Why Do You Advertise, Anyway?


I get this question a lot.  I feel there is only one answer, at least for retail businesses.  It is not to get your name out. It is not to brand.  It is not to get “Likes”.   It is not to let people know you won awards, have the best parking, have friendly, knowledgeable staff or have been in business for 25 years.  It is not to build your image.  It is to sell more stuff.  Period.

Before you start emailing me why I am wrong, hear me out.  Of course, advertising can help you build your image and build your brand.  But, the reason you want to do these things is…..to sell more stuff. There is no other reason.

Listen, advertising is really just about telling people why they should buy your stuff, or let you service their widget, and why you can do it better than the next guy.  Advertising is to tell your story, leading to a sale.

So, what is your story?  What makes you different than your competitors?  I ask most new clients why I would ever shop there…and they can say that it is because they have the lowest prices, best service, or best quality. Now tell me! It never ceases to amaze me how many can’t really answer that question.  In most cases, it is because they really are not much different than their competitors – at least on the surface.  Often they go into big spiels about how they really do have better service and peel off a bunch of reasons, or that their products are hugely superior to their competitors.  Got news for you….if I asked the same questions to your competitors, they would give me the exact same answers.  I have always taken the approach that on balance, most of my competitors are pretty good at what they do.  They do things right most of the time.  So, knowing that, how do I make myself better so I am always one step ahead of them, and I challenge my clients to do the same thing?

So, what really makes you different?  What is your unique story?  What can or will you do that your competitors won’t.  What is the one thing you want to be known for….with every customer, with every sale?  Focus on these things and you will sell more – thanks to your advertising.

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