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Dan Antonelli

Recently, a new client of ours asked us to build a new web site and sales brochures for their New Jersey-based service business. We discussed their budget for the project and, as we normally do, inquired about their other supplemental advertising expenditures.

It’s really our job to look at what a client is spending on their advertising, especially as it relates to a percentage of their yearly total revenue. When we analyzed their advertising budget, it was clear that they needed help. Nearly 90% of their total budget was being directed towards the various yellow page books. Worse, was the fact that the ratio of sales to advertising was way out of line. The percentage we normally like to see our small business clients is no more than 5% of total revenue going towards their advertising and market budget line.

So what happened to this client? How did he get in over his head with his budget on yellow pages (which unfortunately, have you locked in 12 months at a time).

In a nutshell, he took all his marketing advice from an ad salesman instead of an marketing professional. His business was slow, or experiencing a slowdown – so, the yellow page sales rep says ‘Well, then you need a bigger ad’. And so the client put more money into a medium that less and less people actually bother to use – especially in their particular sector. Had we been consulted prior to committing these funds we would have devised some different, less costly – yet more effective means to promote and market their services.

As an agency, our goal is to have you spend the least amount of money on your marketing and advertising – with the maximum amount of return. Had this client consulted with us prior, we would have saved them literally tens of thousands of dollars. And got them better results from other mediums.

I’m happy to report that our client’s business is slowly coming around – their new web site and brochures are really working well – but they are still saddled with these huge payments to the phone book companies. Until they get out of these agreements, their business will remain somewhat hampered.

Bottom line – be careful who you take marketing advice from.

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