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Richard Adams - President of Manhattan Internet Advertising Services in New York.
Richard Wise

Does Advertising work?
by Richard Wise

The simplest answer is no, advertising does not work. At least, not in the way most people expect. According  to the New York based company Newtek Business Services, there are 24.7 million small business owners in the U.S. and growing at the rate of 14% per year. If the advertising model most small businesses think works, then they would all have a Super Bowl commercial. You see, many small businesses believe the advertising ROI (return on investment) dollars, equates to a positive cash flow. If there were some type of guarantee that for every advertising dollar spent, a return of 10% or greater could be realized, everyone would have a prime-time television, radio or magazine ad campaign.

Super Bowl TV advertising Costs

The 2013 "air time" for a 30 second Super Bowl ad costs about $3.8 million dollars to run. That does not factor the cost to develop, produce or hire the actors to pitch the product for this 30 second spot. If advertising worked, if a return of $3.9 could be guaranteed everyone would have a Super Bowl commercial.

Myrtle Beach Advertising

Product Advertising or Brand Awareness

But now we get to the nuts and bolts of things. In most cases the companies "running" Super Bowl advertisements understand the difference between product advertising and brand awareness. Coca-Cola realizes that advertising costs are an expense of doing business. Just like sugar, syrup and electricity, advertisements are just a cost of "keeping the doors open" for Coca-Cola..

Ford moving to online ad strategies

Dodge Dually 3500For more than 30 years Ford has been the number one selling truck in the United states; with Chevrolet, Dodge, GMC and Toyota all spending huge amounts of cash advertising their competing units. To some it may seem a very risky move for Ford to cancel their Super Bowl ad campaign, but then again Ford took no bailout money. "Customers are spending as much time with the mobile smart phone or online as they are watching TV now, so our advertising dollars have to flow to where the people are," Ford's marketing chief Jim Farley told Reuters in an interview in November 2010. What does Ford know that no one else does?

This idea that sending the marketing or advertising message to "where the people are," just might catch on.

Small Business Advertising

This discussion started about small business advertising and whether or not there is any relation between companies with national Super Bowl ads and advertising for small business? The answer is still no, not if the advertisement is expected to produce more or at least break even with its cost.

A large city in the mid-west has 33 pages of "Plumbers" listed in the Yellow Pages with 13 of those pages being full page ads. The cost for a full page ad is $5,000 per month with an annual contract. ($60,000 per year). The remaining 20 pages are "single file" listings of other plumbers. No way to tell if these competing plumbing companies are family owned shops or a guy with a pick-up truck and some hand tools. How are you going to justify a $60,000 ad spend in a media almost no one uses?

Where should your advertising dollars go?

There is very little argument that falling ad revenue is leading to the apparent demise of newspapers. Circulation drops because many people are not getting their news from newspapers. There is also not much argument about an obvious lack of Yellow Page usage. Many traditional advertising agencies have enjoyed a real time, "disconnect" with the consumers of their clients. They are creative and media buyers in the "good old boy network". Many small businesses do not even have an advertising budget let alone an ad agency. The mantra from traditional advertising agencies is "test, test, and test" to track and see what works.

Those small businesses without an ad budget are prime candidates for failure or at the very least doomed to suffer from little or no growth. The lesson here is how do I get my marketing and advertising message to "where the people are?"

Internet Technology Advertising.The initial promise of the Internet was a level playing field. It was designed, from a commercial aspect, to provide an opportunity for the small guy to compete right alongside the big guy. That ship has sailed. The idea that all "I have to do is be on the Internet" is exactly correct if you have no competitors, however if your business is competitive, what will it take for your company Website to "muscle" its way to the top of your Internet category? "IT" is the answer but it's not "information technology" rather instead "Internet technology."

Can you afford traditional advertising; do you have time to test?

There is a school of thought that consumers reject advertising in all media. I think consumers reject all advertising that does not interest them. If I am reading an online article and I see an ad banner about a DSLR with the ability to shoot HD video, as a photographer / consumer I am interested and I will probably click for more information. On the other hand if during the same article there is an ad for feminine hygiene products I am less likely to click. From the advertisers point of view at what cost did the product message reach me?"

One of the secrets to online advertising is to disguise the advertisement as an advertorial or product review. Newspapers are required to label all advertorials as an advertisement and to change the font from that of the newsprint. There are no such requirements online. Your Website or blog has the ability to provide a valuable platform for product information, pricing, availability, and benefits to encourage your potential customer to buy, but only if that information is accessible. Does your business have the resources, creativity and time to test your markets?

Bottom Line Advertising is Inbound marketing

The bottom line is "get your message to where the people are!" In 2006 Google reported 2.7 billion searches a month, in 2009 that number grew to 66 billion a month and today it's 3 billion a DAY! 90% of all people with internet access now search for products and services on-line and 80% of them never go past the first page. Here is the one constant: when your potential new customers use the Internet to find the product or service he wants; if your company is not standing in front of him / her, that customer goes to your competitors.

"Telling" is not "selling".

Salespersons are always told, "telling is not selling" however, at Manhattan Internet Advertising we believe education is the cornerstone to making an informed decision about advertising and marketing your business online. Even though they do not know you, potential new customers are trying to find you. Whether you need a complete Website or to refresh an old out of date Website, Manhattan Internet Advertising has the competence, skills and creativity to help you, "stand in front" of new customers looking for your products or services. Are you looking to create a blog or join a social media network? Put our experience and knowledge to work for you.

Mention, "Inbound Marketing" and receive a 40% discount on all monthly services.

Internet Marketing Technologist - Richard Wise --  303-265-1649

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