Advertising has truly become a part of all of our lives as
consumers, as business owners, as parents, as concerned citizens.
We simply cannot escape from its presence no matter how hard
we try. Considering how pervasive advertising is in our daily
lives, it's no surprise that people have such extreme views
Many home-based business owners want to steer clear of it
altogether. They might dabble in marketing or use some sales
strategies, but most don't want much to do with actual advertising.
Unfortunately, this is a mistake on their part and it usually
comes as a result of not understanding the purpose of advertising.
So what is the true reason for advertising? According to Michael
Corbett, author of The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising,
you should advertise “to create an equity position in
a target market and to ...motivate a sufficient number of consumers...” In
simple language, you advertise so that people will know you
exist and will keep you in business. What's so evil about that?
Here are a few good reasons why you need to start advertising
1. Potential customers are constantly shopping
The truth is that most people are always looking for ways
to spend their money. They don't always realize it, but they
are. That's why banner ads, commercials, and billboards work
even though they are being viewed miles away from the business.
If you don't advertise, you're missing out on a chance to tap
into that human desire.
2. Potential customers may forget you
While the desire for shopping may be permanent, a consumer's
memory is not. Even if they have had a tremendous experience
with your business, even if they've recommended you to their
friends and family, even if you were the only company they
ever thought of doing business with, after awhile they would
forget you or forget how to get in touch with you.
3. Potential customers don't always make buying decisions
Another rule about consumers is that they don't always decide
to buy as soon as they see an ad. For example, if you see a
commercial for a fast food restaurant you're not going to run
right out to the drive thru after seeing the commercial. However,
the next time you're hungry, you might remember that commercial
and choose to stop in then. So the idea of advertising is to
plant an image in consumers minds so that when they need your
product, your business comes to their minds.
4. Customers rely on name recognition to guide their consumer
choices most of the time
Why do people still buy name brand products over generics
even when the price difference is significant and the quality
of the products is equitable? Because of name recognition!
Consumers respond to names that are familiar whether they are
buying a new car, a computer, a lawyer, or ketchup. If you
want to succeed, you need to be sure that your targeted audience
will know your name when they hear it and will think of your
name when they need your product. Advertising can make that
On the other hand, many business owners see advertising as
a quick fix. If business gets a little slow, a newspaper ad
or a direct mail piece will fix everything. That's not the
case either. Let me give you a few reasons why.
1. Advertising works on a six month cycle
Many times when people think their advertising hasn't worked,
it's because they haven't waited long enough to see results.
Generally, the advertising you do today won't fully pay off
for another three to six months even one year. For that reason,
if you want to ensure a consistent stream of customers, you
need to continue to advertise all the time. Advertising only
when business is slow simply won't save your business , by
the time you start seeing results, it may be too late.
2. Your problems are related to another step in the process
Another reason advertising can't cure everything is that simply
attracting customers is only one step of the process. Once
you lure them in, you need to have the content or the customer
service to convince potential buyers to take that next step.
If any step in the process is lacking, then no amount of advertising
is going to help.
3. You are neglecting your current customers and their potential
Don't make the mistake of focusing all of your efforts on
finding new customers when your best source of additional revenue
is being neglected. Past customers are more likely to become
repeat customers, plus they don't require the additional expenses
of marketing and advertising.
As you can see, the truth about advertising is that it can
be a powerful force for your success if handled correctly.
Too many people see it as an evil force or as a business miracle
when the reality is somewhere in between.