Many business owners think they only need to advertise when having a sale.  However, according to Michael Corbett, author of “The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising”, there are five indisputable reasons for businesses  to advertise all the time.

1)  People shop all the time.  You’re not advertising to a standing army.  You’re advertising to a passing parade.  Different people are shopping all the time for the goods or services you sell, and they’ll buy those goods or services from you or your competitors.  If you want a bigger share of the consumer market, you have to let people know about you.  You do that by advertising all the time.

2)  People move.  As much as twenty-five percent on your market is mobile each year.  Each time a household in your area replaces itself, you have a chance to educate and motivate a new consumer.  There are always new consumers to educate and motivate.

3)  People forget.  How many advertising impressions do you remember from yesterday, not counting your own or your competitor’s?  Ten, five, two, one, none?  How many advertising impressions do you think you were exposed to since yesterday.  One hundred?  Two hundred?  How about several hundred to several thousand!  Think about it.  You received ad impressions by the hundreds when you read the paper, looked at TV or listened to the radio.  You also saw billboards, signs on buildings, signs on trucks, signs on uniforms, signs on buses and cabs, signs on bus benches, ads on matchbook covers and pens and pencils.  You also got ad impressions from reading your mail and pouring your orange juice.

4)  People often take their time before buying.  Most people are impulse buyers, but not when it comes to larger purchases such as appliances, cars, houses, expensive jewelry, and so forth.  A consumer can be in the market for a big ticket product or service for several weeks or months before a purchase is made.  Your job is to keep yourself out in front of the consumer throughout the buying cycle:

  • Deciding to shop
  • Making final determinations on   product, brand, and price
  • Actively shopping
  • Making the purchase

If you advertise all the time, you have a better chance of getting the buyer’s attention, and their inquiry.  If you don’t advertise all the time and your competitors are “out there” more than you, they’ll probably have a better chance than you to make the sale.  If you’re both out there, the advertiser with better media schedules and stronger copy will win out more often than not.

Because you don’t know when any particular prospect will be in the market for your product or service, you cover yourself when you advertise all the time.

While the previous reasons for advertising all the time are important, the next is critical.

5)  To establish an equity position (“top-of-mind awareness”) in the consumer community.  Remember, an equity position among consumers is: when someone needs your product or service, they think of you.

The objective is this:  Get into a consumer’s brain and you’ll get into his or her bank account.

Another way of saying the same thing comes from the former president of one of America’s most heavily advertised companies, General Foods, who said, “Advertising is that force which gets the share of consumer mind… Which must precede getting an increased share of consumer market.”  That’s quite a remarkable statement when you think about it.  He’s saying that you have to get an equity position – which can only exist in someone’s mind – before being able to count on increases in market share!

As stated before, that’s almost 180 degrees from the way most local advertisers advertise.  Most local businesses advertise as though the only business to be had is immediate business, and the only way to motivate people to action is to practically give away inventory.

In other words, most advertisers go after the consumer market with no concern for capturing the consumer’s mind (equity position).

The way to gain an equity position among consumers is simple:  consistently expose three things about you to the consumer community:  your name, your location(s), and your Unique Selling Proposition or Preemptive Advatage.

Excerpted from “The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising” by Michael Corbett
Pinnacle Books, Inc.