Tis the Season If you work in advertising

So the kiddies are back to school and Halloween which is the second biggest holiday as far as retail sales are concerned is just around the corner but for an advertising rep regardless of what media you work for the Holiday season starts now. Selling a monthly direct mail product like I do I am always a month ahead so for me it is already October. For most reps in my industry they just sell for today. What I mean by this is picking up ads for next week’s paper, selling 50 more radio spots, locking their client down for another 20,000 impressions for this month’s renewal on their online campaign you get the idea. The Christmas holiday season requires proper planning if you are going to find success so you need to be thinking at least 3 months ahead. What most media reps will do is hit the street in November or even December and start selling their holiday promos such as special sections, holiday greetings, Boxing Day promos the list goes on and on. This is after all the busiest time of the year for the retail industry so you want to grab every penny you can especially since we all know what happens in the first quarter which begins in January. In order to get your fair share before the competition does you need to hit the ground running in the first part of September which is right now. The timing is perfect, the dreadful July and August in terms of sales has come to an end business is picking up and virtually all retailers and business owners know the cash flow is going to increase significantly. This is the perfect time to go out and get it. Top advertising managers who have known this for years start this process in the summer (July) when things are slow and brainstorm product ideas, prospect lists, deadlines, rate cards etc. So once September hits they have their plan in place all they need to do is execute. While their reps are on the streets selling their holiday advertising most other managers are just starting to think about Christmas with the plan of having their attack ready for the streets in November. Well I am sorry to say the big advertising dollars are already spoken for and all you are going to get are the scraps such as holiday greetings.

As an advertising rep you want to get a significant chunk of holiday budgets not the leftovers. How many times in November do you hear “this is a great idea but my Christmas advertising dollars are already spent”? Get out on the streets this week and start presenting your holiday promotions to your top customers with the largest budgets so you can beat the competition to the punch. And If you are a business owner and haven’t started thinking about your holiday advertising  you are about to as I will be knocking on your door this week.



Extreme Couponing in Canada

By now we have all seen the television show Extreme Couponing and envy coupon goers as they walk through the lines with $1500 in product and actually end up getting cash back which to me is absolutely insane so thankfully we do not coupon this way in Canada. Canadian retailers do not allow these loop holes as most do not accept coupons on coupons, multiple coupons for the same product you get the idea. There almost always is a disclaimer to prevent this so it’s much different but still very effective. Couponing is still a very popular method to track campaigns for advertisers as well as cost savings for consumers. The way we clip coupons has changed over the years it has shifted from newspapers to online sites such as pictured above. There are many sites like this to surf and if you want to be a frugal shopper you can save hard earned dollars especially if you make it a weekly habit. Although the coupon craze is no longer in newspapers for the most part they are still out there in print through direct mail. Flyermail  a company I founded and sold to Metroland is an unaddressed direct mail product made up of multiple flyers many of which include coupons used by advertisers to track results. Companies also send coupons through addressed mail to their customer base which is more expensive but also very effective. I have had restaurants do campaigns in Kingston on a distribution of 50,000 and get over 2000 coupons back and I recently had a local butcher shop do a 2 for 1 coupon on steaks and received over 500 back in the first week and this was on a distribution of only 20,000 packages. In both cases the advertisers were thrilled with the response and the customers are happy with saving money especially when they get a free steak! So you don’t live close by the butcher shop and the coupon is not in your FlyerMail ( package? Not to worry our print customers are also online on so just go print off your coupon, share it on facebook, create your shopping list of coupons and eat your heart out. Whether you are an advertiser or a consumer I make my living making you happy and this trend isn’t going to change anytime soon. Follow me on Twitter @GeoffJosey