We’ve all heard the old adage, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Unfortunately, in the world of marketing and advertising this is far from the truth.
Many times, local businesses make advertising decisions based on what ads they are personally exposed to, or on what their competition is doing. A lot of business owners will see TV ads on the morning news or hear their competition on the radio and say to themselves, “I need to get on TV and radio too…. it’s obviously working for them.” The business owner’s perception of effective advertising could be based solely on their own biased opinion and may not take any other factors into account.
Sure, broadcast advertising, whether TV or radio, can be an extremely effective tool ~ if done correctly and for the right type of businesses. There are many factors that can affect the return on investment (ROI) of any broadcast campaign:
- Is the campaign scalable? – Do you have the resources (city coverage or # of locations) to capitalize on a mass market campaign? If your buying broadcast radio in Houston, Texas and your business is a single-location, brick and mortar store in Pasadena, Texas… I’d imagine you are casting too large of a net and diminishing any potential for a solid ROI. Scalability gives the advertiser a higher yielding ROI as their business grows and expands.
- Is there a proper call-to-action? – Many advertisers think that a call-to-action needs to be some cheesy special or gimmick. It doesn’t. An effective call-to-action is simply providing a quick, easy way for your potential prospects to become leads and to get them into the sales funnel. For example, the call to action could be to “like” your social media page or to go to your website to sign up for a newsletter, etc. The goal here is to create an audience to engage and build credibility with. Of course, it is much easier to lure in prospects when there’s an incredible offer, but not every business is in retail and not every ad campaign needs a “blowout sale.” The bottom line is that all prospects need to have the ability to easily fall into the sales funnel and there needs to be a system in place to collect such data and follow the prospects through the sales cycle. If these measures are not in place, you can kiss your ROI goodbye.
- Where are you sending the prospects to? – If you are inviting people to visit your website, will they be impressed with your site once they arrive? Will it give them confidence in your brand and make them comfortable spending their money with you? Is there a system in place to track them and collect data on your visitors (such as web analytics) and get them to easily buy or enter their information into a lead funnel? If not, you are probably better off getting the website taken care of first. It takes a lot of effort to get prospects to your site and first impressions count. One bad prospect experience can cost more to your business in the long-run than any short-term gains you’ll get from getting new visitors that are unimpressed. Reputation and referrals count.
Don’t get us wrong. We love broadcast advertising and our clients have great success with it! However, don’t put the cart before the horse. If you are looking at broadcast advertising mediums to grow your business, take a step back and look at your goals for the campaign and see how this will be accomplished. No customer is going to do business with you simply because you ran an ad. Many times, local businesses fail in their marketing efforts because of this mindset.
Sometimes, broadcast advertising fits into the equation, but many times there are more cost-effective solutions to growing smaller businesses who have less of an established footprint that, when done right, can lead to more established broadcast campaigns in the future.