Avoiding the black hole of advertising….step one.

Small, medium, and large business owners are all trying to find the key to unlock the mystery of advertising.  When I used to call on businesses and suggest using xx media as their place to advertise, often I could hear their frustration before I finished my first sentence.  At first, I thought the frustration was from the number of cold calls they had received that week but it wasn’t just that. It was the recollection of their money being thrown into a black hole of unknown results.


Developing a marketing and advertising strategy can seem like a waste of time to a small business owner. For many, they base their advertising decisions on personal preferences rather than the preferences of their customers.  Why?  Because they don’t truly know their customers. When asked to identify who their customers are, a typical response was either “everyone!” * or:

-Adults aged 25 to 54

-Income 100K+

-Own a home

The problem with this ‘target’ is about a million other businesses in a million industries have the same ‘target’.  Want to know the easiest way to identify your target customer?

Here is your first ADvice: Ask your existing customers!  Do your own in-store field research! It is the best way to get real, genuine information.

So, than is a 50-page marketing strategy necessary for small business?  No, but having a clear and concise direction to give you confidence in your advertising decisions is key to staying sane when choosing to which cold call to say yes.

Take the first step today and ask your next five customers these questions to get started:

We’re trying to learn more about our loyal customers, so we stay relevant. May I ask you a few questions?

Do you live in the area?  (helps to know if your customers come from far so you can decide if mass media is a good option or just the local newspaper)

What brings you in today? (this can help with deciding to advertise during sales only or more consistently throughout the year)

Have you considered other options?  (who are your main competitors?)

These questions are examples to get your mind going.   Comment below to let me know how it goes!

 *If you are targeting “everyone!” you are targeting no one.