As a small business owner, with a limited marketing budget, one of the most difficult decisions to make is whether or not to invest in advertising. Advertising, in any form: print, online, outdoor, etc. is very costly and one is often faced with the nagging feeling that by investing in advertising you will not see any return on your investment. The truth of the matter is this…

If you have clearly identified your target audience by very specific demographic and geographic standards and there is a publication, online site offering advertising opportunities, radio show, TV channel, some kind of outdoor opportunities or other media that directly targets your specifically identified target market, then I would recommend considering advertising using that medium. However, that is only the first and primary criteria in this important decision making process. The second criterion is reach – what kind of reach does this medium have? The third criterion is cost – what is the cost involved to advertise frequently? It takes a minimum of seven times for an individual to be exposed to any media before they even become aware of your brand, and even more before they take any action. It is rare that you will see any return from a single effort. Those that say: “Let’s try it once and see what happens” are often very disappointed and generally they are turned off the idea of advertising as a marketing opportunity. This is too bad, as the only way advertising is successful is by repetition, which initiates recognition and finally reaction. The exception to this is when you have an immediate timely call-to-action. An event with a date, a promotion with an expiration and so on, may provide you with a means to illicit a more immediate response from the viewer.

Advertising is still one of the most effective means of branding your image, your products or your service, provided you select the right medium that targets your clearly defined target market and you advertise frequently. My advice, rather select less publications and purchase premium space, take out as big an ad as you can possibly afford and advertise as frequently as you can. By penetrating your market, you will see a return on investment from your advertising dollars!

Jacqui Breger is the Founder and CEO of Miracles & Marvels LLC, a locally owned, full service marketing, advertising, PR and web development firm offering comprehensive coaching services, a la carte services or anything in between. Her firm specializes in integrating a strategic comprehensive offline multi-media and online digital campaign creating successful results for their clients.

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