|sales & marketing|
Why Advertise Anyway?|
by Rob Pearcy
Rob Pearcy is the President and senior partner of PTK Communications and an Ingramıs Forty Under Forty grad from 2000. He can be reached at 913.321.8989 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|How many times have you seen it happen?
An aspiring entrepreneur revs up the engine, cranks out a business plan, lines
up investors and a finance partner and takes the proverbial leap of faith.
In no time the new business has a home, a sign, some nifty advertising
specialty products and three eager sales people dying to make the company's
Trouble is, the line outside the door is waiting to make their order at the ice cream parlor next door. In fact, besides the window cleaning vendor and the yellow page sales person, the only people that are aware that latest and greatest is available on main street are the sales staff and the pizza delivery person.
What went wrong? A quick review of the business plan reveals that the entrepreneur put a great deal of thought into the operating budget. Included with the high-back executive chair and matching office sofa are the cappuccino machine, the country club membership the twice weekly massage sessions (to inspire free thinking) and of course season tickets to every major sporting event in town.
Strangely absent from this otherwise perfect business plan is even the slightest mention of a marketing budget. Why is this? Doesn't it make perfect sense that before your potential customers can beat down your door they have to know what your address is? Think for a second about the last time you purchased a product or service before you were exposed to some sort of marketing message that intrigued you. Never. How can you purchase something that you have no awareness of? You can't.
Your commitment to marketing really comes down to one basic question. Do you view marketing as an expense or an investment? Experts say that any given firm should commit one to five percent of revenue to marketing their products or services. Of course not every company makes this type of commitment, only the most successful ones do!
Okay so between keeping the lights on and paying your staff you probably wonder where you will squeeze out the extra cash that it will take to place your three new television spots on Super Bowl Sunday. Forget about big advertising budgets that none of us can afford anyway. Focus rather on activity that makes sense for your business.
Here are three ways to build awareness for your company that virtually any business can afford. First, join your local chamber of commerce, that is-if they're not your competitor. This will give you immediate access to hundreds of businesses that may very well be interested in your products. Second, network. Join civic organizations and attend all possible business type functions. Third, create and execute a public relations plan. Simply stated, develop your story in an interesting fashion and sell it to the media.