Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Big Dog or Little Dog?

Mr & Ms Business person,

Would you like to buy 1 30 second commercial that will air in the Superbowl and be seen by 111 million people (give or take a few million) and that is all the advertising and marketing you can do for the next 12 months?

Why? Well the cost of airing an ad was $3 million in 2011.

The cost of producing a Superbowl worthy ad? Between $400,000 and $4 million.

But let's just work with the cost of airing the ad. $3,000,000.

There were over 40 minutes of ads that ran during the game. That would add up to 80 30 second commercials. Plus pregame, plus post game, plus local ads, and the network promotional ads.

30 seconds in a 3 hour telecast means you are 1 of 360 half minutes. And it cost $3 Mil.

Were you a Big Dog or Little Dog?

If you just aired one time, you were a Little Dog.

The Game itself was the Big Dog.

Chrysler, VW, Doritos, Pepsi, they also were Big Dogs, because they dominated the advertising during the game and in the weeks since.

But they spent more than 3 million... so.. so.. much, Much, MUCH more.

And face it. You can't afford to spend what they spend to be the Big Dogs in the Superbowl.

So, do you look for other Big Dogs to advertise with?

Or do you become a Big Dog yourself?

Let's take this down a level to the arena I work in. The city is Fort Wayne, Indiana. We are market number 110 in the United States, maybe a little higher.

We have about 20 radio stations, the 4 major TV networks, a couple of newspapers, and the usual advertising options.

In the radio business that I work in, there are 5 radio stations that have over 100,000 listeners every week according to the ratings service.

The next 5 have between 56,000 and 96,000 weekly listeners. And the remaining 11 range between 37,000 and 5,000 listeners per week.

If you advertise on one of the top 5 stations, it could cost you $100 per commercial. If you advertise on one of the stations in the bottom half, you could spend $20 or less per commercial.

If you have $3,000 a month to work with, you could get 1 commercial a day on those Big Dog stations that reach a lot of people, but you would be a Little Dog because 1 commercial a day is nearly worthless.

(There are some exceptions to what I just said about 1 per day, ask me and I'll tell you.)

What happens if you spend your $3000 a month on a Little Dog Station? You become a Big Dog with those stations listeners, because they are hearing about you more, 5 times more per day, and your brand and reputation grows and in turn your business grows.

This concept of Big Dog vs. Little Dog is one that advertising sales people often get backwards, and if you buy into their thinking that you have to advertise only on the Big Dog Stations, you both lose. Sure they may get your money once. They may get it twice if they are convincing enough.

But your goal as a business person is to find a group of people that you can afford to reach repeatedly and consistently with your advertising and marketing messages, and become dominate in their mind and hearts. That's how you become a Big Dog.

One last thought for this week.

It's not mine, I read it somewhere a long time ago.

Would you rather convince 100 people 10% of the way to do business with you?

Would you rather convince 10 people 100% of the way to do business with you?

The initial cost is the same, the results are vastly different.

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