When you are sitting down to develop an annual advertising budget, think about where you’re going to spend your hard-earned dollars. Will each dollar generate a return? How much will it cost you to acquire a new client, or to keep your existing customers?
You must measure these metrics to know if your strategies are working. If you plan on spending $20,000 on television advertising as part of your budget, you should also know what the value of a prospective client is to your business. Why? If your business is building websites and each prospect potentially represents $5,000 in business when they become a new client, that TV campaign would need to result in four new clients to cover the cost of advertising. More than four and you’ve generated a positive return on your investment (ROI).
Is it a negative ROI if you fail to land any new clients? From the bottom line perspective, probably so. From the viewpoint of the exposure you’ve generated for your business with TV spots, hardly. The bullet point becomes how effective was the message in your commercial.
And that is another bullet point. If your advertising fails to generate a positive impact on your bottom line, that should not result in the wide-ranging opinion and a deep-seated conviction that “advertising doesn’t work.” It only means it was somehow flawed.
More bullet points that impact your marketing budget when it comes to advertising:
- Make sure you know your target audience for any advertising;
- Verify that the delivery vehicle (TV, radio, newspaper, Internet) is effective in reaching that target market;
- Find the market research that gives you reasonable assurance the audience will respond favorably to that message delivery vehicle;
- Know what you’re offering but, more importantly, what the consumer is buying;
- Craft a message that focuses on what’s in it for the consumer, not you;
- Deliver the message by getting the audience’s attention first; and,
- Finish with a strong call to action so the consumer has little doubt.
Back to my point about the effectiveness of your commercial. If you threw out a campaign or message that was missing some of the bulleted items above, chances are your results were less than what you anticipated. Add in that the commercial may have run at the wrong time for your audience or been buried on a seldom seen page of the magazine, and your results deteriorate.
We once worked with a jeweler who insisted on having the largest ad in the phone directory. We roughed out the concept and had the directory’s graphics department design an effective and attractive ad. We were good to go. When the directory hit the streets, we opened a copy to the “Jewelers” spread of pages and the ad wasn’t there! Phone directories place ads alphabetically. Our client’s ad was there, but it was on the page before the spread with all the other jewelers in town. Good effort wasted and beyond our control. Subsequent ads were mere bold-faced listings under Jewelers.
Rather than succumb to a sales representative suggesting your business belongs in their publication or on their station, take the time to think things through. Can they answer the bullet points you’ve established for your products and services to your satisfaction? If not, simply let them know that what they’re offering fails to meet the demographic profile of your target audience. They’ll understand, but not give up easily.
Another option is to use the professional consulting services of a business such as Brand Irons to help you come up with a solid profile for your customers and help you make those marketing decisions so they have a positive impact on your bottom line.