- Comments: 3
- Written on: September 20th, 2011
Scaling from one computer repair service center at Schrock Innovations to two was a logistical challenge, but for the most part it involved duplicating systems we already had in place. Now that Schrock is adding a third Service Center in Papillion, NE we are finding that simply doing what has worked in the past will […]
- Comments: 13
- Written on: May 7th, 2011
Last week I wrote a post about how to get the most from your Yellow Pages advertising. Yellow Page advertisements are expensive and you only get one shot to make it work each year.
However, TV advertising is even more expensive and is often overlooked by small business because of its costs. I am a big believer in the power of radio advertising,but there is definitely a role for television in most markets – if you do it right.
How to Buy Television
Like any advertising, TV spots do not typically pay for themselves as they air. They are an investment in the growth of your business. This chicken and the egg paradox is why many small businesses don’t use television. It is simply too expensive to pump money into without pulling out immediate benefits that equal or exceed the investment.
Sometimes the only way to get the TV gravy train rolling is to start small and build up exposure over time. With television you can get big results fast with a large spend, but you can also get big results over time with a much smaller spend.
No matter what you have for a budget, plan on putting a consistent schedule together and then maintain it. It does you no good to pop in on viewers for a month and then go away. You need a sustained presence over time to get the best results.
When you meet with your TV representative ask if there are any monthly packages or specials available. Be up front about your budget. Even if you can only afford to sponsor a couple weather casts a week, committing to a consistent annual buy qualifies you for bonus spots that the station will give you when they have leftover inventory.
For example, we buy about $8,000 a month in advertising on KETV Channel 7 in Omaha, NE. Because we committed to a monthly spend we get a few bonuses that others do not receive.
While we are paying to run our commercials, we also get:
- Ffree web ads
- Free bonus spots from unsold inventory
- Free coverage on the station’s digital weather channel
Some of our other competitors actually pay for the digital weather spots as their primary advertising. Digital TV is still so new that these spots are incredibly unproductive, but since they are free we accept them if for no other reason than it makes our competitors call their KETV sales reps to whine about the fact they are not the exclusive PC repair company on the channel (that has really happened – can you believe it?).
How to make your Television Ad
Almost all TV stations have a production department. Some are good and some are not so hot. You won’t know what you have until they produce a spot for you, so ask your sales rep to get it included for free with your spend. Otherwise you can get hit with a $400+ tab per commercial.
When your ad is done, ask your sales rep to email you a copy for review. When you have approved your ad, upload it to YouTube and use it on your website too. The ad is yours, so get the most out of it!
Do not spend big money with an ad agency making a spot for you. You need the budget to get your message out, and no matter how awesome your ad is, if you don’t have the cash to run it you are dead in the water.
What to Put in Your Ad
Remember that you only have about :30 of your viewer’s time to work with. That is barely enough time to get one idea across, so don’t try to do too much.
Also, viewers will have to see your ad about 10 times before they remember it. Keep your message clean and simple.
Television is a visual medium, so your images can tell as much as your words can. For example, Schrock ran this commercial to promote a Computer Maintenance Checkup sale:
As you can see, we wanted to communicate to the viewer that your computer is dirty and clogged up. My words said bring it in to be cleaned on special. Note that I did not give our exact address or phone number in the audio of the spot.
When people watch TV they are not sitting there with a pen waiting to write down your important message. Instead we gave the cross-streets for each of our Service Centers and then the website URL along with an image of our Omaha Service Center.
After 10 impressions, people will get the idea. Don’t waste precious seconds with unnecessary words or details. Keep it simple with powerful imagery.
Track Your Results
When your customers come in to do business you should ALWAYS ask them where they are coming from. Measure how many responses you receive (phone calls, emails, and foot traffic) form your commercial.
If after 6 months you are not seeing a measurable result from your efforts, consider changing things up.
- Comments: 3
- Written on: March 24th, 2011
My wife needed to replace her Buick Rendezvous so we visited Rusty Eck Ford in Omaha, NE to look at what Ford had to offer. Four hours later we had to literally fight our way out of the dealership and once we got out we never looked back. It was easily the single worst service experience I have had in my entire life.
When we first arrived we wanted to look at the Ford Flex. My wife liked the marketing pieces and reviews. They had several 2011 models, but as a rule I don’t like buying brand new cars.
Instead they showed us a used 2010 model that was about $6,000 less expensive than a brand new one.
Anyone who knows anything about cars knows that the value of a vehicle drops SIGNIFICANTLY once it has been titled to someone else. Even if it is only driven 100 miles, the fact that it was titled to someone makes it a used car. The price difference between new and used should have been more than $6,000.
Rusty Eck’s Service Experience Begins to Show
They have a wall of hand-written customer testimonials outside of their rest-stop like bathrooms. They all brag about the favorable deals and great service experiences.
Never mind the fact that they were all written on the EXACT same cheap Wal-Mart stationary using the same pen… Hmmm…
We left the crazy price in the used Flex simmer on the back burner for a bit figuring they would offer us a favorable trade-in allowance to make up for the difference.
My wife’s Buick has a trade-in value according to Kelly Blue Book of just over $8,500. Rusty Eck offered us $3,000. That’s when things started to slide downhill.
The salesman got gruff with us about expecting more for the trade in. We told him we could sell it easily on Craig’s List for over $9,000.
Then he left us in his uncomfortable office chairs for over 30 minutes listening to the searingly awful 80’s music they are pumping into the whole showroom using a single plasma TV. He was “checking with his manager” to see what they could do for us as a “special exception.”
We took the opportunity to look up used Flex’s with similar features at other dealerships and on Craig’s List. Almost everyone else had identical 2010 Flex vehicles priced $10,000 or more under the cost of a new one – right where they should be.
Prisoners to Rusty Eck’s Horrid Service
When he came back in to his office and told us that his boss was giving us a good deal and they couldn’t do any better, we got up to leave. Maybe he thought we were bluffing.
We told him that while his manager could not do better, we used the afternoon we wasted in his office to do some research. Guess what – other dealerships have better offers than what you manager can do. The Internet is a bear isn’t it?
As we put on our coats, the salesman hobbled around his desk to get between us and the front door. He informed us that no one leaves without talking to the sales manager. We started walking for the door.
At the last possible moment a slick looking man stops us and asks us if there is anything he can do to help us get into the car we wanted. We briefly told him that he was trying to low-ball us on our trade and his vehicles were overpriced to begin with. We then LITERALLY pushed through him and out the door.
Have a Look at What Other Say About Rusty Eck Ford
Apparently our experience was not that unique. Take a look at these online reviews of Rusty Eck Ford:
Top 10 Reasons Not to Buy Your Car from Rusty Eck:
#10. Lacking the comfort feel- doesn’t feel welcoming
#9. Uniformed salesperson- Lacking information about financing and rebates
#8. A feel of “Buy Today”
#7. They don’t back up what they say
#6. Unprofessional finance manager #1-Talking about he and his wife “getting effed up”
#5. Unprofessional finance manager #2-Discussing how hungover he is from the Christmas party the night before
#4. Unprofessional finance manager #2-Watching a live football game on his computer while working with us
#3. Unprofessional finance manager #1-rushing through paperwork and avoiding explaining anything and then tacking on an $1800 bumper to bumper warranty without our consent.
#2. Stating the vehicle would be picked up from Iowa Monday morning and failing to do so. Then neglecting to make things right and NEVER receiving a call from a manager.
#1. There are other Ford dealers in Omaha that truly care about their customers and will work to do everything in their power to make you happy.
Or this one from Dealerrater.com:
This has to be one of the dealerships that movie makers copy when they want to show a scumbag type dealership. They have no morals and absolutely no professionalism. They will try to milk you out of any money you might have and then some. We bought a used 1999 Chevy Blazer from them about 3 weeks ago. It was on a Sunday night and at closing time so everyone was in a hurry. When we asked about everything working o.k. (especially the 4wd) the salesman said yes just hit the button and it works. Well the first time it snowed, my daughter pushes the button for auto 4wd and tells me it is just blinking, well I take it out for a drive and sure enough, it never kicks into 4wd. I take it back to them and want to see if there is anything we can do to fix it. To make a long story short, a new salesman tries to get me to purchase a lesser priced vehicle and charge me more money for a “trade-in” when I get angry and tell him that this must be a joke, they tell us to leave and as I am telling them what I think of their dealership, a manager comes around the corner and starts telling me how I am the piece of sh*t customer and I need to leave. Then about 6-7 “salesman” come outside with me and one of them starts taking his coat off and rolling his shirt sleeves up like he’s wanting to fight!! What a joke, this is truly the SCUM of the dealerships. I hope Rusty Eck is proud of what he has built out there. Ford should take their name off of the signage because this is very much a used car lot filled with lot lizards looking for a next victim. They probably sit around and joke about how bad they screwed their last customer. Truly despicable.
- Comments: 0
- Written on: March 20th, 2011
Schrock Innovations‘ PC Maintenance Checkup Sale is by far one of the most popular times of the year to bring a computer into their computer repair Service Centers.
Over the past week Schrock’s technicians have been pulling overtime to keep up with demand.
As you can see, as soon as Schrock launched the sale computers started pouring in to the Service Centers.
By the end of the first day more than 100 computers had arrived for the $30 maintenance offer. Throughout the course of the sale Schrock took in over 1,000 systems for maintenance between Omaha and Lincoln, NE.
The load was unusually weighted toward desktop computers over laptops. Over the past couple years Schrock has seen a steady shift away from desktop computers toward notebooks.
The company has also been advertising on FM radio stations for the past 9 months which tends to bring in a younger demographic who prefer the portability of a notebook over a desktop. Either way, it was a little surprising to see the desktop hanging in there in the quantity department.
Schrock;’s customers oftn hear that the Maintenance Checkup Sale is going on for “one week only,” but in reality Schrock’s technicians have been working under a load of 100+ computers in queue for more than 3 weeks now.
When Schrock launches a sale this big, it is always a challenge to keep turn-around times reasonable the customer.
To help moderate the work flow, Schrock will email customers about the sale first, then work through the bulk of that response before taking it live on the radio.
Schrock emailed over 8,500 customers about the sale and the response was immediate and intense.
While a flood of Schrock’s existing customers was expected, we were all shocked to see that about 20% of the computers coming in after the email were new customers. Apparently the sale announcement email went viral with customers forwarding it to their friends and relatives.
All in all, Schrock’s technicians have been putting in 60-70 hours a week EACH in an attempt to keep up with the demand. With the sale ending today at 5 PM they should have everything back to normal again in each Service Center within a few days.
Thank you Schrock customers for another amazingly productive Maintenance Checkup Sale!
- Comments: 3
- Written on: March 11th, 2011
This week Schrock Innovations launched a new commercial in Lincoln and Omaha promoting the PC Preventative Maintenance Checkup Sale that is running through March 20th at both Schrock Innovations’ locations.
In the commercial you will see a computer’s processor fan that is almost 50% constricted by dust.
While Schrock does a lot more than a physical cleaning during a Maintenance Checkup, there is no disputing that the 8 hours of work that goes into a checkup is worth the $29.99 sale price!
Contact Schrock Innovations today for more information about the sale.
- Comments: 4
- Written on: March 8th, 2011
Schrock Innovations will be holding our first Preventative Maintenance Checkup Sale of 2010 starting this weekend, March 12, 2011 through March 20, 2011. Although we are “officially” launching the sale on this weekend’s Compute This radio show, you are invited to bring your PC in now and beat the inevitable rush! Last week I was […]
- Comments: 6
- Written on: January 26th, 2011
Before we saw the ratings the staff at Clear Channel warned us that typically it takes a couple of ratings periods for a new show to catch on.
With that as a precursor, you can understand why I was thrilled to learn that Schrock Innovations has the #1 rated program in our time slot!
Comparing From Then to Now
Having the #1 show doesn’t mean much if the time slot was #1 before you got there in the first place. KFAB pulls great ratings – the best in Omaha – so it was important that we check our current results against how the station did in the last ratings period before we came on the air.
In the previous ratings book, KFAB was #2 in our time slot with an average of 23,000 listeners at any given point in time.
After our show aired for a mere 13 weeks, KFAB jumped to #1 in the time slot with an average of 36,000 listeners at any given point in time! If what they told me is in fact true, we should see these numbers continue to rise in the next book as Compute This! matures in the Omaha radio market.
Thank you Listeners and Callers!
I want to take a moment to thank all of our great listeners and callers that make Compute This what it is on KFAB and on KFOR (where we have held the top ratings in our time slot for 7 consecutive YEARS). Without you we would not have a show!
Compute This! is a weekly call in show that airs in Lincoln on KFOR 1240 AM at 10:00 AM and on Sunday in Omaha on 1110 KFAB from 7-8 AM. Both shows are live and listeners can call in to the shows and get help with their computers.
- Comments: 15
- Written on: December 8th, 2010
Schrock Innovations announced today that Tim Meyer has been hired to assist in the development of the company’s growing web services division.
Tim had been working with Schrock for the past several months as a contractor, but earned a permanent position with the organization after demonstrating mastery of a wide range of skills.
“It is really rare to find a single person who can do it all,” Thor Schrock, CEO of Schrock Innovations said. “Tim can code with the best of them, crack a quick graphic when he needs to and still have time to return calls, assist clients, and keep everything rolling.”
Schrock Innovations is pursuing an intense web development schedule in 2011 that includes items such as:
- Development of video tutorial products
- Beta testing a new work flow management system
- Aggressively pursuing local hosting clients who are being undeserved
- Increasing the frequency and quality of communications with existing clients
- Refining Schrock’s existing web design packages to improve service levels
Welcome aboard Tim! You have a lot of work to do 🙂
- Comments: 17
- Written on: November 30th, 2010
In 2008 we opened a new Service Center in Lincoln, NE and we needed someone who could work some concrete magic for us.
Todd Rose Decorative Concrete put in a floor, a concrete reception desk and concrete display counters. These guys did things with concrete that I didn’t even know you could do!
Here’s a mash-up of what they did in one short week:
Today I learned that they also were honored in a trade publication featuring some of their work in Lincoln, Omaha and across the state of Nebraska!
The first time I met Todd he had some big ideas and a lot of motivation to get where he was going. It is amazing that he has been able to accomplish as much as he has with an economy as uncooperative as this one is.
It is a testiment to the kind of man Todd is and the kind of Company he runs. I would strongly recommend Todd Rose Decorative Concrete to any of my friends or business associates!
- Comments: 8
- Written on: November 29th, 2010
Today Schrock Innovations is changing out the 2010 Holiday Special computer commercial airing on ESPN 1480 and replacing it with a more feature-focused version.
The new commercial will begin airing November 29, 2010 and will air through Christmas Eve or until the 2010 Holiday Special is sold out.
This version is similar to the previous ESPN spot that aired throughout the month of November, but includes more specific information about what makes the computer so special.
Features like the 120 GB solid state hard drive, the 6-core processor, and its amazing 12 GB of DDR3 memory are specifically mentioned.