Thursday, February 4, 2016

When is Advertising a Waste?

Marketing maestro Edward Segal contributed today's post. Edward helps REALTOR® associations generate publicity about their activities and shows their leaders, staff and members how to deliver effective presentations.

John Wanamaker, a merchandising pioneer in the 19th and early 20th centuries, said, “Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Many people still regard advertising as the best way to help position, promote, and sell their products, services, or expertise. After all, if you have enough money, you can say whatever you want, wherever you want, and for as long as you want, to anybody you want. And in today’s competitive marketplace, there are advertising opportunities that simply did not exist a few years ago, such as Facebook.

The trouble with advertising, however, is that unless you are careful, some or all the money you spend on it can be wasted. 

But how can you guarantee every penny of your advertising budget is well spent?

Check your ego

Think you can do it yourself? 

Do not let your ego get in the way of your advertising success. 

The reality is that there is a lot involved in successful advertising, ranging from strategy and creativity to messaging and placement, and you need to know what you are doing every step of the way. Put another way, would you ask a lawyer to perform brain survey on you? Of course not. So why would you believe that you can do your own advertising if you’ve never done it before, or well?

No one cares about your product

You think everyone in the world will want to buy whatever you are selling. Face it: just because you may be in love with what you are promoting does not mean that anyone else will be, or will even care about it. A marketing professional can help ensure that you are reaching the right audience for the right reasons and in right way.

Money pits abound

Here are other major potential budget-wasting mistakes to avoid. You:

  • Do not have a clear marketing message or effective marketing strategy.
  • Do not know your niche in the marketplace, or who your target market is. 
  • Have not weighed the pros and cons of the different advertising outlets. 
  • Don’t know whether a particular advertising medium is the best one to use in order to communicate your message, or if that medium will even reach your target audience.
  • Do not know how often you will have to advertise in order to have an impact.
  • Do not know much money will you have to spend in order to be effective.
  • Do not experiment or test market your messages or strategy before launching your campaign.
  • Pull your advertising before you have given it enough time to work.
Until you have taken steps to avoid these fundamental mistakes, it might make sense to place your advertising plans on hold, and consult a competent marketing professional.

Perhaps if John Wannamker had followed the advice above, half of what he spent on advertising would not have been wasted.

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