. The biggest chunk of the variable part of the budget goes to payroll. After that generally come advertising and other forms of promotion, which should run 8% to 10% of your budget but more often gets nicked down to 2% to 3%. Anyhow, if you do the any of the following, you might as well take that fistful of dollars you just spent on promotion, walk to the back of your store and flush them down your toilet. They will do about as much good there:
One and Done: Running an ad one time is like trying to win
at Warmachine with one roll of the dice. You need to run the ad multiple times
for it to work (Yes, Apple famously ran
its ad for the Macintosh computer only one time and successfully launched it http://youtu.be/axSnW-ygU5g, but unless
you’ve got Ridley Scot directing your commercial and can afford to run it
during the Superbowl, not a good idea).
Hitting Them Where
They Ain’t: Good advice in baseball,
lousy in advertising. Advertising where your customers aren’t means no-one sees
your ad. If you want to promote your game about wine cultivation doesn’t reach
the people who are interested.
No Point: Too many ads get run with no call to action.
What do you want the customer to do? They don’t know unless you tell them. Even
Coke has an implied call to action in their ads: “This beverage looks delicious. You should
Too Many Points:
I’ve got this space, or time on the radio or tv. Seems a waste not to get as
much information into it as I possibly can. I’m going to put all sorts of
information about my game or my store in here. Too many points means that none
of them make an impression on the customer’s mind. Pick 1-3 points you want to
emphasize and hit them hard.
I’m Bored: I’ve run this same ad over and over again. If
I see it again I will scream. Time to change it out and try something
different. You may be bored with the ad, your customers are far more tolerant.
Change just for the sake of change is bad. You change your ad when your
customers tell you it is time to change it. How do you know when it is time to
change it? When they stop responding to it.
And one more for good measure:
I Know What Makes a
Good Ad: I run a good game store or
know what goes into good game design. Ipso facto, I know what goes into good ad
design. No, you don’t. Talk with your ad rep. Realize that sure, they are
trying to sell you advertising but also realize they do this for a living. They
want you happy so you will buy more advertising and should know more about ad
design than you do. After all, it’s what they do for a living.