I’ve been working with business owners for awhile now. We started working together back in the days when I would show up to sell or renew their yellow pages ads. One of the hardest things for me at that time was trying to get some business owners to invest in a bigger ad. Of course, they always assumed I was just trying to make a bigger sale, but the truth was, I knew the bigger ad would get better results. How did I know? Because I had just come from another advertiser who had the big ad and loved it.
Here’s something you may not know. The biggest advertising campaigns are always the easiest for marketing sales folks like myself to renew. You might not think that to be the case but it really is. It’s the small campaigns that are harder to renew because the impact of those smaller ads is much harder to notice. Did the $30/mo yellow pages ad pay for itself? Sure. But one or two little sales a month isn’t why you advertise. Business owners aren’t just looking to break even or make a little ROI. They want to grow their businesses. And that can’t often be done with a small advertising campaign.
Ten years later and I’ve sold SEO, PPC, social media, videos, and more. These days I’m really focused on display advertising, and that yellow pages scenario I just shared still plays out in the digital space of 2014. I imagine myself reading this article in ten years and seeing this still happening with whatever advertising medium is popular in 2024. There will always be business owners willing to invest “what it takes” to make a difference and truly move the needle, and there will be those who “can’t afford to.” “Can’t afford to?” You can’t afford not to. That’s why you’re advertising.
So here’s my plea to you. Whatever advertising strategy you decide to pursue, take a large enough bite to get measurable results. Come to think of it, “take a bite” is the perfect analogy here. When I’m trying to get my eight-year-old daughter to try something new, and she wants to take a tiny nibble of whatever it is we’re trying, I always encourage (read: make) her take two decent bites. I explain to her that she’s not going to get a real taste of this fun new food with a nibble, and that she has to give it a serious try.
I want you to give your advertising a serious try. Don’t invest the minimum amount expecting to “try out” the advertising and see if it works. That’s totally and completely unfair to the strategy.
Consider this: That small ad on page twelve of the paper is going to get very different results than the big ad on page one. You can’t try out the little ad as a way of deciding if it makes sense to invest in the large one. Advertising doesn’t work that way. You’ve got to take a risk and go for it in order to reap the greatest rewards.
So whatever strategy you are considering, newspaper, radio, PPC, social, display, whatever… make sure you invest enough to get real results. Beware the sales rep that will let you invest whatever you feel you can afford just so he can make the sale. Chances are that’s the rep that is just trying to make quota. That’s the one you need to beware of, not the one that is trying to get you to go big. He may be trying to make quota too, but he’s also trying to help you grow your business.
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