Why Your Black Friday Sale Will #FAIL

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising | Posted on 25-11-2013

I’ve had it up to here with Black Friday on the local marketing level.  I know you can’t see where “here” is so it’s hard to see where I’ve had it up to but trust me, i’m done with it.

Every business is now trying to get into Black Friday which is understandable.  There is tons and tons of business done on Black Friday so why not get your piece.  There are very few “holidays” soley dedicated to consumerism so it makes sense to take advantage of it if you are a retail business.

The problem is that local businesses, DON’T GET IT!  I’d like to make a comparison.  Just because you get tattooed, buy fancy basketball shorts and wear the best Nike shoes, doesn’t make you a professional basketball player.  It doesn’t even make you an amateur.  It makes you a poser.  You may look the part but you don’t have the goods to back it up.  This is what’s happening on the local level.  Advertisers are spending thousands of dollars to make Black Friday ads in the form of commercials, emails, banners etc etc and they look the part.  It looks like they’re all setup to take advantage of this consumerist extravaganza.  The problem is these companies are posing, or at the very least, they don’t realize WHY the big box retailers are so successful and in not realizing, they FAIL.

Why is it called Black Friday?

Many merchants objected to the use of a negative term to refer to one of the most important shopping days in the year. By the early 1980s, an alternative theory began to be circulated: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss for most of the year (January through November) and made their profit during the holiday season, beginning on the day after Thanksgiving. When this would be recorded in the financial records, once-common accounting practices would use red ink to show negative amounts and black ink to show positive amounts. Black Friday, under this theory, is the beginning of the period when retailers would no longer have losses (the red) and instead take in the year’s profits (the black). The earliest known use, which like the 1961 and 1966 examples above presents the “black ink” theory as one of several competing possibilities, was found by Bonnie Taylor-Blake of the American Dialect Society in the November 28, 1981 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

If the day is the year’s biggest for retailers, why is it called Black Friday? Because it is a day retailers make profits – black ink, said Grace McFeeley of Cherry Hill Mall. “I think it came from the media,” said William Timmons of Strawbridge & Clothier. “It’s the employees, we’re the ones who call it Black Friday,” said Belle Stephens of Moorestown Mall. “We work extra hard. It’s a long hard day for the employees.”

The Christmas shopping season is of enormous importance to American retailers and, while most retailers intend to and actually do make profits during every quarter of the year, some retailers are so dependent on the Christmas shopping season that the quarter including Christmas produces all the year’s profits and compensates for losses from other quarters.

Black Friday kicks off the Holiday Shopping season and hence get’s people to start shopping.  In order to do so retailers have loss leaders to draw people to the stores.  Most of the loss leaders are extremely limited but they are LEGIT deals that people would be thrilled to walk away with.

Back to Local.  What i’m seeing is, a lot of these local retailers, like auto dealers, jumping on the bandwagon.  They are spending on Black Friday advertising but they don’t have any legitimate deals that are any more exciting then any other day of the year.  They’re giving away free stuff if you buy a car (oh and by the way working that into the pricing), they’re opening early (uhh ok) and providing “breakfast.”  What they aren’t doing is advertising anything so spectacular that you’ll want to waste your morning there.  Imagine there was a car dealer who really got it and had a schedule like this for Black Friday:

6:00am – Opening.  First 100 people in the door registered for a Free Car Drawing.
7:00am – Free Car Drawing (Where they actually give away a free car or car lease)
7:05am – It’s announced that If you were entered into the Free Car Drawing and Didn’t Win, You Can Buy Certain Cars On The Lot For Dealer Cost. (Hence liquidating unwanted inventory)
8:00am – Anyone working a deal is entered to win something else free.
10:00pm – One Hour Only Deals – You Must Be There To Hear The Deals Announced
etc etc etc

Make this into an event and make offers that are legitimately great.  People aren’t stupid.  They can see through manufactured sales and ehh offers.  Local has the opportunity to snatch up Black Friday dollars but not if they don’t want to be true professionals and offer deals that truly are fantastic.  I’m sure i’ll hear some competing arguments like well, car dealers don’t do big business in the Holiday Season so they can’t have loss leaders the way retailers do.  OK, well if that’s the case then those businesses shouldn’t take part in this.  You need to look at WHY the holiday has been so successful in other industries and port the concepts over.  Otherwise you’re just mimicking and you are setting yourself up for failure.

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Affiliate Summit East 2013 Day 1 Observations – Homeless Zombie Addition #ASE13

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Ad Networks, Affiliate Marketing, Big Pimpin', Doing Business | Posted on 19-08-2013

If you’ve been reading my ramblings for a while you know how I cover conferences.  There are no long well written posts here.  I prefer to just post my thoughts and observations….granted, my thoughts can be kind of weird.

  • Philadelphia is filled with homeless zombie types wandering all over the place.  More people have asked me for 33 cents then have tried to give me a business card so far.
  • The bigger/more expensive the watch, the smaller the penis (and likely the sooner that persons company is going out of business)
  • A lot of people at Affiliate Summit don’t do affiliate marketing anymore, which there’s nothing wrong with.  A lot of people seem to have moved to more stable areas of internet marketing.
  • There seems to be a marked comeback of nutraceuticals which as just as uncompliant at Acai so expect another crackdown sooner than later.
  • Fake it till you make it is alive and kicking. I was talking to some insiders about affiliate networks.  Some of the affiliate networks you think are doing well, aren’t.  I learned yesterday that one network that you would think kills it every month is doing about $250,000 revenue per month and making about $30,000 and then still having to pay about 8 employees.  I say it all the time but KNOW WHO YOU’RE WORKING WITH & make sure you aren’t extending too much credit to these networks.
  • The parties sucked pretty bad last night exept for Badger Ball which was pretty cool.  If you want a badass party check out Affiliate Ball tonight!
  • I feel bad for newbie affiliates who are trying to make it and live the dream.  It’s going to be a long, hard, ugly road.

That’s all for now.  Talk to ya’ll tommorow.  If you see me today, say hello!

Never Trust Your Clients

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Doing Business, Local Online Advertising | Posted on 07-08-2013

Seriously….whatever they say, just ignore.  Formulate your own data and make decisions based on YOUR data.  I have clients tell me left and right that no one reads the fine print.  They just look at the big number and decide if they are interested or not.  Not true my friends.  Eye tracking technology says differently.

Fine Print

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Last Chance To Sponsor Affiliate Ball East 2013

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Doing Business | Posted on 27-07-2013

Hot Off The Presses: 

The Affiliate Ball maintains a consistent, high standard when it comes to throwing private industry parties during the Affiliate Summit. This party is no exception!  The Affiliate Ball has secured legendary superstar, Busta Rhymes to perform this Summer’s ASE!.

The Affiliate Ball is an experience that connects business with pleasure.  Keeping this in mind, there will be no VIP area for this special show,  however there will be a VIP hour from 9:00 pm until 10:00 pm on August 19th at the Whisper Club with regular doors opening at 10:00 pm.

AdSupply will be sponsoring this VIP networking hour and will be serving the BEST Philly Cheese-Steaks in town, fresh from Tony Lukes (featured recently on the TV show “Man vs Food”). Be sure to ask the sponsors of this party for this special networking pass, which will have about 500 of our industry’s best affiliates and publishers looking to prospect serious business deals. The Affiliate Ball wants to give you a chance for these VIP hour passes by liking them on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Affiliate-Ball/163962430316518 , 20 “lucky likers” will be awarded a pass.

The AFFY Awards will also be back saluting a few industry veteran’s for their outstanding internet achievement. This party is all about turning the spotlight back on the real superstars of our industry.

You can RSVP at http://affiliateball.com/rsvp.html. Passes will be emailed a week before the show or you can stop by the “Affiliate Ball Meet Market” booth to pick them up in person.

The main sponsors of this mega party are SocietyInvite and OasisAds with AdSupply as a Gold level sponsor. Other sponsors include SellHealth, CallPixels and TrustedRevenue.

Only a few sponsorship’s and reserved tables remain. All sponsorship’s include lot’s of VIP hour passes and huge exposure. If you or your company are interested in securing a sponsorship please contact Darren Blatt at info@affiliateball.com or visit http://affiliateball.com today for more information.

AdHustler.com Direction

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Ad Hustler | Posted on 26-07-2013

Wuzzup people?  I apologize for being somewhat quiet lately.  I’ve been busy as hell and uninspired to write.  I know it sucks not hearing me complain and rant as often as I used to but I plan on writing more in the near future.  The direction I’m looking to take the blog is as follows

  • Local, Local, Local: I’m doing A LOT in the local online marketing space.  Particularly results oriented local online marketing.  Think of it like affiliate marketing but just in the local space.
  • Things on my mind.  I think a lot, about business, about companies and about random stuff.  I want to share those thoughts, considering this IS my outlet online.
  • Feuds.  I may start writing more about my feuds with big companies.  If you follow me on Facebook & Twitter, you’ll see that I don’t back down to big companies and If I don’t get what I paid for, I become a thorn in their sides.
  • General Idiocy.  I seem to find every idiot in my day to day business dealings.  Maybe, I’ll start writing about them.
  • Clients.  I have some pretty bizarre client stories.

Just brainstorming here.  If you want to see more of something, mention it in the comments.  Booyahh.

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