How many times have you been in a business and noticed that the place is booming even though service is poor, then imagined what the business could be like if it were run properly? How often have you encountered incompetent ownership or management and though, "Boy, if I owned this place, I could turn it into a booming success."? Or perhaps you want your own business, but the thought of spending ...
Some of the advertising was effective, but for the most part advertising was not necessary for survival. Of course there were exceptions then and there are exceptions now.
Certain businesses have always had to advertise regularly. These include vehicle dealerships and retail stores particularly. But for the most part, most small businesses – and particularly B2B (business-to-business) enterprises didn’t advertise much at all aside from the occasional ad in the trade journal. The latter was usually perceived as mandatory or obligatory. It may not have been much of a sales generator.
Things began to change in the decade of the 1990’s when the world began to shrink thanks mostly to great advances in electronics and communications. The Internet and the World Wide Web brought us all closer to things far, far away. The changes were gradual at first, but momentum has increased steadily and continues today. Frankly, there will be no stopping it any time soon.
Direct-to-consumer small businesses have responded well. The market expanded well beyond the neighborhood for them thanks to E-commerce. Shopping on line has become routine for millions of consumers. The smallest of businesses can ship its product to almost anywhere in the world.
The small B2B enterprises have not responded as well as their direct-to-consumer counterparts. Competition for the B2B enterprise has increased from outside the traditional market and from outside the country. It is a global economy, not just a neighborhood anymore. What was automatic is no longer automatic. Long established customers are courted from afar by new competitors. Established business contacts are no longer present. Buyers and decision-makers are far away, not down the street or across town as they once were. The company headquarters down in Dallas is calling the shots for the Wisconsin location. The contractor from Phoenix is looking for a masonry contractor in Ohio. That’s the way of B2B commerce today.
To survive in the new world economy, both the small direct-to-consumer business and the small B2B business must now do something that hasn’t been done very often or very well for generations. The small business owner must now advertise effectively. Advertising effectively is not just advertising more of the same, but advertising by using methods outside of, instead of, or in addition to the old traditional ways.
Patience is not a typical trait of entrepreneurs and small business owners. The lack of patience on their part is particularly true when it comes to advertising. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners have tried one form or another of the established forms of advertising including newspaper and journal print ads (display advertising), radio or television (media advertising) or direct marketing at least one time.
Consequently, there are many small business owners that will swear that advertising is a waste of money.
Advertising specialists and Marketing experts measure everything. Nothing is left to chance or luck. These specialists and experts know that repetition is essential to any effective advertising program. While it is possible to get lucky the first time, almost always advertising will take time and repetition to be effective.
Signs are a perfect illustration. Advertising professionals know that signs have a very high percent of Recall. Billboards, yard signs, and vehicle signage can have as high as a 96% Recall factor. In other words, people remember the message or important information that the sign provides.
Recall is not Recognition however. A person will drive by an outdoor billboard 20-22 times on average before noticing it. We know this because marketing experts have measured the traffic.
What does this mean for the business owner? There are 21.75 work days per month for the average worker. Large outdoor signage contracts are monthly, but the basic outdoor package is ninety days or more. In other words, advertising experts conclude that there is a statistical probability that the population of drive-by traffic will view and recall an outdoor sign at least once in a business month or at least three times during the three month period of a basic contract. How many people drive by? That depends on the location of course, but the sign company will know how many will pass and the particular demographics of the passerby at various times of the day. Once again, the demographics are measured.