Word of mouth! Next question!
That was the typical answer of most of my clients over a 25 year period of consulting. Why? Because it was (a) free, (b) easy, (c) obvious, (d) what their customer told them, and (e) free. Did I mention it was free? That seemed to be their criteria in choosing an effective media. What they didn’t want to hear from me was how expensive their campaign might be. But I was kind and gentle when I told them they were completely insane. No, I didn’t really say that. But I wanted to, believe me.
The plain truth was that I had to learn their business, who their customers were and what they wanted to achieve. Then I could break the bad news to them: advertising actually costs M-O-N-E-Y. That is, effective advertising is an investment. The type is determined by the needs of the business. Answer all the who, what questions first:
(1) Who are your customers?
(2) Where are your customers?
(3) When can you reach them?
(4) How can you reach them?
(5) Why do they need your goods or services?
(6) What do you plan to do to get these customers?
Depending on the answers, you can construct a basic advertising strategy. For example, if you’re a local company with a product, newspaper, radio, and cable television might be the cost-effective solution. If you provide a service, start with the local Yellow Pages. Direct mail can be good for targeting certain zip codes and offering discounts. You have to figure each one’s ROI (return on investment) and the reach. That is, the amount of people they are seen by and the CPM (cost per thousand). Begin with the media rep and get a rate sheet. They are the experts and their advice is free, Then consider getting a consultant on board.
The most effective promotion is the one that works best. It may not be the cheapest or fanciest, but it’s the one that keeps the business afloat. Whatever media that you choose to attempt, don’t forget to track the results or each one. That way, you reinvest in the one or ones that work best. And don’t be afraid to spend. Closing a failed business is far more painful.
Jeffrey Hauser’s latest book is, “Inside the Yellow Pages,” which can be viewed at http://www.poweradbook.com
He was a sales consultant for the Bell System Yellow Pages for nearly 25 years. He graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Advertising and has a Master’s Degree in teaching. He had his own advertising agency in Scottsdale, Arizona and ran a consulting and design firm, ABC Advertising. Currently, he is the Marketing Director for thenurseschoice.com, a Health Information and Doctor Referral site.induction lighting versus led induction lights Pete's produce ..