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Advertising Your Small Business? Here’s What You Need to Know

Have you ever spent a lot of money on a traditional (print, television, radio) advertisement for your business and have it not work?  I have, many times.   And then in frustration I would claim that “Advertising doesn’t work.” But if it doesn’t work, why do companies like Geico, Coca Cola and Macy’s spend millions of dollars on advertising every year?

The truth is that they wouldn’t spend money on something that doesn’t work.  And for companies like these, it makes sense given the massive numbers of people they need to buy their products every day in order for them to be profitable.

The reason that they use these mediums is simple; because television, radio and print is a very effective way to reach massive quantities of prospective buyers on a consistent basis.

Reach and Frequency

The marketing concept we are talking about here is called “Reach and Frequency.”

Reach is the total number of prospects who hear your marketing messages.  Frequency is how often they are marketed to.

Seth Godin uses a colorful and appropriate analogy about reach and frequency in his book Permission Marketing.

Think of it this way:  Marketing is like planting a garden.  Which is better?  Planting many seeds and watering them only once, or planting fewer seeds, but watering them consistently over time?

Just like your seeds will die if you only water them once, so will your marketing messages die in the minds of your prospects if they only hear/see them once.

Frequency Builds Trust

When consulting with one of my clients recently I asked about how our marketing and advertising was working.  The question was, “Why are more people calling?  Is it because of our radio ad?  Newspaper insert?  Website? “  I was surprised by his answer.  He said “It’s not just one thing; it’s everything.”

When customers call they say that they saw our insert in the paper, but then they had driven by a few times and seen our place, but then they also heard us on the radio, and they had seen us on TV too.  And they had finally decided they needed to come in and see us.

My client says that it’s all about “Reinforcement.” Another term for this would be frequency; and frequency builds credibility and trust.   All of the marketing strategies we use on a regular consistent basis work together to bring more customers in the door.

Your reach and frequency needs will determine which advertising media will work best for you.    Just don’t do what I did and run only one advertisement and then give up.  Plant an assortment of seeds, water them regularly and then harvest bushels of success.

Always be marketing.

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Wendy Kenney is the best selling author of How to Build Buzz for Your Biz, Tap into the Power of Social Media, Publicity and Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business, available on Amazon.com.  She has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street JournalUSA Today, and Newsday. For more information go to http://23Kazoos.com.


About the Author: Wendy Kenney