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.

Everyone.

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.

Social Media Marketing Fails to Work

businesses focusing on social media marketing are going out of businessSocial media marketing violates a major marketing model–which is why it fails to work in many cases.

I’m sure there are people in the group who will write chapter and verse about the benefits of SMM.  There are studies showing how it works, how much it generates, ROI, etc.

One of the big questions I have is its ability to gather attention, the first principle of AIDA.  If you don’t have a market presence to start with, social media seems unlikely to me to generate it.

Viral Marketing is Different

Certainly, if you can generate a viral buzz or meme using SMM, you are gathering attention.  When everyone is trying to create the next big thing (sorry Samsung), when do you get above the noise?  When and how do people who don’t know about your product or service find you?

The internet has become a non stop cacophony of exactly the kind of marketing people want to avoid–interruption marketing.  Look at the number of pages whose video players are set to auto play.  Add to the noise the delayed flash pop ups, fly ins, roll overs, hovers and so forth and you have a medium that is way noisier and more full of crappy unrelated content than any TV, radio station, FSI, or fashion magazine.

Marketing by Word of Mouth

How is social media marketing different?  Other than its cheap.

In the old days of Mad Men ad agencies,  three martini lunches, and expensive compelling creative only we cared about, social media marketing was called something different.

It was “word of mouth”.  To the degree brands believe they can control the thoughts and actions of people who use or diss their products is the level at which they delude themselves.

 

Marketing Jargon Kills

marketing jargon kills media in BillingsI was reading a 67 page guide “How To Be in the Internet Marketing Business” or some such thing the other day and it hit me just how much jargon there is in marketing and advertising.

For those of us working as professional marketers, it seems to spew from us like so many negative television ads during this election campaign.  Endless and non stop.

Why the Marketing Jargon?

So why do we do that?  While talking with two different clients in the past week, I was rolling along talking about 30’s and 60’s.  I went on to talk about how we could use that time to gain attention and help people learn more about their products.  In this case, both of these people were running for office in Montana.

Neither understood a word I said.

One wasn’t even sure what the rates for an ad were after I explained them.

Marketing is full of jargon like CPP, CPM, CPC, SEO, CTR, AQH, AQR TSE, TSL, and HUT among others. It is no wonder the idea of marketing a business or a product is scary to a lot of entrepreneur’s.  They don’t want to make the wrong choice.

Digital Media–Measuring and Applying Jargon to Marketing

Digital media has gained traction because of its ability to translate something that is generally unmeasurable into something that might be measurable.  Add to the digital media pros bag of tricks a never ending litany of jargon and a few success stories and you have the recipe for the hottest, newest kid on the block.  Besides, who can argue with a success rate of .0026% CTR? (why would you even measure that?)

Add the millions of books and guides and a low barrier to digital entry and you have the recipe for even more confusing material in the marketplace.  As best I can tell, you can claim you are a digital expert just a few weeks after leaving animal obedience training school.  The confused stories I hear from business people who want to use social media to market their businesses would be funny if it weren’t so sad.  (“let me ask my son in law, he’s on Facebook all the time.”)

Jargon-less Marketing

Media like television, radio, billboards, and even print to some degree have to understand that people don’t understand the words they use.  The jargon doesn’t work. When people are confused, they don’t do anything.

If you have a company who needs to market, don’t let the jargon scare you.  Force your media person to talk to you about what you care about–leads, traffic, prospects, or potential buyers.  Marketing your business today is the battle to get noticed in a time of a high level of noise.

Let them save the jargon for Alpha Bits cereal.