What Kind of Advertiser Are You?
Passive - Passive/Aggressive - Aggressive
look at advertising in many ways and take, or pass up, advertising for various
reasons. Most of us know that the more aggressive the advertising/marketing
campaign, if done right, the more customers and money comes in the door. As an
example Roto-Rooter is an “Aggressive Advertiser” with radio, Internet, full
page yellow page ads, and even some TV advertising, that has built a nationwide
business out of their advertising and marketing. From a marketing standpoint
who doesn’t remember the Roto-Rooter jingle. “Roto-Rooter that’s the name…” Did
you finish the jingle in your head? Their campaign was so good that I
remembered it and am writing about it right now – and giving them FREE
advertising. How much better can it get? From the standpoint of advertising and
marketing, they did a job and a half. Ask a friend who they would call for a
blocked drain or sewer line and see if they don’t sing the jingle out loud to
Then there is the
“Passive” mom and pop advertiser who doesn’t have a dream of becoming the
largest drain cleaning company out there in the USA and who are not ready to
start working that hard no matter how much the payoff on the other end. They are
happy with a yellow page entry with just their name, address and phone number
under the category “Drain Cleaning”. Mom and Pop feel that if someone has a
drain problem they will pick up the phone book and give the Mom and Pop Cleaning
Service a call, because everyone knows that the big guys charge more to pay for
all that advertising. They also depend on Aunt Martha to tell her son to call
Mom and Pop because they do a good job and they charge a fair price – “much
better than those big guys.” This is passive advertising and marketing in the
form of “word of mouth”.
The third type of
business advertiser is the “Passive/Aggressive” advertiser. This group is
composed of most everyone who advertises or markets their business. They are
passive on some advertising possibilities. They may just have a regular listing
in the yellow pages to draw in a few customers because they are listed there. It
cost practically nothing, so why not?
And when these
advertisers have some extra cash on hand, they try various forms of advertising
and marketing, hoping to make that extra cash work for them and bring in lots
more paying customers. Once they find something that works for them they often
keep doing it. As an example, we have a local real estate agent who used her
extra cash and to buy billboard advertising. IT WORKED. She got lots of extra
business from this expensive advertising method but who cared about the cost. It
more than paid for itself. A dentist decided that taking out a full page on the
back of the yellow pages might just work for him. It did, even with the price
tag of $35,000 per year. Cosmetic dentistry isn’t cheap to begin with, and the
expensive adverting brought in many new customers. Another local business person
decided that the internet was the thing for her. It was new and innovative. She
has a group of products that sold great at her shop and she decided to try and
sell them over the Internet. Her gross went from $3,000 per month to around
$45,000 per month within 6 months. And so the story goes.
If you are a
Passive Advertiser, you may just be at your advertising comfort level and, if it
is working for you, great — keep it going. But if you would like to pump up the
business a notch without spending tons of money, keep reading.
Passive/Aggressive advertisers and the Aggressive advertisers, let’s take a look
at some possibilities that could get you more business in the door, a lot more
business in the door, or really pump up your cash box. What is the next best
step for you? You know about the big forms of advertising of course: TV, Radio,
Billboards (all very expensive), Newspaper, Yellow Pages, a website (far less
pricy, but if you really want to make an impact it can cost a fortune too),
flyers and classified ads, etc. (The latter can be far less expensive but often
far less effective and might not portray your business the way you want it to be
The Internet is
still a very viable advertising and marketing medium and can be used in place of
TV, radio, billboards, newspapers and paper yellow pages very successfully — if
you know how to use it to get business to your door. This applies to those who
have a website and those that don’t. Here are the facts: The number of people
using the Internet is increasing. 71% of US adults use Internet. 76 % do
research on the Internet before they buy something or request a service. 91% of
Internet users use a local directory or search engine to find information or
find a business according to the Pey Internet & and American Life Project. Now
those are astounding figures and unless you are a totally Passive advertiser,
you need to pay attention to them and start using them to your advantage.
The big question
becomes how can these people, (the 71% using the Internet), find you. The search
engines have become too massive, too commercialized and it’s difficult to find
anyone who is not willing to pay a premium to be on the 1st or 2nd results page
of the search engine.
It used to be easy
in the old days (a few years back) before we Googeled and Yahoo’d and millions
of competitors came on board with their websites. You simply did a website and
went to a directory or a search engine (your choice of hundreds) and got your
website link from there for FREE. People looking found you.
Not so any more.
You can still do a website of course (you need to do it right though and it can
be costly). If you do one and plan to compete on the regular Internet, plan on
spending (at the very least) the amount you paid for the website – per year –
for advertising it. Commercialization has brought on hundreds, thousands, or
even millions of competitors. Those who want to be found are paying a premium
to Google or Yahoo of as much as $3 and $4 every time someone clicks a link and
goes to their website. Believe it or not, it is worth it for some businesses.
The question is – is it worth it for you?
For most people the
answer is simply NO! If your answer is NO, then how do you compete? Many are
now reevaluating their websites to see if they even want to keep them or are
already switching back to other forms of advertising that they can at least
understand and feel they are getting something out of without paying such a high
So is the internet
dead to most of us? Has it been hijacked by the Fortune 500? Should you junk
your website and go back to newspaper ads?
NO, because the
“Good News” is this:
The Internet has
commercialized and changed so drastically in the last few years other, more
logical answers to Internet advertising have started coming back: free or
nearly free advertising, for instance.
You can save big if
you are a local company by using a local Internet directory. Because of the way
the Internet is opening up with local directories you really don’t even really
need a website to advertise anymore. If you have it, keep it. But you can do a
full page full color ad or even advertise without a site.
competition so fierce, and with so many advertisers to choose from, people using
the Internet are getting a lot smarter. The users are starting to realize that
if, for instance, they are looking for real estate in Sonoma California they
need to search for not for “Real Estate” which gives you 450,000 listing in
the USA but “Sonoma Real Estate”, which gives you far fewer but more useful
links. Also, rather than using the large search engines, people are starting to
use Local Directories more often because they normally have what they are
looking for and make it easy to find.
Four directories in
the San Francisco North Bay are doing an excellent job of providing this type of
local directory service: for Marin County, it is
www.maringcountyguide.com; for Sonoma,
www.SonomasBest.com; in Napa County, it is www.NapaYellowpages.com;
and in Solano, it’s
www.SolanoCountyGuide.com. They are a combination of interactive yellow
pages, visitors guides, information pages, and a lot more. More importantly,
they get the traffic to their sites from both locals and visitors. The major
search engines send their users to these sites for local information as well as
advertise on them. They are also very easy to use in their yellow page format.
For people with or
without websites, these are the new Internet portals that will help you get the
most for your internet advertising dollars. For one thing, advertising is still
very cheap on these local directories. You advertise almost like the paper
yellow pages. You can get a free listing similar to the paper yellow pages in
the alpha section of the pages. It only includes name, address and phone number.
This is great for the very Passive advertiser and will get you some— but not a
lot — of business. Like the paper yellow pages, you’ll get lost in the crowd,
especially if there is a lot of competition or you happen to have a business
name starting with “Z”. But hey, what you can you expect for free? Let’s face
facts “Free and some customers” is good thing. Much better than most of the
Internet right now.
To get some real
advertising going though, pay for a listing. It costs $9 per year for a city
listing and $84 per year for all 4 North Bay counties. With a paid listing, you
get up to 4 advertising copy lines, several phone numbers, a place for your
business hours, and your company name, address and phone number. This works even
if you don’t have a website. If you do have a site, your website is linked and
email address is listed at no extra charge.
Passive/Aggressive and Aggressive advertisers, place a listing at the top of the
page or take a banner ad on your category page. Here are your Billboard ads at
fantastic price. The price on these range from $15 to around $30 per month. This
is very inexpensive for what you get and a logical way to be seen on these
pages! Google and national advertisers often try to pre-empt a lot of these
positions, but the directories are willing to give local advertiser top promo by
replacing the national advertisers with local ones.
For those without
websites, the North Bay directories will even build a full page, full color ad
for you for only $94 a year including your listing and hosting. Compare this to
full page paper yellow page ads at $1200 per month. You can link to your full
page ad from anywhere on the Internet as well. So, if, for example, you are
advertising your B & B to European travelers and want to get listed on a travel
directory in Europe, you can link from the travel directory to your full page
Naturally, with the
decline in revenue on the paper directories, the big yellow page people are now
starting to move into the Internet end of the business, but their prices are as
prohibitive on the Internet as they are on paper. Chances are these big
directories won’t catch on unless advertisers just want to pitch their hard
earned money out the window. I would bet you won’t want to spend mindlessly
without getting a decent return. By patronizing the local directories you can
tell the big guys what you think of their pricing structure. I recommend we all
tell them no way are they going to gouge our pockets this time! Go for the
more reasonable local directories.
The Internet is
back for all of us. So get out there and take advantage of it. Get found and get
business to your door.
Wizard Marketing Internet Services