Do you think advertising is a four-letter word? Then you’d better think again. In the dog-eat-dog world of business, advertising often makes the difference between success and failure.
Unfortunately, advertising myths abound, and if you can’t separate truth from fallacy, intelligent marketing decisions are almost impossible to make. So watch out for these ten common misconceptions about advertising:
- You don’t need it.
Maybe your company has a reputation for excellence; plenty of customers already know they can count on you to provide a great product or service. So who needs to advertise? You do, because in today’s highly competitive, rapidly changing marketplace, the status quo isn’t a safe place to settle.
- You can’t afford it.
Actually, you can’t afford to do without it, especially when the competition is probably advertising aggressively. The good news is, thanks to the Internet, social media and mobile browsing, advertising can reach farther and cost less than ever before.
- One size fits all.
The fact that the shop down the street manages to pull in customers through its website, doesn’t guarantee you’ll do the same through your website. Know your customers, find out how most of them prefer to hear about products and/or services and tailor your advertising to meet their wants and needs.
- Advertising is the same as public relations.
No way. Public relations is about exposure, free exposure, mainly through press releases. The idea is to inform everyone about your brand, a new location, a new product, etc.
- It’s all about sales.
Okay, good advertising can drive sales, but it can and should also expand your customer base and brand recognition. Effective advertising helps John Q. Public enter into a relationship with you, one that can result in customer loyalty and provide you with the best of all possible ad tools, word-of-mouth.
- Advertising is hard.
It’s nowhere near as tough as you might expect. The Internet offers a multitude of marketing tools and tutorials to help even the novice advertiser come up with a plan and the skill to execute it.
- All you need is a website.
Websites are great, but it doesn’t pay to forget other options. Coupon books and smart buyer papers still provide viable outlets. If most of your customers are outdoorsy, you might get creative with sandwich signs, street banners or aerial advertising.
- Mobile ads don’t work.
The stats say otherwise. Mobile users spent nearly $800 million in 2010, and they’re expected to spend more like $13.5 million this year!
- Social media doesn’t matter.
Although direct advertising on social media doesn’t always pay off in sales in the short run, a social media presence is crucial to your advertising. On Twitter and Facebook you form relationships with current and potential customers, and those pay off big time in the long run.
- Do it and forget it.
Advertising isn’t a one-off proposition. Don’t set your strategy on auto-repeat. Track the success of your advertising—i.e., your return on investment—remain agile and adjust your methods as needed.
Bottom line, how you advertise depends on your customers. The options and resources are practically endless. The only option you won’t want to consider is not advertising at all.