Free Billings Advertising

Free Billings AdvertisingYou can get a great, effective radio campaign on almost any radio station in Billings for about $16.67 a day.  Surely your business is worth that amount of money.

But getting something for nothing seems to be a cause célèbre of late.  Maybe it started with the infamous “47% are dependent” comment in the presidential campaign.  I’m not really sure.  This post isn’t a political comment, its about marketing.

Why do business owners continue to strive to get something for nothing?  A lot of time and money gets spent in social media, free papers, free flyers, free magazines,  free coupons, free websites, or free whatevers.

You really don’t get anything for free–you pay for it with stress, time, opportunity, or cash.  Yet the practice continues.  Everyone wants to be the person who solves the problem–who gets a great deal no one else has.  The one who finds the holy grail of making Billings advertising work for the lowest possible price.

Why all the Free Papers and Magazines?

There’s a reason all those papers and magazines are free.  It’s an escape from accountability.  With no subscribers, there’s really no way to know how many of the publications are actually consumed.  It’s pretty, but is it real?  And please, don’t fall for the publishers trick of counting how many were published times 3 or 4 to suggest that is the “readership.” I mean every copy of every publication must be spread around.  I agree.  Most publications are spread around unread at the recycling station.

There’s only one way to compare across media.  Its the real dollars and cents of the spend.  If you spend $800 in cable, spend $800 in radio and compare.  If you spend $300 on a little ad in one of the free “ego-zines” inside every restaurant in town, then compare that to $300 spent on bench ads.

The final verdict comes when you compare the increase or decrease in your business revenue year to year and month to month.


The Media That Works Best in Billings Marketing

Best Media Choics for Billings MarketingI’ve spent literally millions of dollars in advertising.  I’ve spent it on television, events, internet, radio, billboards, direct mail, even some money in print. Thinking about the actual number, I’m betting its close to $6 MILLION dollars in spend.

After all that, I know exactly what advertising and marketing works and what doesn’t.  I’m going to tell you something unexpected that you probably do not expect to hear from any media person, much less a salesperson.  I will tell you the truth as to what media works best.

I really feel bad for small business owners in Billings.  How do you know what Billings marketing is right?  You started a business for a reason.  To make more money, secure your families life, maybe you were tired of dealing with the “Man” all day long, and for what?

You have endless regulation, taxation, employee issues, and untold amount of worries on how you are going to meet payroll.  You know you can handle it–you are awesome.  You are great in your chosen field.  Your shop, store, or business is the best in town.  You are awesome.  You just have to tell people how awesome you are.

That’s where it gets complicated.  You are not a marketing expert.  You are a business owner.

The $6 Million Billings Marketing Secret

So you take in a seminar from the newspaper.  Surprise, they say the newspaper/web combination is the only way to market.  Google holds a big “Get Onlline” seminar in town with free websites (almost). Next the TV station has a “how to use modern media” seminar, and you go.  There you discover that it really is TV is the only way to reach consumers.  Radio stations have their own programs and seminars to encourage you to buy spots (they are ADS not SPOTS.)

And so it goes.  Not only are you dealing with all the stuff required to run a business, but now you have conflicting information from people you trust on marketing ideas.  I talk to business owners like this EVERYDAY.

If you have a moment, I’m going to tell exactly who in all this marketing conflicting ga-ga has the right answer.


You see, ALL MARKETING WORKS.  Provided you have a good message and get enough time (or traffic) to get heard. The difference is effectiveness and the amount of money you want to invest.  That’s it.

A Half Million Dollar Marketing Lesson

Every media gets bashed for their lack of effectiveness, even TV.  I personally spent a half MILLION dollars of my companies money in 4 weeks on TV.  I thought we had a great ad and a great schedule.  Everyone agreed all the way to the president of the company.  I was the one who got fired.

The ONLY way to compare media is by dollars and cents.  Spend the same amount on an ad schedule on TV, radio, billboards, and print–then compare the results.  You’ll figure out pretty quickly which one works best for you.  It may not be the same for your competitor.  It is what works for you–what makes your revenue rise that’s important.

Next time when you feel overwhelmed with the pressure to make the “right” decision on your marketing, relax.  It all works.   Besides, I’m guessing you have never spent a half million bucks on TV. And never will.

Radio Doesn’t Work

This is a true story.  I was on a call recently and I wanted to share it.  The names and business have been changed to protect the identity.

The client was adamant.  Radio simply did not work for his business.  It’s not the first time I’ve heard that of course.  In this case, the client had a somewhat non-essential product that retailed for between $250-$400.

I believe in radio and our ability to solve problems.  I love a challenge like this.  So here’s what happened next.

I asked the client if he would allow me to do a promotion for him to prove radio.  If I could prove radio worked, he would agree to buy a year long schedule for a certain amount.

He was listening.

I offered to trade advertising for 5 of his items at full value.  And I would run a promotion telling listeners that on Thursday two weeks from now, they could win one of the items simply by listening to the radio station and calling when asked.

There’s was just one twist.

I’d arrange for the calls to come to the business rather than the radio station.

So for two weeks I would promote the idea Thursday May 23rd, you could win a $500 piece of gear.  I’d spend my own money and air time to promote it.  All the client had to do was answer the phone on the appointed day and take the orders.

“But, but,” he sputtered, “I can’t handle that kind of volume of calls.  What happens when I’ve given away the five items?  I don’t have the people to handle all that.  There will be hundreds of calls”

First, I replied, you should have some kind of deal mechanism in place, so when you have made 5 winning customers happy, that will get people to come in for a special deal at your store they could have only received by calling you. Maybe capture names and phone numbers because you know they are calling and have a need for your product.

Secondly, though, I’m confused.

I thought you said radio didn’t work.

Really is a true story and one that points out a problem.  Buyers move through the stages of the buying cycle everyday. .

You can run a very effective radio campaign on most radio stations in Billings for between $16.67 and $23.95 a day.  If your message doesn’t move them to action now, it might simply be they aren’t in the market for your product.  Not that your media choice doesn’t work.