Advertising Works

I know. Seems like we should already know that, but I was reminded of it again.

Last year we did a community “yard sale” where church members brought things to sell, and then gave the money to the church to help families that have been impacted by the economy. We had a good crowd, and raised a lot of money to help people.

We held our second annual sale on Saturday. This year the pastor asked us to really promote it in the community. So we did. Last year we did in church promotion and newspaper, some posters and banners. This year we did all of that plus added three radio stations and some facebook advertising.

The crowd was much larger. The parking lot was packed. Last year there was a good crowd, but there were periods when the sellers had downtime. So much so that our pastor had provided some water and donuts for the sellers this year. But an hour into the sale no one had been able to break away. They were just covered up with early shoppers at the sale. And people were buying. I had to leave about a hour into the sale, and most people had sold well over half of what they brought.

The difference in crowd was noticeable. And these were not people attached to the church for the most part. There were just a lot of people here. The difference was the amount of advertising.

Every year when the Singing Trees tickets go on sale we can track the days we have advertising running and the days we don’t. There is a noticeable spike in sales when ads run in the paper, or on radio or TV.

Lately we have been doing more advertising on social media. With one campaign on Facebook we had over 400,000 impressions. In Orlando you would easily spend over $1000 on traditional media. We spent under $125 for that result.

If advertising didn’t work, people wouldn’t buy it. That doesn’t mean you cannot advertise the wrong way, or the wrong thing. I once was a part of the campaign for an event that spent over $100 per person that showed up. We could have just paid less directly to the people who came, and saved money. We were advertising an event at bad date and time, about something people were not interested in. Even the best advertising campaign cannot overcome that.

But done right, it delivers results. It can also help cover mistakes in promotion. Recently we were approached to help get the word out about a fund raiser being held on our campus. The event was three weeks away, and virtually no promotion had been done. We were able to identify the right audience, and the right media to reach that specific audience. The result was a quickly construed advertising plan that ultimately filled the room with potential donors.

When you are planning your events make sure to set aside budget for advertising. Identify your audience. Find the right ways to talk to those people, and do it. And by the way, don’t be afraid to seek the help of an advertising agency if you are focusing on buys in traditional media.


I Miss Storage on the Apple TV, I want AirPlay Now

[See my quick review of AirPlay]

I miss being able to store media on the Apple TV. I do. I really do.

It’s not a huge thing because I mostly watch streaming media anyway. I didn’t consciously make the choice to do this, but except for local news and football, I have streamed every other show I wanted to see this Fall. I like the streaming model. I think it is the right choice for the future.

But for now, I miss not having local storage on the Apple TV. With my old one, I used to load up a bunch of movies, and just watch them when I got around to it. It was a simple as turning on the TV and grabbing the remote. With the new Apple TV, I need to have my computer on with iTunes open. I use a laptop, and don’t always take it home, especially since I use an iPad.

And it’s not just my laptop. I have a lot of movies, and I need to store most of them on an external drive. So I have to set up the laptop, power the drive and get iTunes open before I can watch movies from my library. No big deal if I have a desktop, but since the laptop travels, there is always a set up. Even if I don’t need it for anything else.

I find myself choosing to watch something from Netflix. Or watching my video on my other iOS devices.

That is why I think that when iOS 4.2 hits, and AirPlay becomes available, this issue will go away for me. I can load multiple movies on the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, and then with the touch of the screen, I can see those on my TV. This should remove my issues with streaming my own content. Movies I want to see can be loaded to my iPod just as easily as they were loaded to the old Apple TV.

I just wish 4.2 was here already.

The “Me” in Team

There is no “I” in Team

That is true. The team succeeds together and fails together. Individuals make up a team, but without the team, the individual has it much harder. Teamwork is critical.

But there is a “me” in team.

Grammatically, an “I” is the subject (or subjective pronoun to be precise), and it acts through verbs. The “me” is an object (objective pronoun), and has things done to it. That is, you and I do things to the object of the sentence. The subject of the sentence does things to you and me.

How does that apply to teamwork? Members of the team must be aware of what they are doing to individuals on the team. Sometimes, individuals on the team should take measures to protect themselves.

As leaders, we must be aware of the pressure members of the team are experiencing, both as it relates to work and circumstances outside of work. I know guys who work in tech that have gone as many as 27 days in a row without a day off. That is unhealthy. If you regularly ask members of you team to work over 50 hours, you need to step back an re evaluate how your team operates.

Don’t get me wrong. I know, and expect there to be times when members of the team will be asked to give more time than normal. But, when we get an idea and look to executing it, do we consider the state of those we are asking? If there is just one guy on the team that can do what we need done, and it’s late in the week, do we think about what he already has planned with his family before we ask him to clear his weekend? Can we wait, or must it be done as soon as possible? Could we have planned better, and how can we improve for next time?

These have to be considerations for the team leader. Or for the people who need the help of a team. It cannot just be about what we want, we must consider the individuals on the teams as well as the overall goals of the team.

As a member of the team, you must protect yourself. Take your vacation. Work with your supervisor and schedule your time off. I try to take time off right before things get very busy, so I am fresh. Time for individuals to relax and recharge is critical to the success of the team.

This is the tricky part, develop a relationship with your supervisor, and others you work with, that allows you to talk openly about the demands placed on your life. I am talking specifically about work, but if there is a personal thing going on, being able to talk with your boss abut it can help ease tension around the workplace. If you have the right kind of relationship, when people come asking you to clear your schedule, and you have an important family ting, you can probably work out schedule that allows the goals to be met and you to do right by your family.

Hear me, your job is not more important than your relationship with God, it is not more important than your family. Yes, you need to keep your job in order to provide for them, but you should not let your job even have the appearance of being in line before your family.

Teams that have consideration for the individuals that make up the team are healthier, and have more stamina. Take a look at how your teams work, and help them get healthy.

Arrival of Apple TV

I got it. As you can see from the video, set up was pretty simple. Once I set up Home Sharing on my iPad, the new Remote app took the pain of text entry away. On my Wireless N network, both Netflix and my videos streamed great, and looked great.

I can’t wait for Airplay. It will be a whole new level of integration. I do miss internal storage some. I dislike having to have my computer on with iTunes open in order to stream. Airplay will eliminate that to some extent.