Tag controlling costs

Next year is almost here…

I know that most small businesses are still busy with Christmas, but did you know that you can get some great deals on next year’s advertising right now? You can save some money by buying next year’s advertising upfront. You’ve noticed that advertising space gets more expensive around Christmas, so avoid that altogether by buying the space now.

The advertising will cost less because the media companies are willing to sell it for less in order to get businesses to commit by the end of January. That helps them budget for next year, and it helps you by making your advertising dollars go farther. You also have the added benefit of planning your advertising at the beginning of the year when things are probably a little slower and it won’t be left until the last minute. It’s completely done for the year.

The only good advertising is effective advertising

The previous post on controlling costs reminded me of a famous quote:

“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”

— Aldo Gucci

The money you spend on your advertising and marketing is not an expense, it’s an investment that you are counting on to bring a return. If you are looking for a financial advisor, your first concern is their track record; their fees only really come into play when comparing the similar track records of different advisors. However, when many small businesses look for help with their advertising and marketing, they look at fees first and often never make track record a concern.

The only good advertising is effective advertising. Anything else is a loss. Be aware of fees and certainly count their cost, but don’t think of your advertising as a commodity that is bought based on price alone. You’ll sure to have a bitter experience if you do.

Why now is the time to start your marketing strategy

If you taken the advice found here in this blog, you’re probably already pretty far into the process of planning and implementing your marketing and advertising strategies. If you haven’t started, I’d like to give you one good reason why you should start today. The reason is this: the sooner you start, the less it will cost. Let’s take a look at why that is.

Controlling Costs

Planning and preparation are the key to containing the cost of any project. The same holds true for advertising and marketing.

Marketing and advertising are collaborative endeavors. You’ll need to collaborate with someone else to fulfill your advertising and marketing. That someone else may be a graphic designer, a web expert, a copywriter, a production company, or it may be the newspaper or radio station that is running your ad, but you will be enlisting someone else’s help at some point in order to implement and fulfill your marketing or advertising.

What does this collaboration have to do with planning, preparation, and controlling costs? Glad you asked! What this means is that you will need to give your collaborators, the people you are working with to implement your promotional strategies, time to to plan and prepare your ads, web sites, or media plans. The less time you give them, the higher your costs will be. Let me illustrate.

Three Things

Whenever you are buying something, be it shoes, furniture or whatever, there are three features you that you want: you want it to be of high quality, you want it quickly, and you want it to be as inexpensive as possible. Now if you are dealing with a commodity, all three of those things may be possible. But marketing and advertising are not a commodity, they are custom-created for your product or service. You can’t pick an ad off the rack and run it, you must have something custom-tailored to your specific needs. Since marketing and advertising are essentially custom items, it means that you can’t have all three of our desired features. Looking at the three features, high quality, quick, and inexpensive, you can only have two.

Why only two?

You can have fantastic quality and get it quick, but it won’t be inexpensive. The reason is that all the planning, preparation and effort that your custom solution requires must be compressed into a short time frame. For your collaborator, that means long hours with few breaks, overtime charges, and giving other client’s projects a push to accommodate your project. Those other clients won’t like the delay in their schedules, and the only thing that makes risking their displeasure worthwhile is the higher rate you’ll be paying to expedite your project. High quality, quick turnaround, but expensive.

If you wait until Thanksgiving to plan your Christmas advertising and you want great results, this is where you’ll find yourself.

Or, you can have your marketing or advertising implemented quickly and inexpensively, but it won’t be of high quality. All products or services take a certain amount of time to complete, and custom items that cannot be mass produced take even more time. Your ads or media plans will take time to put together. The only way to push it out the door quickly without added expense is to cut corners on the quality. Fast and inexpensive, but it will be neither fantastic nor effective.

This is what most small businesses settle for in their advertising and marketing. They wait until the last minute, then rush through a half-thought out media buy, create a half-baked ad, and come away wondering why their advertising didn’t give them the results they were expecting. The money they spent on advertising ends up being a complete and expensive loss.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

The Better Choice

You can get high quality and have it relatively inexpensive. The key is to give your collaborators the time to do their thing. When your ad executive, graphic designer, or copywriter are given the time it takes to put together a high-quality, fantastic campaign, you won’t incur overtime charges and rush fees. You’ll get to hear the reasons for their choices and the justifications for their recommendations, and you’ll have the time to think those things over to see if they truly accomplish the goals you have set for your advertising and marketing. Fantastic and inexpensive, but it won’t be quick.

Start now, so you and your marketing and advertising partners will have the necessary time to plan and implement your creative and media planning. You’ll be far better pleased with the results.

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