AnyExcuse is a GoodExcuse

Spending money is something that we all have to do from time-to-time, but what type of spending in business is a must or a luxury?
I travel a lot and call on many clients introducing products and services to them relating to their websites and marketing. Every so often I get stumped by business people that see advertising as a luxury rather than as part of their daily business strategy. Our target market is predominately the small to medium business that are privately owned or small partnerships. It is these small businesses that have the most to gain from having a presence on the Internet. Websites have the ability to equal the playing field for everyone. Websites are also the window for your clients to look into your business to see if you are the right company to render to them the service or product they require.

But websites don’t market themselves. Conventional marketing served businesses well over the years but is now no longer the strongest source of delivering visitors to your website. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for all types of marketing, but at what cost? As an exercise in costing, I looked at the five most often used media platforms and compared it to online marketing from a delivery point of view.

The Local Marketing / Advertising Booklet
TThis publication is cheap in comparison to the big news agents but lacks in quality of design and have a limited distribution, most likely a few suburbs in a town. The print quality is 9 out of 10 times on plain paper and copied to death. The delivery method is not as reliable as other publications. The life expectancy of this publication is unknown and tends to be short lived. Feedback mechanism = none.

The Local Weekly Newspaper
Every town has its own; this is in itself also part of the problem. The quality is better and the delivery method a bit more reliable but cost to distribution ratio is no better that the first contender above. It has a known reputation but the shelf life of an edition is usually no more than a day or two. Newspaper quality is newspaper quality. Feedback mechanism = none.

National Newspapers
Sure, they have impressive distribution numbers and that’s about it. Let’s look at the cost to distribution ration and then it does not look so good again once you consider that the shelf live is truly only one day. This means to get true effectiveness, repeat advertising needs to be done. Newspaper quality is still only newspaper quality. Feedback mechanism = none

Industry Magazines
This form of conventional advertising is usually of a better print quality but lacks the distribution numbers that some of the others have. These publications have another drawback in that they do not end up on most newsstands and are not something mainstream that sells well. The distribution on the subscription side ends up mainly with your competitor and not your prospective client. Pricing is expensive once you compare distribution to price, on the flip side; the delivery method via the Post Office is reliable. Feedback mechanism = none

Radio & TV Adverts
Distribution numbers are big, but prime time slots are terribly expensive and last only a few seconds. This form of conventional advertising are usually reserved for large corporate companies and the small businessman can’t compete here. A lot of money is spent on market research to determine the target market for these adverts even before the production cost are considered and all of this excludes the cost of the advert space itself. The delivery mechanism is high and production quality is usually high as well. Feedback mechanism = none. So where does online marketing fit into all of this and how does it compare?

Distribution Numbers
We are not even talking about tens or hundreds of thousands as you would find in print, but more in the region of tens or hundreds of MILLIONS for the search engines.

Quality
Online marketing is of the highest standards out there; copywriting has to be crisp, clear and to the point as space is limited.

Delivery Mechanism
Hands down the winner. The delivery mechanism is classical of the supply and demand system which means it is also specific and much more cost effective. Demand comes from the user typing in a keyword and if the keyword fits the suppliers supply list, the ad triggers.

Quality
As with the delivery mechanism, quality is directly related to what the supplier has on his list of keywords. If the supplier sells “tractor spare parts” then a user searching for “pink bunny slippers” will not trigger his ad. The secret is all about relevance and the supplier’s money is not wasted on irrelevant searches.

Geographical Targeting
With online marketing one can be specific down to town level and even have the option to exclude areas that the supplier does not want to target or serve. This holds true on all levels, be it provincial, country, continent etc.

Feedback Mechanism
Online Advertising is most probably the only means of advertising that can give you quick and reliable feedback as to how users reacted to your adverts, content and the keywords (thought pattern/perception) when using your online advert. The level of detail in the feedback is practical and a great source information on how your clients use your website.

Cost Effectiveness
It is the hands down the winner as budgets are relatively small once compared to conventional advertising.

Then one last question remains... Why are you not advertising online yet?