Romer: The case for investing in advertising
Businesses of all sizes need to spend time and effort to reach their target market to ensure front-of-mind awareness and to drive customer demand. Sales don’t just happen; you need to ensure you have top-of-funnel awareness of your product or service.
Advertising can be one of the most vital aspects of a business (along with, of course, having a good product and providing great service). Advertising and promotion is the most direct and one of the most important connections you have to the consumer. When consumers feel personally connected to an advertisement, they are more likely to frequent your business.
Some businesses question whether or not investing in an advertising budget will be worth it and that is a mistake. Consider that one of the biggest television advertisers in the world is Google; if you didn’t need to advertise, they would probably just run Google ads.
Let’s dive into some commonly held beliefs around advertising and promotion.
Myth: You need to offer unique benefits.
Truth: You need to deliver on your core categories first.
Differentiation is less important than getting people to consider you in the first place. Many businesses and brands are synonymous with their category. Competition ensures that major brands meet consumer needs; restaurants provide a dining experience, retailers sell goods, and service providers offer professional skills. Consumers know that they will get their basic needs met at any restaurant, retailer, or service provider — advertising and promotion ensure that you get the chance to meet these needs. Then and only then you can convert them to loyal and repeat customers.
Myth: You grow by deepening relationships with loyal customers.
Truth: You grow by getting new customers.
Business growth comes from everywhere, not just loyal customers. Businesses must gain new customers and attracting more customers requires increased market penetration. A loyal customer base is certainly a vital part of business success, but thriving businesses are focused not only on customer retention and loyalty but also growing their base of repeat customers by attracting new business.
Myth: Ads have to be persuasive and relevant.
Truth: Ads have to be interesting and memorable.
Emotion makes advertising memorable and distinctive. Emotional messages are more impactful and thus more profitable. The most effective advertisements actually have little to no rational content. Consider the now-famous “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” campaign. The ads showed Justin Long as the hip embodiment of Mac users and John Hodgman as the stiff personification of PC folk. These ads never even talked about the product. No mention of processing speed or memory, or anything to do with computers. Rather, they cleverly posed the question “Would you rather be the laid-back young dude or the portly old dweeb?”
As we enter the 2019-20 ski season filled with eternal optimism for great snow, favorable vacation and holiday schedules, and powder days galore, it’s important for local businesses to continue to focus on advertising.
Deliver on your core product, provide great customer service, grow by getting new customers, and be interesting and memorable in your experience and your messaging. Advertising and promotion of your business can help grow your business by attracting new customers and can create a positive image for your organization.
Assuming you can deliver on your core brand promise and provide great service and a great experience, investing in advertising for your business is sure to drive customers your way. Remember, there is a reason Google is among the largest television advertisers: what it comes down to is that advertising works.
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at http://www.vailvalleypartnership.com.