Advertising Without Print Radio And Tv Other Ways To Promote Business – Bc Bankruptcy Associates

31 October, 2010

In the beginning there was papyrus, rock paintings and word of mouth. Advertising had its roots in primitive Egypt and Greece as far back as 4,000 BC, have it or not. The Egyptians used papyrus for sales messages. The ancient Greeks and Romans stale it for lost and found notices. Wall and rock painting was used in Asia, Africa, and South America for their advertising venues. No matter how you nick it, advertising is not a new concept. We have been surrounded by it since birth, as were lots of generations before ours.

If you’re a business owner or even a more astute employee of a business, then you know how critical advertising is to the life of that business entity. For ages, artwork and word of mouth worked quite well, until 1436 when a powerful new tool was born — the printed word. When Gutenberg invented the printing press, he had no idea of the monster he was creating. But just as it altered the course of human history, so to did it change the conception of advertising forever.

Fast forwarding through time and the earlier history of print media, we arrive at the birth of electronic media. First there was the radio and shortly thereafter came a thing called television. Advertising moved from sight to sound, then to gaze and sound all in the period of about 50 to 60 years give or take a few. For decades, the three forms of media were the main forms if not the only ones. Then advertising history would see another shift with more forms of media coming into the arena.

For all practical purposes, the older media (as I refer to print, radio, and TV) were great. Print ruled for decades and is still a major player in the advertising industry today for the same reason it was in the beginning, namely that we are indoctrinated into print literally from birth. Think about it. From the time we are mobile and aware of our surroundings, what is the first thing we are taught after “Mommy”, “Daddy”, and “NO!“? We are taught our ABC’s and how to read. It may sound simple but it backs up what I’m saying about indoctrination into the printed word.

So we’ve passed through the print, radio, and TV phases of advertising to where we are today, and look at the options available. It’s insane to think of how grand money you could spend on all of the different types of advertising venues available. There is no place you can go, barring an exit from civilization, where you can escape the concept of advertising.

As if print, radio, and TV were not formidable enough, we have seen the arrival of two new venues of advertising — stationary outdoor media and mobile outdoor media. Stationary outdoor media of course includes billboards, various street furniture and bus stops, subway platforms, and posters to name several. Mobile outdoor media includes bus sides, taxi doors, caravans of cars and trucks with a business message mounted to the roof or in the truck bed, and even passenger trains have ads mounted on their sides.

Going back inside, we have seen advertising in some unusually creative locations. Look at the back of a concert or baseball ticket for example, or the back of your latest grocery store receipt. Even those stickers on the apples in the beget department and the elastic bands on disposable diapers have some kind of advertising message on them. Good gosh! What will they think of next?

Go to a movie and you’re subjected to a full screen of advertising before every feature. Perceive up in the sky and a runt airplane is painting the blue sky with a white message. And just when you belief that you had finally seen it all, look over on the street corner of a busy intersection and there’s cramped Johnny. He’s dancing around with an arrow shaped brand in his hands that has a lunch special or new homes message on it. Those are called “human directional signs” or just “human signs” in case you’re curious.

In 1957, an author named Vance Packard wrote a book entitled The Hidden Persuaders in which the impart was all about the media manipulating humankind in the 1950s. Though the book gave rise to increased sociological opinion it may have been the harbinger of another form of advertising that exists today called covert advertising. Embedding or placement of a product in the entertainment media, i.e. movies, is a form of covert advertising. An actor drinks a name brand soda or beer, or wears a name brand tennis shoe, or drives a name brand automobile — all of these are examples of covert advertising.

And now, bring on the Internet and the World Wide Web. Ads are running rampant there. Whether it’s junk e-mails (spam), pop-ups, or streamed video, it is a very accurate part of the Internet. Let’s not forget those ad banners while we’re at it. I noticed the other day that there’s a fairly new venue on the Internet called “peel away” ads which looks like one page is getting peeled off the screen to expose one underneath it. Even your cell phone is being subjected to SMS (Short Message Service). That has taken over Europe by storm and it’s getting bigger and bigger in the U.S. every day.

So what does all of the above mean to the business owner that needs to entice people into his store, or drive traffic to his website? It means that he or she will file bankruptcy very quickly if they try to spend every venue possible in order to gain more customers and increase sales volume. If you aren’t extremely selective as to where you invest your advertising dollars, it will cost you dearly in the long run. You need to have a system to track what venue works and what doesn’t. Don’t listen to that advertising yarn executive; listen to your brain and your wallet.

However, all of the above content does provide you with the answer to that one large put a question to, specifically how will you get the word out to potential clients and customers? When it comes to the promotion of your product or service, you need to figure out the “What, Why, and When” strategy of advertising. What media should you use? Why should you use it? When (or how often) should it be mature? After answering those questions, figure out if you’re getting a good ROI on your investment. What method or venue is giving you the best bang for your buck?

Give some thoughts to the type of image you want to portray, in other words the way you want your customers to see your business. Remember that appearance and presentation, either in your place of business or away from it, carries a tremendous amount of impact when it comes to enticing a person to grasp from you. Along with your advertising, graphic image support should also be considered in your budget. This includes your business cards, letterhead, brochures, interior or exterior signage, to name just a few items. A logo for your business is also a great way to promote name recognition.

There are other avenues you can pursue at little or no cost and sometimes these become more viable than the costly media. Networking or marketing groups are excellent ways to rub elbows with fellow business people and get your name out there. Attend business expos (or fairs) and trade shows, not as a shopper but as a participant and vendor. You would be amazed at the residuals that oftentimes will result from those affairs.

Another tremendously effective form of marketing your products or services is called cooperative or co-op advertising. This is worth looking into in that you get the manufacturer/vendor to help you recoup some of your advertising budget simply by running print, electronic, or other ads wherein a name brand of theirs is featured as part of your advertisement. In some cases, you recoup 50-60% of your advertising dollar. How’s that for cost-effective advertising?

When your business starts growing you should think about increasing that promotional budget a little more to further promote your business and products. But, once your business begins to stabilize and longevity is no longer an issue, we are soon confronted with a Catch-22 as the business follows its normal peaks and valleys throughout the year. This is where one of the biggest misconceptions in advertising theory invariably leads to the biggest advertising mistake on the allotment of the business owner. The misconception is that when business slows down, we need to start trimming away at those “unnecessary” expenses. The first attack wave always focuses on two critical expenses — labor and advertising.

Stop what you’re doing and listen to reason. Excess labor is understandable. My suggestion there has always been to start shaving overtime and excess hours on the schedule before you start shaving bodies. It may affect the employee’s wallet, but it will keep them employed. However, when you pull the plug on your advertising what are you really doing? You are making two critical mistakes. First of all, you’re removing name recognition from the market. Secondly, and even more importantly, consumers descend prey to the assumption that if they don’t hear or see your name anymore, they think that you are no longer in business.

So what’s the answer you ask? Start thinking just the opposite to what you normally would during the slow periods. If seventy-five percent of all your competitors foolishly pull the bound on their advertising, look at that as a gold mine, namely a bigger percentage of market share. Remember the consumer’s mentality about name awareness. Where there were 12 widget dealers out there, now there are only three. Doesn’t that afford you with a bigger slice of the pie? You bet it does. Do you catch my drift here?

Once your promotional budget is established, as in the start-up phase, and you have adopted your new philosophy of maintaining your advertising through the slow periods, you have graduated to the next level which is maintaining that budget. No matter what happens, unless unforeseen and unpreventable circumstances create the need to file bankruptcy, maintain that promotional budget on an ongoing basis and don’t look succor.

Until the next time, good luck and I wish you continued success in your endeavors.

Sources:

D. Abell, ‘Defining the Business: The Starting Point of Strategic Planning’ (Prentice-Hall, 1980)

Johnson, J. Douglas, “Advertising Today”, Chicago: Science Research Associates, 1978

Kleppner, Otto, “Advertising Procedure”, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1966