I joined Full Orbit Web and Marketing about 7 years ago to help with the marketing. Frankly, I knew nothing about marketing, so I just did what I saw other businesses doing.
I made a postcard about our business and I handed it out to everyone we knew. It looked good and I enjoyed making it but it didn’t bring in any business. I also placed a Yellow Pages Ad. It brought us two clients that first year and we did not continue with advertising after that.
For our business, advertising has not been a good source of new business and referrals. (Fortunately, other marketing strategies work better for us as I’ll share next week.) I know it’s the same for many other professional service businesses because I’m always asking people about their marketing. I believe advertising doesn’t work for B2B businesses.
However, for some businesses that work directly with consumers targeted advertising does work. I know several local businesses like Norge Cleaners in Albany, Five Little Monkeys in Albany, Marty’s Motors in El Cerrito that get a good return from advertising.
So if you are spending dollars on advertising and are not sure if its pulling for you, you need to start keeping stats. Ask every new client (if you mostly do large projects and sales) or ask every customer for a month (if you have many smaller ticket clients) how they heard of you and keep a tally. That will keep you from spending money on unnecessary and non-effective advertising and open up dollars for other marketing that is effective.
To expand on this point about advertising, we’ve reached a point in history where advertising is popular among many marketers but losing or lost it’s effect on most of the consumers. Each of us are exposed to hundreds if not thousands of advertising messages EACH DAY. Because of the overwhelming number of advertising messages we’ve each become adept at blocking out or ignoring these advertising messages.
Corporate marketers are going to keep using advertising; their goals and strategies with marketing and lead generation are different than for small and medium size businesses. They want us all to identify with their brand even on an unconscious level so they inundate us with the presence of their branding.
Small/ medium-size businesses can not spend millions to get every American to recognize their brand forward, backwards and in the mirror. Small/medium businesses will be better off using different strategies in which every marketing dollar will have a direct translation into new business.
That’s why the internet marketing is so attractive and effective for small and medium size businesses. Businesses are meeting consumers in a online and creating relationships that are the opposite of advertising. The consumers are searching for information. People go online to the Internet to do some research when they want to make a purchase or make a change in their lives. They are looking for helpful information not advertising. Information websites and blogs are providing the information. It’s information, not advertising.
More about this in my next post on the content rich website.