Why Isn’t Your Advertising Working Anymore?

April 1, 2009 by  Filed under: Advertising 

 The Problem with Traditional Advertising:  Why Isn’t It Working Anymore?

As a small business owner, you know the importance of advertising. Simply put, if no one knows you exist, then you might as well close up shop now instead of waiting for the long, slow death of your business because of CUSTOMER DEFICIT!

For years, most businesses have invested tons of money into the “traditional” forms of advertising:

1. Newspaper

2. Yellow Pages

3. Radio

4. TV

And, these did work, FOR A WHILE. But they aren’t anymore. Why? Let’s look more closely at each kind of advertising and how TECHNOLOGY has changed it.

1. Newspaper readership is down by staggering levels. Many newspapers are even CLOSING because of lack of subscriptions. WORST OF ALL, the costs to place a classified have remained the same; about $200 a week for a barely visible, one inch ad with no way to catch anyone’s attention.

2. The Yellow Pages are becoming obsolete. Already 54% of people have traded in their yellow pages are are going online to search for their local businesses. Even a tiny 5-line ad is $400 a month, wedged in among all of your competition.

3. Radio listeners are also diminishing. With the advent of ad-free XM Radio and the ability to listen to your iPod wherever you are, most people would rather not suffer through endless radio ads during their daily commutes. Not to mention that the typically aired commercial for 30 seconds played for one month, seven times a week, is $4375, not including the professional recording!

4. TV is also going the way of radio. People are recording their favorite shows with Tivo or DVR, and skipping right through any commercials. And the price is legendary. Prices START around $8000 with studio recording for ONE show during a given period on a NON-network broadcast.

So you can plainly see that although these used to be very good and viable advertising solutions, EVERYTHING is changing with the age of technology advances and the INTERNET.

What Is The Solution?

Go where your customers are! So if your customers are NOT: reading the newspaper, flipping through the yellow pages, or listening to radio or tv ads, then WHERE ARE THEY? 

They are ON THE INTERNET. 63% of all customers now go ONLINE to do research about subjects and companies they are interested in before ever calling a business or walking into a business’ door!Now, I know for sure that the second I mention the internet to the average small business owner, they start to cringe and don’t want to talk any more. And that is understandable. Usually, they have not had very good experiences with the internet and their small business. It has gone something like this for them:

1. Know they need to be online, so sign up for a cheap website hosting company and are left with nothing but a FAQ and a uninformative Help section where they spend hours pulling their hair out trying to learn HTML.

2. Once they have about gone crazy getting one page up on their new “website”, it usually sits there for months while they pay for it, with no traffic and no customers even seeing it. They might list the web address on other advertising they are doing, but it is usually not working and they know it.

3. Resentfulness and bad feelings for the entire internet start emerging, they think it is a bunch of bull and doesn’t work, and so the very MENTION of advertising on the internet and they don’t want to hear another word.

I don’t blame them. I would feel the same way! But the fact is that the reason it wasn’t working for them was:

1. They were not promoting their website/business online.

2. Not only that, but they were not promoting it to their LOCAL COMMUNITY, which is where their customer base is located. It doesn’t matter if they show up to people all over the world, they just need the people in their hometown to be seeing it!

3. They need the customers in their hometown to be seeing their website/business after specifically LOOKING for what it is that the business DOES (i.e. the local furniture store showing up on the page when someone is looking at a website about furniture, or doing a search on google for furniture.)

In fact, an article on EMarketer.com said about local online advertising, “As more consumers let their fingers do the walking across a keyboard instead of a phone directory to locate nearby businesses, the millions of US small and midsize companies will be compelled to follow them.”

It also said, “Through 2011, spending for local online advertising will grow at a faster rate than either national advertising or total online advertising.”

So basically, the trend is making it clear that for your small business advertising to be effective, online is where it’s at. But make sure that any online advertising you do is TARGETING YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY. This is key for it to work well and see results from your efforts, and to stop wasting  money on the “old-school” methods that just aren’t working anymore.

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