We often find ourselves in an interesting business contradiction: recommending that our clients not advertise. This happens for many reasons, but it is usually when clients are just getting started or are creating a new offering. It is always because we don’t believe that we can achieve the desired results. If you’re not sure if you’re ready, here’s a short list to consider.
Don’t spend money on advertising when:
Your product, service or idea is not ready for prime time:
We’ve been asked to create campaigns for software that hasn’t been tested, services that are outside a client's expertise, and even products that don’t yet exist. It comes down to this: If you want people to pay you for something, or take interest, make sure what you are offering will benefit them – now. If you want to succeed in the long-run, it has to work for people as promised.
You’re not ready for the interaction:
If you aren’t ready to manage the sales process, wait until you are before you begin a campaign. This means that someone is answering the phone, your site is ready to take orders and/or your sales staff is ready to sell. Nothing will kill a campaign launch faster than disappointed customers who are having trouble doing what you are asking them to do: pay you money. In this era of open communication, a few bad interactions can stop your sales cold.
You don’t have enough resources to do it right:
A campaign is a delicate thing. It is generally planned from the ground up and includes multiple integrated marketing elements that are designed to work together, creating the synergy that is required for a successful campaign. Don’t start with a comprehensive plan and then decide to just cut back. You might think you are simply saving money by cutting some of the tactics, but you might be cutting all of the synergy. Better to wait and do it right, or start planning your tactics over with a realistic budget, in order to make sure what you are able to do creates the synergy you need for it to work.
The success of a campaign depends entirely on what you are offering, how you are interacting with potential customers and your ability to make a campaign greater than its parts.
And when you're ready – go.