Advertisement Ideas: Advertising Expense or Investment?By
Advertisement Ideas: Adevertising Expense or Investment?
In all my 20 + years of advertising sales and design and developing advertisement ideas I have always pondered the question of is advertising an expense or an invetment? In many cases it depends what side of the table you are on, are you the one selling the ad or the one buyimg the ad? It all so depends on your mindset about about business. In many cases when businesses are slow they cut the marketing and advertising budget looking at it as an expense when that is the time to increase the budget and strengthen your brand and look at advertising and marketing as an investment because you can measure the results. If you run an ad with a specific tracakable number you can see haw many calls it generated, if you create a unique link to get to your website from the ad you can track visitors and the actions they took. The key is to look at all the advertising choices and determine if I invest in this type of marketing will it increase my brand awareness, will it create a buzz, will it drive business.
The other day I was out and about representing La Bonita Kidz and Teenz selling advertising space for the Spring Issue due out on March 1, 2012. I went into a Day Care Center whose sign said enrolling now. After I entered the office the director said we are cutting expenses we are not doing any advertising as we don’t have enough students. I told her no problem, however can I ask you a question? She said yes. So I asked what is your plan to attract new students. Her answer was just signs in the school. I asked her what a new enrollment represented and she said she did know. I gave her my card and told her that she should visit www.labonitakidz.com as we could really help her.
As I left I thought wow how many times am I going to hear oh we are cutting expenses things are slow and how many people aren’t going to know what a new customer represents. I remember when I was a sales manager with Forum Lanes I would recommend tot he owner to advertise and would be told we don’t want to incur more expenses. I would say yes it costs to advertise, however let’s look at the return on investment as a new league bowler represents $426 to the center in a 36 week period of time so if we invest $250 on a 1/4 page ad in the local paper mentioning our leagues and a free game coupon we only need 1 new league bowler and we make a slight profit and the last time we did an ad campaign we attracted 12 new league bowlers not to mention regular customers who pay full open bowling rates when they come. He still said no. I left the company about 3 months later and about 9 months later I was told he sold the center. Now bowling has declined over the years yet the centers that advertise and look at it as an investment are making money.
The key is to be knowledgeable and treat advertising as an investment and have a precise way to measure the return on investment. Like every other aspect of the business you need to set goals for your program, know who you want to reach, what your offer will be, and track the results. Your advertising investment should create a buzz about your business so that when that consumer/client is ready to use your product or services they will come to you before they go to your competitior?
One of the excuses I hear many times is we tried that type of advertising before and it didn’t work so we aren’t spending any money on that type of advertising. This is not what a business owner should be thinking they should be finding ways to make the advertising work. I often ask can I see the ad you did? When you made your advertisement investment were you working with someone who had your best interest in mind or just their commission? I then get a liitle sacrastic and ask if you went to a Chinese Restaurant and didn’t have a good experience would you never go to another Chinese Restaurant? The idea is to look at advertising as an investment and when someone who is creative and knowledge with years of successful experience walks through your doors to be open to receive.
I have come to the conclusion that when you look at advertising as an investment and you are proactive you tend to become more successful. Advertising is something to do consistently and frequently with a solid recognizable message as you never know where business is going to come from. Whe things are slow advertise more to attract customers/clients, when business is fast advertise to build the momentum.
This seems to sum up the idea that advertising is proactive and the more you promote the more you chance you will dance in the rain and overcome any storm.