I started a small ad this year after not advertising for 7 years. I never really noticed it before, but there seems to be a trend in the local books. ECs are running full-page ads for one year, then not renewing them the following year.
I was quoted over $18,000 for a full-page ad.
Apparently after tracking the ad for a year they decided it wasn't worth renewing the expense.
We've been running a full size yellow page ad for several years with the cost being around $16000 per year. We track every call and the big ad has generated 10 times it's cost. We also do radio and tv ads. If they don't know who you are, how are they going to call you? Believe me word of mouth is great but if you want to make serious money you must advertise. Look at Pepsi, Coke, DHL they didn't get there by word of mouth only. Now I'm not saying this will work for everyone. You must have financial backing(our advertising budget runs $65000 to $75000 per year) and a keen busisness sence to go along with it. You have to know what your customers want and how you can quickly to get it to them.
Well around here the perception with most consumers is the larger the ad the more unscrupulous the company. (Don't take this personally guys!)
Companies with big ads hope that it will provide the numbers of customers necessary to keep their volume business going. Volume doesn't necessarily equate with quality, fair prices or ethical business practices.
So, basically what it boils down to is people think that if you were any good you wouldn't need that huge ad screaming at them. I know when I look in the Yellow Pages I tend to look past the larger ads for the smaller ones from local companies.
Indeed, most of the more sucessful companies around here only have a listing.
I don't think large advertising speaks any ill of a company. I think it's prudent though to stay within a reasonable percentage of your budget when advertising. I suspect that the contractors who aren't renewing these ads went over a prudent percentage. Maybe a case of doing too much too soon.
Advertising is a big step. As with any trade, advertising has its' prooven methods, as well as its' failures. How big an ad? What sort of type? Pictures? Art? These are basic questions- and, believe it or not, there are answers! Answers supported by decades of tracking expereince.
Just don't count on the sales rep for guidance. While they may know all the rate schedules and promotions, as well as be able to fill your ear with tales of how so-and-so does it "this" way...well, in my experienct these folks are there simply to get the sale, and have NO actual training in, or experience with, advertising. Indeed, many are the tales of dollars spent- without result. Or, even, bad advice that actually reduced sales.
I reccomend that anyone wishing to advertise get the little book -almost a pamphlet- "My Life in Advertising / Scientific Advertising" by Claude Hopkins. This book is one of those rare things that holds true even decades after it was first printed. Better yet, it's available for about $10, from any book source.
Adds are needed, no doubt about it. big add-big companyS some people like it, some look for smaller adds- in believe there are smaller companys with better prices. The placement is so important and i know people placing full pages with unsatisfactiory responses.The prices are the same no matter if you are in the first of the header or the 15 th. A joke.
Large Ads will NOT, I repeat will NOT, get you immediate results. It takes the yellow pages book a minimum of 6 months to travel your area and another 6 months for people to start using it. So you must be able to sustain your initial investment and renew the following year and let your investment start working for you. With the right wording and quality service your prospects will take off. Tell the people what they want to hear and then deliver it. I live in the great state of Mass. As other contractors are laying off I am hiring at a dizzing pace. Five years ago I didn't think this was possible but with financal planning and a good busisness background it has, with so few pitfalls that they need not be mentioned. Like it was said in this post earlier I wouldn't be spending this kind of money on advertising if it wasn't working.