Last week I had an interesting business experience. Someone tried selling me advertising in a local print publication. As part of their sales pitch they gave me a number compelling reasons to consider in an attempt to get me to advertise with them. After they finished their presentation I asked a very fair question which quickly resulted in the salesperson getting upset with me and abandoning me as a prospect. Over the years I found the question to be a simple yet effective way for staying clear of advertising that might not fit your product or service.
To be fair, no form of advertising can provide you with guaranteed ROI. One of the most difficult tasks is being able to effectively track the ROI performance of traditional advertising. The percentage of “keyed” ads for traditional marketing like radio or print is fairly low. The ultimate responsibility of effective advertising falls on the company or person actually producing the ad. If an ad doesn’t contain critical elements including a well thought out USP and call to action it is going to be difficult to be successful. It doesn’t matter how many impressions a media channel can guarantee. You need to demand results with your advertising!
The Question To Ask . . .
You can ask the question for almost any type of advertising: television, radio, print, billboards, online, etc. Direct the question to the person trying to sell you advertising. Ask them “Can you give me a few references of companies who advertise (or have advertised) with you selling similar products or services to my own? I would like to ask them some questions related to their ROI.” It’s a fair and honest question. If a company can’t provide you with a few advertising references why buy advertising from them? The question isn't meant to discourage businesses from advertising. It's to discourage people from getting into the wrong advertising.
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