Why Prospects Should Advertise

Why prospects should advertise

Your customers will never know as much about advertising as you do and you will never know as much about their business as they do.”

Robert Townsend in "Up the Organization"

I took a few liberties with that quote.

What Bob Townsend actually wrote in “Up the Organization” was that his company, Avis Rent a Car, would never know as much about advertising as Bill Bernbach’s ad agency. But Bernbach’s people would never know as much about car rentals as Avis people do.

The point is, both need the other to succeed.

Your prospects and customers need you. But you need them, too.

You are both in for an education and should be committed to teach each other.

Never forget that small principle.

A dozen years ago, I came across a list, “12 Little-Known Secrets of Advertising”.

I don’t recall who compiled the list. It may have been Bill Bernbach or David Oglivy or some other advertising genius. If he or she is out there and wants credit, please let me know. I'm always happy to share credit for good ideas.

I have kept this list all these years, referred to it and refined it.

These, I believe, are the best reasons anyone in business — particularly the highly competitive retail business — should invest consistently in newspaper advertising.

Correction. Invest consistently and frequently in YOUR newspaper’s advertising.

1. Your newspaper advertising ad-visor is a professional.

We know your market and your competition. We have shopped your products or services and understand their value and benefits. We are constantly thinking and looking for better ideas to motivate consumers. We will give you excellent, creative and supportive service. We will be your advertising counselor and advocate for life.

We can never know enough about your products and services, so educate us.

We are willing to listen and learn.

We also recognize that advertising and marketing are our specialties. And we will share with you the best ideas we can create or uncover to make your cash register ring.

But take a tip from Bob Townsend. When we have agreed on what you want to feature this week and the value and benefits of it, let us create advertising for you that will bring people to you. Don’t second guess us or try to “improve” on what we do.

As Townsend advises, “Don’t hire a master to paint you a masterpiece and then assign a roomful of schoolboy artists to look over his shoulder and suggest improvements.”

2. Your newspaper advertising builds top-of-mind recognition.

Through consistent, weekly advertising, our newspaper will build awareness for your name, store locations and the benefits of your products, services.
"Branding" is what the marketing experts like to call it.

We are both working a “thin” market. Unless you’re selling milk and bread, the chances that your products are needed by all consumers every day or every week are slim to none. But if only 10% of the readers of our newspaper are in the market for what you have, you want to make sure they come to your store, not to your competitors.

If you are selling milk and bread, you want to constantly and consistently remind them of the bargains to be had at your grocery store rather than a dozen others in your market.

Advertising every week builds “brand” awareness of you, your location and your products. When the consumer has finally decided her aching back needs a new mattress, there in color on her newspaper is your ad for this week’s “mattress sale”.

3. Advertising increases traffic to increase revenue to increase profit.

The concept is simple. The more customers we can drive to your store, the better chance you have of selling them your products.

Not only that, you and your sales people will have a chance to “upsell” them other products while they’re there. But someone has to get them to drive to your store and come inside.

After that, the game is in your hands.

If we see anything that will help you do a better job once the customers are in your store, we will be honest and tell you, in a helpful way, what it is. As the owner, you may be too close to see specific deficiencies or capitalize on certain retail concepts.

If your storefront needs repainting, we will ask when you plan to do that. We may be able to suggest a reliable painter we or another business friend has hired with good results.

If you need to move hot items to the front of the store, we’ll suggest that, too.

Or we may suggest that you consider placing the most asked for items at the rear of the store to increase traffic throughout your store. We have studied retailing, too, and feel obliged to share what we know, respecting that you know your business better than we ever will.

Next month we will talk more about the "12 Little Known Secrets of Advertising" and about a book, "You Can Compete" that will help you and your advertisers compete with the big boys of retailing who want to eat all of your lunches.

Jerry Bellune's new book on advertising sales, "How to Peel a Green Banana: Seven Strategies of Advertising Super Stars", is available in CD or 3-ring binder formats. You can order by Visa or MC credit cards at 803-359-7633. You can subscribe to Jerry's FREE e-letter “Power Up for Success” at his web site www.JerryBellune.com

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