AdvertisingPosted on August 20th, 2012 under Wealth of Advice
By Francisco J. Colayco
You need not have a big business to think about advertising. Advertising is about drawing attention to a product or activity. You can even “advertise yourself.” For example, if you wear colorful clothes that seek attention, people will look at you and make certain conclusions about you. Make sure the conclusion is good for you. If your clothes make people think you are crazy, maybe you are not giving yourself good advertising. This is especially true if you are looking for a job, your clothes and the way you carry yourself will give the first impression to your would-be employer.
It works the same way when you have a small business. Remember that the whole point of advertising is to make sure that people know how good your business is so that they will buy your product or use your services. Even if your business is a sari-sari store or a tricycle, you need to find a way to let people know first of all, that your business exists and that you do a good job. For a small personal business, you will probably rely first on “word of mouth” advertising. Let your family and close friends tell other people about your business. The next level of advertising will come from those who actually buy from you or use your services. More often than not, they will tell people about their experience so you better make sure they have a good experience. It only takes one unhappy customer at the start of your business to make it difficult for you to move forward.
Real advertising costs money. If your business is big enough to have a budget for advertising, you need to set up a program for advertising. Here are some issues you have to be very careful about as you set up your program.
- Know your product and customers well. You need to be sure about the target for your advertising. What type of need does your product meet? What kind of people have this kind of needs so that they will buy your product? How does your product compare to competition?
- Have enough product or service to sell. If you don’t produce enough, what’s the use of spending some of your profit.
- Don’t spend too much and don’t spend too little. As you bring in sales, you have to make profit. Money spent in advertising is deducted from your profits so be sure you have a good program before you even start spending.
If you are a reader without any need to advertise, you could still be interested to know how advertisers think. Knowing how companies think about advertising can help you as a consumer to get better value for your money.
First, do you know your product completely? How will it satisfy the people who will buy it? What kind of people will buy it? What are the different alternatives for the need that your product provides? You need to check out your competitors both direct (they have exactly the same product) or indirectly (their product fulfills the same need even if not the same as your product).
Second, why you are advertising? You focus advertising when you need to have a message known to the public. You could be a new business or you could have a new product or you want to emphasize how much better your product is compared to the competitor.
Third, do you know when and how often you should advertise? You need to study this carefully. Be sure your product is available because if you advertise and turn down your customer, he will probably never come back again because it will seem that you gave false advertising.
Fourth, What will you say in your advertising? Your reason for advertising will determine exactly what you want to say in your advertisement. You have to make your advertising catchy. In fact, many create the name of their product in such a manner that it becomes like an advertisement. For example: I read that one parlor is named “Cut and Face”, another is “Hair Dot Comb” and another is “Curl Up & Dye.” Internet Café named “Café Pindot.” One bakery called “Bread Pit” and another is “Anak ng Tinapay.”
Fifth, do you know how much you can afford to spend on advertising? You don’t know how much business you will get with the extra advertising expense so you need to be careful. You don’t want to spend too much and yet, if you don’t spend enough, it will just be wasted because your message might not get properly disseminated. Be creative.
Sixth, What type of advertising media is best for you and where your advertisement should appear? There are many ways with many price ranges from TV, radio, newspapers/magazines, billboards, leaflets and more recently internet. It seems that internet is the most cost-effective way of advertising if you want to reach millions of people for your product. However, if your product is limited, you should focus very carefully.
Seventh, What is your way of tracking your advertising results? You need to know if your advertisements worked. Make sure you define your method of measuring success of your advertising before you even spend a single peso for your advertising.
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