Tag Archives: smart marketing

Old School Advertising

Once upon a time, people looked for information about a business in the yellow pages of their local telephone directory.

Yellow PagesIf a business placed an advertisement in that directory, it was wise to be the first company listed under the desired category.  The “old school” method of naming your company, therefore, was to have a title such as All American Plumbing or AAA Heating & Cooling.  The idea was that the consumer would dial your number first because you were first in your category.

In a sense, they were following the #1 immutable law of marketing;  The Law of Leadership.

Fast forward to 2015 and the world of electronic communication.  Searching the phone directory for a business listing has been following the path of the dinosaurs for a number of years, with the end not too far away.  Today it is much faster and more efficient to look for a business using a web browser on a smart phone, laptop, tablet, or similar electronic device.

In many cases, the listing enables the online user to call the business directly from the listing, view the website, or discover the hours of operation among other choices.

So, although the old school theory of using the first letter of the alphabet to lead the way in a business listing is passe, the law of leadership still applies.

If a potential consumer does not know the specific name of your product, business, or company and chooses to search by a generic category such as “plumber” or “Italian restaurant,” it is critical that your business comes up on the first page of search results, preferably leading the way by being first on the page.  Search engines are intuitive enough to know your location, so searching for an Italian restaurant when you’re in Chicago is not likely to return a result for Poughkeepsie, New York.

The bottom line:  You want to be on the first page of search results!  Statistics have shown that 74% of users will not go beyond that first page.  If your business is not there, you are out of the picture, and will wonder why your website isn’t generating the results you expect.

How do you do it?  One way we recommend is to work with a consulting firm with a proven track record.  Just building a web presence is not enough in today’s competitive environment.  You need the right key words and strong page descriptions, but you also need to understand your market segments – not everyone needs what you offer – and provide relevant content that entices your ideal audience members to use your products and become loyal to your brand.

Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand


A Brand Budget

How much should you, or must you, spend to brand your business?

The most common answer:  It depends!

The cost of marketing your products and/or services, through advertising, sales, promotions, or other avenues is related to your goals and objectives.  If your goals are indistinct or your objectives lack focus, the odds are that you will be wasting marketing dollars on ineffective vehicles.

For purposes of discussion, let’s assume you’ve built a convenience store off a high volume interchange on an interstate highway.  It should be apparent who your target market is, so why would you advertise in a phone directory in a community 50 miles away without easy access to your place of business?  While you may be able to justify the expense, in the mind of most business owners that would be wasted money.

If, on the other hand, you were able to invest that money in billboard advertising on the approaches to your exit, you are more likely to meet your objectives for sales.

What you spend to build your brand should be measurable and tied to the bottom line.  If your goal is to have your brand identified with the market segment comprised of men between 24 and 35 years of age, you can quantify how many of the male species lives in your targeted area.  You can also identify which media is most likely to garner a positive response from those men, and build brand loyalty.

It might take six months or six years to reach the level of penetration you desire for your brand, with many variables playing a role.  If you gain acceptance through a social media community, the time span can be shortened considerably.  A heftier advertising budget and well-placed commercials can also push up the acceptance.

An important consideration is to take the time to do some planning.  Think about what you want to accomplish and the best method to achieve it.  Allocate some funds to test the waters and measure the results.  If the campaign works, build on it.  If it doesn’t perform as expected, stop and think about what went wrong or could have been better.  Tweak it and try again, within budget constraints.  Measure the results.

If you operate blindly in spending your advertising dollars, you may wind up joining the thousands of other business owners who assert that advertising doesn’t work.  It does, if done correctly.  That’s what there are professionals for; to help you make the right decisions and use your marketing budget effectively.