Top 3 misconceptions about marketing & advertising
1) We’re local…We don’t need to advertise
Ad agency professionals understand that it makes perfect sense as to why you could believe you don’t need marketing and advertising if you own a small local business. A good example are small business restaurant and retail owners. They rely on their location, the proximity of their sign to the street, regulars, and the built-in flow of traffic to their area. Many of them find great success with this model, but the truth is, most of them fail within five years. One of the top reasons is lack of marketing capital. Marketing capital click here
However, small local businesses have the most to gain from advertising! Even the most modest efforts can accomplish a few things.
• Up your credibility with your existing customers
• Reach new customers
• Provide critical marketing data
The competition for local businesses is far fiercer than companies on a national or regional level. This is because, everyone is fighting for the same small market. In comparison the dollars are low, but the stakes are high. When a new similar business opens up close by, there is a risk that the momentum of something new could pull your existing customers, so word of mouth will only take you so far.
However, a substantive marketing plan can help even the smallest local business reach new customers and secure existing ones. It’s about keeping your message in front of existing customers and introducing your message to new ones. Ad agency professionals understand that repetition morphs into belief.
2) Good Marketing Delivers Fast Results
As an ad agency professional, I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down with a small business owner who thinks that marketing and advertising results should be almost immediate. The hard truth is it takes time. It takes time to develop an idea that will work, to execute the production of the ad(s), place the ads, and for the ads to reach and connect with the target audience. So…how much time does it take?
There are many factors that that play a part in the time it takes to see results from a campaign. It really depends on the product, the market, and the price of the item. It will take far more time to sell products at the $50,000 price point than it will at the $5 price point. Also some industries have a much faster connect rate with their market than others. Let’s drill down the major factors.
• Industry / Product
• Marketing Budget
• Quality of the Advertisement
• Quality of the Ad Placement
For example, diet supplements have some of the fastest connect rates. People who suffer from self-worth issues due to body image are desperate for a solution that works, so many of them will try almost anything. Diet supplement companies can make whatever claims they want, and this gives the person a sense of hope plays on very strong emotions. When these hyper-exaggerative promises are combined with impulsive purchase channels, the result can be like lightning.
A product with a slower connect rate could be a new brand of high-end time pieces. A company who wants to break into the luxury watch market will need far more time to see a return than the diet pill. A diet supplement could see sales moments after placing video ads. The new timepiece company may take months to make one sale of off several ads. It’s easy to spend a few dollars in the moment on a weight loss promise, and far more caution is taken on large purchases, therefore slowing down the speed of return on the ads.
The key is to understand the length of the sales cycle in your industry and set your budget and expectations accordingly.
One of the biggest factors in achieving fast results from an ad campaign is money! There really isn’t any way around it. The more ads, the more frequency, the more relevant eyeballs, the faster people will respond, and this just requires a larger investment. More is more in the advertising space, and anyone who tells you different is just being disingenuous.
True Ad Agency professionals will be straight about the required investment per their client’s expectations. They know that an honest answer, no matter how shocking it may be to a small business owner, is far better than making unrealistic promises that squander their precious resources.
The key is to have your ad agency help you create a budget that you are comfortable with, that will bring a return, and is scalable as your business grows.
AMOUNT OF COMPETITORS
Social media is a great example of small businesses advertising the same products, to the same audiences, on the same platform, in the same area, for the same next to nothing investment. Of course, it’s not going to have a great impact. If 100 local restaurants are all promoting on Facebook and Instagram at the same time, the ads become noise and the ads basically cancel each other out. Not to mention all of their ads are pretty much identical, and you have the restaurant giants advertising on TV every hour.
A great example of a burger company who successfully and quickly broke into the burger market is Burger Fi. They started with a location in South Florida in 2011. They took ads in local magazines, the ran local Cable TV Commercials along with social media and internet marketing. In ten years, they have grown to over 120 locations nationwide. When they advertised locally in places where other local restaurants would not. The result was an accelerated response to their ads, and extremely fast company growth.
Placing relevant ads to your audience in places where your competitors are not, can be a huge factor in speeding up the return on your marketing investment.
QUALITY OF THE ADVERTISEMENT
This is where having a great ad agency can really make a difference. THE QUALITY OF YOUR AD MATTERS!!! The ads you place say everything about your company, its products, services, culture, pricing, value and creates public perception. If you place a poorly produced ad, it will reflect poorly on your company, full stop. A damaging ad or social media post can have unforeseen short & long-term consequences. There is a reason why Nike will spend $250,000 on the production a print ad. It’s not because they have the money, it’s because they understand the risk. What you put into your ad, is exactly what you can expect to get out of it.
Hiring a professional ad agency will give you your best chance in placing a great ad that will work. Placing memorable ads that touch your customers in a way that moves them to buy your products is a huge factor in how fast your ads will work. Large companies spend millions to produce a 30 second spot when advertising during the Superbowl. Why? It’s simple, great ads just work.
QUALITY OF AD PLACEMENT
Never place an ad based on what the ad salesman tells you. I have seen small businesses waste precious dollars following the lead of some print ad, or coupon book salesman. These people are generally predators, and they usually only care about making a sale.
It is so important to know who your market is, and where they are most likely to see your ads and respond to them. It may be pay per click search engine ads, it may be print, it may TV or radio, or it could be all of them. You want to pick your ad space; you do not want your ad space to pick you.
Getting a great ad in front of the right market has a huge impact on how fast you will see a return on your marketing efforts. Ad agencies usually have a vast knowledge in ad placement. It is actually what birthed the ad agency industry. Over the past century ad agencies have become a hybrid of creativity, media buying, and production. You want third party counsel to navigate you through the misinformation you will encounter dealing with ad salespeople.
3) We Don’t Need an Ad Agency Marketing Is Easy & Our Product Sells Itself
Translation…. we do not understand marketing, so we are afraid to spend money on it. This is one of the biggest misconceptions about marketing and advertising. Many small business owners believe that because they consume advertising, they understand advertising. I once had a business owner tell me that his strategy was to offer a low price and make a viral video. Needless to say, that was our only meeting. LOL
Having a professional ad agency or marketing company will save you an abundance of time and money on the path of growing your business. Will it take a substantial investment? Yes.
Look at it like this, it is like hiring an attorney. Hiring a great attorney will give you a much greater chance of achieving the desired verdict in a trial in comparison to hiring a cheap an inexperienced one. Same goes for when you are hiring an ad agency. Seasoned ad agency professionals will create strategies, campaigns and ads that work.
They drastically reduce the risk in advertising, or not advertising. That’s right, not advertising is can be a far greater risk than the money you may part with placing ads.