In my previous article, I discussed how business owners’ advertising fails due to their impatience and inflexible budget. In this article, I will cover the impatience factor a little more, and explain how it contributes to disappointing advertising.
Business owners are naturally impatient – they’re often active, can-do people who want to get down to business immediately. While this makes them excellent business owners, it can also make them terrible advertisers. You see, advertising usually doesn’t yield immediate, discernible results. It takes time for consumers to get to know your brand through your advertisements – that’s why consistency is key. Consistency is the foundation of advertising. This doesn’t mean that your message in every medium you utilize should say the same thing and look the same. Consistency in advertising means sticking with your program over a long period of time. Business owners’ impatience with how fast the phone rings can cause them to pull the plug way too soon – which disrupts their advertising consistency.
Advertising builds on itself over time. Although it may be difficult to point to something you did six months ago as the reason why you made the sale, it was precisely because you did something six months ago – and more importantly, kept at it consistently – that a prospect became a client, and other prospects will continue to do so as time goes on. This probably seems counter-intuitive to our go-go-go business owners, who usually act promptly & decisively. They don’t yet understand the importance of the buyer’s timeline.
The buyer’s timeline is simple: at any point in time, your prospects are in some stage of buying your product or service. Maybe they’re just beginning to think about it (“Our house will probably need a coat of paint in a couple of years,” or, “Now that the kids are doing sports & piano lessons, I wish we had a service to help out with chores around the house”), or maybe they’re ready to write the check right now (“The storm really did a number on our house! We need someone out here to fix the damage!”). By advertising consistently, you reach your prospect at every stage of this timeline, so that when they’re ready to buy, they think of you, instead of your competition. If you’re not consistently advertising over a longer period of time, you will guarantee your own failure – while your competitor who has consistently advertised will most likely reap the benefits of your impatience.
My advice to business owners is this: you are not committed to promoting your business consistently over a considerable period of time, then save your money for when you are ready for such a commitment. Otherwise, I can promise you will be severely disappointed in what happens and mistakenly believe that advertising doesn’t work.