Advertising That Works – For Better or Worse

I'm not a proponent of small businesses using traditional media advertising. Too many companies use it as a substitute for doing the hard work of marketing. They spend thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars on a few TV ads and then complain that it didn't do much for them.

People talking is still the best form of advertising. Never forget that people will more readily believe what other people say about you, your company and your product or service than what you say.

I was in a wine store yesterday picking out a few bottles when I found a display of a Sauvignon Blanc that I think is excellent – especially for the price. All stores in Pennsylvania are run by the state and this particular store had never carried this wine. I was very pleased to see it and I put several bottles in my cart. Then I noticed a woman standing next to me looking at white wines. I said hello and told her if she wanted to try a very good bottle she should buy this particular Sauvignon Blanc. I then deuced described the wine to her. She said she loves getting recommendations from people and she bought the wine.

I've never seen this wine advertised in the media. I "discovered" it in Florida a couple of years ago when someone told me about it in a wine store. They said the same things I said yesterday. And, I bet the woman I told yesterday will be telling someone else after she enjoys the wine.

People are advertising for you every day. What you do as a company and as a business owner determines if they are selling for you or against you. Word-of-mouth is the most powerful advertising. What people say about you and your company can make or break a small business.

Great word-of-mouth begins with extraordinary products and services. It continues with extraordinary attention to your customers and exceeding their expectations. And, it is sustained by your passion for what you do.

Seth Godin talks about Microsoft trying to buy respect and buzz via advertising in today's blog posting.

2 thoughts on “Advertising That Works – For Better or Worse”

  1. So many people say that word of mouth has been their most effective advertising and that testimonials on their website are amongst the best promotions they have done (I’m working on them at the mo!). Thanks for the great post. Lorna

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