Advertising often is vital to building brand awareness and brand image, as well as attracting customers and optimizing revenue. It is not uncommon for small businesses to have a minimal, or even no official advertising budget.
Getting customers in the door often requires getting them to know you even have doors to go through, especially for new businesses. Grand openings, flyers, newspaper announcements and even broadcast coverage in your market contribute to brand awareness. Because advertising is the only promotional strategy that gives you complete control over your message, it is essential to letting people know about you.
Closely connected to building awareness is creating a brand image. Through advertising, you define the perception you want targeted customers to have about your business, rather than leaving it to chance. If an intricate customer-service focus is your selling point, for instance, you can hammer home this message consistently through advertising. Discover uses TV commercials to emphasize its live, personalized customer service as a strength relative to automated services provided by credit card competitors. An ingrained image of cutting-edge technology leadership or high-quality goods has trickle-down impact on your products. When your name or logo goes on a product, a strong reputation strengthens its demand.
You may get a few customers that happen upon your business, but advertising increases your chances of growing a strong customer base quickly. For an innovative company or differentiated provider in an industry, alerting customers to your existence and offerings can help them fulfill unmet needs. Numerous media allow you to identify the best customers for your business, and to target them with high-impact messages. The more competitive your marketplace, the more critical advertising is to getting customers in your doors. Though goals and results vary by company circumstance, market factors and media used, the Direct Marketing Associated noted in April 2012 that the typical direct mail response rate was 4.4 percent.
Additionally, ongoing advertising contributes to maintaining relationships with an existing customer base. If you don't advertise, competitors have an opening to chisel away at your customer base.
Ineffective or misplaced advertising isn't cost-effective or profit-building. However, there is no question that you attract more customers and generate more revenue when you pay to promote your business. With an excellent strategy and precise targeting, especially through low-cost traditional and digital media options, you can stabilize and grow revenue while also enhancing profit. For small businesses, radio and newspapers are affordable traditional media options. Social media and e-mail are among prominent, affordable, digital marketing methods. During initial stages of social media campaigns, building a following through helpful information is the common goal. As you carry out ongoing campaigns, engagement through customer responses, retweets and link clicks become more important.
Uncertainty or a lack of commitment to a long-term advertising program negatively affects your ability to get a high return on investment from advertising.