You’ve probably heard the famous saying “I know that half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted: if only I could figure out which half it is! Well, now you can. By eliminating the common mistakes many businesses make with their advertising programs, it’s easy.
Here’s a checklist of mistakes many companies make with their advertising:
1) Not focusing enough time and effort on their advertising
Most business owners spend far more time and effort on mundane things that don’t really affect their bottom line than on advertising. This is the first huge mistake. Without effective advertising, almost all businesses will fail.
If you feel you don’t have the time or desire to handle the advertising for your business, consider hiring a consultant or agency – but with caution. It’s almost more difficult to find an ad agency that knows what is effective than it is to study it yourself. Many agencies are far more focused on winning awards than creating profits for their clients.
If you do feel you need to hire an agency, find one that will work on a results compensation basis vs. a straight commission for all the media they buy. This gives them an incentive to provide results and not pad the budget to justify a larger commission for the agency.
2) Relying on advice from friends and relatives
If business owners do handle their own advertising, many times they let their friends/wives/husbands or other various employees who have no idea whether or not advertising is effective make the decisions about their advertising plan.
Would you ask your dentist for advice about fixing your car engine? Of course not – that’s not their expertise. So why in the world would you base something as important as decisions about your advertising on a relative who has no idea what he’s talking about?
3) Being led by pushy or aggressive media sales people
The reason media companies pay their sales people big bucks is because they can influence you to buy space, air or time (in the newspaper, radio or television) and give you no guarantees if it doesn’t work. Sounds kind of crazy, doesn’t it? Your customers probably wouldn’t buy from you and not expect the product or service to perform the way it should. But ad sales reps do it all the time.
Now sometimes they really mean well, and they have lots of experience and some fluke event or problem comes up. But for the most part, ad sales reps will do virtually anything they can do to get the sale.
If you feel like you’re being bullied by an ad sales rep or that they really aren’t looking out for your best interest, but really feel you want to work with that station/newspaper, etc., then ask for a new rep. They want your business and you’re the one calling the shots, so if they want your business, they need to find someone you’re comfortable working with.
4) Allowing your creative delivery to be ineffective
You can buy the best media schedule in the world that reaches 100% of your market 100 times, but if your message is not well created, it won’t bring you the results you want. Most companies rely on either their ad agency or the media company themselves create the ads for them. This is a very difficult thing because most companies acting on your behalf don’t take the time to learn about your business, your customers and what makes you different in your market.