Every day, it seems, I get asked about ways to save money on advertising. I’ve been asked if cutting the size of the newspaper ad, or the frequency will still get the same results. One question was a scheme to use newspaper one month, take a month off and use radio the next month, take another month off and use then use the shoppers and stingy pennies.
If you run a brick and mortar business, you know how confusing it can be, deciding which advertising is right. Especially troublesome since every media salesperson has a different take on how to mix it.
So many questions, so little time. So I have created a list of 10 ways to save money on your advertising.
1. Pretend everybody knows what you do. If you have been in business more than a month, everyone in town just has to know what you do and how you do it, so throw those ad salespeople out the door.
2. Convince yourself you don’t have the time to be thinking about promoting your business. As long as the bank account has a positive balance you must be doing something right, right? Long term planning and what-if strategies are only for those who make a plan and follow it anyway.
3. Assume everybody knows what you have to sell. Remember, word of mouth is a great tool and everyone will know about your products in no time. Forget that old business saying of what happens when you assume.
4. Convince yourself that you’ve been in business so long customers will automatically come to you. This is especially true if you have not changed business locations in the last six months. Familiarity breeds profit. As long as they can find a place to park, they will find a way, even if you close at five.
5. Forget that there are new potential customers who would do business with you if they were urged to do so. You are making the bulk of your money with the customers you already have, something about that 80/20 rule. Spending time on the 20 seems counter-productive. Besides, they will find about you anyway and show up and buy something, then you got ’em hooked.
6. Forget that you have competition trying to lure your customers away from you. You’ve seen the way they work; spending all that time with the little extras. The no strings guarantees, the sales staff that tries to remember the regular customers by name. Nothing there that goes to the bottom line. Heck, they even sell some of what you sell for more. No threat there.
7. Tell yourself that marketing costs too much and you really don’t get that much out of it. Some really good business cards from the print shop in the back of the big box store can get the word out and the newspaper can use it for your signature ad around the high school basketball schedule. That’s enough exposure.
8. Overlook the fact that marketing is an investment in selling… not an expense. Your people can close 90% of those who come through the door, right? Some say the only time to spend any money on marketing is when business is up. Although there are others that say only spend when business is down. Hmmm.
9. Be sure not to provide an adequate marketing budget for your business. Use that zero base thing and start with nothing and work to keep the number there. Remember, every dollar not spent goes to the bottom line.
10. Forget that you have to keep reminding your established customers that you appreciate their business. Those guys that give unexpected gifts and do no-charge services and personally meet, greet and thank customers are just not spending time selling the
Advertising and marketing have really just gotten out of hand. No need to spend any more than absolutely necessary, right?
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