In my first three months as Marketing Manager at Rise’n Roll Bakery, I have seen and experienced so much, marketing wise, that you could say flies in the face of conventional “marketing plans”. Sure we are utilizing social media and we are doing press releases and other “normal” activities, but I think the biggest thing I have seen is that if your product is amazing, and your service is top notch, paid advertising has a MUCH lower importance for your organization. Here are three signs your organization may need to spend more time on organic FREE advertising, and less time on paid campaigns:
1. Everyone who tries your product loves it…and tells others.
If everyone who comes in loves your product, and are treated special, they will tell others…the old “customers who are unhappy tell 10 people and happy customers tell 1 or 2″ is over. If a customer is treated right, they will tell their networks..which could be thousands…same happens when they are treated poorly or have a bad experience. You MUST look at your customer experience level and if it isn’t at a level that inspires others to become free, willing, EXCITED advertisements of your business, then you must raise it.
2. You have a unique concept that has fared well even in tough times.
Has your product carved such a niche that even during rough economic times you are able to weather the storm? If it is that good, then your need for paid advertising may only be a very small, very temporary thing. If you can utilize social media and press releases in a way that gets the word out about your product and an initial ground swell of potential customers, then you may be able to skip past paid advertising all together.
3. Your paid campaigns are not producing the ROI you had anticipated.
Just because as advertising sales person stops by and tells you that you SHOULD do something, doesn’t mean you should. If you have tried print advertising, and your message and call to action were good, and you didn’t see a response, don’t do it again. If you try a radio campaign, DO NOT let people tell you, “oh, it was a branding exercise”. Guess what happens if you engage in to many “branding exercises”? You end up having to find a new job. I am NOT saying don’t try paid ads, I AM saying if you try something, TRACK it, give it 10-13 weeks to produce results, and if it hasn’t, it isn’t a failure to end an ad campaign!It is a failure to continue spending money on something that doesn’t work because you are to proud.
Bottom line, paid advertising isn’t for everyone! On the same note, it is something that some industries must account for as a needed expense that will be there from opening of your business to the day you close the doors. Marketing agencies can do more for you than just make ad buys. They SHOULD be helping you make educated marketing decisions that produce the maximum ROI for your business.
Jeff Petermann, CMG