I was heading across town the other day and saw a local plumbers mobile phone number on the back of his truck and an old "Find Me in Yellow" sticker , I called, left a message and three days later still not reply.
What's the point of advertising if you can't get the next part right?
In hindsight I suppose it's just supply and demand and that some plumbers don't need to advertise - a good reputation and word of mouth is most important.
Anyway, in other industries that's not quite the case, there's a battle for customers and advertising is critical to the mix. Even in a 50% downturn there's still 50% to be spent!
Yesterday small business advertising landscape was dominated by the Yellow Pages. Today advertising dollars are migrating to where customers now find out and talk about your products and services - that's online - whether Google, Facebook or the other billion or so websites and services out there.Australian online advertising spend was around $1.7B last year and growing while conventional media is decreasing. The current economic climate is only going to increase online marketing's share of the advertising dollar.
The majority of those online advertising dollars are going to Google Adwords - the paid, auction type classifieds listing in the right hand column of search.
It's sort of funny how a majority of businesses have just transferred the old Yellow Pages, dominant market share "Not happy Jan" if you're not in, belief across to Adwords.
Don't get me wrong, Adwords is important but IMHO it's not as important as good content and design, SEO (Search Engine Optiminisation) and a good business to start with.
For example spend money on advertising and web only to take ten rings to answer the phone or three days to reply to an inquiry email. Not good.
I'm amazed how much is thrown at all these advertising options to drive people to a website only to deliver an ordinary experience. That first 15 seconds on a website is the most important - it has to quickly build trust and transform a web site browser into an inquiry.
The better your website qualifies the visitor the less physical resources required to manage the leads.
As a student of marketing and advertising we were always taught to create a Sustainable Competitive Advantage - whether that is brand, a unique selling point (USP), service, distribution, your company culture, staff, partners and systems.
Whatever it is, it has to be something that is important to the customer.
With the today's Connected Net - Internet advertising delivers online word of mouth marketing and reputation building.