TOP 10 ADVERTISING MISTAKES
#9 is a MUST know
#1. Thinking advertising isn’t necessary
Believe it or not, you can make a big mistake before you even start advertising. That mistake is thinking advertisements aren’t necessary.
If you have that thought even once, stop yourself and ask: how are shoppers going to find out about your business? If shoppers can’t find your business, and you’re not making any effort to get the word out, you’re not going to sell very much. Advertising is necessary; there’s no question about that.
We have actually had clients say “We don’t need to advertise”!! The largest most profitable businesses in the world spend more than anyone advertising. Why? Because your competitors are advertising every day.. They will take your business over time.. Your customers will die off, get mad over something and not return, move away, etc…. If you are not constantly growing your customer base you will be out of business sooner than you think.
Click here and find out why so many Richmond area businesses are using Wallingford Media Group as their marketing partner.
#2. Talking to the wrong people
Stay in your lane! Not too many people could walk in off the street and start doing your job, so realize marketing and local strategies are a specialized area too. Talk to the best media reps you can find. Preferably people who bring some experience to the table. Look for a company that you know has a good customer base of clients and testimonials. Marketing reps will help you choose the right stations for your messages, and they may NOT be the one you listen to or like!
All business owners are overwhelmed with running their own businesses, and the hundreds of daily challenges and issues a business brings. Few have the time to effectively handle all that marketing requires on top of that. Most cannot afford the luxury of an advertising ‘agency’, so get a knowledgeable marketing partner! These people will provide a lot of services free to you just in exchange for the annual advertising buy , including promotional ideas, script writing, commercial production, jingle /slogan development, guidance and tracking data.
#3. Doomed from the start
Need to do a ‘little advertising’? Ever have that thought? Many business owners do virtually no marketing planning. They have no business plan for year after year growth. The time comes when they realize ”we need to do a LITTLE advertising”. This is one we hear quite frequently.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The business owner has finally realized over that long time of “zero” marketing, their customer base has been slowly siphoned away by aggressive, advertising competitors. Doing a ‘little’ advertising will surely produce the exact results it is intended to…. ‘little’. The key to longevity is realizing real advertising and marketing is an investment you must make month after month in your business.
5-8 % of your annual gross income should go directly back into generating new leads and constantly growing your customer base.
#4. Knowing what advertising really is
Do you know the difference in Marketing and “donating?” This is something all business owners should recognize. Many things get classified as ‘advertising’ that shouldn’t be. Anyone in business knows how often they are ‘hit up’ for things. It is very fashionable for everyone now to have some kind of cause for raising money. Individuals do it, all organizations do it, all schools athletic departments. etc.
Spending $100-$200 on a sign on a ‘golf cart’ for a dozen people to notice is unjustifiable from an ROI perspective. Yet, we all have done it. Why? Because we knew the person, or our kids are involved, we just wanted to help, didn’t want to make someone mad, etc. These things can get quickly out of hand in a business.
Recognize donations for what they are, and keep a handle on and plan for those things too. They are not, and should not, be considered real advertising & marketing.
#5. Following a proven failed business model
Bookend disaster strategy- We see this anomaly a lot. A business opens, they advertise healthily in the beginning, business is great & booming. After this initial ‘grand opening’ advertising, they do nothing because business is good. Then the new wears off.. They are soon hit with the reality that people have stopped coming in like before. They do nothing. Just hope for the best. Do everything they can think of to run their business right. They keep trudging along. Year after year this goes on with no advertising plan. Until one day, it gets so bad, they have a ‘going out of business sale’..
They ADVERTISE this sale, and the store is full and hopping again with bargain hunters until the shelves are bare! They advertised in the beginning and end, with great success and not a single plan in the middle.
Sadly, many a local business has fallen to the ole’ ‘bookend’ mistake. No matter how good you are, unless you let people know, it is just the sound of one hand clapping. “Out of sight, out of mind.”
#6. Knowing how advertising works
98% of every ad dollar spent, is on people WHO DON”T NEED YOUR PRODUCT OF SERVICE!! That’s right. Think about that. Really savvy business owners are well aware of this. This is where real marketing pays off.
There is a reason when we say “hamburger” and ask you what is the first thing that pops in your mind.. It’s probably McDonald’s. Or at least another major chain. Reason? We see their messages continuously, even though we are not on a steady daily diet of big macs.
The key is to be the one people think of when they DO need your product or service. You can’t ‘try it’ for a couple weeks and then stop because you didn’t get any results! This can only be achieved over time, with a good plan to own your markets top of mind awareness with consumers. Think of it as peoples internal ‘search engine’. You want to be at the top. This is where the electronic media (radio & visual messaging) excels. McDonald’s just keeps on and on advertising, until one day, you realize, ‘yea… that big mac sounds pretty good today’ and your a customer, again!! Take a free lesson from the big boys that spend millions on studies and research and use it!
#7. Messaging messaging messaging
This is where professional marketing reps are so essential. We have decades of experience of knowing what consumers respond to. The kind of ads that work and resonate. The right script and commercial is EVERYTHING.
The average business owner makes several mistakes when doing this on their own. For example, they make the ad ALL about them… “We have this, we have that, we do this , we do that, ….. Consumers want to know how all that means anything to them. So a really good message needs to be more about your businesses potential customers and how your business can help them.
As professionals, we can spot a bad ad a mile away, yet many clients still want to do it their way by putting their kids in the ad, repeating a phone number multiple times and burning up valuable time, instead of giving people a reason to call on you.
#8. Knowing how to gauge the most bang for your buck
We have seen many clients using this logic. “We can buy commercials on station ‘X’ for $5 each, your ads are $14.00, you are TOO high!” As professionals, we know station ‘X’ is a very low power, limited range station that literally might have 100 listeners for an entire week. While a very powerful and popular station like WCYO 100.7 in Richmond (for example) has a cumulative weekly audience of over 30,000 people. This is 300 times the audience of station ‘X’. So if station ‘X’ is a value at $5 per commercial, then that same commercial on WCYO should cost $3000!!!!! So station ‘X’ is, obviously, the one way out of line on price point.
Now while this is obvious value deduction, it is worth visiting because we are always amazed at how many people think that all media is equal. Of course, it is not.. So, the unit rate per commerical for WCYO is higher yes, but the price per exposure for you to reach your potential customer is a fraction of the ‘cheaper rate station’!!
So ask these questions about a station you are considering. You have to put your messaging where it reaches massive amounts of people, in your county and the surrounding trade areas.. So resist the urge to buy for all the wrong reasons. Everyone loves to do business with people they know and like, so get to know and like the people that can produce results for your business. It’s about helping YOUR business, NOT helping the sales rep. Know how to calculate true value!
#9. “We advertise on Facebook”
Here’s a more recent trend. Have you heard the old saying ‘if it’s too good to be true…?” There are no free lunches! Fact is, very little of what you post to FB is seen by more than a couple hundred people because of FB algorithms. FB has to make money, and they want you to ‘boost’ your post to ‘reach’ more people (pay). This does not mean these people will consume, watch or see your message, just that it gets on a feed.
Many people just scroll by FB advertising and find it an obstacle to their FB enjoyment. Kind of like ‘direct mail’. Most throw it away, but a few will respond. Don’t get us wrong, FB has been a good run and we do see some value in FB. WE ourselves use, and help clients use FB, and all social media better as part of our services. It’s just another ‘option’ and a good value. We never advise clients to put all their eggs in one basket. You just can’t do that these days.
Just a footnote, there has been a drastic downturn in FB and other social sites usage. Have we all got a little burned out of the political bickering, tasteless comments, and lack of class on FB? Has FB become the new ‘Topix’? Maybe.. time will tell..
#10. “We advertise on the internet”
On this one we agree! Targeted marketing is a great idea and produces results! We help clients with search engine optimization, geo fencing, and other advanced smart phone and internet based platforms. However, in no time in history, has it been reasonable for a business to put all their eggs in one basket. With the demise of things like the phone book yellow pages, and local newspapers, businesses have had to migrate to other forms of advertising.
In our clients experience, great results can be expected with a combination of web based targeted advertising mixed with electronic media that also targets your desired demo’s and customers.. That’s where our stations make sense. EVERY person we reach for for your business is a POTENTIAL client. That’s right! 100% efficiency.
Why spend money on a TV or radio station, when only a small fraction of their audience will be in your market area. Call Wallingford Media Group today and let us customize a plan for you!