Are Your Ads Invisible?

Tom Egelhoff

Were there tire ads in the newspaper today? Could you answer that truthfully under oath? Chances are you didn’t see any tire ads when you read the paper even though they were there. So how did you miss them? Your “Filter”.

Your brain’s very powerful filter took inventory of your needs and decided that you didn’t need tires so those ads were filtered out and they became invisible to you.

So you might feel that your advertising cost was wasted. Even if your ad was invisible to your customer’s conscious mind it is safely tucked away in your customer’s subconscious mind.

Your customer’s filter will let that info out when tires are needed. And might even remind your customer of the ad it filed away months ago. And the customer will think, “Where have I seen or heard about that tire store before?”

You Can’t Pick And Choose
It would be nice if you knew which day of the week most people need tires. Nice, but not really possible.

You can’t pick and choose the best days to run ads so the obvious answer is to be there as often and your budget will allow.

Your Ad Budget
Just for easy math let’s assume that you have $1,000 to spend each month on advertising. If that ad produces 900 customers that spend a dollar each in your store what happened? You just lost $100. Are you going to lose another $100 next month?
Advertising must be an investment; it can never be an expense. If must produce more in paying customers than it costs.

The best way to do that is to identify your ideal customer and match the right advertising medium to reach that specific customer. Advertising just to advertise doesn’t really work unless it’s in the right place and your message resonates with your customer.

40-40-20 Rule
Direct mail expert Ed Mayer created the 40-40-20 rule many years ago. This very simple advertising guide simply means that 40 percent of your success will be determined by how well you define your target market. The second 40 percent depends on how that target market perceives your products and your business. The final 20 percent is the package that consists of your advertising offer and the presentation of that offer. That would be art, color, paper, and ad copy along with any audio or video message from your advertising.

If all parts of the 40-40-20 Rule are in place then your advertising should turn out to be an investment.

What About Your Secondary Markets?
There are also invisible customers. What happens when a 16 year old gets a driver’s license? They are now a car wash customer, mechanic’s customer, tire customer, gas station customer, insurance customer and an oil change customer.

That one single event created six new customers for any of those businesses who want to go after that new drivers business.

The problem is that most businesses don’t look for the secondary market. Life changes in our valley. People come and go. The population of Bozeman is said to turn over every seven years.

There are always new people to reach that might not fit your target market profile exactly. So how much business are you missing by not pursuing these secondary markets. Don’t you need customers to keep the doors open?

Take a closer look at your business. What events are changing locally that might produce new customers for you? Identify them and go get them.  

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