Most businesses advertise in one form or another. Some go overboard while others just dip their toes in the marketing waters. Even as marketers ourselves, it’s hard at times to make the decisions on where to place ads or purchase marketing (and ego plays a huge role).
Typically, huge billboard ads, bus ads, or newspaper ads cost thousands of dollars for limited time frames of exposure, and are purchased just so a business owner can point it out and say, “look at me!” That’s not a great plan for anyone without deep enough pockets to easily afford that type of self-promotion.
Asking the right questions is the path to success.
What is the exposure, reach, retention, or readership?
We’re going to pick on newspapers a bit, but I think we can all recognize that these are very unique and challenging times. Picking up a newspaper in public that has been handled who knows how many times is very counterproductive to how we will conduct ourselves moving forward, for the foreseeable future anyway. So if people are not picking up newspapers any more, the “reach” is gone. They no longer have an audience for you to showcase your business to, therefore there’s no value. In 2020 and beyond we would suggest you hunt for those former newspaper readers on social media. That’s where your readership has turned to, and where your reach and retention can be maximized.
The huge advantage of this change is that marketing costs are much lower and the data returned is exponentially higher. This is a huge win for advertisers (and not so good for print media).
Do I want to brand myself or do I want to see immediate results?
Choosing where you advertise will directly impact the answer to that question. When you’re planning your marketing, do you adhere too much to tradition? “We’ve just always bought newspaper ads.” Alternatively, is it about seeing your name in lights? It’s likely the right answer is getting in front of the people you want to reach and understanding what stage they’re at in the buying cycle when they see or interact with your marketing. We all love the idea of the big, bright, branded ads that could light up the night sky, but we need to check our egos at the door and really think about where we put our marketing dollars. We need to truly understand who we are reaching and what that specific marketing platform and medium has to offer. We need to know the numbers so we can set expectations and plan for results.
These and many other strategies and plans will help you navigate through the waters we are in today and help you allocate your marketing dollars to be as effective as possible.