In recent years I have encountered one marketing issue that seems to be pervasive among all types and sizes of businesses and organizations. They seem to possess all the basic elements to achieve success, including passion about their product, good understanding of sales, product selection, good customer service, a professional attitude and good marketing tools to name a few; but the road ends there …the final leg; advertising is often missing in a long term strategic plan. No money has been allocated to reach out to potential customers through an organized process.
I must admit I am not sure why; smart, knowledgeable business leaders seem to drop the ball when it comes to bringing the process full circle. Marketing and advertising is costly , often equaling the total cash outlay leading up to the launch of the company or product, but any business plan must include a means of reaching out to potential customers … and for some unforeseen reason this final step is consistently undervalued, regardless of the logic in taking that step.
Options for advertising can be bewildering. Some clients misunderstand the advertising process and as a result they put in place a sales force in an attempt to reach out; others are overwhelmed by the advertising options or they feel the volume of marketing materials make up for the lack of advertising, and some just can’t seem to get past the cost. Now…I am not advocating a foray into advertising at any cost ….but I am suggesting a consistent, customized and well researched marketing and advertising initiative is paramount to your business’s success.
The scope and customized approach of a well thought out advertising program based on a reasonable budget can have a dramatic impact on your business, but it’s not a quick fix. In my opinion there are four basic rules guiding the process:
1. Understand the people who buy your products and why they buy them
2. Develop incentives to enhance the benefits of your product
3. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses in contributing to the process
4. Design and advertising program that uses a variety of mediums, both traditional and new media
When you are launching a new marketing initiative for a product, a service or a location, allocating a budget for advertising will factor into the success of your initiative. Stay tuned for part two of this article where I offer some concrete suggestions and steps you can take to effectively complement your marketing plan with sound advertising decisions.