Your suspicions about advertising are close to the target, most money spent on advertising by small business is wasted. Between 50% and 80% according to conservative estimates. It attracts no one, generates no visits, no sales. It fails to connect with buyers and fails to deliver results.
However, it is not that advertising doesn’t work. It’s that most small business owners ignore the foundational work that effective marketing requires! Whether it’s because they’ve been misled by the myth that marketing is complicated or because they’ve tried a hit and miss approach without proper advise – the results are the same.
It’s not the medium at fault or a reflection on the business. It’s simply that the ads are crappy ads. Crappy doesn’t mean ugly, it means ineffective. Many crappy ads are quite beautiful, but they don’t do a darn thing other than look pretty.
Following the Pareto principle, it’s likely that 80% of all ads are crappy ads. They weren’t designed with purpose or built to be measured. They were thrown together by a harried business owner or an equally pressured ad rep with limited marketing training based on what everyone else is doing rather than what has been proven to work.
It doesn’t have to be like this, but it is.
One of the most profound things to remember when creating your marketing is something I learned from sales author and speaker, Jeffery Gitomer, “People love to buy, they hate being sold to.”
Your job as a small business owner is to make it easy and enjoyable to buy from you. That’s it, that’s all – it’s really that simple.
And that is what your marketing and advertising should be geared to at all times – showcasing how easy and enjoyable it is to buy from you. Tell them why and tell them how with your advertising. Now, add measurement and you’ll soon have an effective marketing plan that serves both you and your target market.
Good marketing is win-win.
That is all you really need to remember as you develop your marketing and advertising plan. Once you have a plan in place, you’ll find that marketing your business becomes a lot simpler to manage and direct.
But the ingredients of good marketing do not begin with ads! It begins with a solid, people-pleasing, problem solving, service geared business.
Without that solid foundation – quality products and/or services, great customer service and paying attention to the details (like maintaining a clean, uncluttered shopping area if you’re a storefront business) – all marketing is wasted.
It is only with the essentials in place, that you can be assured that you’re on your way to having a business that’s easy to market with a reasonable budget.
If you’re missing any of the building blocks – then it’s in your best interests to attend to those details first before you embark on an major marketing. I can’t repeat it enough, you’re just wasting money if you don’t have the basics covered. Those basics being the first five parts of the simplified recipe I’ve posted above.
Like cooking, business is part art and part science. There are principles you can follow and best practices you can adapt to buffer your business from the uncertainties and challenges. None of it is complicated, most of it is really just common sense.
If you need help separating myth from fact when it comes to marketing your small business, or you need help applying the recipe to your business, get in touch! I’ll be happy to help you develop the skills you need to get or keep your business healthy.