Every day, I get questions regarding the smart and proper amount to invest in advertising for Lafayette businesses. It has gotten to the point that the response I should give is whatever you think you should spend- double or triple that number. The fact is most Lafayette businesses grossly underestimate what it will take to market themselves effectively. Instead when poised with the question of budgeting for marketing, the number generated is based on nothing but a risk-adverse calculation of what can I afford to lose instead of what goal am I trying to accomplish and what is the pathway to get there?
My profession, the sales profession, is equally to blame because we are relying on you to somehow know how much to invest in our product to have success as if you work with our product every day and know the best way to make it work for you. The fact is most business people arrive at a number they will spend on marketing not by thinking about what it will take to be successful, but by assigning a number that is comfortable and causes little to no stress for them. They assign a no-risk number.
Meanwhile, the better questions for you to ask when considering any Lafayette marketing channel are: “What does it take to have success using this outlet?” Or, “Mr. Salesperson, if you held up a mirror to your best customers, what are they doing and what results does it produce for their business?” Or, “Please tell me what business x, y and z are doing, because I want to be at least as successful, if not more, than they are?”
But for some reason we think we should buy marketing solutions for Lafayette business the same way we shop for bargains at Wal-Mart. We don’t want to know what the best thing is for us, we only want to know what the cheapest thing is. My grandfather ran a retail store for 30 years. He was once asked a question by a customer that went like this: “What’s the cheapest thing you have in the store?” My grandfather answered, “You mean besides you?” Our always-the-lowest-price mentality has lead us to believe that all marketing solutions are created equal, therefore it should not matter which one we choose. In fact, the exact opposite is true.
The pricing of Lafayette marketing solutions is based on reach and frequency, plus supply and demand. All of those factors drive prices upward or downward. If you are buying the cheapest solution, chances are it reaches a small universe, has little frequency and/or is in high supply or low demand because it is less than desirable. All these elements contribute to the cost of your media investments. When something is priced extremely low in comparison to everything else, you should run from it, because it will be highly inefficient and cost you more in the long run.
Be careful to not evaluate on price alone, since not all solutions are created equally. Instead look to evaluate on effectiveness and efficiency. This requires knowing your own metrics, which consists of the following: measuring your place before and after your campaigns air; understanding the value of Top of Mind Awareness and your category rank; knowing what it would take to move you from #4 in your business category to #3 and what that would be worth; determining the value of raising the average ticket by 10% or 20% and its impact on overall margin and how the converse might impact you. These are all factors that will determine if you are getting real value for your purchase and not just buying “the cheapest thing available.”
Not sure how to make sense of all of the choices available, call us, we can help. Reach me directly at 765-637-2143 or e-mail me at email@example.com. We can schedule a discussion to evaluate where you are and how to make your Lafayette media investments work for you.
Neuhoff Media Lafayette
Certified Radio Marketing Expert