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The Underlying Reasons Why Most Small Business Advertising Fails

If you own a small business, restaurant, or professional practice and have been creating your own advertising campaigns, or hiring ad agencies or “marketing guys” to do so… only to watch your ads continually flush money down the toilet with no tangible proof of any return on your investment… then this will article will help you to understand why, and what you can do to fix it.

The first thing you need to understand is that most ads are doomed to fail before they are even written due to fundamental strategy or philosophy problems.

The average marketing guy or ad agency head will not understand the enormous magnitude of difference in advertising strategy for a small business to be effective in his local market — as opposed to the game plan a huge national or international corporation with a 7 figure ad budget would utilize.

The underlying problem is their advertising philosophy and the ad’s overall intention.

Wrong Intention/MotiveĀ 

This is extremely important to understand because it is the very foundation that your campaigns are built upon. If your foundation is cracked or compromised in any way… whatever is sitting on it is likely to topple over due to the lack of structural integrity.

You need to ask yourself ” what am I trying to accomplish in this ad? What action do I want it to lead to?”

Most of the advertising you see on TV and in your mailbox is designed for one purpose. To increase name or “brand” recognition of the company behind it.

Unless you work for IBM, GEICO, Budweiser, or another huge faceless corporation, this can be dangerous territory to tread in.

The hopes behind this method is to plaster the company name and logo everywhere you can see it: TV, mailbox, email inbox, billboards etc… with the hopes that on the day you actually want to drink a beer or change insurance companies you will remember them.

There is some validity to this method of subconscious repetition, but the number of campaigns that are actually successful in tangible dollar returns is few and far between.

Furthermore, the amount of money required to pull it off successfully is so vast, it would quickly drive the most successful small business or local dental practice owner out of business.

Yet you will never cease to find college professors teaching “small business 101”, or traditional ad agencies pushing this method of advertising. It’s a very high risk game to be playing… especially with your own money.

If your main motive for advertising is to create “brand awareness” I hereby order you to stop immediately! There is a better way…

Advertise to Sell

The correct (and only) motive for a small business advertising campaign is to sell.

Whether that be selling a product or service directly in the ad itself, or simply inviting the customer to set an appointment, or request more information… it should always be moving them 1 step closer towards making a purchase.

There should NEVER be a campaign sent out, where branding or creating name recognition is the sole or primary focus of your ad.

The only real questions should be how are you going to sell, and how hard do you need to sell?

As a rule, if you are marketing to new customers who have never heard of you, you usually need to sell harder than you would customers who have been to you before, even if it hasn’t been for a while.

For a new customer, there is an invisible trust barrier that must be broken down or lowered enough for the customer to initiate contact with you. That is your responsibility as a marketer… to obliterate that barrier, and keep it down, through whatever means it may take.

It may be inviting them in for a free consultation, going out to their home for an estimate, giving them a significant discount or free bonus on their first purchase, a free trial offer etc…

Different price points and levels of competition will dictate your method, but ultimately it is up to you to make an irresistible invitation to your potential customers, and get them to do business with you.

How To Build Your Brand

After they have purchased something, your brand building immediately starts through the experience they have with you. You create a “brand” or reputation in their minds or an expectation for how the relationship will be right then and there, whether you know it or not.

If they had a great experience with your staff, loved your products, and enjoyed the level of service you provided, then you have built a great brand with that customer.

The same applies if they had a negative experience.

They will use whatever experience they had as the basis to spread the word about you so make sure you do whatever you can to be sure it is a positive one!

This is how you build a successful brand at the local level.

Not by plastering your face everywhere, but by creating great buying experiences with people day after day, and giving them reasons to spread the word about you.

If you would like more marketing and advertising tips to help you grow your small business or professional practice, subscribe to my email newsletter: “The Business Building Blueprint” here: www.BusinessBuildingTechnician.com

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