Larry the Ad Man's Blog

I hope you learn from my small business marketing and advertising tips.

"Advertising is to trade what Steam is to machinery" Thomas Cook.
It was an honor to be nominated for 2011 Canadian Weblog Awards.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Over Communicate!

In my years of dealing with small business and volunteering on several boards there is a feeling amongst many that if we say it once, people should know. The assumption that everyone in your target audience takes the same amount of time and effort to think about your position or message as you do can be a dangerous one. I still need to remind myself of this constantly. It is easy to be complacent. Some business owners and long time volunteers have missed out on years of success and happiness by not over communicating. Perception is reality. "I didn't know about this?" "Well it's on the brochure.."

Remember this guy?

Maytag's brilliant advertising strategy was the very antithesis of the image they made so famous. Waiting for people to walk in the door and doing nothing proactive about it is like putting out an ad, e mail, blog or tweet and expecting an overwhelming response. Moreover if you don't get an immediate response, did it not work? Consider your own purchasing decisions. Do you drink Coke, go to McDonalds or Tim Hortons? These are the largest advertisers in Canada these days. In Coke's case, the largest worldwide advertiser EVER. Consider the times you have gone to McD's or Timmy's. Was it the radio commercial? Television Commercial? Print ad? The coffee cup or bag someone was carrying? The youth sports team sponsorship? The athlete sponsorship? The sign at the local sporting event? The Youth support initiatives (Ronald McD House, Tim Hortons Youth camps)? The large signs, and multiple locations? Or the product itself that convinced you to drop in and make a purchase? I'm sure your answer will not be only one of these items, but a combination of them. The common argument I get to this assertion is, "well I don't have their money!" Neither did they when they started out as small companies. Coke was invented by a small druggist, McDonalds started with one restaurant and Tim Horton himself started in the burger business a few times prior to hooking up with Hamilton police officer Ron Joyce and opening the first Tim Hortons in Hamilton Ontario. A police officer and hockey player, there's a likely start to a national phenomenon? Even through the 80's and 90's it was still a largely regional donut franchise with a high percentage of locations in Ontario. Savvy marketing and smart strategies combined with an enormous advertising budget built it into a national brand. It is the combination of their marketing efforts that make their customers loyal. Use what you have at your disposal, including free networking opportunities, online options and smart investments in an advertising plan. With a long term commitment to your plan, your small business has every potential to grow big over time. Don't JUST communicate, OVER communicate.

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