Promotional Items Vs TV Advertising

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With daily news updates about the credit crunch it is no surprise that you might be worried about the upcoming year and considering abandoning plans to use promotional items; instead looking to focus your marketing budget on other initiatives. However, before allocating your budget give some thought to the power of promotional items…

One of the Strongest Performing Marketing Tools

Promotional items are one of the strongest performing marketing tools, with a recent study showing that 84% of respondents recalled a company after receiving a promotional item from them. Part of the reason promotional items can be more effective is that they work in a slightly different way than TV or radio campaigns.

While TV may bombard us with information every advert break, many people are too busy making a cup of tea to notice. And when they make their tea, your customers could be using a promotional mug, branded with your name and logo, which promotes constantly…not just for a couple of minutes in between a program.

Better Market Segmentation

It is true that TV advertising can reach a lot more people, but this can also be a negative point. Many of the people who see your campaign may not be the people who would ever buy your products, or even consider them. This means that you are wasting some of your hard-earned budget on targeting completely the wrong people. Using promotional items puts the power in your hands, either to ensure that regular customers are sent a gift, or that you send a mailer containing a gift such as a pen to build recognition before your follow up calls.

Cost vs. Return

TV advertising is a very costly approach for any company to take – effective creative comes at a high cost and that’s without media buying. In contrast to this, buying and sending promotional gifts is extremely cost effective and targeted. In fact, if you are seen to be sending gifts to customers and potential customers while other companies are cutting back on this type of activity, it helps differentiate your business as a company who cares about its customers and rewards them for their loyalty. They will remember your name and feel special…rather than a one-way message delivered to everyone on a TV screen.

TV advertising is also short-term, you may only see a brand / brand message a handful of times. However, a promotional gift such as a pen or calculator will keep a company’s brand / brand message in front of someone constantly for a long period of time.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes…would you prefer a generic message delivered over a mass medium (such as TV) or would you prefer a more personalized approach, such as a letter and gift?

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Online TV – How Does Online TV Work?

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Everyone loves TV right? Things have certainly come a lot in leaps and bounds since the old TV was invented.

Why not watch TV online? Not just TV from your area, not even regular cable TV, but be able to get TV from all over the world. Think about being able to use the power of the internet and have 2000, 3000 or even over 4,000 channels straight to your computer at home or even work.

Well that’s what is happening today. Online TV works like regular old TV. Broadcasters for regular TV put out their signal and your antenna at home picks up the signal and there you have it, you have TV ( that was a very simple version ). Well online TV works the same way. There are so many channels from around the world and all these companies are realizing that the internet is where they need to put their product.

The power of broadband and some nifty software can enable people like your self to be able to watch your favorite sports events live ( and not pay for pay per view ) you can also watch all your favorite movies & TV shows and basically keep up to date with anything that is going on in the world.

To recap, online TV works pretty much the same way as normal TV does. Broadcasters are now using the internet as another way to broadcast their channels, and for us it is a great opportunity to take advantage of. Really the software that has been made to put all these channels together in one place is what really make online TV work well.

As internet connections get faster and, eventually you will see a PC hooked up to the family flat screen and everyone watching online TV.

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LCD vs. DLP TVs

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Two new technologies in the world of TV, DLP and LCD, are now in a tight competition. Not long ago, everyone was talking about Plasma and LCD – which one would win? It became clear to most that Plasma, with its short lifespan of just 3-4 years, was simply not the best choice. In fact, the LCD screen has several benefits over plasma. For instance, LCD screens run much cooler than the average plasma TV, and thus require less power to operate. Plasma TVs run so hot, in fact, that they require a fan to cool them down – which can be noisy. In addition, plasma screens have a tendency to degrade over time, slowly becoming dimmer. LCD screens, on the other hand, run relatively cool, and do not degrade over time. Some Plasma owners, who have used their TVs for a few years now, have already witnessed the dimming of their screens. Also, LCD screens tend to have overall better picture quality, and are typically 10 to 15 percent lighter than plasma.

Now the choice is mainly between LCD and DLP – two distinct technologies that offer slight differences in display, price, and performance. If you are looking to buy a new flatscreen TV this year, you are probably wondering which one is right for you.

What are DLP, LCD TV Screens?

DLP stands for Digital Light Processing, while LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. DLP technology, developed by Texas Instruments, uses a DMD, or Digital Micromirror Device, contructed of 1.3 million microscopic mirrors. Each of these mirrors is essentially a single pixel. When a digital signal enters the DLP system, each mirror is either activated or not, resulting in tapestry of mirrors tilting either towards the DLP light source or away. This process produces different levels of light and dark reflected by each individual mirror. The colors are produced when the DLP light sources run through a red, green, and blue color filter on a moving wheel. Depending on the lightness/ darkness of each mirror, the colors come in an enormous amount of shades, producing vivid color images.

LCD screens are made of several polarized glass panels, between which are liquid crystal molecules. An electric current is run through the crystal molecules, changing their position in respect to the glass. As light passes through the molecules, these changes in angle result in different lightness/ darkness patterns that produce images on the screen. There are usually three polarized glass panels, one with red pixels, blue, and green. This system also produced very accurate, vivid images, but angle is important. You may notice that the best colors in an LCD display are seen straight-on.

Is DLP, LCD TV Screens better than the other?

Simply put, that is a difficult question to answer. Unlike Plasma TV screens DLP and LCD last much are longer, and are considered to both have superior image quality. LCD screens tend to have slightly better contrast, with a larger range of black and white color shades. DLP, however, still has faster refresh rates than LCD (although LCD has been vastly improved in this area over the last two years). This can have implications if you are really into high-action motion (sports, action movies), because movement may seem a little blurred with LCD at times. Also, you’ll want to remember that in order for you to get the best color out of your LCD, you have to sit right in front of it. LCD TVs also have a slightly shorter lifespan than DLPs, with only 45,000 to 60,000 hours compared to 75,000 hours or more. As far as price goes, LCD and DLP are still more expensive than Plasma, but like all things in time, their price has been coming down. And right now, DLP is slightly more expensive than LCD, but not by much. DLP, in our eyes, is the best investment, at least for the next few years.

Click

here for popular DLP TV units and prices
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Media Exposure Is Marketing Gold – If You Know How to Use It

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At a glance:

  • Implicit media endorsements make you stand out from the competition.
  • It’s not advertising; it’s building credibility.
  • Maximize your exposure by posting it on your Web site and sharing it via social media.

A colleague of mine, who’s a former newspaper reporter, tells a story about a savvy attorney she knew. He’d tip her off whenever he had a particularly juicy case if she promised to include his name alongside that of his client in her story. Whether he won the case or lost it, people remembered his name and associated him with high-profile cases. He’d figured out that having his name in the paper bought him something no amount of advertising could: credibility.

For anyone trying to build a business, sell a product or get their book into the hands of more consumers, the implicit endorsement that comes from being interviewed by the media is what I call “marketing gold.”

Let me explain. Thanks to the Internet, you and every competitor you have, big or small, have the same chance to reach your potential consumers. So, what makes one business, one product or book more appealing than another? It’s endorsements from the media that make you stand out. Let’s face it – if USA Today has chosen to review your book, or refer to it in an article, it gives reason to believe there’s something special about it. If a doctor is quoted in the news about solutions to a particular health issue you’re dealing with – your instinct will be to check out him and his product first, because the media must consider him an authority to have quoted him.

When the media recognizes that you have something important to say, you gain credibility. This is the marketing gold I’m referring to: the endorsements from TV and radio show hosts, the editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines – and now, bloggers, news Web sites and followers on social media too. All these forms of recognition give others confidence you’re as good as you say you are. But, it’s upon you to use this “gold” as a critical part of your marketing to let people know these endorsements exist.

The return on investment usually isn’t immediate, which can be frustrating to people who expect a surge in business or a spike in sales with every media interview. That used to happen more often in the old days – I’m talking way back in the ’90s – when a radio talk show host might chat with you for 30 or 60 minutes and newspapers had twice as many pages to fill. It became apparent that when a client’s message clearly addressed an urgent public problem, along with their expertise and solution-oriented content, they could hit the jackpot.

From January to April, an IRS expert who spoke of resolutions to IRS problems or gave on-air tips on how to prevent IRS abuses would always see a huge jump in book sales. Or, the health expert, who got on the air during flu season and explained why his health program would make them feel better faster would sell a ton of product.

But the old days are gone and here we are in 2012. Today’s talk radio interviews are brief – 7 to 10 minutes in the larger markets – and newspapers have no space for full feature stories on interesting entrepreneurs and writers. There are far fewer opportunities to grab an audience for a significant length of time.

So how do you grow your investment in PR? Marketing your media exposure is a strategy that pays big dividends over time – but requires an effort from you.

  • Your Web site should prominently display your endorsements: “As seen on CBS,” “featured in the Louisville Gazette,” “heard on WFLA radio.”
  • Don’t forget to mention the media coverage to your Twitter followers and Facebook fans, too. The third-party endorsement will help you build more contacts, because people like knowing who the experts are and following them.
  • Use the media you’ve obtained to help you gain more TV, radio and print exposure. It serves as credibility for journalists as well and they will be more likely to want to interview you if you’ve already been vetted by other media professionals.
  • Let your personality shine online and respond to journalists and followers alike with interesting commentary and insights – not pleas to buy your book or product.

Yes, it takes work, a strong theme and a message that resonates. But if you invest wisely, you’ll grow rich in marketing gold.

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