Do you have problems with your advertising just not producing the results that you want? Do you feel as if you spend too much money for too little results? Do you advertise only in the spring and in the fall?
Advertising is a cumulative process. The more you advertise, the more you create visibility and awareness, and the more effective it becomes. If you have minimum funds, what makes the most sense, to advertise in preseason spring or fall when an estimated 90% of potential customers have no interest in what you are selling, or to advertise in-season, when an estimated 90% of potential customers have an interest in what you have to sell? What makes the most sense is to spend your money where you're going to get the highest return on investment, to maximize the effectiveness of your advertising dollars.
Advertising is a cumulative process. The more you advertise, the more you create visibility and awareness, and the more effective it becomes.
What you advertise is as important as when you advertise. When you analyze your ads, you want to examine your call to action. What is a call to action and why do you need one? A call to action makes your advertising more effective. Without a call to action, an ad is just a pretty picture.
The questions to ask yourself are, does it resonate, is it effective, and does it motivate the viewer to do something? The call to action must strike a chord within the audience to motivate them to stop what they are doing and take action. You have to make it so irresistible that they can’t resist.
Auto dealerships are often very effective at what they do to get people to come in a buy a car from them so we could take a page from their playbook. There is no point in reinventing the wheel. We all know that HVAC isn’t as sexy to the public as buying a new or used car is, but when your cold or too hot and your system isn’t working, you have to act fast to replace it.
One of the things that auto dealers do is advertise during all of the major holidays. Depending on the holidays, that you select that could be 10 or more times a year. So in effect, they are creating awareness based on the volume of the advertising they place. Most often, they are on the radio where the cost per thousand is relatively lower than most other mediums, although sometimes they are on TV as well.
Auto dealerships are always running some type of promotion, push, pull, or tow sales, or they are offering up to $5,000 off the price of a car. They offer highest trade-in value for your old car. They always have some kind of time limit, “this week only,” or “offer good until we sell 100 cars,” or some other hook. The key they're using is a limited supply of inventory at a certain price, also known as the scarcity principle. It makes it more imperative to take action before the “good deal” goes away.
Thinking out of the box, what could you do in your business to create a time-limited or availability-limited offer? How could you benefit by tying it to a holiday to create a special sale or an overstock sale? Figure out how to use your uniqueness to attract new customers to you. What hooks could you use on existing customers? Could you offer a trade-in sale? What would you do with the old equipment that you take out if it still worked? Would you donate a relatively modern piece of equipment, give, or sell it to an employee, or would you scrap it?
The key to effective advertising is to advertise continuously. Advertising is important. If it wasn’t Coke wouldn’t spend billions of dollars to advertise a product that everyone knows about, nor would they spend millions of dollars to create an eye catching ad for the Super Bowl each year. The fact remains that if you want to grow, you have to advertise, and that takes money.
The rule of thumb is if you want exceptional growth, you need to invest about 10% of your profit in advertising. The more you invest the faster you grow provided you do it strategically by taking advantage of your uniqueness and your expertise. In the end, all advertising is cumulative and to make it effective you have to target the right group of people, and you have to mobilize them to pick up the phone and call you or go to your website and give you their information so you can call them.
Andy Fracica is the author of Navigating the Marketing Maze, he is, a speaker, a marketing coach, and president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, and social media strategy. Contact Andy at 260-338-4554, [email protected] or visit the Fracica Enterprises, Inc., website.
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