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, May 29, 2011

Common Sense is not so common. Question "conventional wisdom."

Listening to my favorite radio show yesterday, brought back an old saying I like to use. Common Sense is not so common. Host Terry O Reilly speaks to Ageism in his weekly "Age of Persuasion" radio show, it is well worth the listen ( )  The main idea of the program is that the conventional wisdom of advertising that the focus and dollars be focused on the 18-34 demographic does not meet with the facts of the marketplace.
The dominance of market spending in the 18-34 demographic is always something that has troubled me. My common sense tells me that older people with life experience tend to make more money. Why would they not be a great target audience. More money, more leisure time, no kids... etc. Well, Terry explains with facts and figures why my "gut" or common sense has been right. 

While I encourage you to read Blogs (especially mine!), magazine articles, books and watch and listen to programs on marketing and advertising, I also urge you to question what seems to be conventional wisdom. My friend Stuart Crawford has written on this in online marketing terms ( ) speaking to myths about online marketing.
A few of my favorite myths include advertising only in conventional media. "Your reach is maximized" one might say. Your message can easily be lost when competing with all the advertisers who want maximum reach. You also have reach waste. If your business is in North East Calgary, why advertise to those who live in South East, South West and North West Calgary. Will they travel to your business if there is a similar business closer? You might actually be helping your competitor, putting the thought of your product in mind to send them to your closer competitor.

The opposing view of forgetting conventional media and focus solely on the Internet and social media can also be an unwise strategy. The question that sets in over that strategy is how do I reach someone online who isn't already interested in my product? How do I introduce my product to people who don't know it exists? That is a VERY difficult process online.

A picture is worth 1000 words. VERY true and I use this often when I speak to clients. BUT you must make sure that picture fits the business. For example:
Would you not want to join this soccer league? Looks like fun doesn't it? This is a great example of good use of a picture. This one is worth 1000 words. However I wonder if you might know what this next picture is advertising?
So truthfully a great picture is worth 1000 words, a poor one needs 1000 words to explain. So armed with my 3 myths, my advice to question conventional wisdom, Stuarts 10 Internet myths and Terry's half hour radio program on Ageism, I hope your sense is now to question and not buy in to theories that may not be factual? even if they seem popular. Until next week, I am still Larry "The Ad Man"

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