Based on numerous discussions and experience, I would venture to say as much as 70 percent of the success of your business depends upon advertising and marketing. Yet, many of today's retailers are not differentiating themselves. They simply are using advertising to promote price. Just look at any section of a Sunday newspaper and you'll see an array of ads that all look alike. If you cover up the name of any of the advertisers it's hard to tell one ad from the other. Each advertiser lists brand names and prices. Each claims to have the lowest price. Yet, price is not the only reason that motivates consumers to buy. Ads should emphasize other benefits: location, convenience, customer service, speed of service, perception of value and more.
Finding new ways to advertise while improving the effectiveness of your advertising is important. Have you thought about advertising and marketing on the Internet? Focus on ways to improve profitability by selling value, not price. Develop a unique selling proposition for your business.
Just as important as advertising is marketing. I would define marketing as the total presentation of your business. Marketing is how your store looks, the friendliness of your staff, the way they dress, the presentation of your literature, the design and look of your Web site and, above all, the image presented by your advertising.
The bottom line is that your customers should enjoy the experience of doing business with you and should feel they have received an honest value for their dollar. You want your customers to come back and refer others to you. Creating and promoting your very own Web site can be your ticket into the Net Generation. Separate yourself from the crowd. Creative marketing and innovative advertising are absolutely essential to the success of your business.