I’m sitting down to write this blog because it seems there is an issue with clients and potential clients that keeps coming up. This issue is keeping them from maximizing their advertising dollar, and even more importantly, it is putting forth a poor brand image that may very well portray their company as less than stellar.
That issue is the “I can do it myself” syndrome.
Many small and midsize companies—and yes, even some large corporations—are stuck in the belief that they can do their own advertising, e.g., CEOs or their secretaries who write and design their print ads, develop their own direct mail packages, write their own blogs, and write and post their own social media. I hear them say, “Oh, we tried that and it didn’t work.”
What these CEOs don’t understand is that training, education,
and experience in the field of advertising and marketing
is not just “nice,” it is crucial.
Just as these CEOs might be highly qualified in their field, advertising professionals are highly qualified in theirs. And the reason their advertising didn’t work is because it was an uneducated, amateur (at best) approach. Whether these CEOs choose my advertising agency or another qualified agency, I cannot stress enough the resulting positive company image and return on investment of their advertising dollar when they do—as opposed to wasting money on advertising that is doomed to fail.
Yes, these CEOs are highly intelligent and might even be able to write a decent business letter. But marketing and advertising strategy, copy writing, and design are skills that one does not learn overnight. There are research, specific skills, and even psychology involved. Their materials have to speak to their target audience in a language to which that audience will respond.
What I’m talking about is STRATEGY.
From a marketing perspective, your target market must be understood. Who are your best clients and best potential clients? What will be your strategy— provide current services offered to new clients or new services offered to current clients, provide a wide range of services to a variety of client types or narrow range to a specific type, to name a few? These decisions involve consideration of risk/growth/cost from low to high in all three categories. You need to know what you are doing to make the right decision.
Knowledge of your competition is also key. You may think your product or service is the best ever, but there may very well be a competitor who is ahead of the game. You need to know the details to be able to compete.
You need to know your current and potential clients’ buying considerations in order of priority in order to address them—things like cost, availability, experience, expertise, and reputation.
You need to set specific goals within a specified timeline, such as:
“I now have XX clients bringing in $XX gross income in 6 months time; I am going to achieve the goal of bringing in XX new clients who will generate $XX gross income in the next 6 months, an increase of XX% and monthly billings of $XX.”
And the marketing tactics! This is not a one size fits all game. A mix of tactics that might work for one company may not work for another. There are print ads, direct mail, social media, telemarketing, email marketing, and other means to consider. A professional in this field will choose tactics most likely to work for your specific business. Why throw your money away on something that is doomed to fail?
And importantly, results must be monitored in order for your advertising to keep on working.
It’s time to reconsider.
I hope this blog has made some CEOs reconsider and resist the urge to “do it themselves.” Sure, advertising professionals charge for their services. But this cost is miniscule when it comes to saving you megabucks on your advertising.
Magazine and newspaper ads cost money and if they don’t work it’s money out the window. The same goes for direct mail—printing and postage cost money and if you don’t get a return it’s money down the tubes. A poorly designed website with poorly written content puts forth the worst image possible—and that high school age techie who put it together may have been paid big bucks.
And one of the biggest mistakes—that social media is all that’s needed—well, that’s simply not true. Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media do work but they usually cannot attain your advertising goals without the assistance of additional media. Not to mention how harmful it could be were an amateur to inadvertently post something that’s really stupid or offensive to a certain group—you can never take it back!
On a positive note, usually a happy medium will occur where you can find an advertising professional to work within your advertising budget. When you do you’ll be ensuring your good company image and your advertising will actually attain the goals you’ve set. In other words, ROI.
Founded in 1992, Advertising That Works is a full-service advertising agency offering print advertising, direct mail, web content/design, search engine optimization (SEO), blogs, email marketing, social media, public relations, strategic planning, media research, budget planning, and media buying.
We get results for our clients because of our extensive research of the client company and research of their target audience, an advertising strategy based on this research, and killer creative that speaks to prospects in a language they understand and that delivers a consistent message and call to action.
Advertising That Works would like to help you grow your business. Contact us for a FREE consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org or 978.397.7971.