Hold on a moment. Small business owners should approach advertising cautiously.
After all, your marketing dollars are limited. Advertising for the sake of advertising is never prudent.
Good advertising decisions start with a fundamental understanding of the pros and cons of advertising.
We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of advertising as a marketing tool so that you can be a smart advertiser.
Advertising's Biggest Advantages
- You have complete control. Unlike public relations efforts, you determine exactly where, when and how often your message will appear, how it will look, and what it will say. You can target your audience more readily and aim at very specific geographic areas and vertical markets.
- You can be consistent, presenting your company's image and sales message repeatedly to build awareness and trust. A distinctive identity will eventually become clearly associated with your company, like McDonald's golden arches. Customers will recognize you quickly and easily - in ads, mailers, packaging or signs - if you present yourself consistently.
What Are Advertising's Drawbacks?
- It takes planning. Advertising works best and costs least when planned and prepared in advance. For example, you'll pay less per ad in newspapers and magazines by agreeing to run several ads over time rather than deciding issue by issue. Likewise, you can save money by preparing a number of ads at once.
- It takes time and persistence. The effectiveness of your advertising improves gradually over time, because customers don't see every one of your ads.
- You must repeatedly remind prospects and customers about the benefits of doing business with you. The long-term effort triggers recognition and helps special offers or direct marketing pay off.
- Advertising costs money. Advertising is only one tool in your sales and marketing arsenal and its cost-effectiveness has to be compared to other business building tactics. Is it better to hire a new sales rep or place an advertisement in the local newspaper? You should always consider your ROI and your opportunity costs before you start an advertising campaign.
We greatly appreciate any advice you can provide on this topic. Please contribute your insights on this topic so others can benefit.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of advertising to both manufacturers and consumers?
Joyce, thanks for your question. In addition to some of the advertising advantages and disadvantages discussed above, I think manufacturers can only promote so much with advertising. If they have 50,000 products, for example, it would be hard to talk about all of them with traditional print, radio or TV ads. A digital strategy, possibly with digital advertising, would work much better. As for consumers, I think the downside of advertising for them is you only hear one voice, that of the advertiser, and you only hear from companies that can afford advertising so you may be missing out on some great options. Hope that is helpful to you.