When most business owners start to deal with marketing and say, “Hey we have got to get some customers in here, what are we going to do to get customers?” They jump all the way to the media stage. They start to make choices of, “Well lets run an ad in the newspaper.” Or, “Let’s send out a flyer.” Or, “Hey, the Valpak representative showed up last week and gave us a pretty good story. let’s put a coupon in Valpak.”
They deal with the media choices without giving any thought to what they want to communicate and who they want to communicate it to and then what are the best ways to find those people. so they’re really way ahead of themselves, and therefore, even if they, by chance, pick the best media they could possibly use, they use it poorly and it delivers inferior results to them.
The sad truth is that most business owners are sold on whatever advertising and marketing they do by whoever walks through the door that week. Very often, most often they’re sold what probably is the worst kind od advertising for them and the advertising is being sold to them purely based on it’s profitability to the seller of the advertising.
One of the first questions you are going to get from these folks is to find out how much money have you’ve got. The advertising is then sort of prescribed based on the depth of your wallet. It may not be what you necessarily need. They’ll prescribe what they can sell within your parameters of what you can afford to spend, which really is a back-asswards way of going about it unless you’re on the advertising agency’s side. They’ll look for simple answers that may or may not deliver you biggest bang for your buck.
Marketing starts with several very simple steps. The first of which is determining what message you are going to put out into the marketplace, what you’re going to say about your business, your products, your services, why you are better, why you are different. We call that the right message. Then you have to determine your markets, your best markets, what we call the right markets are, which simply means who you are going to communicate that message to.
Then there is the right media which is the method of delivery, how you are going to get that message to the market. Are you going to use mail? Are you going to use billboards? Are you going to use TV? Are you going to use the telephone? Whatever.
The message comes first. If you get the message crafted right, the other things begin to seem obvious.
John D Allen