How to Win Business and Influence People Part 3: Invest with More Focus and Less Diversification

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Very few local businesses have enough of an advertising budget to purchase effective amounts of advertising — or develop effective creative — in more than one type of media.

Intelligent Investors know diversifying their stock portfolio spreads risk among many asset classes, but it also reduces returns in bull markets. Intelligent Advertisers must realize a focused approach will lead to the greatest return on investment, with little risk of any bear market.  

One of the keys to getting results in your advertising is repetition and consistency.  It's important because we are bombarded by more advertising than ever.

Some studies suggest the average person in a large city will see over 5,000 commercial messages per day.

Think about some of the marketers you’re tired of seeing, the advertisers who never cease to invade your daily space.  Probably a local car dealer, a furniture store, maybe a grocery chain like Kroger.  On a national level you will probably see an ad from GEICO or AT&T by the time you get to work in the morning.  

This type of repetitive consistency is required if you want customers to think of your product or service in their time of need.  And it's possible if you focus your resources. 

But what if I miss some people?

If you choose the one right media, and you're consistently repetitive, you will eventually reach most of your prospective clients.  

Day to day or week to week, you'd rather be unavoidable to 30 percent of your target than forgettable to 90 percent.  Over time, the penetration of your messaging will grow as different people cycle in and out of your chosen type of media.  

Managing campaigns in more than one type of media is also expensive and difficult for a smaller business.  In most cities it can take a five or six figure investment — per each form of media — to establish an ongoing dominating presence.  

So, every dollar spent in another type of media could be keeping you from being effective in the one right media.  

There are a lot of reasons why businesses buy too many types of media: They take bad advice or employ ineffective media professionals, they meet with too many salespeople, or they try and copy what larger and more capitalized businesses do.

All of us are consumers of media, and we all develop strong opinions based on our own habits.  Which leads to another common mistake, assuming your customers have the same media habits you do. 

Try picking one local media type and seek to dominate it. By dominate I mean use the focus of your spending to run more ads, more often, than any of your competitors. 

Ever heard of Snapple?  They started with just one radio program, Howard Stern, and after a great response they added Rush Limbaugh.  By dominating just two programs they launched a billion-dollar brand. You could do the same, only on a slightly smaller scale.  

The #1 Chevy Dealer in Indianapolis is Hare Chevrolet, located in the far northern suburb of Noblesville.  And one of the reasons for Hare's success I believe is their unwavering commitment to (and domination of) one media type — local radio.

You may be familiar with Shane Co. jewelry stores and the voice of Tom Shane. From a jewelry perspective, they own radio. On any given day in any given week, if they have a store in your market, you will hear Tom Shane’s soothing (or annoying to some) voice with an appealing story and offer.

Notice that you won’t see Tom Shane on TV, in the newspaper, or doing much of anything online. And I promise you, Mr. Shane was not able to dominate radio from the very beginning. He started with one station, in one city, and built from there.

This creates a terrific contrarian investing opportunity, because setting up a roadblock in one type of media is proven to work. Yet very few marketers have the discipline or courage to do it.

Shane Nichols is the author of the Intelligent Advertiser Blog.

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