Insurance Journal Ad & Marketing

Is That the Message You Were Trying to Send?

By | January 4, 2019

Sometimes the message that you think your prospects are receiving is quite different from the one they are actually receiving. We’ve all heard the popular advertising horror story of the Chevy Nova’s lack of sales in Latin America. Where No Va means doesn’t go. They were literally advertising a car that doesn’t ‘go’. Ha!

But guess what? That story about Chevy Nova not selling in Mexico? It’s not true. Sales figures actually surpassed expectations even in Spanish speaking countries. The legend of the Chevy Nova gets repeated in marketing textbooks over and over again. What we think we know, even as marketers, can certainly be challenged.

Sometimes the marketing error is more nuanced than a strongly held belief that turns out to be bogus. Especially in the BtoB space. A photo that gives a misconception about what a carrier or wholesaler is writing, for example. Or a super cool technology message that missed an opportunity to show the main benefit. We offer our advertisers a chance to check assumptions in an unbiased way each year in with IJ’s ad reader study.

How it works: Ads in the magazine are digitized and our readers are asked questions about the ads which are used to measure recall and readership. Third party research firm Signet Research, Inc. describes the process: “Readers from the publication’s circulation list are invited to participate in this online study. This invitation is sent after they receive the issue to be studied and before receiving the next issue. Participants are connected to a Signet website where they view the ads to be measured.”

The participation level of our audience is incredible. In the 2018 study for instance, 637 agents and brokers took the time to review the issue. Pretty cool!

Who can participate: Any print advertiser of a half page or larger can run in the ad reader study issue. Your next opportunity to participate is in the July 1, 2019 issue, which closes June 14th. So be sure to add that issue in your schedule if you haven’t already.

Many advertisers receive 10+ pages of *verbatim* comments which are incredibly valuable. These are comments that agent readers make as they are looking at the ad on their screen. Ok, some are more valuable than others. In fact, honestly, some are just wacky. But advertisers can see a trend emerge as they read through their individual comments. And the message received becomes clear very quickly.

Those who participate receive insights about the respondents, as well as a list of agents who would like to know more about their services. They also see how they compare to competitors.

Looking for winning ideas? Here are the 2018 winners to draw inspiration from:

Ad Recall Winners 2018

About Julie Tinney

Julie Tinney, Chief Marketing Officer at Wells Media Group, is responsible for leading the company's promotional and branding strategies, sales management, corporate communications and public relations. Her love of the media profession began with a position at Petersen Publishing Co. in Los Angeles. She was the Western Regional Sales Manager for Selling Power Magazine, and also owned an independent media rep firm. Tinney holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Texas at Arlington and is a graduate of the Stanford Publishing Course. She has presented to media and insurance groups including the Western Publications Association, the Texas Surplus Lines Association, the Insurance Agency Association Executives, and was a featured speaker at Folio's MediaNext conference and the Audience Development Magazine webinar series. Tinney is an advertising, marketing and gadget geek, a music and animal lover, and a doting mom. More from Julie Tinney

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