Marketing 101

What business are you in? Clients often say to me, I’m a plumber, retailer, lawyer, etc. Sorry, that may be your trade, practice, profession, skill set, but your business is marketing!

I’m sure you have heard the following two quotes before:

Half of all the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is, I don’t know which half!”

John Wanamaker

When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”

David Ogilvy

Most small to medium business owners (SMB) will instantly relate to the first quotation, but it’s the second that deserves most of your attention. The keywords are “interesting” and “buy”. Ogilvy is underlining the vital principles about all advertising: it is the sole purpose of ALL advertising to be interesting so that it sells products or services at such a level as to justify its expense and provide a profitable return on your investment.

You‘re an SMB, not a BHP or a McDonald’s. They can spend their millions on institutional advertising that owes more to public relations or branding than it does to selling. We’re here to talk about spending money on advertising that will get "bums on seats" and make you money!

Profitable selling is the objective. Sure, creativity is a bonus in effective advertising, but it's not the objective. No matter the media you choose, the golden rule is this: do not spend any money on ANY advertising or marketing strategies unless you can firstly establish an accurate, acceptable return on investment. Period. No exceptions, no excuses.

Below are four important principles about advertising that you need to understand and to keep firmly in mind when you’re creating your own campaigns or evaluating a campaign prepared for you by your media partners:

  1. Know your market. While it’s important that you know everything there is to know about your product or service, your business and your industry, it is of paramount importance to your advertising effectiveness that you know your market and what it wants at least equally as well.
  2. Know your objectives. To “increase sales” is not an objective and it’s not a strategy.
  3. Write it the way you’d say it. You must consider all of your advertisements to be a salesperson in another form. Make your advertisements “talk” to potential customers who are reading it, watching it or listening to it the way you’d have your best salesperson talk to a customer face-to-face, one-on-one.
  4. Ask for the order. Every piece of your advertising must contain a call to action, a compelling reason why people should go out and buy your product or service now. Don’t advertise unless you’re after immediate results.

Over the coming articles, we’ll go through the four principles in more detail.

To Your Business Success


Yale Morgan
Better Business Wide Bay
Ph 1300 711 743
Mob 0412 667 559

About Yale Morgan, SME Business development specialist

Yale heads up the Better Business Group (BBG), which, as a company has proven business development products and systems, that range from "Do It Yourself" products to fully systemised Business Coaching Programs.

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