Forgot The Ad Budget? Dont Panic!

Bob is excited about his new business. He secured funding. He leased the building. He stocked it full of new gadgets. He hung the sign. He posted a banner on his window that reads,"Grand Opening!". And now he stands behind the counter, waiting for customers to come flocking in. And he stands there. And he stands there. And he stands there.

And then it hits him: No one knows about his shiny new store!

I've seen new and even established businesses make this same mistake over and over again. Advertising is the last thing they think of. They assume that since their doors are open and the merchandise is on display, customers will come running in. But they won't come. Not until they know how great your new business is! And to do that you need to plan and execute an advertising budget and strategy.

Many times I've been called in to consult with a new business to help plan their ad strategy well after their stores have opened when in fact, this is something that should have been done during the initial planning stage.

So is it too late? No, but sometimes it's a major sticker shock to those who did not put a realistic plan together from the start. Remember that advertising, like your store and your merchandise, is an investment towards your profits.

But let's say you're like Bob and your business is already up and running. How do you put together a realistic ad budget? Well most people use a percentage of gross sales as a means of figuring this out. If however, you're a new business owner with no prior sales, you can base it on industry standards. Use the web and search out other related businesses for a guide. Once you've figured what your gross sales should be, think about using 3 to 5 percent as a starting point for your ad budget. Another factor to consider when planning an ad budget is that it should encompass all aspects of your advertising from media placement to creative costs and production of your ads.

And remember: advertising must be done with consistency. Let me write that again. Advertising must be done with consistency. When planning your ad budget, make sure you allot enough funding to allow it to last throughout the year whether your sales will be spread out evenly or are cyclical. If you spread your budget too thin, chances are your ad campaigns may not be heard or seen enough to stay in the minds of consumers. And if your business is brand new, you'll want to plan on spending more at the beginning for your initial start up campaign.

Some businesses make the mistake of advertising strong for about three to four weeks and then they stop. Keep in mind that consumers have very short memories and with 3000 plus advertising messages that pummel their brains everyday, it's no wonder! That's why you have to stay in the public's eye consistently. Oh, and it also helps to have a clever message but we'll talk about that in another article.

Once your ad budget is established, the type of advertising you use will be based on your specific business but normally if your business is consumer based, even in these modern web based times, traditional media such as radio, television, print, billboard and direct mail should still play major roles.

Many times I've helped clients put together an in-house survey for their customers to fill out. This can be helpful in determining what type of advertising they'll need as well. Questions like, "What radio stations do you listen to?" "Do you subscribe to the newspaper?" and "Do you shop on-line?" can be useful in getting to know your customer's habits as well as how to attract more like them.

Consulting an advertising agency is a very good way to get started as well. To find a good agency, try contacting other business owners you know for a referral or perhaps an established business whose advertising style and creative appears to fit your goals.

Remember: planning your advertising budget and strategy is as important as the products your trying to sell. Think about your advertising now and you'll never end up like Bob: standing behind the counter waiting for customers that never come.

Hal Eisenberg is an award winning copywriter, voice over talent and producer, as well as owner of The Eisenberg Agency, a full service advertising agency specializing in creative ads that get results. Visit his web site at http://www.eisenbergagency.com. Mailto: [email protected].

In The News:

WTF is Ad-ID?  Digiday

Three Keys to Crafting Successful Print Ads

Want to create print ads that get results? Below are... Read More

Fax Broadcast Services Get Your Message to Millions

If your company is one of those innovative businesses that... Read More

What Is Most Important ? Copy Or Pic?

When, some little time ago now, I first descended upon... Read More

8 Low Cost Ways To Advertise, Promote and Market Your Business

We all are looking for ways to market our businesses... Read More

10 Tips to Use Giveaways Effectively

Walk around any trade or consumer show and you will... Read More

HackeD

hey admin thIS website Is HaCKEd by Unkn0wn_hax0r... Read More

How To Write Eye-Grabbing Headlines That Catapult Your Prospects Into Your Ads

If you're interested in improving the selling results of your... Read More

Wheres Me Pot of Gold and Lucky Charms?

We already know this from our history books. If you... Read More

How To Make Your Resource Box Sell

Ezine Articles - they're everywhere!And little wonder. They're one of... Read More

A Lesson In Advertising From The Eighteenth Century

Back in the 1760s, the great Dr Samuel Johnson delivered... Read More

3 Elements To A Deal-Sealing Classified Ad

Have you ever wondered why your perfectly fine classified ad... Read More

Media Savvy - How To Manage Your Time To Gain The Best Media Coverage

Did you know generating positive media coverage is four times... Read More

Advertising Agency In Boston: Tips and Tricks

The big news on Wall Street last year was the... Read More

What Colors Make Your Services Most Attractive?

This information is based on the principles of Laws of... Read More

Advertising Headlines and How to Write Them

1. Attract prospects with your headline Use your headline as... Read More

How to Save Money by Making Your Own Sign

In the sign industry we commonly refer to the material... Read More

Attention-Grabbing Fixes that Make Your Yellow Page Ad Leap Off the Page

Stand Out in Ways that Matter to Directory Users A... Read More

Joint Ventures Increase Profits Quickly

A joint venture is when two or more businesses join... Read More

Internet Advertising: How To Use The Golden Rule To Enrich Yourself.

What is the golden rule of internet advertising?Give, so you... Read More

The Benefits of Specific Advertising

The great Claude Hopkins (Author of Scientific Advertising) once said,... Read More

Worn Out Brochure Design Is Keeping Small Business Owners Down

I got another one of those calls the other day...Can... Read More

Top Design and Marketing Tips from a Branding Expert

This month, we wanted to share some general tips relating... Read More

The Online Equivalent of an Effective Newspaper Advertisement is FREE

Ask anybody who has been in business for a long... Read More

Electronic Score Boards

Wide range of electronic Key venues around the globe has... Read More

Science of Advertising and How to Benefit From It

It is very important to realize that persons buy from... Read More