The myth most business owners believe: All I need to have a successful advertising or promotional campaign is to just buy an ad, pick some products to advertise, cut my normal price by 20 percent, and then wait for the customers to start rolling in.
Why this myth causes a problem: Simply put, the ads that most business owners place with little or no planning fail to bring in the results that the business owner expected. So they reduce their advertising or just flat out eliminate it altogether. In this economic downturn, advertising and promotion is often one of the first things reduced. Of course, this leads to flat or reduced sales and sometimes total business failure.
The truth successful business owners learn the hard way! Successful business owners have a plan and a system for everything important to their business. They know that advertising and promotion is one of the three pillars of a successful business (along with finance and management).
The successful business owner will have a system that forces them to know the answer to each of the following questions before placing an ad or running a promotion:
- Why am I choosing to advertise or run a promotion for this product?
- What am I trying to accomplish with this advertisement or promotion?
- Who is the target market for this product? Be sure to consider both current and prospective customers.
- What will my promotion do that will make me stick out from our competitors? If it doesn’t, then why should I run the advertisement or promotion?
- Is this promotion strong enough to get attention? Running BORING advertising is worse than no advertising at all. No advertising is at least free.
- Does the advertising or promotion stress how the product or service will solve an important problem that the customer has?
- Does the advertising or promotion explain why you are the best solution to the customer’s problem?
- What guarantee(s) will you offer to eliminate or reduce the risk to the customer of buying from you?
- What will be my call to action? For example, “Hurry! This offer is only good until Friday!” or “Due to the amount of work required to customize each plan, I can only accept three new clients this month. So don’t miss out – call now so you can see how we can help you increase profits now!”
Lesson learned: Smart, successful business owners understand that proper planning is the key to success, and they also apply this belief to all of their advertising and promotions.