Small business Loans and Working Capital Special Reports

The practical overview in this article will describe some useful small business loan resources which should be evaluated by business owners as part of a systematic process for obtaining working capital financing and commercial loans. To locate any site referred to in this article, commercial borrowers should either contact the author directly or use a leading internet search engine. All of the suggested business finance resources are free and available online.

Small business loans have always been more complicated than realized by most business owners. A prudent approach to working capital financing and commercial loans is becoming more difficult for most commercial borrowers. Recent commercial financing uncertainties involving commercial mortgages and SBA loans have added significantly to the complexity of the entire commercial lending process.

By searching for “commercial mortgages and commercial loans guide”, the first suggested resource will be identified. This site includes candid advice about avoiding problems with commercial real estate loans and small business loans. Also included are some especially relevant articles. A prime example is a special report describing what a commercial borrower can do if a bank declines their commercial mortgage loan application.

A second resource can be located by searching online for “working capital financing special reports” or “commercial loans special reports”. This will provide links to a wide variety of recent articles addressing relevant issues such as difficulties which are likely in refinancing SBA loans. Commercial borrowers should especially benefit from reading about recent adverse developments involving business cash advances and business finance programs.

A third key commercial funding resource can be reached by searching for “business cash advance and working capital guide”. As you might expect, this particular site primarily addresses issues related to working capital strategies. Of special note at this site is a small business cash management executive summary. This summary report includes a list of ten problems to avoid with credit card factoring.

A fourth resource of general interest to small business owners will be found by searching for “working capital help” or “working capital journal”. This includes a discussion of predatory lenders which should be avoided. Also provided is a comprehensive update about the many evolving changes for business finance programs.

A fifth resource which should be helpful to anyone that currently owns or is about to buy commercial property can be found by looking for “real estate investment property loan and business finance guide”. This site will provide a useful perspective about some critical problems to avoid with SBA loans and conventional commercial mortgages. For example, a report at the site discusses how to avoid malpractice with commercial loans.

For additional insights about small business loan reports available through internet sources, we recommend including terms like “avoiding problems” together with other descriptions such as “commercial mortgage loans” and “working capital”. For example, by searching for “avoiding problems with working capital loans”, commercial borrowers should obtain useful insights about difficulties to be avoided in their own business financing efforts.

Some precautions in this approach to business finance research are appropriate. Highlighted below are two of the more important aspects.

First, because of the complicated nature of small business loan underwriting, there is really no substitute for individualized discussions between a commercial borrower and a knowledgeable business finance advisor. Prudent business owners should insist on detailed and personalized interactions with a working capital funding expert before finalizing their commercial loan decisions.

Second, most business finance strategies are highly likely to be more complex than expected by commercial borrowers. Although written sources can identify general commercial loan problems for business owners to anticipate, there will usually be specific complexities that require more detail than can be provided in a generic article.

It is likely that business owners will gain helpful insights about the changes currently featured in the business finance news by devoting some time to reviewing sites through the search phrases noted above. Although it is true that there are new and substantial small business loan problems to be confronted by commercial borrowers, in most cases these will be difficulties that can be successfully overcome with prudent advance preparation.

Should you Carry a Carpet Extractor in your Carpet Cleaning Van?

The carpet cleaning van is the focal point for any mobile cleaning service. It transports the needed equipment to the customer premise so you can perform your carpet cleaning service. What you carry in back of the van needs to match your services so you don’t have to come back another day, inconveniencing both you and your customer. However, the space in the van is limited so you need to think carefully about the equipment requirements for each service offered.

A carpet extractor machine is not a common accessory to most small carpet cleaning businesses. They’re bulky, take up precious room in the van and basically perform the same job as truck mount carpet cleaning equipment. So why carry both?

This goes back to the list of services you provide and your target group of customers. If your business goal is to focus on residential customers only, then carrying a carpet extractor is probably unnecessary. However, if you’d like to perform cleaning services for commercial buildings, then a carpet extractor becomes a ‘must have’ piece of equipment.

Many commercial buildings are ill-suited for truck mount equipment. Security concerns are raised at having the leave a door open to snake your lines and hoses from the van to the area to be cleaned. Also, truck mounts have limited range if you need to clean on multiple floors. Lastly, they can be noisy which makes them inappropriate for hospitals, clinics, care facilities, etc.

Loading a carpet extractor in your van gives you the ability to service multiple different customers in a single day without a return trip to the office. It can open up a whole new group of potential customers from small office buildings to office parks. This is a good way to expand your business with minimal additional investment.

Defining your list or services and target customers can help you can tailor your equipment needs and organize your carpet cleaning van accordingly. A carpet extractor adds flexibility to your service offerings and can help a growing business expand into new areas.

The definition of Advertising Media and Why It’s important

The definition of advertising is as follows: The activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services.

Consumers receive about 5, 000 marketing messages each day, many of them in the form of advertising. Advertising is the most visible form of no personal promotion and the most effective for many firms. One of the most effective advertising is interpersonal networking. The definition of advertising takes on many forms and there are many methods that we will discuss in minimum detail to explain why it is important to any business.

Advertising Media-Marketers must choose how to allocate their advertising budgets among various types of media such as

· Television-Television is still one of Americas leading national advertising media.

· Newspapers-Daily and weekly newspapers continue to dominate local advertising.

· Radio-Despite the proliferation of other media, the average U. S. household owns five radios.

· Magazines-Magazines include consumer publications and business trade journals.

· Direct Mail-The average U. S. household receives about 550 pieces of direct mail each year, including 100 catalogs.

· Outdoor advertising-Outdoor advertising accounts for nearly 7 billion dollars in advertising expenditures.

· Internet Advertising-Marketing experts reported that sales from online advertising have surpassed 20 billion dollars per year and could soon surpass 50 billion.

· Sponsorship-One of the hottest trends in promotion offers marketers the ability to integrate several elements of the promotional mix. Sponsorship involves providing funds for a sporting or cultural event in exchange for a direct association with the event.

As consumers filter out familiar advertising messages, marketers look for novel ways to catch their attention. In addition to the major media, firms promote through many other vehicles such as infomercials and specialized media. Advertisers use just about any medium they can find, as the market is ever-changing and must keep up with the latest techniques. Google is looking for ways to combine the targeting capabilities of internet advertising and the richness of the television medium. Direct advertising with the accountability of the internet, with the emotion of television is the next big trend to stay up with. Advertising expenditures vary among industries, companies, and media.

As you can see, the definition of media advertising has many avenues of approach. It is one of the most effective types of advertising, surpassing sales promotion, trade oriented promotions, games, contests, sweepstakes, and many other techniques. This is where all the money is made and invested, from the small business owner to multi-billion dollar companies.

Why Hiring Carpet cleaning Services Can be an Absolute Minefield


The carpet cleaning services for the most part do an excellent job of keeping your carpets clean and smelling great. It’s a crowded business though, and some businesses just find it hard to keep up. Sometimes, they have to cut corners and otherwise act in ways that aren’t entirely ethical. You need to learn to tell when they aren’t treating you correctly. Keep these pointers in mind the next time you hire a service.

Have you ever seen one of those ads that the carpet cleaning services put out, where they claim that they’ll do three rooms of carpet cleaning for maybe $49. 95? Sometimes, they even claim to do it for less. What exactly happens when an you hire a company out of one of those ads?

Well, you can guess – they send some poorly trained, poorly motivated and often thuggish person around, and he does a very poor job. The kicker is that at the end, he’ll try to charge you $500, and he’ll have all kinds of reasons why that’s completely reasonable. This is what happens when you respond to advertising that is quite obviously false. Hire carpet cleaning services and the right way though, and you’ll end up with a clean carpet that lasts longer; it won’t cost you that much.

The first question that you need to ask is, what kind of reputation the carpet cleaning company has. Some companies simply try to get by on their superlow prices, and you can just tell by the way they advertise that they don’t really take pride in their work. You don’t want to go with them. And then there are the carpet cleaning services that seem to franchise at a breakneck speed and advertise at the top of their lungs. The charge reasonable prices, but you can tell by the high-volume high-pressure way in which they conduct their business that in fact they really don’t have the time to pay attention to quality.

And finally, there are the businesses that seem low-volume and that charge more than the other two kinds of company, but you can tell just by the way they conduct themselves that they are educated in their trade and that they care. This isn’t just something that applies to the carpet cleaning services. In just about every kind of service there is from auto repair to house painting, you can find businesses that fall under these three categories. You will have all kinds of problems going with other two.

What kind of problems will you get? Well, when they charge you 10 times more, they’ll say that the price they advertised was for a certain kind carpet and yours is this new kind that needs their special “dual scrub a deep cleaning system”. The day after they leave, you’ll notice that your carpeting now has a white residue on it that’s un-rinsed soap. Of course, you’re never getting them back to finish the job.

Professional Carpet cleaning Services Can do Wonders For your Carpeting


People love to buy carpets for their homes because using these comfortable and soft fabrics makes them feel secure and protected. However, keeping carpets perfectly clean is not very easy and it does imply more than the usual one week vacuuming.

Professional services

When it comes to the carpets from your home, a professional cleaning service is a very good choice. And the advantages are countless, since everyone is able to feel the fresh and soft carpets barely cleaned. Don’t waste any time and set up a professional cleaning session that will resolve all your dirt concerns.


Many believe that these services make use of chemicals that will damage your carpets, but this is not always true. There are plenty of modern cleaning techniques, like the water extraction, that uses water heated at approximately two hundred degrees (Fahrenheit) to eliminate dirt, dust and different particles that damage your carpet. With the help of the pressurized water, all the impurities loosen and get eliminated through vacuuming. This technique is very safe for animals, people and environment and does not include soap. Taking this into account, you won’t have to fight the nasty residues that otherwise might get in the way of comfort. Not to mention that this kind of extraction will not damage your carpets, regardless of their patterns, fabric and so on. On the contrary, they will appear younger and more colorful.


The professional carpet cleaning systems are also great in reducing the level of allergens. Plenty of allergic factors can invade your home through the window or various other ways. And since the fibers of the carpet absorb everything inside, this problem might become quite serious. Especially when we are talking about children or pets that sit on the carpet! In some cases, vacuuming isn’t a better solution either because it can bring these allergens closer to the surface, causing irritations or allergies. But the professional carpet cleaners will remove every harmful intruder from your carpet, leaving your floors clean and safe for your children to play.

Depreciation and stains

Allergies are not the only thing that carpet owners worry about. Other stuff such as dirt, dust, bugs or other materials can get trapped into your carpets and constantly damage the fiber. In time, these impurities can generate obvious wear, roughness and lose color, determining you to replace it in a short period of time. The same thing can be said about stains. These are visible and can also destroy the fabric in time. Therefor you need a professional cleaning service that will remove the problematic stains or dirt from your carpets.


Among the best advantages brought in by professional carpet cleaning services is the fact that they dry all types of carpets in just one hour. When it comes to the hot water extraction method, the equipment used will eliminate through suction all the water, dirt or dust existent beautifying your carpets. This way they will be left completely clean and soft, prepared to receive the rest of the furniture in the best possible way.

The power of Facebook Advertising


Social media was once considered to be only for teenagers or for those looking for romance and relationships but that has changed dramatically in recent years. Facebook has evolved as one of the most valuable assets to advertisers who are striving to reach a particular niche audience.

Facebook is the largest and most visited social network on the web today is.

Not only is it a popular location for social interactions but also it is becoming a fiercely competitive marketing tool. Many entrepreneurs are beginning to tap into this advantageous method of generating leads and sales for their businesses. Research is showing that the average Facebook user spends just over 6 hours a month on Facebook which is double the amount of time of its closest competitor, Google. Over 50% of these users are perusing Facebook from a mobile device which means that there are more than 543 mobile users searching for goods and services while on-the-go. Every day there are more than 3. 2 billion items that are liked or commented about on Facebook pages and that translates into a very powerful mode of advertising for any business.

Advertising campaigns on Facebook are providing up to a 5 fold return on any investment because of the strategic targeting of the right audience. Consumers are becoming more aware of brands and are recalling what they are seeing more than other online advertising averages. Facebook advertising is the catalyst for more positive conversations about businesses as well. More importantly, the 47% trust rate for advertising on Facebook commands a respect and awareness of this tool that can effectively be used to expand the bottom line.

When considering the most efficient way to invest advertising dollars, you should include Facebook advertising in your plan. You can connect to this exploding power to target new business, to generate high quality leads, and to piggyback additional advertising strategies, like word-of-mouth advertising, to more effectively stretch your advertising monies. An entirely new world of possibilities will be opened up to you with Facebook advertising.

Facebook advertisers are permitted to geo-target an audience by country which allows the advertiser the ability to limit or expand the message of their ad based on settings that are selected. Most of the countries in the world are now Facebook friendly which expands boundaries that once limited the sale of products to smaller areas and locations.

One of the features of advertising with Facebook is the advantage of keyword interest targeting. When a user signs up for Facebook, they create a profile page that is based on their interests, likes, and activities. When you create your ad for Facebook, you have the option of searching and selecting keywords that are of interest to a specific user. This will better target an audience that is already interested in your ad before they even see it. As an example, let’s say that you as an advertiser are trying to reach people who are doing home remodeling projects. When you type in the word home remodeling, a list of keywords will be pulled up for you that are related to the profiles of users who listed home remodeling as one of their interests. You can then choose any of these keywords in your ad to reach those people who have these keywords in their profiles. You are targeting an audience who is interested in your information and who will respond to your ad.

Before you begin your advertising campaign, it’s important to clearly know who you want to target. Customize your Facebook advertising to the target market so that this tool work better for you and your company. Try to vary your approach so you can attract different groups. 20 year olds will view your ad differently than a 40 years old will even if they have the same need for your product. Appeal to your potential client in a positive and attention-getting way. Be clear, concise, and brief.

There are several ways to advertise on Facebook; you can use these cost-effective ways to increase the traffic to your website and generate more business and profits for you. The first way to advertise on Facebook is to create a business profile so you can interact with your list of “fans” whom you will persuade to become clients. You can send out updates, news articles, special offers and promotions, and discount information to the entire list; Facebook affords you the ability to communicate instantly with a list of people who have already indicated that they are interested in your products.

Another way that you can advertise powerfully on Facebook is to buy an ad that is targeted toward a segment of the user base. Each one of these users has an enormous amount of information stored in their profiles. This information can be used to target them based on a selected keyword or filter. Using this method will assure you of reaching potential customers who are most likely to buy your product.

Word-of-mouth advertising has been brought into the digital age with Facebook’s beacon tool. News feeds let users access each other’s personal profiles and postings or comments. Facebook allows businesses the ability to report a user’s actions with the business website and company to the user’s friends. If a Facebook customer buys a product from you or engages in discussion regarding their satisfaction with your company, their interaction with you will be posted in the news feed which will automatically create a referral system for your business. It’s word-of-mouth in cyberspace.

The first thing to consider as you plan your Facebook ad strategy is your goal. Are you going to advertise your product, expand the number of people who like your business page, inform the Facebook community of your business and what you do, or are you simply getting the attention of potential customers. As your goals become clearer, begin to decide on the type of ad you will create; there are three types from which you can choose.

Crafted ads target Facebook users by filtering demographic information such as age, location, and gender. These ads will be featured in the right hand column of Facebook pages. You can create sponsored stories which interact with a Facebook fan’s page with the specific story. The ad will show up in the right hand column once the fan likes your particular post. You can also select promoted posts which are more visible in the posts on friends’ pages and on their contacts’ pages as well. One of the most powerful aspects of Facebook advertising is the customer loyalty that you will build. Create your own business Facebook page that will allow you to directly interact with your clients. This will give a more personal touch to your business and also will allow you to use word-of-mouth advertising that you generate from your Facebook ads to spread the word in a cost-effective way. Client satisfaction, customer service, and buyer protection are all tenets of a marketing strategy that will work nicely for you and your Facebook advertising campaign.

You can offer special promotions, new products, or the latest trends with your product with your Facebook ads to reach clients that are strategically targeted and already interested in your product or service. This will provide up-dated information to your clients and keep them better informed in a time-efficient way. Today’s consumers on are the go with busy schedules and demanding deadlines. These ads will connect with them and solve their issues and concerns in a timely fashion.

Facebook ads are much more flexible than other internet locations. You will be offered additional character length for any ad descriptions that you might have. You can also improve your flexibility with image-based ads that attract the visual buyer. If someone participates in the Facebook community, then they are already proven to be a visually stimulated consumer. Use images and photos of high quality and that convey your message with the power of a thousand words. Your Facebook ads will be more visible to an audience who is there to engage in obtaining information as well as to create it themselves.

With the Facebook site itself generating such a high rate of traffic on a daily basis, your ad has a much better chance of being seen and having a positive effect. It will be seen a multitude of times by a targeted audience who is already comfortable shopping the online arena. Users visit the site many, many times a day and your ad will be there to greet them as they login and begin to participate.

You are also allowed with your Facebook ad to purchase space on a click-based or impression-based fee structure. Using your budget and personal preferences, you can tailor your ad campaign to meet the needs and goals of your business plan.

Because of the targeted nature of Facebook, advertising on Facebook can be affordable for you company. You can reach your targeted audience with your online campaign for a very reasonable price. The selection of packages that you can select is extensive so that you can reach as many users as your budget will allow you to.

The use of smart-phones has skyrocketed in recent years and your ability to reach this high volume of consumers is phenomenal. Access to these devices happens every second of every day and you can tap into this gold mine of prospects. Your ads won’t just be limited to laptop and computer users; you will be expanding your potential client base.

You will be offered a choice between pay-per-click (CPC) or per 1, 000 impressions (CPM). Studying your demographic clicks and responses will be an important first step. Begin by starting a campaign that includes everyone and then, after a set number of impressions, see who clicked on your ad and the responses that you received. After some study and careful insights, you can then rewrite the ad to appeal with that demographic audience in mind. You can then reset your campaign as a CPC method. Finely segment your ad to appeal to different age groups, or sexes, or relationship statuses. With this small touch, you will get more bang for your advertising buck. Continually test and modify your presentation to foster higher results with substantially lower costs.

With Facebook targeting, the natural skew is toward a younger than average audience that is female. Sometimes users mislead others by submitting incorrect data on profile pages. This will cause misrepresentation of data and some of your ads will be seen by users who are not interested by their very nature; you can only get a rough estimate of the people who might see your ad. When initially targeting your ad to an audience, you might begin with 10, 000 people; 50% of them will log into Facebook and see your ad. By choosing this number, you will keep your costs under control and more efficiently modify it before you launch the ad to a larger audience. Carefully select connections of people you know who trust you and your business. This will give you a base circle of community with which to begin your advertising campaigns.

Another important thing to consider when you are creating your advertising strategy is to include additional languages other than English. Inexpensive translators can be hired on some of the work at home web locations to translate your copy for you. Many advertisers neglect this segment of the population and lose many dollars in profit for this lack of attention to detail. You can open up a new section of loyal clients with just a simple effort of reaching them in a language in which they feel comfortable purchasing.

Another powerful tenet of advertising on Facebook is the low risk involved in using this format. You will have full control of your advertising budget and it will be a good testing ground for your ad. You can learn if your message is effective in communicating to a potential buyer who you are, what you are offering, and how they can purchase your product quickly and safely. You are free to modify your message as needed and promote it to a better target. You can ascertain what works best with a particular demographic and how to reach them with your message. Especially if you have a fledgling business, you might want to use the high power, lost cost approach of a Facebook ad.

If you are striving to target your local audience, Facebook ads have been proved to be very effective. You can inform local and regional clients about your business and have the “friend” network assist you as well. Many local communities enjoy supporting local businesses that give back to civic groups and Facebook can get your ads to them quickly and efficiently. When you have a happy, satisfied customer, they can tell the seven people in their social circle and those seven people will tell seven of their closest friends and so the network will distribute the message about you and your product. Testimonials serve to peak the interest of clients ready to buy but who have just one more question. If someone has purchased your product already, they can attest to its quality and your excellent customer service. Facebook is being used in your area by all of the local people who are just waiting to be approached by your ad. The appeal of Facebook extends to everyday people; you don’t have to be a computer genius to take advantage of this advertising power.

By promoting your Facebook business page through the ads you place on Facebook, you are guaranteed that the people you are targeting with your ads already have a Facebook account. You can be assured your ads are reaching the audiences most likely to buy from you and the communication vehicle is at your disposal 24/7.

One of the most powerful reasons of advertising on Facebook is the budget management that is available to you. Thousands of dollars of advertising fees are not required upfront. So, you don’t have to have capital outlay at the onset of your advertising campaign. Your budget can be as low as $1 per day if that is the option that you choose to employ. Budgets can be changed daily or at any time and by any amount that you wish. The measure performance tools available on Facebook advertising allow you to see and test ad rotations and explore which are the most effective tools for you. After you run your first ad, try changing a combination of the ad’s image, description, and title. You will measure the performance rate of your campaigns by viewing the click-through rate which is the percentage of clicks from the number of times it was viewed on Facebook. You will select the ad which shows the highest click-through rate for you.

In a world of social media, advertising can be an excellent way to reach customers. The users of Facebook are very active; they log on daily sometimes multiple times. It provides a way for you to reach customers with whom you might not have otherwise connected. They are going to find your ad on a social media sight more rapidly than they would your own blog or website.

The exposure you receive is a very lucrative benefit to advertising on Facebook. The more customers who are exposed to your product, the higher your profits can become. Facebook does an excellent job of allowing all advertisers a multitude of targeting options that include age, gender, interests, and relationship status. These targeting filters will strategically develop an audience who is primed and ready to buy. This is possibly the most beneficial tool of Facebook advertising.

In addition to an effective list of potential clients, you will have all of the benefits of instant results. In our fast-paced society of today, speed in purchasing is important. A client will spend approximately 90 seconds looking at your ad before moving on to something else. Quality images and representations of your product along with concise and clear descriptions are dynamic tools to capture the attention of the audience and cause the perusing to develop into purchasing. You can attract many new customers in a single day and the profits can rise along with those viewing your ads.

Before you even begin your advertising campaign, you must set your budget and stick to it. There are expensive options for you with Facebook advertising but you will have to operate within your budget to obtain the success you are seeking. Use a common sense approach with your newly acquired technological advertising to promote your company and profits.

In addition, a Facebook ad will provide you with a more personal platform of advertising. Research shows that consumers are more likely to trust your ad especially if they see a link to a Facebook friend. Your ad is placed in the right hand column and is a bit more engaging than an ad they see randomly on a search engine. Even in the world of internet marketing the handshake and confidence in a deal is important to make. By personalizing your Facebook ad, it’s like extending your hand across cyberspace to reach out and seal the deal. This type of business advertisement will foster good business relationships that ensure repeat business.

In effective advertising, everything is a balance. You don’t want to spend a lot of time reworking your ads if they aren’t accurately targeting the audience you need to be targeting. Spend time tracking your progress and your effectiveness but don’t forget to interact and connect with potential and current clients. Follow through with all of your strategies and the components of your plan to generate new customers and increase your profits. A Facebook ad campaign will be an effort that takes time and patience. Keep in mind that Facebook advertising is about developing relationships and connecting with consumers not just selling them a product immediately. This platform of marketing is still developing and using these advertisements effectively will take research, study, and modifications that better hone your ad for consumers to view.

Facebook has become a powerful tool in the advertising world. The expanse of active users coupled with the micro-targeting tools make this method of telling others about your product one that will reap dramatic rewards for your bottom line. You will boost sales and maximize profits at a cost-efficient way for your business. Your business will be given the opportunity to build, improve, and maintain client relationships which is a satisfying aspect of having your own business.

The clients with whom you connect will provide you with feedback, encouragement, and testimonials that can help you reach your goals and dreams as a successful entrepreneur. By using the proper demographic, copy, and image, you will see your Facebook ad come to life. Don’t be afraid to try this new and unique method of advertising. It’s a fun and interesting way to reach an enormous audience with a few simple guidelines that anyone can perform.

Viral Advertising Business Performance


Why use viral advertising strategies in your business marketing efforts.
Using shock therapy to implement an online advertising campaign for your business.
Using viral advertising in your social media marketing and Facebook Fanpages will excel your results much faster.
Don’t shove your advertising message down their throats, let it go viral naturally.
Present unique and creative advertising campaigns to increase traffic and expose new prospects.
Creating a viral epidemic of buyers is your main business goal with your advertising strategy.
Learning to leverage your advertising budget for sustainable momentum.
Establish a success formula that can be repeated in your business viral advertising over and over again.
Add the most important ingredient to your advertising campaigns and that is creativity.
Be prepared to embrace new technology, software and APPS in your marketing strategy.
1. There is nothing more effective in promoting your message as a good viral advertising campaign. Viral advertising is designed to use the power of many and inspire others to promote your message for you. This is simply “word of mouth” advertising, is amazingly effective. A business owner can start a viral advertising campaign with no money invested, and let the online community spread your message like wildfire. You can now save advertising money that you were spending on newspaper ads, flyers, door hangers, and even TV commercials. Viral advertising is estimated to be 500 and even up to 1000 times more effective that a regular ad campaign.

If you can learn how to express an idea with commitment and dedication that has an emotion attached to it, you will get people’s attention. It doesn’t matter if you are a madman or idiot, even bad press gets good press time. You can’t please everyone but you can get an emotional reaction out of most people, when owning a strong opinion and sharing it. Being neutral in your viral advertising will not bring you in the sales. Have something to say that will impact their life, or at least make them react a bit. Don’t worry about whether or not they love you or hate you, just be confident that your product is worth their attention either way and stay committed to gaining their trust.

2. Get your business noticed by shock marketing, state something completely unexpected that will make them stop and read more. Being dramatic and doing something out of the ordinary with your product gets attention. Are you just marketing advertisements, or are you marketing an extraordinary exiting story about your product. If you Ad is interesting and highlights your product in a subtle way, you will keep people’s attention longer, and get closer to bringing them to the “I want” it stage. Viral advertising is 100% about emotions, so take them by surprise and do something totally unexpected.

3. Set up Exciting Viral Content in Parts and then sequels, where the viral advertising message continues.

Ever hear of Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 – once you create Part 1 they start looking for where do i find Part 2 as they want to know the end of the story or the end of the feature comparison prompting them to purchase your product. Make sure you keep their attention once you have it by providing a “Call To Action”. Sell them on the value of why they need your widget, gadget or useful product then introduce an offer they can’t refuse to purchase the product.

The next step is to motivate them to share your awesome and exciting presentation with another associate. This is the meat and potatoes of viral advertising, present information that is so interesting and unique that everyone wants to tell someone else what they read, heard or saw. Set up your “Shock Wave” content so that others can download and then embed it into their own blog or email to others. Upload a short video series on all your advertising “bloopers”, or business bloopers, maybe trying to put together a piece of furniture or equipment and getting it all wrong the first time. Then provide another “Call To Action” using your Facebook Fanpage that they can “Like”, along with the other top social media sharing sites.

4. It is not surprising to hear that many consumers feel jaded when it comes to online shopping. Nobody wants products shoved down their throats through mass advertising methods and using hard sell marketing. If you want to get the consumers attention in this fast paced modern world, you need to be unique and most importantly interesting. Smart consumers are quickly distracted from boring content and they will turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to your viral advertising message.

A proven and trusted method of advertising and marketing that get results is viral advertising, and fortunately for the marketer new software developments can make all the difference. Your personal recommendation is still stronger than any other form of advertising on the planet period! People trust people, and with smart phones using text messaging by the second, and social media sites getting posted on every event of the day, if you have presented your product offer in a way that makes them remember you, you have one half the battle.

5. By fulfilling some unique marketing strategies you remove your business from the mainstream humdrum advertising practices. It’s a known fact that many people feel frustrated with the usual conventional way many businesses sell their products. Don’t let your business fall into this pitiful trap of no return. Step to the plate and be the one who stands out in the crowd, who motivates prospects to burn blisters on their fingers, texting about your great buy of the day.

Business owners are becoming much more conscious of profits and losses due to advertising decisions they have made, and it’s impact on their ROI (return of investment). So the questions comes forth “can we affect people from the inside, from their emotional self and not just from the mind”? So is viral advertising becoming not only the new trend but the must have trend to succeed online. It is our ability to influence the mass public at large that creates successful viral advertising campaigns. Ads that influence the behavior of the viewer in such a ways that they are motivated to share their exciting experience is the purest testament of what viral advertising is all about. If enough of their friends and contact embraces their excitement over what they have been exposed to the viral advertising cycle begins to circulate.

6. Your ultimate goal of course would be to create an viral advertising campaign that causes a behavioral epidemic of buyers. An infectious viral result where everyone wants to be able to say “Yes I Saw That”, or “Yes I heard about that”, or “Yes I watched that”, so that they appear to be in the loop with the latest and newest hot selling protégé. Some marketers prey on the idea of owning a “Secret”, something so special that only a few get access to it. It then becomes an obsession everyone wants to know the secret and will go to any length to get access to it. If you can only offer medium media exposure of your product, then relying on these viral advertising methods becomes essential.

So is your goal to place an advertisement that is seen by 10 who tell one person each, becomes 20 who tell one person becomes 40 and so on. Or do you want real viral advertising success where you place your viral advertisement and get 100 who tell 10, who tell 10 who tell 10. So who is in control here, the business marketing manager of course, the one who decides how the advertising budget is allocated. Is he reserved and old fashioned, or is he brave and uninhibited and adventurous. It is an knows fact that Viral Advertising does in fact work very effectively, and it is the business owners goal to seek out a reliable viral advertising business source.

7. Once your viral advertising campaign has become viralized, it is proof that you have found a suitable target market audience for your product. Once this is identified, you can leverage your viral advertising budget maintaining a perpetual cycle and not a static ad campaign. In order to always be able to identify your most effective viral advertising campaign, it is important to use proven methodologies with specific tracking measures built right in.

8. So does your business have an “Online Viral Advertising Formula”? Is your business aiming high for thousands of hits, a true testament of a successful viral advertising campaign. Marketing consultants know that the more informative your advertising the more persuasive it will be to the consumer. What really makes the consumer decide to purchase your product is based on the content provided in the advertisement more than it’s layout or and whether or not their is something worth sharing, or texting about.

With the ever changing fast moving internet world coming up with a formula for viral advertising is not an easy task. A good rule of thumb is “What motivates you to share a viewed advertisement is different to what motivates you to get out your credit card and finish the purchase.

9. Going back to our conversation about emotions, if you can make someone laugh or gasp or look in disbelief to what they are viewing your chances are the best that they will share that experience with their friends, associates, and followers on social media sites.

The magic of every successful viral advertising campaign begins with a great unique idea. The one main ingredient in all online successful advertising campaigns is creativity in your graphics, your presentation, your keywords and your identified target market. Training business owners though to give each viral advertising campaign they embark on time to mature, time for the seed to sprout, time for the momentum to build and the rewards to pour in from all their hard work and efforts.

10. Don’t be shy to take advantage of the ever fast changing technology world to benefit your business advertising efforts. Finding a great viral advertising business can be a real game changer for your online advertising results. Most importantly look for a viral advertising business that is free to join, and that uses state of the art software designed to drive your business into the next galaxy.

Viral advertising will always win in the end simply due to the abundant measure of viewing numbers. A strong viral advertising strategy will encourage individuals to share an article, a podcast, a video or simply an online advertisement, resulting in exponential exposure by it’s massive influence.

The rippling effects of one single viral advertising message can literally reach hundreds and even thousands of readers in a few short hours. You can quickly enhance your viral advertising success by offering a free give away product. This “FREE” product can be a small physical product that can be mailed out, or it can be a digital product that is delivered instantly online.

It is a well known fact that “FREE” if the most powerful word a marketer can use in any viral advertising campaign. Often the business owner experiences what can be called delayed gratification when using the “FREE” power word in their viral advertising campaign. Add the common expression “OTO” or One time Offer” that almost always follows a free give-a-way, and you have a winning combination. First you got their attention, and then you offer them something of such great value, they can’t afford to say “NO” and purchase it while it is so cheaply priced.

Always keep in mind that the whole purpose of engaging in viral advertising methods is to spread an idea, and that idea while it is spreading throughout the internet, actually helps market your niche business or product and is attached to your website.

Have you noticed how business owners have become obsessed with Free exposure in any arena? Too many times marketing campaigns have been thrown together much too fast and may get attention but your product or company does not.


Peoples attention are so fragile, try designing your viral advertising campaign with a strong viral element built right into it. Getting your media to go viral is not the hardest part of your marketing strategy, the most challenging part is getting your media to produce tangible results that show up in your bank account.

Why Small businesses Must Advertise Or perhaps Die!

word cloud - advertising

There is an ageless axiom in advertising that states when business is good it pays to advertise, but when business is bad, well then one must advertise!

There is certainly no arguing that spreading the word about your business, products, or services is necessary no matter how great a value or benefit your products and services have to offer.

Let’s say for example that you had the cure for the common cold. No doubt virtually everyone would be interested in your product. However if no one knows about your product or knows where to get it, then most likely no one will find it. In other words, the quality or the benefit of the product is not enough to make the product a success. The marketplace has to know what the product can do and, maybe more importantly, where to get it.

Simply that’s what advertising does. Today consumers are bombarded with messages every minute. The challenge is to make sure your potential customers remember your message.

For generations throughout most of the 19thand 20thcenturies, there was little need for small business owners to advertise much. Word of mouth, a solid reputation, and an established customer base usually were enough to maintain a sufficient revenue stream that generated some profit. Small business owners knew most of their customers well enough, personally or professionally, to maintain their business. Competition was present, but often not intense enough to cause too much concern. Usually there was room enough in the market for everyone to make a living.

Advertising – if it was done at all – was mostly done around special events or time of year. Small business owners did the traditional and necessary stuff. They relied on newspaper ads, radio, signs, and maybe television.

Some of the advertising was effective, but for the most part advertising was not necessary for survival. Of course there were exceptions then and there are exceptions now.

Certain businesses have always had to advertise regularly. These include vehicle dealerships and retail stores particularly. But for the most part, most small businesses – and particularly B2B (business-to-business) enterprises didn’t advertise much at all aside from the occasional ad in the trade journal. The latter was usually perceived as mandatory or obligatory. It may not have been much of a sales generator.

Things began to change in the decade of the 1990’s when the world began to shrink thanks mostly to great advances in electronics and communications. The Internet and the world wide web brought us all closer to things far, far away. The changes were gradual at first, but momentum has increased steadily and continues today. Frankly, there will be no stopping it any time soon.

Direct-to-consumer small businesses have responded well. The market expanded well beyond the neighborhood for them thanks to E-commerce. Shopping on line has become routine for millions of consumers. The smallest of businesses can ship its product to almost anywhere in the world.

The small B2B enterprises have not responded as well as their direct-to-consumer counterparts. Competition for the B2B enterprise has increased from outside the traditional market and from outside the country. It is a global economy, not just a neighborhood anymore. What was automatic is no longer automatic. Long established customers are courted from afar by new competitors. Established business contacts are no longer present. Buyers and decision-makers are far away, not down the street or across town as they once were. The company headquarters down in Dallas is calling the shots for the Wisconsin location. The contractor from Phoenix is looking for a masonry contractor in Ohio. That’s the way of B2B commerce today.

To survive in the new world economy, both the small direct-to-consumer business and the small B2B business must now do something that hasn’t been done very often or very well for generations. The small business owner must now advertise effectively. Advertising effectively is not just advertising more of the same, but advertising by using methods outside of, instead of, or in addition to the old traditional ways.

Patience is not a typical trait of entrepreneurs and small business owners. The lack of patience on their part is particularly true when it comes to advertising. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners have tried one form or another of the established forms of advertising including newspaper and journal print ads (display advertising), radio or television (media advertising) or direct marketing at least one time.

Consequently, there are many small business owners that will swear that advertising is a waste of money.

Advertising specialists and Marketing experts measure everything. Nothing is left to chance or luck. These specialists and experts know that repetition is essential to any effective advertising program. While it is possible to get lucky the first time, almost always advertising will take time and repetition to be effective.

Signs are a perfect illustration. Advertising professionals know that signs have a very high percent of Recall. Billboards, yard signs, and vehicle signage can have as high as a 96% Recall factor. In other words, people remember the message or important information that the sign provides.

Recall is not Recognition however. A person will drive by an outdoor billboard 20-22 times on average before noticing it. We know this because marketing experts have measured the traffic.

What does this mean for the business owner? There are 21. 75 work days per month for the average worker. Large outdoor signage contracts are monthly, but the basic outdoor package is ninety days or more. In other words, advertising experts conclude that there is a statistical probability that the population of drive-by traffic will view and recall an outdoor sign at least once in a business month or at least three times during the three month period of a basic contract. How many people drive by? That depends on the location of course, but the sign company will know how many will pass and the particular demographics of the passerby at various times of the day. Once again, the demographics are measured.

Similar or identical measuring principles apply to all other ad media. Since advertising stimulates people to call or to visit the place of business and advertising encourages the visitors to become customers who purchase products, then it is understandable why frequency and repetition are keys to advertising success.

Speaking of other media, the advertising efforts of any business cannot rely on one method or media. Using one method of advertising is rarely successful. The company’s advertising effort must be a combined and coordinated program with a singular purpose and message. Seeking the advice of advertising or marketing professionals before launching an advertising program is highly recommended and very beneficial.

Furthermore, advertising must be viewed as an investment aimed to generate new customers and new opportunities. In other words, advertising should increase or otherwise benefit sales revenue. How will the small business owner know it is working? You guessed it. The business owner will measure the results and compare the revenue to the investment. How much a business owner spends on advertising depends on the nature of the business and the return on the investment expected or sought.

Advertising can be expensive, but I have identified in the following paragraphs some inexpensive and effective advertising methods that will stimulate product awareness and that will generate the desired results for both direct-to-customer and B2B businesses.

Web site: An effective, commercial web site is essential for any small business in our present economy. Searching the web for information is now the method of choice for not only direct customers, but also business-to-business customers.

Signage: Whether a permanent or portable outdoor sign, yard or street corner signs, vehicle signs, or company uniforms or clothing, signs are very effective. Every piece of moving equipment and every employee is a potential moving sign. An employee in a uniform becomes a walking billboard.

Direct Marketing: Direct marketing whether by mail, email, fax, flyers, canvassing, personal delivery, or other methods remain as solid advertising choices with good return on investment. Frequent and repetitive contacts with targeted customers or market segments are essential however. Once is just not enough!

Cable tv Advertising: Cable tv advertising is the fastest growing medium in advertising today. It is a great way to reach consumers directly so this medium is better suited for the direct-to-customer business, but there are exceptions. Unlike advertising on the local stations of the major Television networks, the cable television providers offer very diverse and highly targeted advertising packages to the local markets at very affordable prices. Often cable providers will produce the commercial for a small fee or include the cost in the advertising package. If Cable tv advertising is a viable advertising option, it is without a doubt the best value and the best return on investment in the market today.

Print Collateral: Color printing is no longer the expensive venture it was in the past. The days of printing 10, 000 copies of a brochure to assure a low price per piece are gone. Thanks to direct-to-press digital printing and on-demand printing, the cost to produce a small quantity of company brochures or flyers is reasonable. Additionally, thanks to the ease of editing digital and small quantity printing, revisions or updates are easily applied to keep the collateral piece current. Additionally, thanks to computer hardware and software technological improvements, and affordable, high quality printers, brochures can be produced internally. The business owner must weigh the possible savings compared to the message that a less than professionally prepared collateral piece conveys. Like all other advertising, printed material conveys not only the message, but also conveys the quality image of the company. If your message is printed on a low quality printer using economical printer paper, then that is likely the message you send to your would-be customer. On the other hand, if your message is printed on a higher quality paper stock at the highest quality setting, then the message you send will be quite different. The brochure or print collateral must have the feel of quality.

Before you Advertise Know the facts! Offline Advertising Vs Online advertising


What forms of advertising are available to you in Cookeville? Should you advertise your local business Offline or Online? You can better decide that once you understand the buying process a person goes through before spending money on a service or a product. It could take days, even years for a person to go through this process.

Understanding this journey will assist you in determining what advertising methods would work best in spreading your message. We will be discussing reach and estimated cost between traditional offline advertising and Online Pay-Per-Click Advertising.

Typical Consumer Buying Process:

Most all consumers have the same pre-defined actions before buying Anything! Listed below are the purchasing steps people like you and I unknowingly use.

Potential customers become aware that they have a need, want or problem
They gather information about the product, service or solution that could possibly fix their problem
They ask their friends opinions, read customer reviews & consumer reports, watch videos and the list of fact-finding research methods goes on
Only then, when people have gathered this information, do they feel comfortable enough to make a buying decision. The information gathering phase accounts for roughly 95% of a client’s buying process. This leaves only 5% of customers ready to buy at any given time.

What does this have to do with advertising in Cookeville?

Simply put, the buying process is common to all potential customers. When you advertise your business in Cookeville or your Cookeville business to potential clients in Nashville or Knoxville, you must understand who your message will reach and when. Telling the world about your business is only effective if it produces a return on investment, Right? In order to produce result oriented advertising you must inform shoppers and provide buyers with exactly what they are looking for, giving them incentive to buy.

Offline Advertising

Advertisers in Cookeville can choose Offline Advertising in the forms of radio, TV, newspapers or other publications and billboards. Average monthly cost for these services when opting in for minimum exposure can cost you an estimated $20-$35 a day. That translates into an average of $825mo or $9900 a year.

These forms of advertising can take your message into Cookeville alone or to people all around the Upper Cumberland area. Constant exposure can brand your business by “keeping your name out there” in the community to shoppers and attract potential buyers along the way.

How it Works

Essentially it comes down to exposing a message or multiple messages to the people who read a particular paper or publication, use a common street, listen to the radio or watch TV in a predefined area or location. The goal here is to advertise to the majority and hope you catch some buyers along the way. In theory you are only advertising to 5% of the population for direct response.

Now, I understand, you are advertising to everyone in your chosen area, but only five percent of the given population will be ready to buy today. It is important that you position your ads in order to market to the all the potential customers that may come in contact with your advertising.

It is best to provide an informational message that speaks directly to the 95% of people who are gathering information about the products or services you offer. You will also want to provide your viewers or listeners an alternative message driven towards direct sales in order to support the cost of your advertising. This increases your exposure, branding your business by informing shoppers and giving buyers what they are looking for with good reason to complete their buying process.

If you are a small business trying to grow, you will most likely want to keep your message focused towards the 5% of the people on the verge of buying. Dealing with smaller budgets requires you to increase you odds for making sales and money immediately from your advertising. Although it will cost more than the estimate above, it is always a good idea to multiply these messages on different advertising platforms, including online advertising for maximum results.

As with most advertising, the more you spend, the more people your message is exposed to, the more your chances increase for making sales along the way.

Online Advertising

Advertisers in Cookeville who choose Online advertising can advertise on major Search engines, Social Media sites and on literally hundreds of thousands of websites relevant to your business. Average monthly cost for professionally managed online advertising when opting in for minimum exposure will cost you an estimated $16 a day or $492mo or $5899 a year.

Don’t have a website? You don’t need one! Unless you intend to build your online presence for sales and branding together, then you will need a professional website. A fully customized, search engine optimized website will run you an estimated $1000. This is the real deal. Add that to the total cost and you are looking at $19 a day or $575mo or $6899 a year.

Online advertising does exactly the same thing as above, plus so much more. You can take your message to Cookeville alone or to people all around the Upper Cumberland area. Online advertising also gives you the ability to advertise your business to multiple cities of choice or entire states across the US. You can even take your business advertising global if you so desire. That’s not all, you can also add multiple ads or advertising messages whenever you want and target your customers with keyword terms so the right message is reaching the appropriate clients.

How it Works

Online advertising is most commonly implemented through one of many pay-per-click (PPC) programs. These programs are offered by the worlds largest search engines or websites. Google by far being the leader, Bing, Yahoo and Facebook are a few you can probably relate too. With the one time account setup, you essentially tell the PPC provider who, when, where and what.

For example: Let’s say you own a lawn equipment business and you sell weedeaters, lawn mowers and leaf blowers. With pay-per-click you target customers by using targeted keyword searches producing as many ads as needed to get your message(s) out to the right people.

You start by building one ad for lawn mowers that will target anybody searching online for the key terms – JD ZX9 Super Model, zero turn lawn mowers and lawnmower shops near Cookeville. By doing this you target the 5% of buyers who are looking to buy a commercial lawn mower close to Cookeville. Next you place another ad about lawn mowers but this time you target customers looking for service. So your ad reads, “Get Your Lawn Mower Ready for Spring – Blade Sharpening to Full Service – Call Now for more information. ” You set it up so only people searching for the key terms – Lawn mower service, lawn mower blade sharpening and lawn equipment service see it. This ensures your getting the right message to the right people 24 hours a day seven days a week.

The cycle can go on and on to target weedeaters and leaf blowers as well. Before running these ads in what we call ‘Traffic’ you also tell your PPC provider to do a few other things as well. Things like only spend $250 a month or $8. 30 a day, only show my ads to people searching for these exact terms and only show my ads to people within a ten mile radius of Cookeville, Crossville and Smithville. You have complete control over your advertising.

Drill down further and place ads like “Bob’s Lawn Shop – Lawn Mowers, Leaf Blowers & Weedeaters – 10% off Service During May” and place these ads on many other relevant websites. For instance, I send you an email asking you if you know of a place that sharpens lawn mower blades. You reply with a no, but because the conversation is relevant, your ad is showing on the side of the page and catches my attention. Or, perhaps, your target customer is looking on Lowe’s website at zero turn mowers and he spots your ad (like a billboard) on the side of the page and clicks through to your website. You could even set it up where they simply click the ad to call your business immediately from there mobile phone because you provide what they need today, locally. This is a great way to catch shoppers nearing their final buying decision through mass marketing. Keep in mind, there are no additional cost.

The biggest difference with online advertising is you only pay when someone visits your website “Internet Store Front” or takes action from your advertisement. By targeting pre-qualified customers where they live (home, work, cell phone) at exactly the time they are looking for your businesses service, product, location or solution, you increase your chances of return on investment. This takes the “Throw it against the wall and see if it sticks” aspect out as well because you choose who sees your ad, when they see it and what information they get when they take action. The best part is you can collect data by tracking conversions and begin to filter out what doesn’t work and build upon the target markets that are producing revenue for your business.

With 91 million searches a day on Google alone, people are looking for your business by way of the internet. When is the last time you cut out a newspaper ad, pulled over to write down a number or hunted up a phone book?

Advertising Comparison

-Offline Advertising


Reaches local customers with option of running multiple messages
Targets customers throughout the buying process
Brands your business image in your selected viewing area

Short ad exposure times
Unable to target any deeper than location or interests
No precise way to track results or effectiveness
Estimated Cost: $825 a month

-Online Advertising


Only pay when someone acts upon your advertising message
Target pre-qualified customers with specific ads for sales and branding anywhere in the world
Capability of tracking data, optimizing to eliminate non productive advertising thereby producing increased results over time
Ability to pause, change or adjust your advertising any time day or night without any contracts

A professional website is crucial for long term advertisers
Complex. Needs professional management for best results
Setup takes 2-3 weeks
Estimated Cost: $575 a month

Advertisers from the Middle Tennessee area have some very good choices for advertising there local business to the people of Cookeville. You know your business and hopefully this information will give you better insight on not only how you can advertise your business but also what cost will typically be involved.

Feel free to research this subject more at your own leisure. You can find information through the internet from advertisers websites, additional articles and even forums/blogs describing peoples own unique experience with offline and online advertising.

Advertising – Precious Information Or Vicious Manipulation?


Is advertising the ultimate means to inform and help us in our everyday decision-making or is it just an excessively powerful form of mass deception used by companies to persuade their prospects and customers to buy products and services they do not need? Consumers in the global village are exposed to increasing number of advertisement messages and spending for advertisements is increasing accordingly.

It will not be exaggerated if we conclude that we are ‘soaked in this cultural rain of marketing communications’ through TV, press, cinema, Internet, etc. (Hackley and Kitchen, 1999). But if thirty years ago the marketing communication tools were used mainly as a product-centered tactical means, now the promotional mix, and in particular the advertising is focused on signs and semiotics. Some argue that the marketers’ efforts eventually are “turning the economy into symbol so that it means something to the consumer” (Williamson, cited in Anonymous, Marketing Communications, 2006: 569). One critical consequence is that many of the contemporary advertisements “are selling us ourselves” (ibid. )#)

The abovementioned process is influenced by the commoditisation of products and blurring of consumer’s own perceptions of the companies’ offering. In order to differentiate and position their products and/or services today’s businesses employ advertising which is sometimes considered not only of bad taste, but also as deliberately intrusive and manipulative. The issue of bad advertising is topical to such extent that organisations like Adbusters have embraced the tactics of subvertising – revealing the real intend behind the modern advertising. The Adbusters magazine editor-in-chief Kalle Lason commented on the corporate image building communication activities of the big companies: “We know that oil companies aren’t really friendly to nature, and tobacco companies don’t really care about ethics” (Arnold, 2001). On the other hand, the “ethics and social responsibility are important determinants of such long-term gains as survival, long-term profitability, and competitiveness of the organization” (Singhapakdi, 1999). Without communications strategy that revolves around ethics and social responsibility the concepts of total quality and customer relationships building become elusive. However, there could be no easy clear-cut ethics formula of marketing communications.


In order to get insights into the consumer perception about the role of advertising we have reviewed a number of articles and conducted four in-depth interviews. A number of research papers reach opposed conclusions. These vary from the ones stating that “the ethicality of a firm’s behavior is an important consideration during the purchase decision” and that consumers “will reward ethical behavior by a willingness to pay higher prices for that firm’s product” (Creyer and Ross Jr., 1997) to others stressing that “although consumers may express a desire to support ethical companies, and punish unethical companies, their actual purchase behaviour often remains unaffected by ethical concerns” and that “price, quality and value outweigh ethical criteria in consumer purchase behaviour” (Carrigan and Attalla, 2001). Focusing on the advertising as the most prominent marketing communication tool we have constructed and conducted an interview consisting of four themes and nine questions. The conceptual frame of this paper is built on these four themes.

THEME I. The Ethics in Advertising

The first theme comprises two introductory questions about the ethics in advertising in general.

I. A. How would you define the ethics in advertising?

The term ethics in business involves “morality, organisational ethics and professional deontology” (Isaac, cited in Bergadaa’, 2007). Every industry has its own guidelines for the ethical requirements. However, the principal four requirements for marketing communications are to be legal, decent, honest and truthful. Unfortunately, in a society where the course of action of the companies is determined by profit targets the use of marketing communications messages “may constitute a form of social pollution through the potentially damaging and unintended effects it may have on consumer decision making” (Hackley and Kitchen, 1999).

One of the interviewed respondents stated that “the most successful companies do no need ethics in their activities because they have built empires. ” Another view is that “sooner or later whoever is not ethical will face the negative consequences. ”

I. B. What is your perception of the importance of ethics in advertising?

The second question is about the importance of being moral when communicating with/to your target audiences and the way consumers/customers view it. In different research papers we have found quite opposing conclusions. Ethics of business seems to be evaluated either as very important in the decision making process or as not really a serious factor in this process. An example of rather extreme stance is that “disaster awaits any brand that acts cynically” (Odell, 2007).

It may seem obvious that the responsibility should be carried by the advertiser because “his is the key responsibility in keeping advertising clean and decent” (Bernstein, 1951). On the other hand the companies’ actions are defined by the “the canons of social responsibility and good taste” (ibid. )#). One of the interviewees said:

“The only responsible for giving decent advertising is the one who profits at the end. Company’s profits should not be at the expense of society. ”

Another one stated that “our culture and the level of societal awareness determine the good and bad in advertising”.

The increased importance of marketing communications ethics is underscored by the need of applying more dialogical, two-way communications approaches. The “demassification technologies have the potential to facilitate dialogue”, but the “monologic” attitude is still the predominant one (Botan, 1997). Arnold (2001) points out the cases of Monsanto and Esso which had to pay “a price for its [theirs] one-way communications strategy”. In this train of thought we may review ethics in advertisements from two different perspectives as suggested by our respondents and different points of view in the reviewed papers. The first one is that it is imperative to have one common code of ethics imposed by the law. The other affirms the independence and responsibility of every industry for setting its own standards.

THEME II. Which type of regulation should be the leading one in the field of advertising?

The next theme directs the attention towards the regulation system which should be the primary one. Widely accepted opinion is that both self regulation and legal controls should work in synergy. In other words the codes of practice are meant to complement the laws. However, in certain countries there are stronger legal controls over the advertising, e. g. in Scandinavia. On the other hand the industry’s self regulation is preferred in the Anglo-Saxon world. Still, not everyone agrees with the laissez-faire concept.

One of our respondents said:

“I believe governments should impose stricter legal frame and harsher punishment for companies which do not comply with the law. ”

Needless to say, the social acceptability varies from one culture/country to another. At the end of the day “good taste or bad is largely a matter of the time, the place, and the individual” (Bernstein, 1951). It would be also probably impossible to set clear-cut detailed rules in the era of Internet and interactive TV. Therefore, both types of regulation should be applied with the ultimate aim of reaching balance between the sacred right of freedom of choice and information and minimizing possible widespread offence. Put differently, the goal is synchronising the “different ethical frameworks” of marketers and “others in society” in order to fill the “ethics gap” (Hunt and Vitell, 2006).

THEME III. Content of Advertisements.

Probably the most controversial issue in the field of marketing communications is the content of advertisements. Nwachukwu et al. (1997) distinguish three areas of interest in terms of ethical judgment of ads: “individual autonomy, consumer sovereignty, and the nature of the product”. The individual autonomy is concerned with advertising to children. Consumer sovereignty deals with the level of knowledge and sophistication of the target audience whereas the ads for harmful products are in the centre of public opinion for a long time. We have added two more perspectives to arrive at five questions in the conducted interviews. The first one concerns the advertisement that imply sense of guilt and praise affluence that in the most cases cannot be achieved and the second one is about advertisements stimulating desire and satisfaction through acquisition of material goods.

III. A. What is your attitude towards the advertisement of harmful products?

A typical example is the advertisement of cigarettes. Nowadays we cannot see slogans like “Camel Agrees with Your Throat” (Chickenhead, accessed 25th September 2007) or “Chesterfield – Packs More Pleasure – Because It’s More Perfectly Packed! ” (Chickenhead, accessed 25th September 2007). The general advertisement, sponsorship and other marketing communications means are already prohibited to be used by cigarette producers. Surprisingly, most of the answers of the respondents were not against the cigarettes advertisement. One of the respondents said:

“People are well informed about the consequences of smoking so it is a matter of personal choice. ”

As with many other contemporary products the shift in communications messages for cigarettes is oriented towards symbol and image building. The same can be said for the alcohol ads. A well-known example of emotional advertising is the Absolut Vodka campaign. From Absolut Nectar, through Absolut Fantasy to Absolut World the Swedish drink actually aims to be Absolut… Everything.

Advertising of hazardous products is even more harshly criticised when it is aimed at audiences with low individual autonomy, i. e. children. Two main issues in this respect are the manipulation of cigarettes and alcohol as “the rite of passage into adulthood” and the fact that “sales of health-hazardous products (alcohol, cigarettes) develop freely without much disapproval” (Bergadaa, 2007).

III. B. What is your attitude towards the advertisement to children?

Children are not only customers, but also consumers, influencers and users in the family Decision-Making Unit (DMU). Additional difficulty is that they are too impressionable to be deciders in the DMU. At the same time it is not a secret that marketers apply “the same basic strategy of trying to sell the parent through the child’s insistence on the purchase” (Bernstein, 1951). It is not a surprise then that “spending on advertising for children has increased five-fold in the last ten years and two thirds of commercials during child television programs are for food products” (Bergadaa 2007). In the us alone children represent a direct purchases market of $24 billion worth (McNeal cited in Bergadaa, 2007) which certainly is on the top of the agendas of many companies. While exploiting children’s decision-making immaturity advertisers often go too far in dematerialising their products and “teleporting children out of the tangible and into the virtual world of brand names” (Bergadaa 2007). Teenage virtual worlds like Habbo where snack food brands run advertising campaigns are already a fact of life (Goldie, 2007). The imaginative worlds are popular not only online. Hugely successful for creating a fantasy world is Mc Donald’s. The company tops the European list of kids’ advertisers while more than half of the children’s adverts are for junk food.

In some countries there are harsher restrictions to the children advertising.

• “Sweden and Norway do not permit any television advertising to be directed towards children under 12 and no adverts at all are allowed during children’s programmes.
• Australia does not allow advertisements during programmes for pre-school children.
• Austria does not permit advertising during children’s programmes, and in the Flemish region of Belgium no advertising is permitted 5 minutes before or after programmes for children.
• Sponsorship of children’s programmes is not permitted in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden while in Germany and the Netherlands, although it is allowed, it is not used in practice. ” (McSpotlight, accessed 20th September 2007).

According to a research by Roberts and Pettigrew (2007) the most frequent themes in children advertising are “grazing, the denigration of core foods, exaggerated health claims, and the implied ability of certain foods to enhance popularity, performance and mood. ” But the junk food is not the only reason for parents’ preoccupation. According to a study of Kaiser Family Foundation (Dolliver, 2007) parents are concerned about the amount of advertising of the following products (in order of importance): toys, video games, clothing, alcohol/beer, movies, etc.

The interviewed respondents were unanimous: “The advertising to children should be strictly monitored. ” Similar results were obtained in surveys by Rasmussen Reports and Kaiser Family Foundation. Nevertheless, the legal means are just one part of the children’s protection. The other part involves “the decision-making responsibility of parents and teachers” which is “to assist their children in developing a skeptical attitude to the information in advertising” (Bergadaa 2007). The marketers themselves should also be involved in shaping the moral system of our future and “each brand should have its own deontology – a code of practice regarding children – rather than rely on industry codes” (Horgan, 2007).

III. C. Do you think there are many misleading, exaggerating and confusing advertisements. Are many ads promising things that are not possible to achieve?

It will not be exaggerated to state that advertising is in a sense “salesmanship addressed to masses of potential buyers rather than to one buyer at a time” (Bernstein, 1951). Since “salesmanship itself is persuasion” (ibid. )#) we cannot merely blame advertisers for pursuing their sales goals. However, in the last twenty years or so advertisers have increasingly applied semiotics in their messages and as a consequence ads have begun to function more and more as symbols. One extreme case in this stream of advertising is the creation of idealised image of a person who uses the advertised product. Bishop (2000) draws our attention to two “typical representatives of self-identity image ads” which entice consumers to project the respective images to themselves through use of the products:

– “The Beautiful Woman”;
– “The Sexy Teenagers.

Through setting of such stereotypes advertisers not only mislead the public and exaggerate the effects of products but also provoke low self-esteem in consumers. At the same time they promise results that in most cases are simply impossible to achieve. Instead of promoting “‘glamorous’ anorexic body images” communication messages should use “varied body types” and should drop the idea of the “impossible physical body images” (Bishop, 2000).

To question III. C one of the respondents commented:

“The customers of these products [the ones advertised through thin models] are mostly people who do not have the same physical characteristic. For me, this type of advertising is deliberately aimed at people to make them feel not complete, far from attractive social outsiders. ”

However, another interviewed stated that: “every person has his own way of evaluating what is believable and what is misleading. Consumers are enough sophisticated to know what is exaggerated. ”

Similarly, Bishop (2000) concludes that “image ads are not false or misleading”, and “whether or not they advocate false values is a matter for subjective reflection. ” The author argues that image ads do not interfere with our internal autonomy and if people are misled, it is because they want it. It is all about our free choice of behaviour and no advertisement can modify our desires. Perhaps, the truth lies somewhere in-between the two extreme positions.

III. D. What is your attitude towards advertisement that imply sense of guilt, and praise affluence that in the most cases cannot be achieved?

A more specific case of controversial advertising is the one used to “promote not so much self indulgence as self doubt”; the one that “seeks to create needs, not to fulfill them: to generate new anxieties instead of allaying old ones” (Hackley and Kitchen, 1999). A response of our interviewee reads:

“It is not only a matter of advertising. It has to do with the social inequality and the desire to possess what you can not. ”

Hackley and Kitchen (1999) refer to this discrepancy as to “when reality does not match the image of affluence and the result is a subjective feeling of dissonance”. The issue could be elaborated further through the next question.

III. E. Are advertisements stimulating desire and satisfaction through acquisition of material goods moral?

We live in a society which is more or less marked by materialism. Advertisements are often blamed to fuel consumption which is allegedly leading to happiness. The role of promoting satisfaction through acquisition of material goods has become so important that currently the “media products are characterised by relativism, irony, self referentiality and hedonism” (Hackley and Kitchen, 1999). Is the popular saying “those who die with most toys win” really a motivator in consumers’ behavior and could consumption be the cure of emotional dissonance? This seems to be the case provided a brand succeeds to enter in the evoked set of consumer choices. This new “kind of materialism” goes hand in hand with “the emergence of individualism via sheer hedonism along with narcissism and selfishness” (Bergadaa 2007).

THEME IV. Is the quantity of advertisements justified?

IV. A. Do you think there is too much advertising?

An audit of food advertising aimed at children in Australia by Roberts and Pettigrew (2007) revealed that “28. 5 hours of children’s television programming sampled contained 950 advertisements. ” Actually, we all are being bombarded by ads on TV, Internet, print media, etc. The amount and content of marketing communications messages puts the consumer’s information processing capacity to a test. The exposure to marketing data overload often leads to diluted consumer’s selective perception. Whether our responses are circumscribed by “confusion, existential despair, and loss of moral identity” or we “adapt constructively to the [communications] Leviathan and become intelligent, cynical, streetwise” (Hackley and Kitchen, 1999) is a question open to debate.

Two opposite streams of attitudes were produced in our research. One stance is concerned with the undue quantity of advertisement. The other stream proclaims that “If there is an advertisement, so it is justified by a need. ” We agree that the communications overload may indeed have “pervasive effect on the social ecology of the developed world” (Hackley and Kitchen, 1999). If the increasing communication pollution is not managed properly by both legal and industry points of view yet again the advertising will manage “to hoist its foot to its own mouth and kick out a couple of its own front teeth” (Bernstein, 1951).


In preparation of this paper we have used qualitative depth interviews in order to get insights for what actual customers opine. We have also substantiated our presentation with references to a number of influential articles in the field of ethics in marketing communications. Generally, our respondents as well as various authors have taken two opposing stances. The first one affirms that ethics in marketing communications matters considerably, whereas the other one downsizes the importance of ethics, thereby stressing the role of other factors in consumer decision-making, i. e. price, brand loyalty, convenience, etc.

Marketers should understand their “responsibility for the emerging portrait of future society” (Bergadaa 2007). Not only there is a need of legal ethical frame but also professional ethical benchmarks and deontology should be in place. One of the main challenges is to avoid creating “a happy customer in the short term”, because “in the long run both consumer and society may suffer as a direct result of the marketer’s actions in ‘satisfying’ the consumer” (Carrigan and Attalla, 2001).

The strength of the advertisement influence exerted on consumers is only one part of the equation. On the other hand we may affirm that consumers are not morally subservient and according to the information process models there is a natural cognitive defense. The communications tools “offer us a theatre of our own imagination” (Hackley and Kitchen, 1999). Consequently, we accept the reality in terms of our own experiences. In this sense marketers do not create reality – they are simply a mirror of the society. We may argue that unfortunately this is not always the case.