Tips for Advertising on ATM Receipts

Ask any marketing or advertising manager and they’ll tell you: advertising isn’t easy. Consumers can be fickle; their media habits unpredictable. Our society has become so inundated with irrelevant ads that we’ve learned to tune them out. And, while consumer attention wanes, media costs escalate, making advertising on a large scale unaffordable for most marketers.The Advantages of ATM AdvertisingWell, advertising doesn’t have to be so challenging. Not for independent ATM deployers (IADs) and financial institutions (FIs), anyway. The ATM provides such marketers with one of the most attractive advertising vehicles available. It’s like an outdoor billboard, a TV, a computer, and a direct mail delivery device all wrapped up in one.In addition, ATMs offer:

access to often difficult to reach target demographics,

the customers’ undivided attention when their mind is on money, and

advertising costs that are a fraction of traditional media.
Who Uses ATM AdvertisingThe synergy between ATMs and FIs is too obvious to overlook. It’s the perfect outlet for banks and credit unions to drive brand awareness, or cross-promote pertinent products to a captive audience when banking is top-of-mind.But, by no means are the advertising opportunities exclusive to financial institutions. Given the large, and growing network of IADs, ATMs have become a far more common way for people to obtain their money. And their placement within high traffic areas, and proximity to high interest retail stores, broadens the scope of potential advertisers to include almost anybody.The key for IADs is determining how to package, price, and sell their media space to potential advertising clients and their agencies. Media efficiency should be a strong selling point as the ATM offers one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise to a highly targeted audience.Types of ATM AdvertisingThere are many ways to advertise through an ATM. At its most basic level, the device itself can act like a billboard, delivering a message to everyone who passes by.Another option is to use the monitor screen to deliver an ad message at a time when you have a customer’s complete and undivided attention. For instance, a FI may wish to deliver credit card offers to people with certain financial qualifications.A third option is advertising on the ATM receipt. Most customers request a receipt and carry it with them in their wallet or purse for future reference, giving the ad message longevity. Receipt ads also offer the ability to distribute a coupon or promotional offer which can later be redeemed. This feature provides advertisers with a mechanism through which to measure their return on investment, something that is far more difficult to do with other forms of media.The Efficiencies of ATM AdvertisingThe cost to advertise on an ATM will depend on the type of ad you want to run and the location of the machine. High traffic sites will draw a higher price, as will locations catering to certain demographicsThe most efficient, and arguably most effective, form of ATM advertising is delivered on the receipt. This is because ATM paper is essentially a sunk cost for the operator, and the cost of custom printing is nominal. So, the incremental expense to custom print an ad on the back of a receipt is marginal compared to what the operator would already have to pay for stock paper.On average, the incremental cost to custom print an ad on the back of stock paper can run as low as $6.25 per roll. And each roll can deliver approximately 6,250 advertising impressions. That’s a $1 CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions, the standard unit for measuring media). As you can see below, a $1 CPM is much lower than you’ll find among any of the more traditional media channels.Advertising CPM* ComparisonNetwork TV: $28Print: $17Cable: $12Radio: $10Out-Of-Home: $5Online: $2Custom ATM Receipts: $1*A CPM is the approximate cost to deliver 1,000 advertising impressions to a specified audience.In addition to media efficiency, advertisers will also want to know how effective ATM advertising can be. Custom printed receipt ads are the easiest to measure a response against as the advertiser can supply something tangible for the customer to redeem. According to leading manufacturers, ATM advertisers have achieved response rates of 10 percent and higher for their campaigns, far exceeding the 1-2 percent success rates of most direct mail campaigns, and at little-to-no incremental cost.SummaryATM advertising is one of the most effective and cost efficient ways for FIs to deliver a custom ad message to a highly specified target audience. It is also an excellent way for IADs to bring in additional revenue for their network of machines.

Automotive Advertising Agencies Focus on People Using Social Media Vs Product or Price

The role of the automotive advertising agency has changed to follow the new rules of the road on the Internet Super Highway. Newly empowered consumers are no longer limited to shopping for a vehicle using information provided by self serving auto dealers pushing information to them using conventional media like radio, T.V. or newspaper. Social media has allowed car shoppers to gather information from like minded customers before, during and after their shopping and/or buying experience. These online friends are playing an increasing role in the car shopping process and automotive advertising agencies are using them to influence buyers.The new pull / push nature of the market powered by the Internet requires automotive advertising agencies to focus on people vs. product or price. Car shoppers are following their own agendas when pulling information from the world wide web that no longer requires them to rely on an auto dealer as the source. Today’s online shoppers prioritize people when selecting a dealership they are willing to do business with. That is not to suggest that product and price aren’t important. It simply suggests that all systems start and end with people and that people are the true asset of any auto dealer, automotive advertising agency or vendor!The most obvious evidence of the priority that people play in the auto shopping/buying/service experience is the explosive growth that social media has enjoyed as a marketing media vs. conventional radio, T.V. and print that used to dominate the automotive advertising landscape. Automotive advertising agencies recognize that people have always preferred to do business with people that they like and social networking has expanded the spheres of influence of car shoppers/buyers to include their online friends.The market is a conversation amongst friends before, during and after the car shopping/buying/ service cycle. Auto dealers that have friends in the social networking communities are more likely to be invited to participate in the dialogue. More specifically, automotive advertising agencies realize that it is difficult to befriend a building or a website! It is the people that work at the dealership to support their families that have the story to tell to their friends and who will earn the sale — not the Chevrolet, Toyota, Mercedes, etc. — or the extended service hours and weekly specials. Saturday service hours have no appeal if the customers don’t like or trust the people that they are handing their keys to. Having a friend in the car business is a relief that trumps the best process, product or price for the average car buyer.Automotive advertising agencies also recognize that people play a role in both the real and virtual world showroom experience which will be reflected in the number of units sold and their job performance at the end of the month. First impressions are irretrievable and they are not limited to a large inventory, clean showroom or a dealer centric selling system that processes customers in sales and/or service. The atmosphere in a well run dealership reflects the morale of the staff in sales and service which directly impacts the customers that an automotive advertising agency drives to the dealership.A smiling sales person, service writer, operator and cashier can’t be forced as a part of policy — much like customer satisfaction can’t be bought or taken for granted by simply offering the best price; it must be earned. It is earned when a dealer or manager appreciates the individual and team contributions of his staff — and tells them so on a regular basis! It is maintained by HR departments and hiring practices that select personality over prior auto sales experience with compensation plans that reflect individual contributions along with job descriptions and defined areas of responsibility that are managed and monitored by a caring management team.Employee retention is directly linked to customer satisfaction and customer retention and neither can be taken for granted. Automotive advertising agencies are counseling their auto dealer clients to invest in their people before, during and after they are hired to compliment their investments in automotive advertising. It is their people that will represent their dealership and it is their people who will sell their cars and service to a growing list of friends and customers.Automotive advertising agencies have extended their areas of responsibility to include their involvement in all aspects of day to day operations at an auto dealership. Most selling systems and related processes include a meeting and greeting, an initial manager T.O. to qualify the customer’s needs, an inventory and facility walk, a test drive, a feature benefit presentation, a desking procedure, a manager T.O., negotiations, an F&I introduction, a delivery procedure and service introduction. All of these steps are then supported by a state of the art CRM/ILM, DMS and follow up system. Unfortunately, all of these well thought out procedures are only as good as the sales person who entered the customer into the system and/or who is expected to follow up if not sold or who is relied on to solicit future service and referrals.All of these actions reflect on the job performance of the automotive advertising agency and they must be addressed as part of their areas of responsibility. Automotive advertising agencies recognize that sales training is all too often limited to a few weeks immediately after the hire and/or some outsourced trainer hired to pump up the staff. Given the complexity of a well planned selling system — as described above — how can a new hire be expected to retain everything that they need to know? Add product information and an understanding of how human nature impacts the negotiation process and — once again — the investment in the people becomes self evident.There is a paradigm shift taking place in the way that sales and service training should be applied at a dealership and it is up to the automotive advertising agency to insure that it is understood and applied. Forward thinking automotive advertising agencies have discovered that sales and service training can’t be limited to the new hires and or as needed to motivate the staff. It must start in the hiring process by selecting trainable personalities and then integrated into the selling system in such a way that the processes teach the sales person as much as the customer. Buyers and sellers must form a habit to listen and learn from each other before they can presume to sell or buy anything. A sales person does not need to know everything — they simply need to know where to find the answers that are relevant to the customer to move them through their buying decision.Automotive advertising agencies often rely on new technologies to provide efficiencies applied to proven old world wisdom. New mobile sales applications are being developed that promise to provide a salesperson with the right information at the right place and the right time which will integrate training into the sales process. The key is to focus on the people part of the presentation supported by the processes, products and the price rather than the other way around.

Why Are America’s Small Businesses Failing at Such Alarming Rates?

“The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.”
William JamesCertainty versus Myth84% of American companies have below average marketing programs, with the vast majority of these coming from the small and medium-sized business sectors. Although business pundits have a variety of theories on the root causes and the direct impacts, they usually agree on two important things:1. Developing and utilizing sound marketing strategies and tactics (i.e. marketing programs) provides all businesses with the maximum leverage for attaining their objectives, and2. Companies that execute marketing programs based on a written strategic plan are far more likely to be successful than those that do not.Why do Most Small Businesses Fail?This is a bit like asking a coroner why someone died… While the short answer may be that their heart stopped beating or their brain stopped functioning, there are thousands of potential underlying contributors. It is much the same in this instance.However, a few things are certain when a company ceases “to be” unexpectedly… Someone(s) made poor choices. The actual errors themselves are much less important than understanding why so many very intelligent people cannot build and sustain successful businesses.A company’s failure can usually be traced directly back to its founder’s mindset. Ultimate success in anything has much more to do with your attitudes and beliefs than any one tactical error or overwhelming event – even though this may be given as “the official cause of death”.Given this, it is logical to assume that small business owners/managers fall short of their goals because they do, in fact, commit serious blunders which produce poor, or devastating, results… However, in order to at least stop the bleeding (hopefully there’s still enough time to cure the “patient”) you must understand and address the root problem, not band aid on a malignant tumor!The obvious question then is: Why?Because their Actions are…based on Decisions…formed by Attitudes…supported by a philosophical belief in…MYTHSWe all make mistakes… some of us more than others. But it’s the wise person who seeks counsel. So after many years in the strategic marketing profession, I have compiled my very own list of the four “worst of the worst” marketing myths and blunders they cause. They are:1. Marketing is just another word for advertisingThis is perhaps the most common marketing myth and must be debunked right away if you have any hope of accomplishing your business goals.A belief in this myth necessitates a view of marketing as a tactical function rather than the series of cross-functional processes, approaches and activities that it really is. Yes, advertising (marketing communications) is an essential component of your overall marketing plan, but it is not THE plan – and ideally should account for only1-2% of your entire marketing efforts.If you devote all of your attention and efforts on advertising activities (e.g. ad copy, sales channels; websites; media, etc.) you’re putting the cart before the horse and are missing critical issues that may be having a negative impact on your business.Advertising should never be substituted for the marketing process as a whole. No amount of advertising is going to make up for shoddy workmanship; rude employees or an unpleasant customer experience. It’s like building a house of cards… it may hold up for a little while, but it most certainly will come tumbling down.2. Perception is not realityThis is one of the hardest concepts for business owners to accept. They waste countless hours trying to convince unyielding clients to accept their version of reality, which often prevents them from communicating their unique benefits; alleviating significant flaws and/or ignoring golden opportunities.It is vitally important that any one who has responsibility for growing a business or organization understand and embrace this critical tenet. It does not matter if outside perceptions are factual… because consumers behave based on decisions formed by attitudes founded on their beliefs, which are often subconscious.This has particularly dangerous consequences when companies are forced into an undesirable place primarily because they fail to communicate their unique benefits. Thus their “inside reality” is aware of their distinguishing qualities but “outside perceptions” are clueless.In other words, the public may look at your business; your competitors’ businesses; and/or completely unrelated businesses and view them identically, good or bad. This means that they base their purchase decision solely on price or convenience. Why? Because they don’t have any other information!
3. It is not important to know what you don’t know…This myth is the most pervasive, far-reaching and detrimental myth of them all! It is an equal-opportunity fantasy whose believers are corporate CEOs; entrepreneurs; male and female; young and old; rich and poor; tall and short; moms and pops; etc.It is also the most difficult one to correct because the “patient” doesn’t know he/she is ill! It serves as the foundation for prejudice, ignorance and failure and influences all of the sufferer’s decisions and behaviors – personally and professionally.Ironically, this myth often serves as the very basis for becoming an entrepreneur in the first place. Michael Gerber, in his classic book, “The E-Myth”, says that most small businesses are started by technicians (folks who are proficient at some skill) who have an entrepreneurial “seizure”.Just because they know how to do the work of the business does not mean that they know how to run a business that does that work. For example, just because a hair stylist knows how to cut hair, does not mean he/she can run a hair styling business.This is a classic case of not knowing what you don’t know. For instance, any business run in the U.S. today has to understand how the following business requirements (just to name a few) impact them and how they must comply on a daily/monthly/yearly basis:o Payroll taxeso Workmen’s compensationo Local and State Income Tax Lawso Local and State Sales Tax Lawso Business Licensingo Profit and Loss Statementso Overhead Expenseso Financial Reporting Requirementso Employee Managemento Human Resource Regulationso OSHA Regulationso Social Security, Medicare Benefitso Withholding Taxeso Actual costs of running a businesso Quarterly Tax PaymentsThe problem arises when technicians assume that all they need to know is the work of the business, not how to run a business. The actual costs of owning and operating your own company are far greater than the expenses associated with your rent, office furniture, utilities, etc.Because of this many small business owners never earn a true profit…one that allows their business to grow, and provide them sufficient income to enjoy the lifestyle they envisioned when they began.4. The more you do, the better you’ll doBy nature, entrepreneurs are more action-oriented and idea-rich than others. For the most part, these are good traits. However, they often act as a catalyst for ‘crossing the line’ and heading straight for lack of focus, prioritization and the ever-common “doing-it, doing-it, doing-it” rut.Let’s face it, most of us feel like we have way too many things to do every day… a belief that is exacerbated by owning/operating a small business! Couple that with the pervading notions that “If I’m not working, I’m not worthy” and/or that rapid growth necessitates doing even more, you’ve got real problems. Why, I bet you even know of some people who think that if they just work harder and longer at anything, they’ll eventually make it! This is hooey.In order to develop a sound strategy, which we all know is critical to the success of your business; you must learn what’s important to do, and what’s not. I love the analogy of a fire hose… If you turn it on, full power water goes everywhere, and you won’t even be able to get a small cup. However, if you turn it down to a trickle you’ll much more able to handle what you need.So, if you think you’re going to fix your business in any meaningful way solely by employing the latest hot marketing gimmick or developing a web site, think again. That’s the easy stuff!