Article courtesy of Joe Gracia wiht Give to Get Marketing
There are four primary ways that small businesses generally use small space ads in mass media:
1. To Generate Awareness
2. To Generate Sales
3. To Generate Traffic
4. To Generate Prospects
1. Ads Designed to Generate Awareness
Many small business owners often copy the marketing tactics of the big corporations. Big mistake. Small businesses are not big businesses. Big businesses can afford to run marketing campaigns solely designed to create awareness for their business or a particular product. They've got deep marketing pockets. Small businesses don't have unlimited dollars to spend on simply trying to build awareness in their marketplace. They need sales. And they need them now. A neighbor of mine asked me what I thought about an ad she had just spent $200 on. The ad contained her logo, her address and her phone number; a typical awareness ad.
I asked her what she hoped to get from this ad. Her response was, 'I was hoping to get some new customers, but as long as I build some awareness for my business I'll be happy.' Unfortunately, she probably isn't going to get any new customers from this ad, for many reasons that I can't list here, and secondly she won't build awareness for her business either. One small ad in an entire marketplace is like a needle in a haystack. Thousands of advertising messages are directed at us every day. Most of them are invisible to us. Need proof? Next time you see a friend reading a newspaper, ask him or her to name as many ads as they can remember. If they can remember 5-10% they're doing very well. Think of how many dentists, insurance agents, and plumbers that are advertising within your marketplace, and now think of how many you can actually name. Does it really seem like they are creating awareness within their marketplaces? It takes hundreds of thousands of dollars in media costs to make a meaningful impression on a marketplace. Most small businesses can't compete with the big boys in generating mass market awareness. These types of ads will have the company name or logo at the top along with a few details about the business, and will end with the business address at the bottom. Sometimes the ad will say, 'Call for More Information,' but since most people won't call, it's still an Awareness ad. Very often they look like business cards. These types of small business ads are everywhere. It's the number one type of ad used by small businesses. Money spent on marketing designed 'solely' to generate awareness in a marketplace for a small business or its' products or services, is almost always money down the drain. Here are a few examples of Ads to Generate Awareness: http://www.givetogetmarketing.com/ads-awareness01.html
There's a better way to gain awareness and sell your products or services.
2. Ads Designed to Generate Sales
When you see a small ad that describes an inexpensive product for say $20 or so, and the ad tells you to send your money to a specific address, or asks you to call an 800 number to order, that ad is trying to generate sales directly from that ad. That can work if the product is simple to understand, like a book, or a simple household item, etc., if it is relatively inexpensive--under $40 or so. Unfortunately, most products or services aren't that simple to understand, or are not that inexpensive. And very often there isn't enough profit left over after paying the media costs for this type of ad to make it worthwhile--unless you can make it up by selling more products to the initial buyers on the back-end. Most of the time, prospects--people who are interested in the product/service being advertised--need more information before they can make a decision. There simply isn't enough space in a small space ad to answer all of their questions and concerns--or to build trust. These ads will have an attention getting headline at the top, a headline that tells you quickly and clearly what the ad is selling. It will often include a picture of the item being sold. It will also include a list of some of the key features and benefits that the item will provide. The price will be displayed, and there may be an incentive, like a special bonus or discount for ordering. It may also include a few testimonials from happy customers and a few words about the product guarantee. Then at the bottom will be information about how to place your order. In order to buy from a sales ad, you either have to mail in your money with your order, call to place your order, or, if it's an ad on the Internet, click a link to place your order. Selling your product or service 'profitably' directly from a small ad in mass media is very difficult, if not impossible for many small businesses. Here are a few examples of Ads to Generate Sales: http://www.givetogetmarketing.com/ads-sales01.html Timing is everything. Sales generating ads can work wonderfully when you use them to follow up with your list of 'interested' prospects. We'll get to those types of ads in just a second.
3. Ads Designed to Generate Traffic
Don't make the mistake of thinking that the typical grocery or department store ads you see in your local newspapers are generating sales directly from their ads. They aren't. After they see an ad for a digital camera for $399, they then have to drive to the store to learn more about the item before making their decision to buy. They'll look at the items, pick them up and examine them, compare them with others on display, etc. They may also ask a sales clerk a few questions about the items. Only then do they make a decision to buy or not to buy. They may still need more information. Those ads are designed to attract prospects to the store. They are designed to build store traffic. Those ads will often look just like sales ads, but the key difference is--you can't buy the product from the ad. You can't mail in or call in your order. You must drive to the store to examine the merchandise and make your decision. You still need to get more information before making your decision to buy. Traffic generating ads are used a great deal on the Internet. They are designed to drive traffic to your web site. Traffic generating ads can play a big part in your success, but the next type of ad is the powerhouse of small business building--and it's the least understood.
4. Ads Designed to Generate Prospects
Finally, we come to the most profitable ads for small businesses; Ads that generate interested prospects. If your prospects need more information about your product or service, or even about you and your company, then you will probably do much better by running Prospect Generating Ads. The whole point about running a prospect generating ad is to attract people to your business who have an interest in what you are selling. When those prospects contact you, they provide you with their names and addresses, or email addresses so that you can provide them with more information. With this type of ad you are creating a very valuable resource--a growing prospect list filled with the names and addresses of people who are interested in your type of product or service. That is worth its weight in gold. It's like fishing at a trout farm filled with hungry fish. Now you can follow-up with those interested prospects as many times as you like via mail, phone, or email. You can let them know about upcoming sales, or provide them with special offers, etc. Each time you do that, a percentage of them will respond and become customers. Here's the key: You use Prospect Generating ads in mass media to attract interested prospects to your business and grow your Prospect List. You send those hungry prospects your Sales Generating ads to convert them into paying customers. You do that via mail, email or phone. Not once, but as many times as you like. As I said, timing is everything. First you run your Prospect Generating ads, and only then do you use your Sales Generating ads. Not the other way around. That's a powerful way to grow your customer list and your business.
What can you offer in your Prospect Generating Ads to get your prospects to respond?
You can offer more information about your product or service in the form of a brochure, a catalog, a newsletter, or an informational packet. Or you could even offer a free audio CD, or a complimentary workshop. You could offer information about the problem your product or service solves. For instance, if you treat headaches, you can offer a report on how to get rid of headaches. If you sell beauty products, you could offer a Guide that contains 101 Beauty Tips. If you are a financial planner, you could offer a booklet or a report on how to invest profitably.
Samples can be great prospect generators ---------------------------------------------------------- In addition to offering information, you can often attract prospects by offering samples, or a trial period. A candy maker could offer a complimentary sample pack in exchange, of course, for names and addresses. I once saw a kettle corn stand at a carnival jam-packed with an incredibly long line of customers. He had a big sign that said, 'Fre e Samples of Delicious Kettle Corn.' His prospects--people who loved Kettle Corn--got a handful of Kettle Corn as a sample. It was indeed delicious, and so they ended up buying a big bag before they left the stand-- one small handful was not enough. All day long we saw people walking around with huge, $5 bags of kettle corn. I have no doubt that he was the most successful vendor at the carnival. It's up to your creativity and what your particular prospects will respond to, but basically you offer information or samples to attract your prospects, then you follow-up with your growing list of prospects with enticing offers on your products and services. This marketing approach works wonders for small businesses. If you've been trying to grow your business with ads in mass media designed to generate awareness, or direct sales and you haven't been having much luck, a simple switch to prospect generating ads could turn your business around overnight. Here are a few examples of Ads to Generate Prospects: http://www.givetogetmarketing.com/ads-prospects01.html
It's concepts like these and our more advanced concepts in our Give to Get Marketing course that have helped my clients double, triple and even quadruple the sizes of their businesses. It's easy once you know how. To learn how you can do that too, just visit the following link for all the details: http://www.givetogetmarketing.com/marketingsolution-ez.html
Article courtesy of Joe Gracia wiht Give to Get Marketing