You see them everywhere: ads, ads, ads. Most people, on an average day, are exposed to 500 to 1,000 advertising messages. Look inside your shoe—is the brand name in there? That’s advertising, plain and simple.
Advertising is everywhere, and you can’t escape it! Companies and people are spending gazillions of dollars to make you remember them and buy their products, but is it really working? The quality and creativeness of advertising are what will reap rewards for the company investing in it. Probably more than 90 percent of the advertising that you see every day is immediately forgotten. Can you remember more than 10 of the 200 display ads that were in today’s newspaper? Can you remember any?
So how, as a small business, can you use this medium? How can you create a lasting image of your business in your prospective customers’ minds? You likely don’t have a huge advertising budget to compete with the big boys and stay constantly in the faces of consumers with your products and services. But you can compete effectively if you set a budget for advertising, develop a plan, and use your available resources wisely. Smart advertising means using your advertising dollars where they will result in the best chance for increased profits. That’s the purpose of this chapter—to point you in the right direction and give you workable ideas that you can afford and that will pay off.