This past week I received one of those marketing catalogs in the mail.
You know, the ones that have about 250 ads and that’s it. No useful content or writing.
As a marketer, I always thumb through them trying to see the ads.
This ad caught my eye:
I blacked out the business info because I’m not picking on anyone.
This is a full page ad. I didn’t call on pricing, but based on experience the price for this ad ranges from $1,000 to $5,000. Maybe more depending on the magazine coverage and how good the salesman is.
Will this help the business? Probably not.
Why do I say that?
Well, let’s think about the process of a customer preparing to purchase a freaking building:
Step 1: Think about a building or have an idea for a building
Step 2: Google “Steel Building” or similar term to look at options
Step 3: Call 2-3 manufacturers to get a price quote and layout
Step 4: Research permitting and other legal issues
Step 5: Do some more research and ask friends who they’ve worked with.
Step 6: Look at financing
Step 7: If everything checks out, buy a building.
And that’s probably simplified version. The real customer journey is likely even more complex than that. And it could take a year or more.
So where does a full-page ad in a marketing magazine show up in this process?
Some ad salesman called up the building company offering a “reach of 100,000 households” with “income in the $70,000+ range” and an “average age of 42 years old”.
Yes, maybe the ideal customer is in that demographic. But how many people in that demographic are buying a pole building?
Relatively speaking, almost none.
And how many of those will actually see your ad?
And how many of them will take action?
Maybe one. Maybe.
Sure, maybe someone will see it and call. Maybe you’ll find the person who needs a building at the exact moment they flip to the second-to-last page of the magazine.
And maybe I’ll be asked to be the starting QB for the Eagles in the Super Bowl.
Just for kicks, I Googled “Steel Building Colorado”. Around 600 people every month search for that phrase.
Guess where this company showed up?
They don’t. Not in local results. Not in organic. Not in ads.
They aren’t there.
But this silliness doesn’t just apply to print ads.
I see this on Facebook campaigns. I see it on display and banner ads. I see it in brand mentions on YouTube.
Companies are willing to dump tens of thousands of dollars into ads, but they don’t even rank for the simplest terms in search.
In a past newsletter, I wrote about Gillette Razors. This is a Proctor and Gamble Brand (meaning they have BIG $$$ for advertising).
If you search for “best razor”, they don’t show up. And when do, it’s someone reselling their product.
I see this in dozens of businesses.
We try and spend our way to marketing success while missing the people who are looking for our product or service everyday.
This is called intent marketing. You want to be in front of the people with intent to buy your product.
In fact, let me make a bold statement: Most business should only think about buying ads when they’ve exhausted their intent based opportunities.
But most marketers default to spending frivolously on ads because we’re not willing to do the hard work.
So my question to you is: Where are people looking for you? And are you there?
If you’re not there, then get there fast. That’s the low hanging fruit. 🍇 🍇 🍇
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