When I talk to businesses about print advertising there are several answers I regularly hear, but most of them are myths. And the problem with myths is they lead people astray. So, over the next two issues I will be taking a look at them and explaining why they should be ignored. Let’s dive in!
Word of mouth is sufficient. This would be okay if you had cornered the market on a particularly niche product or service. If not, whilst undoubtedly word of mouth is fabulous, it relies on customers talking to other people looking for exactly the same thing. You need much more outward-bound forms of communications (note plural!) to create awareness of your product or service.
Advertising is expensive. Whether you spend hard cash or use your time to attend business networking events or schedule your social media posts there is a cost. The bottom line is you’re in business to make sales; if people don’t know about you how can they buy from you? That’s why advertising should be considered as an investment, not an expense.
Social media is all I need, and it’s free! Social media may be suitable standalone platform for some businesses but not for all. You need to establish your target audience and mix and match the platforms accordingly. As to the “free” bit, whilst you may not need to subscribe to social media channels you will need to create the posts and respond to people’s comments. Your time is money, so it needs to be weighed up against whether your time is being well spent doing this.
I’ve tried it once and it didn’t work. Advertising is a marathon, not a sprint. Ten years ago, it may have taken three contacts with a prospect to create a sale; move on six years and that had increased to five contacts; currently people say as many as eight contacts are needed. This is a rule of thumb approach and will depend on your type of business e.g. it’s easier to sell a sourdough loaf than a diamond necklace. Notwithstanding, consistency is the name of the game; rocking up all the time and showcasing your business is the way people become familiar with your brand and are more likely to buy from you.
People don’t read printed material any more. It’s not whether people don’t read any more; it boils down to whether they are interested in what you have to offer. If they are they will read regardless of whether it’s an advert with a call to action or an 1,500 word advertorial about your business.
I hope you found this useful. Keep your eyes peeled for Part 2 where I will debunk another five myths. In the meantime, if you’d like to receive other marketing hints and tips you can sign up for my newsletter here.
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