05 Apr A Dose of Advertising Truth
Because of the industry I work in I frequently find myself looking for work. The usual scenarios are either they need a website and I have a job until it is done, get hired for SEO and as soon as they hit the front page things start happening that make the job untenable or they just hire you freelance and when the project is done it is over and you are looking for work again. Same is true with video production.
Over the years I’ve seen my industry go from offering people $45 an hour to where companies are now trying to scab people for $10 and $12 an hour to do the most important job in their company. The CEO pays them self a huge salary and drives a new Mercedes but the guy that brings in all the business and makes the business happen is driving a broken down Ford Taurus. I don’t know how we got all backwards like this but it didn’t used to be.
No matter what you do it does not matter how good you are at it, it only matters how well you market it. Take for example a company call Ronco. For those of you old enough to remember Ronco used to sell all this really crappy, cheap junk on TV often on the UHF channels. They had choppers and slicers and dicers. One in particular I remember was the “Popiel Pocket Fisherman” that was supposed to be a small fishing rod you could keep in your glove box. The thing was a piece of trash. Broke the first time you used it. How do I know? We bought one.
Something else important to understand about marketing is that if you start a print campaign people are not all of the sudden going to break down your door. You might run ads for a couple weeks and not get a hit. It is important to track all this but my point is that advertising is about brand recognition. So that when someone needs your product or service they think of you. To think that your ad is going to magically find exactly the people that need your service or product is living in a fairy-tale. It just doesn’t work like that. If you want instant reaction you have to use online ads. And PPC can get expensive real fast. However, you can budget it but what you need to do is watch the data and make sure you are getting back more than you spend. And count in all aspects of the sale. Not just product cost versus sale price.
Another important thing to consider is that advertising is not a last ditch effort to save your business. You need to start advertising long before that. You need to have a good sized budget when you start the business and you need to set aside a fair amount out of the gross to pay for future advertising. Estimates are as high as 15% of your total budget should be spent on marketing depending on your industry. Most are between 5% – 10%.
And for those of you that might think “who is this guy and what does he know”. How about you hear the same thing from Bloomberg Business here?