Before you advertise you should..

Recently we had to turn a client away because it was not the right time for them to advertise. While there comes a lot of excitement when thinking about partnering with an Ad & Marketing Agency to take your business to an entire new level, there should be a few things to consider before following through with a business proposal.

Here’s a quick checklist to consider:

1.) Check That The Product Or Service Is Worthy Of Your Investment

Just imagine if Coca-Cola had spent millions of dollars on advertisement while the product tasted like your grandfather’s cough syrup. If consumers are not purchasing your product now, advertisement will not make it any better. The same goes for your service- if consumers are not interested in the service you have to offer, advertising will be a waste. So instead focus on improving your Coke formula- survey brave souls willing to taste the product until it becomes addicting. The same goes with service- create an experience through your service; follow through with what you promise and watch your reviews soar!

2.) Prepare For Growth

If your sales doubled, would you be ready? “Heck yes!,” says the eager business owner. Ok, great. Can you handle double the amount of foot traffic in your store? Double the amount of phone calls? Double the amount of meetings? Double the amount of food orders? Double your inventory? You know, one of my favorite shows is “Hell’s Kitchen,” with Gordon Ramsay. He takes restaurants that are proving to be unsuccessful and initiates a new training that the entire staff must go through in order to be able to take on more business. The restaurant goes through its “closed” phase, while the staff and restaurant are revamping their approach, and upon reopening the restaurant it is filled with several people eager and curious to try the new menu. Nine out of 10 times, the stress levels rose, the kitchen orders got mixed up, and the guests became unhappy. As the business owner, you must think of every aspect of your business when considering the growth that will take place, if not, you will never be able to seize the moment.

3.) Prepare For Failure

A good agency should never promise results when working with it’s first campaign. If they do, they are more interested in taking your money than sustaining a long-lasting campaign and business relationship. Do you remember all the commercials that ran in last years Super Bowl? Though millions of dollars were spent on the air time, video production, ad agency fees, and royalties to the actors and music, still, some commercials fell flat and brought zero increase to revenue. I can bet that they were prepared for that. Had they not been, they would have been left scrambled, trying to figure out alternative ways to bring about new business. Advertising and Marketing is hit or miss; why? Because it is shaped around getting people to buy into your product or service- and people are extremely difficult to master.

4.) Prepare To Invest That Extra Money

The rule of thumb for almost every business is that business owners should reinvest about 8% – 15% of your gross revenue on Advertising and Marketing. If you have been successful with less than that, chances are that you have stunted your growth. If you have experienced growth, but not increase in business, then chances are that you did not apply the correct marketing percentages. Make sense? I talk with many business owners who did not realize that they needed to “reinvest” a percentage of their revenue back into their business through marketing. They have been vacationing, buying cars, and going on lucrative shopping sprees, only to realize that they have been using their “marketing” budget to live extravagant life, while their business remained stagnate. In order to grow your business, you must allocate at least an industry standard marketing budget.

5.) Trust Your Agency

If you are able to check-off the previous key points I just mentioned above, great! You’re almost there; one last thing- trust. Just like you would trust your dentist, or a chef with your food, you must also trust your agency with your marketing and advertising. A great agency cares more about your success than simply flexing their creative muscles. In fact, a real agency will bring up discussions revolving around Positioning, Return on Investment, Cost of Acquisition, Demographics, and Goals before they bring up cool designs, photography, creative ideas, or catchy phrases. Your agency will look for opportunities within your market and how they can position your product or service for greater success.