I deal in the advertising business every day. I know it can work, and that sometimes it doesn’t. I think one of the toughest decisions for any business is not whether to advertise or not – you really have to – it’s where to spend those advertising dollars. Then you have to figure out how to track that investment, to try and assess its worth. It’s probably a lot like keeping track of stocks and bonds, knowing when and where to invest, when to liquidate your assets or go all in. Okay, so it’s kinda like Wall Street and poker, but I digress. It’s a necessary evil.
In 2010, your advertising dollar is going to go a lot further than it did four or five years ago. When the economy turned sour, one of the first things businesses cut down on was their advertising budgets. It makes sense from an emotional standpoint – you have to pay your bills and employees first – but from a business standpoint it’s the worst idea ever. For one thing, when the economy goes downhill, people are still picking up papers, looking at ads – maybe even more often than before. People are looking for discounts or deals, and if your business has effectively pulled out, those impressions are going to your competitor instead – the guy that somehow managed to cut back elsewhere but still retain an advertising budget.
Once you’ve found the media outlets you feel will most effectively reach your target audience and demographic, make sure you hire a competent designer and photographer to ensure your ad campaign is unique, eye-catching, useful to the consumer, and just overall kick-ass. (Insert GoodEye Photography +Design services here) Don’t be afraid to negotiate with the paper / magazine / radio station / tv station for better rates, partial bartering of services, whatever. 2010 is all about negotiation in a way that benefits everyone.
“So what about GoodEye?” you ask. While I’ve relied heavily on word-of-mouth as it has pretty much kept me fully occupied, I recognize the fact that I need to get my name out there as much as possible. I am easily found on google (search “good eye” and I’m right under Bruce Springsting’s YouTube video haha), have some great Yelp reviews, have a strong Facebook presence, and even a twitter account, which was last updated in September 2009 so don’t bother following me… I belong to quite a few online photography/wedding communities and lead generation services, but man there’s just so much out there that I’d rather just hit the street and meet people.
That being said, I did recently barter my services for a few print ads in Made in Palo Alto Magazine. I tried to make them “sassy yet classy,” comment if you think they’re working (or not). Check ’em out in this post, and pick up the mag when you see it in Palo Alto!