Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Concistency Is The Key

If your day is anything like mine, it is a long one, full of all the many mundane as well as the interesting jobs that any business owner is called upon to deal with. Some days are better than other. We have a tendency to become so wrapped up in the daily activities that we often don’t see the proverbial forest for the trees. It’s often that way with out marketing and advertising efforts. When things aren’t going well we search for ways to change the status quoi but if things appear to be rolling along fine, we often become apathetic. It’s at these times when we often miss great opportunities.

There comes a time in every business persons’ business life when they need to step back and take a good look, preferably from the perspective of their customers. It’s really necessary to do this if we expect to really evaluate our marketing and advertising efforts properly. The fact that sales are coming in isn’t the only factor that answers the question “is what I’m doing working?”. It’s not the answer here that is in question. It’s the question itself. The question shouldn’t be “is what I’m doing working?” but “is what I’m doing accomplishing as much as can be accomplished?” or as my dad used to say “are you getting all the milk out of the cow that you can?”.

Unfortunately when it comes to marketing and advertising, nothing we do will every work consistently and forever. There is one basic concept that you can depend on however. That is the quest of obtaining the most positive advertising possible at the lowest price. Spending more doesn’t necessarily guarantee better results. In fact, using inexpensive and even free advertising (when available) is really the base on which a company builds its overall marketing and advertising structure. If you can obtain inexpensive advertising in sufficient quantity that is reaching your audience, you can use those saved dollars for those special advertising campaigns and pushes that are needed.

I have a good friend that is a contractor. He started his business almost 30 years ago by having his children going out on weekends placing door hangers in various neighborhoods. It worked for him and now 30 years later he is one of the biggest contractors in the state. Guess what? To this day, he still uses the same advertising technique as part of his overall advertising approach. He hires teens to go out on weekends and hang fliers on door handles. When I talked to him last about the cost, he said it is still the most cost effective advertising he can do. He gets more business from this method of advertising than from any of the other forms he uses. It’s also still the least expensive for him. The moral here is just that cost doesn’t equal guaranteed success.

It wasn’t the cost factor that encouraged my friend to continue with his original advertising method. It was the outcome of that method. He also realized early on that consistency was the real key. Today we call this Branding but it basically means the same thing. Spending $10, $20, $50 a month consistently hitting a specifically targeted audience will bring greater returns than spending greater amounts hitting different people every time.

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