I recently noticed some tree branches around my yard that needed trimming. So I borrowed one neighbor’s fifteen foot step ladder and another’s pole saw and set to work. After a few hours I had made some improvements. But it was also clear that to do the job correctly I had neither the necessary tools nor knowledge. It was time to call in the experts.
With sales and budgets being impacted by Covid-19 many business owners are exploring doing advertising on their own. That begs the question of whether do it yourself advertising is feasible, and does it make sense to undertake? Or, should you use an advertising agency or other marketing professionals?
When considering an advertising campaign defining the objective of the project is the first step. Who is it that you want to target and what do you want them to do? You need to be absolutely clear on the objective.
Next is the strategy. How will you get your target audience to take the action you want? Will this be a direct response campaign where they receive the marketing message and take immediate action? Or, will you need to nurture your leads? If you are selling to consumers, you can be successful with an immediate call-to-action that meets your objective. B2B is more difficult. The sales cycle tends to be longer and nurturing is more likely to be needed.
With an objective and strategy, you can begin to consider tactics. Will this advertising campaign require digital advertising, traditional or a combination? Think through how you expect your target to react and what you want them to do. What is your message? Why you?
Now that you have a plan consider the tools you will need. For me to continue pruning my trees I would need a truck with a bucket, ropes and more workers. In advertising you will minimally need a spreadsheet, although media planning software would be helpful. Most people have a phone. Then you will need to establish contacts at advertising companies. That could be sales reps at radio stations and cable operators. If you are going more digital establishing an account with companies such as Facebook and Google will be required.
Time To Plan
Depending on the scope of the project you need to allocate time to marketing. Not only is time needed to put together a plan and enact it, but you will need to monitor results. No matter how well-thought out your plan once data starts coming in you need to review the numbers to understand how improvements can be made. Often, those optimizations are the difference between a successful advertising campaign and one that loses money. Follow-through with your advertising is critical. Is there enough time in your day to run your advertising and your business?
Finally, how well do you understand advertising and the platforms on which you are working. Many digital advertising platforms are designed so that anyone can access them. But do you really understand how to use the platform and all of the data that it provides? A rep at a radio station can put together a schedule for you, but does that really reach your target effectively? And who is constructing the message? What words and images will best reflect you and your products?
Do It Yourself Advertising
While the idea of do it yourself advertising sounds appealing from a cost-savings perspective will you actually save money? Many of the advertising platforms you may want to use take years to become an expert on. The idea of reading a few white papers and then thinking you can master them may not be realistic. Saving money upfront may be offset by missing opportunities to leverage the media correctly. And you may not have the time to master advertising while running your company.
A far better approach for most advertisers is the collaborative method. Look to work with a marketing company that can provide the tools, time and expertise you do not have. You will bring your deep understanding of your business and customers, the marketing experts will bring their understanding of advertising. Advertising is a participation sport, it can’t happen in a vacuum. Bringing your knowledge and feedback to the team will make the collaboration that much more successful. Then you can spend your time doing what you do best, running your business.
If you are looking to understand how advertising experts can bring your marketing to the next level call for a free consultation.