One of the most frequent complaints I hear about advertising from business owners is:
“I tried (radio, television, web, direct mail, billboards, etc.) and it “didn’t work”.
What they’re really saying (the “meta” message) is: it is or was a poor or failed investment.
The Ultimate Goal Of Advertising
The overall goal of advertising should be (and subconsciously is) to bring more money into the business. Period.
That will never, ever change.
Advertising should never be used to entertain, or (I love hearing this one) “just getting our name out there.”
Would someone show me where “out there” is on a map, please? Because I haven’t been able to find it.
Advertising Is Like A Stock
If you poured money into a stock which, over time (quickly or gradually) lost money, you’d dump it and proclaim it to be a “loser”.
It’s not the fault of the stock market itself — millions of people globally make money in the markets every single day.
Yet, somehow, the “market” made that stock become worth less (or worthless).
Conversely, shares which doubled, tripled, quadrupled – would be considered a roaring success.
I don’t know of any business owner who likes to throw away money.
Yet when they begin poor or misguided advertising, it’s supposed to be the elixir, the “magic bullet” to water the money tree. And when that tree bears no fruit, it’s somehow the fault of the tree.
Here’s The Good News
When a stock does well, everything seems to line up correctly. The market, the economy, the business itself — are running on all cylinders.
Why? Well, if (as any financial adviser will tell you) you’ve done your homework, you minimize risk and diversify.
The same holds true in advertising.
Know your targeted market. Where do they shop? What do they watch/listen to/read?
Then advertise there.
Don’t be tempted to run advertisements on a platform or on a radio/television station just because they give you a “great deal”.
One analogy I always use: I wouldn’t advertise a nursing home on Radio Disney.
But if a Senior Care facility did air commercials on Radio Disney…what sort of return on their investment would they get?
Here’s The Bad News
You still have to do the homework.
There are no “quick fixes” in marketing or advertising.
With thoughtful planning, consideration, and solid execution of your core message to your targeted audience, you should start seeing returns — sooner rather than later.