Fairfax Cone (1963)
“Advertising is salesmanship mass produced. No one would bother to use advertising if he could talk to all his prospects face-to-face. But he can’t.”
Morris Hite (1988)
People who don’t understand the sales process don’t understand advertising. Unfortunately, people who don’t understand the sales process OR advertising often find themselves in a position where they must manage both.
Long ago and far away, when I sold advertising, the most common “misconception” held by small business owners was that advertising works like putting quarters into a gumball machine. You put a nickle in and out falls a piece of gum.
Unfortunately, advertising your small business is more like putting quarters into a slot machine. The chances of you running a single ad and hitting the “jackpot” are slim indeed.
In sales, persistence is the key and the same is true in advertising. That means you can’t run a “typical” single television, radio or newspaper ad and expect a crush of customers at your door.
When I say “typical” it reminds me of a sales manager I had who when challenged by business owners that “advertising doesn’t work” would issue the following challenge. He would say,
“Here’s the deal. I’ll pay to run a 1X1 ad in our newspaper for your business to PROVE to you that newspaper advertising works. The catch? You have to give a $20 bill to every person who walks in the door and asks for it.”
The business owner would invariably reply, “I can’t afford to do that! You’ve got tens of thousands of readers. I could go broke doing that!”
To which my sales manager would smile and reply, “But I thought you said newspaper advertising wasn’t effective?”
Want to create a mob scene – give $20 bills away for free. If you choose this approach, you’ll be disappointed in how productive a marketing strategy this is. All those “freebie seekers” aren’t your target customer and they will leave as soon as they collect their cash.
A BETTER marketing strategy is to create an advertising campaign that tightly targets your target audience and directly speaks to their GDP (Goals, Desires and Problems). This campaign will let your tightly targeted audience know you have something to offer which is MORE VALUABLE than cash!
If you need help creating such a message, pick up a copy of the book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results.