By Vishal P. Rao
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has truly become a part of all of our lives as consumers,
as business owners, as parents, as concerned citizens.
We simply cannot escape from its presence no matter
how hard we try. Considering how pervasive advertising
is in our daily lives, it's no surprise that people
have such extreme views about it.
home-based business owners want to steer clear
of it altogether. They might dabble in marketing
or use some sales strategies, but most don't want
much to do with actual advertising. Unfortunately,
this is a mistake on their part and it usually
comes as a result of not understanding the purpose
So what is the true reason
for advertising? According to Michael Corbett,
author of The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising,
you should advertise "to create an equity position
in a target market and to ...motivate a sufficient
number of consumers..." In simple language, you
advertise so that people will know you exist and
will keep you in business. What's so evil about
Absolutely nothing! Here
are a few very good reasons why you need to start
Potential customers are constantly shopping
The truth is that most people
are always looking for ways to spend their money.
They don't always realize it, but they are. That's
why banner ads, commercials, and billboards work
even though they are being viewed miles away from
the business. If you don't advertise, you're missing
out on a chance to tap into that human desire.
Potential customers may forget you
While the desire for shopping
may be permanent, a consumer's memory is not.
Even if they have had a tremendous experience
with your business, even if they've recommended
you to their friends and family, even if you were
the only company they ever thought of doing business
with, after awhile they would forget you or forget
how to get in touch with you.
Potential customers don't always make buying decisions
Another tried and true rule
about consumers is that they don't always decide
to buy as soon as they see an ad. For example,
if you see a commercial for a fast food restaurant
right after Thanksgiving dinner, you're not going
to run right out to the drive thru after seeing
the commercial. However, the next time you're
hungry, you might remember that commercial and
choose to stop in then. So the idea of advertising
is to plant an image in consumers minds so that
when they need your product, your business comes
to their minds.
Customers rely on name recognition to guide their
consumer choices most of the time
Why do people still buy name
brand products over generics even when the price
difference is significant and the quality of the
products is equitable? Because of name recognition!
Consumers respond to names that are familiar whether
they are buying a new car, a computer, a lawyer,
or ketchup. If you want to succeed, you need to
be sure that your targeted audience will know
your name when they hear it and will think of
your name when they need your product. Advertising
can make that happen.
On the other hand, many business
owners see advertising as a quick fix. If business
gets a little slow, a newspaper ad or a direct
mail piece will fix everything in a jiffy. That's
not the case either. Let me give you a few reasons
Advertising works on a six month cycle
Many times when people think
their advertising hasn't worked, it's because
they haven't waited long enough to see results.
Generally, the advertising you do today won't
fully pay off for another three to six months.
For that reason, if you want to ensure a consistent
stream of customers, you need to continue to advertise
all the time. Advertising only when business is
slow simply won't save your business because by
the time you start seeing results, it may be too
Your problems are related to another step in the
Another reason advertising
can't cure everything is that simply attracting
customers is only one step of the process. Once
you lure them in, you need to have the content
or the customer service to convince potential
buyers to take that next step. If any step in
the process is lacking, then no amount of advertising
is going to help.
You are neglecting your current customers and
Don't make the mistake of
focusing all of your efforts on finding new customers
when your best source of additional revenue is
being neglected. Past customers are more likely
to become repeat customers, plus they don't require
the additional expenses of marketing and advertising.
As you can see, the
truth about advertising is that it can be a powerful
force for your success if handled correctly. Too
many people see it as an evil force or as a business
miracle when the reality is somewhere in between.
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