One of the first things I do when I join a company, or consult with a company is ask to see all the pieces of communication that are (supposedly) in place to drive new customers to the business.
It is almost axiomatic that there will be a plethora of ‘stuff’ in place that is, at best, of dubious use, and, at worst, a complete waste of money. More often than not, the latter. The culprits tend to include ads in trade magazines, local sponsorships, or,advertising on media that the target market cannot act with. For example, advertising a website on a radio ad: given that most people are driving when listening to the radio, they cannot slam on the anchors and write down the name of your website.
When asked why the company is doing these ‘bits’ of marketing, the answer is, naturally, to get customers. But this is absolutely the wrong reason (naturally, I communicate this face-to-face a little better 🙂 ) This leaves the company open to the vagaries of what media sales guy is on the phone and how good he is at closing the deal. As a rule, this is unconnected with the proper type of targeting, strong message and great offer needed to get a result!
The best reason to advertise is to have something, exciting, bold and different (and differentiating) to say i.e. something that actually drives a sale. Unfortunately, in most cases, most companies use bland, boring undifferentiated commiunications, and then wonder why it didn’t work.
So, stop advertising. Now. Then, find out how you can communicate something, exciting, bold and different to say. Next, be ruthless with yourself, and choose a media for your target market that is effective , measured and co-ordinated.