Why is Advertising Soooo Expensive?

How often do you hear someone say, “I would advertise but I can’t afford it. It’s just too expensive.” They then indulge in a conversational song & dance about how they did this, and why they did that but nothing worked. They then sadly confide it was all a waste of money.

Some of these people will try advertising periodically in different venues, just to remind themselves that advertising doesn’t work . They can then share the fact with their friends and colleagues that at least they tried.

It is highly unusually if not remarkable odd that so many advertising mediums are able to stay in business when advertising truly doesn’t work.

Here are some of the advertising rationales business people have told me over the years.

  • Some of them heard or read something about a formula, a percentage, they should set aside for advertising so they did it and now they have to spend it.
  • Some individuals have the same little ad, in the same place, every week. It doesn’t cost a lot and they can cover the cost. Just in case someone is searching for them, they feel a need to be there.
  • Some entrepreneurs will advertise once in each place that falls within an imagined price cap. They only advertise once because it never works.
  • Some people want their advertising place to a competitor, with an ad just like the competition.
  • Others want to be nowhere near the competition and want to know what the competition is doing, so they can do something else. The competition stole their last idea and they are still using it!
  • They created a new product/service and decide a launch.
  • They advertise only because they have co-op dollars to spend.
  • Those who are friends with the advertising sales rep and know they are getting a good deal.
  • And we have all met advertisers who insist you have to advertise a low price.
  • And those who think you should never advertise a price.
  • Some advertisers are only comfortable spending money with a guarantee the ad will pay for itself.
  • Some businesses never advertise , nor do they market, but they never seem to be around long.
  • Last in this list are the big stick advertisers. They have huge budgets and are going to beat you into oblivion with their great big ads and low, low prices.

Where do you fit in?

Why would you spend money because some formula indicates that you should? Will this secret formula pay the bills for you when the bill comes in?

If consumers fail to respond to your ad week after week, why would you continue to spend the money?

You must remember it will take more than 1 exposure for a prospective client to notice you. Just because they did not respond to the first exposure does not mean they never intend to do business with you. Unfortunately if they have only met you once, they may never find you again. They may always be one step behind you on the path in your discarded trail

Should you care who is advertising next to you? There will always be someone else there…beside you, around you, or coming up behind or in front of you. You can rarely if ever to catch them all; but do you care? After all, are you in business to be “just like your competitors”?

Maybe the competition figured out how to get better results from your idea than you did. Maybe they aren’t getting any results but you haven’t given them any new ideas lately. Who cares! Talk to your customer; don’t worry about the other guys.

If it’s always about price, there is no loyalty. Harken back to your childhood. Remember when some kids attempted to buy friends with candy or ice cream. How long did the “friends” stick around after the goodies were gone – never long enough.

If having a huge budget for advertising was all it took to guarantee success, there would not be any small businesses. Small Businesses still make up the largest portion of the business community.

So why is advertising sooooo expensive?

Because most companies never learn how to make it work well.

The irony is, if you think everyone is your customer and advertise that way, people who do business with you will think you are the same as every other business who does what you do or sells items similar to what you sell. Your customers won’t think of themselves as your customers. They will think of your business as a place to make purchases … if it’s convenient, and if the price is lower than the other place (the one whose ads you don’t like to have next to yours).

Advertising should be relevant to your target group. Choose one overriding benefit of why people do business with you and scream it from the rooftops!

In the end, advertising is only expensive when it doesn’t work!

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