I am certain that, as a business owner, you have often entertained
the question as to how much to spend and where to spend your
advertising dollars. For most small business owners, these questions
can add to the headaches suffered in the course of normal everyday
operations of their business.
THERE ARE NO SIMPLE ANSWERS
The how much to spend and where to spend it questions have
no easy answers.
Depending on your type of business, many people suggest that
the *how much* should be equal to anywhere from 4% to 10% of
your gross receipts.
The quandary is that a business cannot survive without a fresh
flow of incoming customers. But, a business can seldom generate
a fresh stream of customers without spending money to get the
word out about their business.
THE CHALLENGE OF DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE ADVERTISING
Have you ever paid for advertising and sat back to await the
fresh flow of customers, only to find yourself sitting and sitting
and then sitting some more?
Donít feel bad about that. It has happened to many of us before.
See, knowing where to spend the advertising money is not enough
to get the job done.
Where to spend the money only begins to highlight the other
issues connected with advertising:
∑ Marketing Plan
∑ Advertising Strategy
∑ Headlines, Ad Copy and Visual Presentation
∑ Tracking the Success of Your Advertising Campaigns
THE MARKETING PLAN
The Marketing Plan is used primarily to identify your own
products and services, costs, strengths, weaknesses and the
strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.
To learn more about constructing your own marketing plan,
visit the Small Business Administration website for a comprehensive
study of the elements of a Marketing Plan:
It is important to understand what you expect to gain from
Do you simply wish to get your name known so that when your
customer will need you, they will think of you first? Or, do
you wish to get your customers in your front door on Saturday?
Do you want your customers to come in and take a look around
to discover the next object that they cannot live without? Or,
do you want them to come in and buy a specific widget?
Do you hope that enough people will come in to buy enough
products or services to pay for your single ad? Or, do you expect
to gain a lifelong customer who will help pay for your advertising
over the course of several years?
When you know what you want, then you will better understand
just how to do it.
HEADLINES, AD COPY AND VISUAL PRESENTATION
You might be surprised how many business owners put out advertising
without regard for the quality of the sales pitch or presentation.
The quality of your distribution outlet or the amount of money
you spent to get there will do little for you if the advertising
vehicle is a junker.
Test all of your advertising materials in smaller markets
before blowing your advertising bank roll on it. You must absolutely
know the value of your advertising before putting large sums
of money behind it.
TRACKING THE SUCCESS OF YOUR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
Tell your customers to save another 10% when they tell you
they heard or saw your ad in such-and-such location. Suggest
that they can register to win a free widget if they fill out
a form and have them to tell you how they heard of your business.
Advertise a specific widget in your ad and track the sales of
It does not matter how you track your advertising --- just
make sure you do it!
The ideal way to spend your advertising budget is to buy a
rifle with a high-powered scope and to only shoot your targets
in the light of day.
If you are not tracking your advertising, then you are shooting
a pellet gun without an attached scope, with blinders on, and
shooting in the dead darkness of night.
Even with a bigger gun, the blinders in the dark constitute
the single largest mistake made by advertisers. If you are unable
to track your advertising to learn what is working well, what
is working somewhat, and what is a money pit, then you are condemned
to repeat your mistakes over and again.
By relying only on gut instinct, you may be choosing to spend
more money in the money pit and to lose all of your money in
When you get down to the nuts and bolts of making money from
your advertising, you should plan, prepare, track and study
your results. You must have factual information on which to
base your advertising decisions. When you are making the right
advertising decisions, then making money from your business
might just come easy.
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Reprinted with permission from the Plug-In Profit Site Free Website Builder.