What is Advertising?
Marketing is the act of spending money to get your Business name in front of potential buyers of your product or service. The answer to the later part of that question is, Yes. Yes you should absolutely be Marketing your business. If you want to watch the video I made about this blog entry, or blog entry about this video? Whatever it may be, here it is...
What is marketing really though. The main goal behind marketing is to get people to remember who you are when they need your product or service. Think about how powerful marketing is in our brains already even though we see hundreds if not thousands of ads a day. If I were to ask you, “What’s the name of that thing you put in your ear but your not supposed too, to get out ear wax?” You all will probably respond with “Q-Tip” but think about this, that’s not the name of that product, that is a BRAND of that product, it’s nothing more than a cotton swab. Think about the last time you got a new car, a new phone, or learned a new word perhaps. You start seeing that new car or phone everywhere and all of a sudden the word you just learned seems to be said ALL the time. That’s the idea behind marketing. Getting consumers to think of your company over other companies.
Lets dig a little deeper about what is marketing. There are many different types of marketing and each has it’s pros and cons. When you are creating a marketing plan for your company you should develop a plan that works within your budget, both in time and money, who do you want to reach, how often do you want to reach a potential customer. Once you get that general information answered you then need to see what type of marketing you should choose to reach the customers you want to reach. This is called a marketing strategy, it will save you money in the long run.
Now You might be saying oh Greg I don’t need to market my business I have word of mouth and I am plenty busy. Let me ask you this, are you afraid of getting more business because that would mean it would change the status quo that you have been living with for years? Or are you actually so busy that people have to reserve a time slot 6 or more months in advance to get your product or service. If you are that busy why not hire more people so you can get busier? Why not expand on the size of your business by opening multiple locations to spread out the clients you are serving and want to be served. Also what happens when your loyal customers move away? The average American moves almost 12 times according to the US census beuru. There is a very good chance your loyal customers may move out of the area and will not be telling people about your business any more. Then think about this, what number of customers do you believe are actually telling other people about your business? Are most of your customer repeat customers? A morbid thought is what if your customers Die? A more realistic thing to happen will be another business comes into town and starts taking your business. Consumers are not that loyal, if you aren't at the top of their mind when they need something they won’t choose you.
Don’t worry though this is where marketing comes in handy. Marketing allows you to be in the forefront of everyone's memory, With radio ads, tv ads, newspaper ads, yadda yadda. You hear the same thing over and over again that you will drain it out, until ONE day you don’t because that potential customer needs the thing that you offer. They hear your ad on their morning commute to work, they see a billboard, they see an ad link on google while they search for their need at work. One of your display ads appears (in a nonintrusive way) on a website that has nothing to do with you or the customers search for their problem (the customer might have been on espn looking at last night's game) then the customer gets home and reads his local community newspaper and sees your ad again! That’s it the customer says I am going to call “Your Company” tomorrow they say out loud to whomever is listening. The customer may at this point do a google search on your company and see what you have to offer. They see you have positive reviews on facebook, yelp, google, or wherever. Your website is a flawless website that is easy to navigate and has the answers your customer is looking for.
Let’s say you decided to go with the option of “I don't need to advertise my customers love me” Yeah maybe they do, but this person doesn’t know of you from a hole in a wall. This customer didn’t see or hear your ad once. This customer may have passed you on there way to and from work every DAY. They didn’t look your company up. This is a perfect story that may not usually happen of course but this is a very realistic idea of how it works.
This is why your business needs to advertise and the better you can target your advertising the more effective it will be. Also don’t be afraid of trying out different ad formats, from print and radio to tv and the internet. You can also experiment with the message the ad is saying. Just because it looks good to you doesn't mean it looks good to the customers you are trying to bring to the store.
This is only a start to why advertising and marketing is so important. I will make a new post soon going into a little more detail about all the different options available to a business owner.