Here we go again. Entrepreneurs ask me every week my thought about advertising. Some say it does not sell at all, others say the opposite.

Who’s right?

First of all, I would say that advertising is not selling products. It’s not its purpose. Keep in mind ads are about linking a producer to a huge mass of customers. So its purpose is basically to inform customers about the products or the services it is selling.

Also, if you have enough budget, your advertising campaign might bring you to a higher level by creating a brand effect. This means customers, because of the notorious of the brand, are less sensitive to pay more for your product. This may bring you to a competitive advantage.

However, it rarely sales. A good ad will interest a customer to visit your shop and to take a closer look to what you are selling. But the act of selling relies solely on your ability to convince your customer to buy your products.

In other words, a good advertising campaign might bring customers to your shop, and might create a brand effect. But if you fail to give a good service when your clients are coming inside, or if the prices are too expensive, even the most brilliant advertising campaign will fail.

I always suggest to my clients to put more energy – and money- on a good marketing strategy first, paying a lot of attention to the place (how good is the feeling when you come in the shop?) the pricing, the product and its packaging. Then, make sure to be visible on the Internet- build a blog, use social medias in your communications, create many small events, and then, maybe, you may consider advertising.

Why so late in the process?

Keep in mind that an advertising campaign is very expensive for a limited, and often disappointing, return on investment. However, a good use of social medias may get more results because they link directly your products to your customers.

Ads fail to reach such a high level of interactions. Social medias permit to recreate the direct relationship between the producers and the customers, relationship that has been lost with the rise of mass production and the mass medias- read advertising- that were required to inform customers on a larger scale than ever.

So? What are you going to do next?

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