The Most Common Mistake Made by Advertisers

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Over the past few years I’ve developed a reputation for producing positive returns on advertising investments.  As a result I have had a lot of people ask me for advice on what they should do in their business.  Most of these individuals own small businesses and have a limited advertising budget.  Some people will come up to me and say ”I spent $xxxx.xx advertising on radio and didn’t get anything out of it.  I’m not advertising there anymore.”  The first thing I think is “did advertising on the radio really not work, or were you totally missing your target audience?”

This is where we start to drill down to what the real probem is.  Now granted, both radio and print have much more competition than they did 10 or 20 years ago, but if your target market is individuals that match the demographic of that particular radio station then you shouldn’t have a problem producing results.  So let’s keep drilling down.

Let’s say your business is a jewelry store.  The first thing you want to do is clearly define your four P’s; product, place, promotion, and price.  Product: What are you selling?  Place: Where are you selling the product and how big is your geographic market?  Promotion: What message do you want to get to potential customers?  Price: How much does it cost?  Once you have those four things identified, you simply need to match your advertising up.

Let’s use this as an example.

Product:  Engagement Rings

Place:  Johnstown, PA (Richland Township) with market potential from Ebensburg north to Somerset south, and as far east as Portage and west as Blairsville.

Promotion:  12 month same as cash (0.00% interest) financing available on all engagement rings purchased during the month of November

Price:  Starting at $2,199.99

So now we have effectively identified our four P’s.  Now we need to match up our advertising.  We can safely conclude that our most probable target audience are males between the ages of 18 and 34.  Where can we most effectively get in front of this target audience?

Are they typically reading the newspaper?  No.  Most males in this age range get their news from the internet.

Will they be listening to the radio?  Some might, but the majority will probably be listening to satellite radio, CD’s, mp3′s, or an iPod.

Are they likely to see an advertisement on an outdoor billboard?  Possibly.  Males in this age range are more active and travel frequently.  Billboards would be a possible solution.

Would they be likely to see an ad on television?  Probably.  According to Nielsen’s 2011 “State of the Media” report, both males and females ages 18 – 34 spend an average of 28 hours and 31 minutes watching television each week.

How about online?  Very likely.  Online advertising is on fire.  It is an entirely new medium that’s being driven by social media, as well as people’s ability to access the internet from handheld devices at 3&4G speeds.  According to comScore, americans ages 18 – 34 spent and avergage of 34 hours a month online in 2010.  This doesn’t even include the use of social media apps on mobile devices.

Ok, now here is another area where people tend to make a mistake.  Often times people will select one form of media and put all of their money into it.  This is a bad idea.  You want to have a mix of media.  So from the process we went through above, I would recommend selecting the top three which are television, online, and outdoor.  From there you simply provide your message to those medias or to your advertising agency of choice, have your advertisments created and you’re all set.

So if you take anything from this article, remember to clearly identify your target audience before you select any form of advertising to carry your message.

Article by Ryan Gindlesperger