Put your money where your mouth is.

How much money should you invest in an advertisement? What is an ad really worth?

I know of a furniture company that refused to pay more than a couple of hundred dollars to produce a TV commercial. This was after I had told them they should plan on spending at least $1500. Their furniture wasn’t cheap, but they’d type up a flyer and photocopy it for their direct mail rather than paying for a print run of mailers. They were frugal, to put it mildly.

An industrial equipment manufacturer called me up one time for marketing advice. I recommended spending five thousand dollars on a demonstration video to show what their equipment did and the benefits it would have for their customers, but that was more than they wanted to spend.

The funny thing is, the products of both companies were expensive. In fact, each of those companies sold several items that were far more expensive than the cost to make a decent video or TV spot. Why is that funny, you ask?

Both of those companies asked each of their customers to spend thousands of dollars on a single item. Yet they wouldn’t invest an amount of money that was less than the cost of the item they wanted to sell to convince a boat-load of customers to buy that same item. They were not willing to spend what they were asking their customers to spend, even if it meant making a lot more sales.┬áIronic, isn’t it?

Now you shouldn’t use the cost of your product to determine the price to create your ad. I’m not suggesting that. In fact, if you own a coffee shop then the cost to make an ad will be far more than a single cup of coffee. But you do need to think about what your advertising is worth. Your advertising and marketing needs to reflect the quality of your product or service. If you are not willing to make an investment to sell your product or service, why should your customer make the investment to purchase it?

If you sell a great cup of coffee, then invest a little to let people know. Don’t spend money you can’t afford, but make your marketing as nice as you can. It should look like it took some thought and effort on your part. A person should look at it and think, “This small business offers something valuable.”

Rethink your advertising and marketing. Its not a cost that should be avoided, its an investment that should bring a return. If you aren’t spending anything to promote your business, then people will think that your business isn’t worth promoting.

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