The reading level for this article is All Levels

If your small business is treading choppy waters in the current economy, are you looking to or have already cut your advertising budget?

In the event your message is not resonating with customers, perhaps it is the message itself and not the amount of advertising you’re doing that is the problem?

Too many small businesses unfortunately aren’t on message, therefore losing out on current and potential customers. While it is easy to blame the challenging economy as to the reason you’re not producing, take time to review your advertising goals and see where you might have gotten off track.

As part of the review process, remember to:

        1. Be on message â€" If your message is drawn out, you’re going to lose the customer’s interest, plain and simple. Be sure to keep your message to the point and don’t waste time communicating it;

        2. Test the waters â€" While you do not have the money or manpower to waste time on your message before it goes live, you can use simple measures like surveys and deals to get a feel for your ad. Reach out to the customers and see what they’re looking for before you sent out an ad that is not based on anything;

        3. Create a buzz â€" Most customers like a little excitement, so create a buzz with your ad. Send out little teasers initially to get people talking about the product. Much like a movie trailer, you will look to peak curiosity so that your product is the talk of the town. A great way to do this is via social media and other platforms that will cost you only time and not money; 

      4. Give customers the details â€" How often have you wanted more information about a company or product but they failed to provide it? If the answer is too often, then you’re not alone. The simple little details like how to contact your business are oftentimes left out, therefore leading the customer to go on to someone else’s product. Along with a phone number and address, be sure to include your Web site and any other pertinent online details.


Once you have reviewed your means for advertising a product or service, be sure to track the results when the ad goes live.

Among the items to track will be the demographics of who viewed the ad, what their sex and age range are, where and when the ad was viewed and how many times. Tracking can be done a number of ways, including URL sites or coupon codes; by compiling such data, you can see where your customer base lies and who you will want to target with future ad campaigns.

Whether your advertising efforts are geared towards the Internet, direct mail, newspaper/radio/television or elsewhere, go into it with a clear message and be prepared to follow up on the results.

Advertising in a tough economy can be tricky, but it is an evil necessity in order to try and drive more customers your way.

This Business article was written by Dave Thomas on 7/27/2011

Dave Thomas is an expert writer on items like call center services and is based in San Diego, California. He writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs at Resource Nation.