Yes, it can be done!
After spending my entire career in some form of advertising and marketing, I have come to two inescapable conclusions:
- All forms of advertising work. (to a point)
- Everyone hates advertising. (unless it’s your own ad)
Let’s face it; there are dozens of ways for you to advertise your business. They all have some cost involved either in time, or money. In many instances, they involve both. Options range from flyers to restaurant place mats, to pencils, coffee mugs, newspapers, magazines, radio, billboards, buses, broadcast television, cable television and, of course, the all time favorite: word of mouth.
Again, they all work, to a point. Otherwise businesses wouldn’t still be using them. Agencies wouldn’t still be recommending them and media outlets wouldn’t be selling them.
Advertising has two basic objectives: To get you to buy a specific something or, to get you to remember the business name for the future. The two are not necessarily mutually inclusive.
The challenge is to get the attention of the consumer at precisely the moment they want or need your product. I’ll get back to this in a moment.
Think about the last time you made a major purchase. Did you turn on your television and wait for a commercial? Did you do the same when you turned on your radio? Did you pick up a newspaper or a magazine to search for what you were looking for?
An unfortunate side effect of technology, at least for advertisers, is that it has become unbelievably easy to avoid advertising when you want to. Who can blame us? We’re inundated with thousands of advertising messages every day! So we use DVR’s, iTunes, DVD’s, Spotify, and others as alternatives to avoid them. We listen to satellite radio and read newspapers and magazines online, all to avoid putting up with the never ending onslaught of ads.
There is good news in all of this. Consumers still buy things. Lots of things. In 2014 Americans spent $5,211,542,000,000 on stuff! That’s trillions…with a T! (source: US Census Bureau)
Did you also know that for every dollar U.S. consumers spend online, another five to six are going to offline purchases locally that are influenced by online research? (source: MIT Technology Review, E-Commerce gets Smarter.)
Did you know that consumers who pre-shop (search) online spend more in your store? (source: ComScore )
And that there are nearly 100 billion searches made on Google every month?
Today’s consumers opt-in to your advertising message. If they need a new refrigerator they Google “refrigerator” and research what’s available. Then they search to find where they can buy it locally! That means you, Mr. /Ms. Businessperson! No matter what you sell!
50% of online searchers are ready to buy right now! That’s what I meant earlier when I spoke of precisely the moment. Consumers are still being advertised to, they are just picking and choosing which ads they want to see and, since they’re researching, it doesn’t feel like advertising.
There are myriad ways to get your message online to potential customers. There are PPC (pay per click) ads, banner ads, organic search, social media, with more and more options coming online every day. Some you pay for, others…well, others are nominally free or come at extremely low cost. Certainly at a lower cost than television, radio, newspaper or direct mail.
We help you navigate the sometimes stormy seas when it comes to getting your business found online. We’d be proud to help you and your business. Contact us, or download one of our informative eBooks. We’d love to chat.
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