The Frustration Factor: Why Advertising Misses the Mark

‐ April 11, 2023

The most frustrating advertising is the advertising that you do for your small business that did not produce a result.

Why did the advertising for your small business not produce results?

The reason the advertising for small businesses did not work is because of one or more of the following three things:

  1. Messaging for your advertising was off. Most of the time the message is what the business owner or marketing manager thinks the message should be, which often is not the real reason why people are buying the product or service.
  2. The audience (or the buyer) of the product or service was not clearly identified. Usually, it is often a vague idea of who the best customer is or who the business owner would like to buy their product or service, not necessarily who is buying it. The answer to this is to survey your current customer list or people who have bought from you. You have to have more than the name and zip code they live in to do an effective job.

What you need to start with are the customer’s name and home address. Phone and email are helpful. From there, an expert marketing company like Wilson Print Marketing can take your basic data and data mine to get more information on the people who have made purchases from you.

Data mining is the process of taking basic information you have on your customers and using that to find out more information about them. For example, just a few things we can data mine for:

  • Age
  • Income
  • Education level
  • Family size.
  • Home Value
  • How long they have lived in their homes.
  • Marital status
  • Number of Children
  • Credit rating
  • Hobbies
  • And much more…

After we have more complete information about who bought from you in the past. We can use that to match other people in your marketing area who have those basic qualities and characteristics.

Now you can create a strategy that effectively reaches those new prospective customers because you now know more about who they are.

  1. The third thing that causes advertising to fail is very important. Even if you have the first two points in, not having this one in will cause the advertising you bought for your small business to fail.

Consistency. If you are buying advertising with the attitude you are going to “try it” to see what you get, 9 out of 10 times you will get nothing for your money.

Why? Because the product of trying is having tried.

You did not give it time to work. The days of quick responses are long gone. Today people have more options and shop longer. Especially on bigger ticket items people tend not to make on-the-spot decisions to buy; they shop, research, and most likely procrastinate.

100% of the time, people will buy a product or service from someone they know and trust over a company they just heard of. In advertising circles, they call it branding or name awareness. When you bounce around “trying” one advertising medium to another and canceling after a few months – you are wasting your money!

The steps for success are:

  1. Identify your audience. Know who you want to reach based on who has bought from you in the past.
  2. Craft the message based on why people bought from you.
  3. Pick the advertising medium or media that best reach your audience. Usually, it is best to combine multiple media.
  4. Plan your advertising for at least 12 months. You are in front of your audience on the same medium, day after day, week after week, month after month. You can change and update your message as you go but stay with it. Be consistent and do not give up.

Advertising a small business is similar to boiling a pot of water. When you first turn on the heat there is no boil. Then after a while as the temperature increases, the water comes to a simmer. Then finally a full-on boil.

Marketing your small business should be approached with the same attitude as boiling water. Don’t expect a full-on boil when you first turn on the heat. It takes time. You will get results but you first have to heat up your market and bring it to a boil.

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