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Both The Best And Worst Of Times Require Sharpening Your Marketing Skills

Jun 20, 2008
It may feel like your present economy is a re-creation oe Charles Dickens 1859 Tale of Two Cities: The best of times . . . The worst of times.

Many new folks may be pouring into your area, scores with above average incomes. This kind of influx can create a best of times scenario for some businesses, but certainly not all of them.

With the price of a gallon of milk approaching the price of a gallon of gasoline . . . and both being far beyond our normal household budgets . . . it may be more like the worst of times.

Whatever time it is this is not a time to pull in your horns and attempt to save your way out of this very real food-petrol crisis. Not at all.

Take that route and you may not survive in the long run.

People still need what you sell. They will continue to buy the goods and services you offer; however, they will be increasingly cautious regarding what and when they buy as well as whom they buy from because discretionary income is becoming an endangered species.

A trip to the supermarket and a stop at the gas pump and the bucks left over are miniscule.

Your business will need to work harder and smarter to convince consumers to:

a) Buy what you sell
b) Buy it now; and
c) Buy it from you.

Stay with me here because what I am going to tell you is not what you might prefer to hear.

Many of the casually constructed and too often inane postings that pass for advertisements today need to be over hauled.

Too many ads waste money and reach virtually no one with the same-old, same-old that we have seen and heard for so long . . . ads that say little and speak to no one in particular . . . ads that get no or paltry results.

Changing the mix of your media will not help. Lousy ads are lousy ads whether in print or broadcast.

A lousy ad run once will not improve its pull running a second or third time.

A lousy ad in black and white will not break the doors down by adding color or any other kind of visual schmaltz.

Truth be told there are only two kinds of advertising: effective and ineffective. Effective gets results and ineffective does not.

The cost of your marketing choices has zero to do with results or lack of it.

What you say and how you say it has everything to do with being effective thereby motivating your audience to some kind of action.

An ad with no headline or one that says nothing meaningful will not be noticed.

Ads that fail to speak to your specific target audience in coffee-shop English about what is in it for them to do business with you (today!) do little more than fill up print pages or airwaves.

These kind of ads cost lots and return little.

How do you convert ineffective ads into effective ones? The first step begins with YOU.

You are without a doubt competent and knowledgeable about the business you own or manage. You know more about your business than almost anyone does.

That said; write the following sentence on the nearest blackboard 100 times: I do not know much about creating effective advertising.

That is a difficult assignment. I know because long ago I discovered that just about everyone mistakenly believes that he or she is an expert on advertising.

Are they really?

Turn on your radio or TV or scan the pages of any newspaper. Ninety-five percent of what you see, read and hear is drivel.

Expensive drivel at that!

As Step 1, make the decision to give your present advertising a tune up or an overhaul. Google creating effective ads and download at least three articles on how to improve your advertising.

Step 2: actually read the material . . . with an open mind . . . kind of like going back to school with your listening ears firmly attached.

Step 3 is applying the information to your own marketing program. Actually changing the way many of you are now creating ads.

Your business has little to lose and much to gain from re-vamping your advertising approach, such as persuading consumers to

1. Come in or come back
2. Make an inquiry or an appointment
3. To buy or subscribe
4. To part with what little they have left after
filling up their tummies or their tanks.

Improve your marketing and you will improve your market share and your bottom line even in the worst of times.

I honestly believe Chuck Dickens would agree.
About the Author
Bob Schumacher has just released a new immensely helpful book to help improve your small biz advertising. Visit http://www.20do80.com and download this new book for a mere one dollar!
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