement cannot make you NEED it. The feeling you get from not having it while everyone around you (that you care about) does have it is what pushes you over the line from want to need.

Apple got it a long time ago. Now, more marketers are figuring out the fact that dumping money into advertising should be a piece of the stagey, not the entire strategy, but it took a long time. Design, timing, allure, service, and so many other factors all make up great marketing and the success of your product.

The surge of the digital revolution has marketers scrambling to figure out how to advertise to more people more efficiently, but the basics have not changed: Create something remarkable that fills a need (real or perceived) and make it available to the right people. Marketing is not just selling the thing once it is made. Marketing is everything from conceiving of the thing to fulfilling orders and handling upset customers. When it comes to your product, marketing is everything. And everything is marketing.

bicycle helmet covers teach an important marketing lesson


I saw a bicycle helmet cover today along the lines of the above trend-centric number. The company that makes this one is called Yakkay (link above).

Before today I had no idea “fashion” covers of this kind even existed, which made me start wondering about how one might go about marketing a product like this.

A super fashionable helmet cover markets itself to a degree. The vain, super self-conscious and fashion-forward (or trendy) folks are going to find this stuff on their own.

Not that long ago (or, before the Internet era) television commercials and a heavy run of print ads would have been needed to jump start awareness and sales, but now a strategic Internet presence, some business savvy and a bunch of friends spread out all over do the trick.

I imagine the company that makes the above cover has spent some money on marketing, but I would wager that their budget is a fraction of what it might have been and they have spent at least 80% of their marketing monies in Internet arenas.

Certain products attract certain types of people. It has always been that way. The only real change is that it is cheaper, easier and more fun than ever to raise the necessary awareness your product needs in order to find its way to its natural consumer.

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