Yank all your ads.
Today, Web 2.0 has changed the marketing landscape. This means that free marketing — blogging, direct email and social media — can actually be more effective than most ads.
I remember when I had a retail baby store. Ad rep after ad rep came by to tell me why their newspaper, magazine or directory was the place I had to be. And forget about buying one or two ads. It wasn’t even worth it unless I committed to a “schedule” of ads for six months or a year in advance.
Even in the old days, you never knew if your ads worked. They were too hard to track and measure. Today, you can be pretty sure that most ads DON’T work. With all the clutter out there, people ignore ads more than ever. And after years of hype and false promises, the credibility of ads is steadily falling towards zero.
Does that mean you should forget about marketing? Of course not. Just make a shift from what doesn’t work to what does work. Today, that means:
- Shifting largely from print to online marketing
- Understanding the basics of blogging and social media
- Spending less money but more time on marketing
Saving money sounds great. But spending more time? Please. Who’s got time for blogging, Twittering, Facebook friending and search-engine optimizing when you’ve got a business to run?
That’s where you may want to optimize the time-money equation in your marketing. If you cut 100% of your ad budget, maybe you would want to spend 50% of that on hiring a web marketing pro to help with with social media or a ghost writer to do regular blogging for you.
That way, you still save money on promotion, but you get a program with a better chance of success in today’s market.