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Out of Your Advertising Dollar
I was recently involved in a round table discussion with a group of individuals trying to decide what marketing activities their company should engage in for 2013. One of the group was adamant on using radio advertising to increase the company footprint through the use of radio ads. I had a real hard time with this tactic to increase the company’s footprint. He made a valiant case toward why large sums of money should be spent on radio ads, which in his mind, would make his company a household name. I completely disagreed. In my opinion using radio to increase his company’s footprint would be effective if his client was not part of a niche market. It very much reminded me of a lot of the marketing that building automation companies and suppliers have to do. They are marketing to key personas within a niche market. Having a company that makes PLCs advertise on local radio makes no sense to me at all because the odds of people who would use PLCs are more than likely not going to hear your ads.
When I work with clients to develop marketing strategies to increase
sales I look at conducting activities that provide the maximum return
on their investment. What is the point of engaging in a marketing
activity just to spend money? Most businesses simply do not have that
budget. I would rather construct a strategy for a client that has them
invest $10,000.00 and provide a measurable return. What I mean by
“measureable return” is that the sale of a product or service can be
traced back to a specific marketing activity. That closes the loop and
provides a critical data point when planning future marketing
During the discussion that I was involved in I simply looked at the individual who wanted to use the radio ads and asked him if he really knew who his client was? The truth is that most companies really do not know who their clients are, or how their clients find them. It is a problem that marketers deal with on a daily basis, and it is typically an issue of argument in strategy meetings. This is mainly due to us all being human. People will recommend the mediums that they know and like, but those are not always the best activities for a business to spend marketing dollars on. Marketing professionals need to remove themselves from the argument, and look at the problem from a simply logical perspective.
I tried this
approach with my argumentative colleague and he simply
stated that if he stopped 10 people on the street only two out of five
might know his company name. That may be absolutely true, but are those
10 people your customers? If you sell temperature controllers which
are used to regulate the temperature of large buildings and factories
would it be expected that 10 people on the street know your company’s
name? Taking 10 people off the street with occupations like: students,
doctors, retail professionals, government employees, would it be
plausible that any of these people would be involved in the direct
purchase of temperature controllers? Would they be influencers or
decision maker involved in buying temperature controllers? The odds are
stacked pretty high against it. So investing $100,000.00 on a
radio campaign to promote a company to these 10 people would be a
complete waste of money and resources.
That led to the motivation for this article. Whenever the idea of investing money in an advertising / marketing campaign comes up there are a few questions that need to immediately be asked:
1. Do you absolutely know “Who” your client is?
2. “Where” do potential clients see your message?
3. What mediums do they receive your message on?
4. When do they view your message? What days, times?
5. How do your clients contact you?
It is all about getting the maximum amount of return for the dollars that are invested especially in these challenging economic times. Every idea put in place should be able to be measured against the amount of sales that it creates. If it can’t then it is more than likely not the right activity for your business.
A little extra time spent making the plan will pay off when it comes to
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