Today, I am going to expose one of the myths of small business advertising. The myth I am speaking about is the myth that the primary purpose of a small businesses advertising is to build your Brand. The actual primary purpose of advertising is to get your phone to ring with qualified prospects that are ready to buy what you sell.
90% of the success of any advertising is in the headline. Prospects scan headlines just like they are reading a newspaper. They scan the headlines, then go back to the ones that looked interesting and had benefit to them. So if prospects are looking for interesting and benefit laden headlines, which headline do you think will get more attention and response – “Charlie’s Carpet Cleaning” (the name of his business – Branding) or “You Get the Most Sparkling Clean, Fresh and Fluffy Carpet Ever Seen or It’s FREE!”?
Business owners falsely believe that building their brand is the primary goal of their advertising. The truth is your advertising needs to make the phone ring with qualified prospects, and building your brand is a by-product of that. I speak with business owners who tell me they advertise in 3 places. One makes the phone ring, and the other 2 are “getting your name out there”. That means 2/3rds of their advertising money is being wasted.
So let’s talk more about Branding. First, you are competing with companies with deep pockets like Coca-Cola, Nike, and Target spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to build their Brand. Who here thinks that your advertising budget can compete with that type of investment in Branding?
I did a Branding test when I lived in Orange County, CA. I went to a supermarket and stood out front to speak with real people. I paid people $2 each to take part in this study. Their task was to match the 20 most prominent company logos of local businesses with the name of the business on a sheet of paper. The sheet had 20 logos in the left column and 20 business names in the right column. I paid $200 out that day to 100 people to prove a point. The average person only got 1 out of 20 right or 5% of the logos identified with the right business. Business owners think their prospects recognize their brand, and that recognition brings in clients. But the reality is prospects are barraged by hundreds of thousands of logos a week on TV, the internet, and in all forms of print advertising, and you are going to need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to actually build your Brand in the minds of the consumer.
Let’s say you build up your Brand so that everyone recognizes it in your town. Then you take your Brand to the bank and say, “Good Morning! I am here to deposit my Brand.” How much do you think they will credit to your account? Ask them to loan you money against your brand, and they will laugh at you. So even when a local business builds their Brand, it has no cash value.
There are 2 types of advertising. One is Branding and the other is Direct-Response advertising. Direct Response advertising uses headlines that will stop an ideal prospect in their tracks, and my 11 other response triggers. Direct response advertising encourages testing to see how you can improve the profits from your advertising. Direct Response advertising is different than Branding in that it is designed to make the phone ring, not build your Brand. Branding advertising is lucky to break even, and usually loses the entire advertising investment without a single phone call.
Good Direct-Response advertising makes back multiples of what is invested. Good Direct Response marketing is like a slot machine that is rigged to win every time. Direct Response marketing gets the phone to ring with qualified prospects that will buy from you, and that you can deposit in your bank account. Then you can leverage that same marketing message in other Media, and make even more profits!
So local businesses that are using Branding type advertising are excellent prospects for my business and the FREE 60-Point Advertising Audit I offer. I can transform their advertising from an expense to an investment that they make back multiples of what they spend. They will forever thank you for all the additional money they will make by switching from Branding to Direct Response advertising.
So every time you see a local business that uses their business name as the headline in their advertising, you know that they are trying to use Branding advertising, and that they would be an excellent prospect for my FREE 60 Point Advertising Audit.
You can set up your own advertising audit by using the email contact box at the top right of this page or the Contact Me page of this website.