It’s a shame that advertising is often spent “on a whim.”  If you’ve spent money lately on a new logo, new print designs, hot-looking collateral, new web site designs, or new banners for you store front, you can see why spending money in this area is so tempting.  It just looks… cool.

OutoftheBox logof or Blumer & Associates, CPAs, PCIn fact, my CPA firm has a new logo (seen here), in celebration of 10 years of consutling.  Though this was created by my business partner at Atkins Media Group, Inc., I have to be careful how much money I initially put into print, letterhead and business card redesign.  It gets pretty freakin’ expensive.  But it’s so… cool.

But consider these four insights before spending your hard-earned dough on “cool” advertising:
1 What additional revenue will be DIRECTLY generated from the new advertising expenditure? (can’t track that with a yellow page ad, can you?)
2 Always spend toward your NICHE, not the general public (do you even know you niche?)
3 You have to be able to TRACK what the advertising dollars did for you (did the audience you just spent money on actual return and generate revenue?)
4 You have to RECOVER your advertising expenditure before you can even consider it successful (after all, you aren’t making any new money until you pay for the advertising first).

These all point toward KNOWING YOUR CUSTOMER! If you are spending money on advertising blindly, then you don’t really know your customer. And your customer is not necessarily who you customer is now – it may need to be who you WANT your customer to be in the near future (are you spending money on yearbook advertising at a local high school, but consider rich women over the age of 50 your best customer? – huh?).

And if you don’t know your customer, please do some research, analyze that area and figure out that important part of your business. You will be making long-term investments in your business.

Thanks, Jason