What Advertising Can Do For Your Business

* Remind customers and prospects about the benefits of your product or service
* Establish and maintain your distinct identity
* Enhance your reputation
* Encourage existing customers to buy more of what you sell
* Attract new customers and replace lost ones
* Slowly build sales to boost your bottom line
* Promote your business to customers, investors and others

What Advertising Cannot Do For Your Business

* Create an instant customer base
* Cause an immediate sharp increase in sales
* Solve cash flow or profit problems
* Substitute for poor or indifferent customer service
* Sell useless or unwanted products or services

Two Important Virtues

* 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.
* 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.