Added by on 2012-09-12

Most businesses find that a major proportion of their marketing budget is allocated to advertising. Their main aim is to get the customer into their business in order to make money out of them.

What you will learn from this benchmarking process is how to get the best return from the money you spend.

We will look at your existing advertising and consider ways to improve it, bearing in mind your unique selling point and your business image.

Looking at your existing advertising

In order to get the most benefit from the following section, you should first answer the following questions in the work sheet:

How well are you doing with your advertising now?

Are your ads working?

Are you getting the most from your advertising dollar?

How can it be done better?

There is no point in spending large amounts of money if it does not result in an appreciable increase in your profits. Smart planning of your advertising strategy will enable you to plan when and where to place your ads for the best results.

Are you advertising at the right time?

The first thing to do is analyse your past sales pattern as well as your past advertising strategy.

Look back over your sales figures for the last couple of years or so. Try to establish whether there is any discernible trend in your sales volume.

More than likely you will discover that there are noticeable patterns.

Most businesses make increased sales in the months leading up to Christmas, with a peak just before Christmas Eve. Likewise, there will be higher sales made at the time of seasonal sales and particular events throughout the year. Take an average figure for each month and look at your overall picture.

Most people are creatures of habit. It they are used to shopping for a certain type of item at a particular time of year, they are unlikely to change this.

If you can discern the pattern from your sales figures, it makes sense to adjust your advertising strategies accordingly.

Likewise, if you find that you make better sales at certain times of the year, rather than others, it makes sense to increase your advertising then.

Spend more of your advertising dollars in the months when you make better sales and less in the weaker months.

This way, if you advertise your product when people want to find out about it, you’re more likely to increase your sales of that particular product.

Are you getting the most from your advertising dollar?

Firstly, you should chart your advertising and sales history. The following is a guide to help you:

Plot on the first tables your sales history for the last two years

Then plot your most successful or unique products. Preferably you can do this by individual products, but if needs be, list these by product-type

Next outline your advertising expenses.

Once you have detailed this information it should be very clear how closely — or otherwise — these relate.

You should be able to pinpoint your busiest months in the year and your quietest.
You should be spending the highest proportion of your advertising dollar just before your busiest sales periods.

So, how did you rate? The majority of business owners are amazed when they see their statistics correlated like this for the first time. Many businesses find that they have spent a large amount of money advertising in the quietest times of the year.

This is a natural reaction. Business is quiet so you try to drum up some sales. However, if you try this in one of your naturally quiet times of the year, you are effectively throwing your money away.

It is more useful to raise your profile in the public’s eye just before they want to buy your products rather than at a time when they are focused on other things.



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