Many flooring dealers that I visit with state that “advertising just doesn’t seem to work very well for us. We run ads occasionally, but usually don’t see immediate results.” In most cases, the problem that I see is not the message itself, but rather the messenger. They forget that the products that we are offering have a very low percentage (3-5%) of the population actively in the market at any given time.
You can’t predict a customer’s time of need for a long term, postponable purchase. Ask yourself, if milk was on sale at the market 50% off, would you be interested? Likely so, as we need to replace our supply constantly. However, if shingles were on sale 50% off, would you run right down to the lumberyard and buy some? Likely not, as only a small percentage of us are in the marketplace for a new roof at any given time, regardless of the offer. Customers won’t be interested in what you are offering simply because you want them to be. Good merchants recognize that they must advertise shingles regularly so that they are considered when the need arises.
Many advertisers start with a good strategy, but fail when they don’t allow it proper time to work. Communicate why a customer should do business with you when they have a need for your product or service. Then say it again, and again, and again! Always remember the two key words in advertising: reach (how many people heard the message) and frequency (how many times did they hear it?)
A strong advertising plan will take more than a few days, or even weeks, to show dividends. While planning your strategy you must keep in mind the time commitment needed for your campaign to reach your goals. When advertising, you must first be specific – then be patient. Are you giving your message the time to be heard?