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Marketing and Advertising


Small & Medium Sized Businesses

Ad men reviewing contract

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half

- John Wanamaker

6 things to consider before spending money on

marketing & advertising campaigns

John Wanamaker was famously quoted one century ago complaining about the unknowns in marketing & advertising returns.  He wanted a better ROI for his marketing dollar, but couldn't figure out how to accomplish the goal.  John would have a field day today with all the marketing automation and tracking tools at our disposal.  But the availability of such tools doesn't make companies impervious to low/no ROI on critical marketing & advertising efforts.  In fact, it could be argued that voluminous amount of marketing and advertising channels and tools makes it easier to spend money on efforts with little or no noticeable outcome.    When you think of it, Wanamaker only had paper, mail, and radio to consider and he was still frustrated!

A business owner or marketing leader can still fail in maximizing their marketing and advertising expense if they don't create a well-crafted marketing strategy and then track metrics to measure success and gauge the need for correction.  Plus, there are a couple of things that I find myself repeating during my business management consulting engagements:

1.  Strategy first...implementation second

Have you even jumped in the car for a spur-of-the-moment road trip with only a change of clothes and your toothbrush?  It's exciting to hit the road with no expectations, commitments or plans in mind.  The world is your oyster.

While this can make for a memorable weekend on the road, such free-wheeling decision making can spell disaster for a businesses marketing efforts by leaving purposefulness and effectiveness to chance.  Marketing & advertising efforts need to support the larger goal and purpose.  Also, marketing & advertising efforts should be planned with an exact goal in mind to be effective.  A business owner that says, "I'm going write a blog post to drive more customers to our website," is probably going to be disappointed with the results.

2.  Track success metrics and adjust when necessary.

3.  Be willing to experiment

4.  Ask your customers directly

5.  Have patience

6.  Get help when needed

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