Are You Ready for Direct Response Radio Advertising?

These Six Questions Tell You How to Make the Answer “Yes”Direct response radio advertising is an amazingly under recognized way to grow a business quickly and profitably. For one thing, it’s fully accountable, so every dollar spent can be tracked to the revenue it generates and unprofitable spending can be eliminated. In addition, it’s extremely scalable. Once you figure out what works, you can increase your revenues and profits simply by increasing your media spend. It’s nearly as easy as stepping on the gas pedal. Direct response radio advertising is truly a powerful engine for profitable growth.When it is done properly.Most of the time, radio advertising is not done right. The first step in “doing radio right” is not to do it until you’re ready. The questions in this article will help you determine whether you’re ready to take advantage of direct response radio advertising. If you’re not ready, this article will tell you the steps you need to take to get ready.Do you know how you will define success?How much, in profit, is each customer worth to your business over the course of that customer’s relationship with your company? This is the customer lifetime value question and it is vital to know this before you go into direct response advertising. Why? Because the definition of success in direct response radio advertising is acquiring a new customer at a cost that allows for a profitable relationship with that new customer. If you don’t know the lifetime value, you cannot know how much you are able to pay to acquire a customer.Think about the day when you run your first ad schedule on a station. The results come in. How do you know whether they are good or bad? Are they good because there is revenue? Are they good because the phone is ringing or because visits to the web site went up? These are not sufficient to understand and evaluate the performance of your advertising. You can only evaluate advertising performance within the context of your customer lifetime value.But knowing your customer lifetime value is not enough. You have to break this down into the metrics that you’ll use to evaluate and manage your campaign. These metrics are part of the formula for lifetime value, metrics like “cost per lead” (CPL), cost per order (CPO, also known as CPA or cost per acquisition), conversion rate, and average revenue per sale. Do not begin a direct response radio advertising campaign (or a business of any sort using any kind of demand generation tactics) until you know your business profitability metrics very well.Are you prepared to test? We have often heard people say “We tried radio advertising and it doesn’t work for us”.Here’s the problem with that statement: Developing a profitable direct response radio advertising campaign isn’t something that is accomplished with a “trial”. It is far too complicated an endeavor, with far too many variables, to assess its effectiveness for your business with a “trial”. There are creative variables and media variables, and together they present a daunting number of possible combinations to achieve success.To properly assess the potential for direct response radio advertising to generate profitable new customers for your business, you must approach direct response radio advertising with a testing mindset. That calls for a patient, methodical approach.What does this mean for you? It means that you need around $20,000 to test multiple ads over a 4-8 week period before you’ll know which approaches will (and won’t) yield more profitable results. Don’t go into direct response radio advertising with a “dabble” mindset. Go into it with solid business goals: a) To assess the potential of direct response radio advertising to drive profitable new revenues, and b) to understand which approaches – both creative and media – produce the best results for your company. While you’ll generate revenues and profits during the test, the real benefit of testing is in the learnings that can be applied to a larger campaign over a long period of time to drive significant sales and profits.Do you have a compelling offer? The offer in your direct response radio ad is one of the most important elements for success. But why do you need to be thinking about that before you even approach radio advertising? Isn’t that something your radio advertising agency should come up with? Well, yes, but… The “but” here hinges on the fact that any offer must be something that’s possible given the business profitability structure, and possible given the systems and processes that run the business. These are constraints that only you know about. It will take time to alter existing systems or processes should that be necessary to support a compelling offer in your advertising. Your agency might recommend you give away a free DVD player with each order. That would drive a lot of orders, but would they be profitable? You need to define the playing field for the agency and then engage in the dialogue of getting the most out of what’s possible given the constraints.What is a compelling offer? It’s different, it’s relevant, and it’s meaningful. A free complimentary product or service is a good example. For example, if you’re marketing a skin care product that fights acne, you can give away a skin softener product as a bonus. Others use free trials with conversion mechanisms. These can work well provided the product performs as promised. Still others employ the ‘risk free trial’ approach, which essentially positions the 30 day money back guarantee as an offer – a “risk free trial”. The possibilities are many.Is your business infrastructure set up to support direct response advertising?The most important aspect of preparing for direct response radio advertising is ensuring you’re ready for the volume of leads and orders that can result. The easiest way to project this is to know your CPL and CPO projections (see above) and then assume a specific weekly media spend. For example, say you’re running $25,000 in media per week in direct response radio. This is considered a relatively small campaign. If your business model shows that you expect a CPL of $15, then you’ll be driving 25,000/15 = 1667 calls per week. Can your sales call center and fulfillment center handle this volume? More importantly, can they handle more, because when you’re profitable while running a $25,000 weekly radio campaign, chances are you’ll soon want to grow to five to ten times that size as soon as you can.There’s another vital piece of infrastructure you absolutely must have in place before you begin direct response radio advertising. It is a firm requirement because without it you’re wasting your money and ruining your reputation with the vendors you’ve hired to help you build the campaign. That requirement is excellent data collection and transmission to the radio media buying department at your radio agency. By this we mean that you absolutely must have a mechanism for capturing the lead, order, and revenue data by the unique identifier (such as the toll-free phone number) for the media buy that generated the call. If you’re sending calls to a call center, this is no problem. They understand this need and are already set up to accommodate it. If you’re trying to take calls in house, most of the time you’ve got work to do to ensure you can provide your media company with the information they need on a timely basis (usually first thing every morning). If you are sending leads to a web site, which is happening with increasing frequency, you must set up data capture and transmission mechanisms via a web tracking software program like Google Analytics before the campaign begins, preferably before you even contact a direct response radio advertising agency to get started. It’s amazing how many times we’ve been told that this tracking mechanism is in place and that we’ll get daily data exports from the web tracking software, only to begin the test and find out we won’t be receiving data for many days and what we do receive will not be complete.Are you aware of your biases and assumptions?This question probably sounds a little different than the rest but it’s well worth spending some time on. What you must understand is that you, the client, lead the show. As the agency, we will tell you want we recommend based on our expertise in the field of direct response radio advertising. It’s up to you to make sure we’re making those recommendations with all of the necessary information. Biases and assumptions can damage this important aspect of the client-agency relationship.Biases and assumptions underlie beliefs you have about key campaign questions like why your customers buy from you, or what appeals in advertising will resonate with the target audience. If you inject these into the process as facts, your agency will likely take them as such. The agency is unlikely to argue strongly with you – - it’s just the nature of the “the customer is always right” tendency in client-agency relationships (as well as many others).Let’s say you’ve been advertising online with banners and pay per click (or with TV or with print – the medium doesn’t matter). You want to test radio. One common mistake is to do a survey of your existing customers and ask them why they buy. The results show that the reasons these people buy match up very well with the appeals in the advertisements that you’ve been running. You conclude that the exact same approach will work in radio and you require that approach be followed by the agency. But you’ve overlooked the fact that your survey was very biased. Why? Because the people you surveyed were prompted to become customers by the ads you ran. Of course you’re going to find people who validate the ads you’ve run – they responded to them to become customers! The non-biased way to do a survey is to collect data from a random sample of people (not current customers) matching the target customer profile.Notice the point is not to eradicate your biases or assumptions, but to become aware of them. It’s nearly impossible to get rid of biases. However, if you’re aware of them you can then test them methodically and you won’t be in danger of leading your agency down the wrong path – one that often leads to the failure of radio campaigns.Are you different? Me-too products or services don’t work, period. In direct response you find this out quickly. You must be different. One important twist to this is that you can be different in any one of a number of different ways. As a certain marketing professor liked to say “you can innovate anywhere in the value chain…the more places the better”. Did Dell Computer make innovative new computers? Not at all. Dell found a way to put computers together faster, with higher reliability and at a lower cost than any other PC maker. That, among other things, translated into a super low cost structure which meant Dell could beat competitors on price and still make more money than those competitors. There are other examples. Maybe you’re marketing a product in the diet aid category. There are “support” food programs (Weight Watchers), pills (Trimspa) and informational/diet regimens (the Atkins diet).Do you have to have the latest breakthrough pill to compete? That would be nice but there are only so many of those to be discovered. So you can be different in another way. Your spokesperson could be a celebrity. Your marketing angle could be radically different. Your offer could be unique. Your cost structure or overall business model might allow for an incredible free gift or a very low price. Your customer retention program might be so strong that you can give away a free trial to acquire large numbers of customers. There are many, many ways to be different. How you’re different – while important – is still second to the fact that if you’re a me-too product you’ll not last long.

Playing Online Poker For a Living – 4 Simple Tips That Can Help You Play Cards For a Living

Card game addicts can soon start dealing out cards no matter where they are, before you could even say “Indiana Jones”. These people love this game, and no matter what, they will always find a plain simple excuse to play it. Some play online for a livingIf you are quite in their league too, it is no wonder if your fingers itch all the time to try out your luck and fortune at the card games. Well, the solution to itching fingers is only a few clicks away. You can find many web sites where you can play poker online and also win money if you are a host to good fortune and tricky skills.Card players find it easy to play card games online, since here, the ambience is quite relaxed and quiet. You never know with whom you are playing. It could be an old man or woman, or a child as well! But one thing is for sure- here no one will be able to peep and have a look as to whether you have a winning hand or not. Here, no one is there to rush you, no one to call the shots but you. But even though this seems as if the rules here are quite easy and relaxed, actually, they are not. You have to abide by certain laws which if you neglect, will result in your disqualification.o Before you start to play, you must try to decide if you are willing to play poker for your entire income. To do this, you will have to look back at the games that you played in the past, and how you handled your bankroll after a big win. Did you jump into the stakes or invest your winnings?o Then again, if you had never the chance to see so much money while playing poker, but lost about ten tournaments in a row, you have to remember what your action was. Did you move down or up in stakes? These reactions of yours are necessary to judge whether you will be able to make a living on poker.o The main trick is not how much money you win, but how you win it. When you do not have a winning hand, you have to see that you lose very little of cash. But when you have the best hand, you have to try to call the right shots at the right time to milk in a lot of money out of your opponent’s pockets. To maneuver the game carefully you have to assess the situation accurately and rely on your gut instincts.o Another key skill that you need to hone is patience. You might be able to rely on your instincts, and make quite sharp decisions at the crucial moments in the game; you might be able to calculate thoroughly the result of every move of every player around the table; you might be able to tighten your purse strings when you have no winning hand, and get the best odds to win the most when you turn out to be the lucky one, but there is still a chance that someone might come about and upset your plan and shatter it to rubbles. During these times, it is necessary that you do not lose your head, but start to build another plan, so as to win back what you have lost.These rules will help you to get to the very peak where you can earn a lot of money, and there will be no stopping you as well. Remember, rules are important in a game, so that you do not get disqualified, and you can always use them to your advantage.

Your Child and Mental Health

While many adults believe that children live a life of ease, this is certainly not necessarily always true. Your child and mental health is a dynamic world unto it’s own.Children are not without their own emotional, mental, and physical troubles. Just as with older humans, children are capable of feeling all types of feelings. These include feelings of sadness, hurt, mistrust, anxiety, and anger. In addition, the way that children deal with these feelings can have a huge effect on their emotional health. Children and mental health often reflects greatly on the parental mental health that a child has when he or she become a parent themselves. Kids that grow up in a positive environment are much more likely to be positive adults than those that experience negative emotional mental health during their childhood.Infant and child mental health establishes a foundation of self-esteem for life.Children as young as infants are aware of trust and mistrust in others and in self. After a child is only a few months old, their emotional health begins to develop. It is important during infancy that a baby learns he or she can trust the caregiver. The baby needs to know that his or her needs are taken care of when a diaper should be changed or a feeding needs to take place. Infants that go long periods of time without the attention of the caregiver are much more likely not to trust.Once the infant passes through the stage of placing trust in others, a toddler encounters a stage of emotional mental health called autonomy vs. shame and doubt. During this period, the child needs to feel that he or she is capable of independence. While an infant needed others, toddlers are looking for space to obtain good mental health. When a toddler is not given the opportunity to find independence, he or she often grows up having a lacking self-esteem, feeling ashamed as well as a whole assortment of other mental health issues. Much independence during this stage of life is found through potty training with the toddler taking care of his or her own bathroom needs.Your child and mental health goes hand in hand with the circumstance of the family environment while growing up.Initiative verse guilt follows the toddler stage when a child reaches preschool and kindergarten. During this stage, the child emotionally needs to explore others and the world around him or her and begins to become interested in belonging to a group and role-playing within that group. During this stage of life, a person develops much of their background for social interaction. Children who are allowed to explore and interact with others are much more likely to carry over positive social skills into adulthood than those that are secluded from group activities. These others can end up on the opposite side of the spectrum in regards to their social and mental health becoming withdrawn from others.It is quite apparent that child and adult mental health become synonymous throughout life.Part of creating a solid foundation in children to carry over into adulthood is allowing children the opportunity to learn how to make choices. Children need to experience the effects that their choices have on their lives. Instead of continually giving a child direction, it is better to give a child options.When allowed to take some actions into their own hands helps create an emotional mental health framework for the future, Setting boundaries and preparing children for disappointments help children prepare for good mental health and avoidance of mental health issues as an adult. In some cases, children can make choices for themselves. However, children also need to learn that not everything will always be controlled by them. They need to learn to accept the things that they cannot control. A child that learns to cope with disappointment through a caregiver that sets boundaries will grow into an adult with a foundation of more positive emotional mental health than those children that never experience hearing the word “no”. All of this is very critical for child and adolescent development.While all research indicates that the environment in which a child grows greatly affects his or her emotional mental health, not all parents that fail to properly foster their child’s stages of health are neglectful or bad parents. In fact, many parents struggle with the proper methods they should carry out to help their child grow into a prosperous adult.Interaction is a great way to help your child’s emotional mental health bloom. Children need to be cuddled and feel the touch of others. In addition, they need communication. Even as an infant, babies respond to parents and others through coos. Responding to these babbles is an important part of the infant and child mental health development process (both mentally and emotionally). As the child grows older, let him or her know what he or she has to say is important by listening and responding in conversation.In addition to talking, your child and mental health is dependent upon nonverbal responses also. Be certain to make eye contact with the child. Share gestures and facial expressions during daily routines such as dinner, story time, and bath time.Be certain that you have expectations for your child and that they are appropriate for the child’s age level. Placing too much pressure or high expectations on your child can be harmful to his or her emotional mental health. Do not place expectations on the child that he or she is not mature enough to handle.When your child reaches a charged emotional situation, try to help the child understand the feelings and work through the problem. Let your child know that it is okay to express emotions if they are expressed in a proper manner.Raising or working with a child can be a large responsibility when it is realized that the things the child experiences now affects how he or she will respond to the world as an adult. The positive or negative environment that a kid encounters through childhood affects the ways that he or she handles situations independently when grown.Carefully considering the emotional health needs that help a child feel secure about him or herself and about the environment are important to his or her success in the future.

History of Automotive Headlamps From the Beginning to LEDs

I have searched around the web to bring you this article on the development of the automotive headlamp from the beginning right up until the latest LED developments.As far as I can ascertain the beginning of the electric automotive headlamps journey began in about 1898 by a company called the Electric Vehicle Company in Connecticut, based in a place called Hartford. Although we do read of reference to gas lamps (acetylene) used on the first vehicles in the 1880′s.So it was awhile back and also we are more interested in the electric lamp development for the motor car.It is actually quite funny when you read the development especially what was considered acceptable. The filaments (they were incandescent lamps) would regularly burnout, usually caused by the rough road conditions also the cars power supply was pretty anemic and struggled to provide the necessary electric power, especially when we read they were about one percent efficient.In today’s society, faced with the same challenge I am sure we would just give up.All of the above did not deter our friends at Cadillac and apparently they produced the first modern headlight system. This was a totally new arrangement compared to previous efforts and could even be used in the rain and snow without the risk of getting burned. Oh it was considered a revolution in its day.We then move on to a company called the Guide Lamp Company who rolled out the next technological breakthrough in about 1915. This was the introduction of the low beam headlamp. In reality it was not until about 1924 before we saw a proper high/low beam headlamp with an internal switch.The next major development was the Halogen lamp which popped into the automotive headlamp arena in Europe in about 1962. These become mandatory in several countries due to their excellent capability. The sealed beam incandescent headlamp persisted as standard fitment until about 1978. The halogen headlamp is still used today by many automotive manufacturers.The next development was high intensity discharge lighting systems (HID) often described as Xenon headlights. These started appearing in the top end models of some German vehicles in about 1991. These are still a rather costly option and have not yet been fully embraced by the automotive manufacturers. The jury is still out on these.This brings us to the LED which has taken off slowly but appears to be moving ahead quite quickly. Its foray into headlamps is still in its infancy, although their use in tail lamps, brake lights and indicators seems assured.Time will tell, but for now the Xenon is considered an excellent, although expensive, headlight design and the 3157 LED and its derivatives is leading the way for all other small signal and indication type lighting in the automotive scene.