Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How Much Money...

Does it cost to create advertising for a successful business or organization?

All to often I see a lack of understanding of the marketing and advertising that it requires for a company to be successful.

A few months ago a new seafood restaurant at a busy intersection opened their doors and now there is a For Sale sign in front.

A co-worker of mine called on him with a strategic plan to build his business that involved no money, only a small trade. The owner said no. Instead he spent a bunch of money on "generic newspaper ads".

I say they were generic because you could have pulled the name of the restaurant and replaced it with another local restaurant and it would have made sense. What doesn't make sense is that the newspaper sales person took all of their money and didn't bring them enough customers.

To be fair, I don't know all the details, but over the years I've seen it too many times:

1. Business owner knows how to run his/her business.
2. Business owner knows next to nothing about advertising and marketing to be successful.
3. Business owner gets talked into something that sounds good, signs the contract and waits for all the customers to come rushing in to spend their money.
4. Business owner runs out of money because their advertising didn't work, and it would have been a miracle if it did!
5. Business owner shuts down, closes shop, and ends up bitter, frustrated and broke.

So is there a real answer?

Yes. Whatever amount of money you were planning on spending on advertising, double it.
Heck, triple it. Or if you are a real cheap skate, quadruple it.

Start thinking like the big boys when it comes to investing in attracting and retaining customers.

They get professional advice and they pay big bucks. How much?

Office Depot spent $60,000,000 in 2010.

The U.S. Army? $200,000,000.

Now unless you are the size of the Army or Office Depot, you don't need to spend that much, but odds are you are underspending.


  1. This is a message that should be shared. My weekend fun-job-passion is playing in a band at small to mid-size clubs. In the last 2 years at least a dozen venues have gone under. Some from poor management, some did not cut the fat and tighten their belts during the economic down turn. And, some tightened their belts too much. One in particular, this restaurant and bar had been around over 60 years. It was famous for apple smoke cooked steaks and chicken. My parents had eaten there when they were first married. The establishment cut all advertising because they didn’t need it - People knew them. They were a tradition. As it turns out they were a tradition that people forgot. Now… they are a memory.

  2. Thanks Randy for your comment. I've seen too many businesses, year after year do this.

    The place you mentioned stopped reaching out to people and stopped inviting new folks to join them. Doesn't mean the business was bad, they just stopped inviting guests!