Spending a lot of money on marketing is no guarantee that your business will see any benefit. Just ask all those people who spent fortunes on Super Bowl ads only to find themselves in a worse condition than before the ad.
One of the best examples of this was the launch of BlackBerry 10, the Z10 handset, and BlackBerry as a company. A lot was riding on that $4 million add. It was a flaming spectacle of a failure. Not only did the ad fail to bring back the BlackBerry brand, it only served as a way for the company to kick itself while it was down.
That said, countless businesses have greatly benefited from Super Bowl advertising. What determines the success of a campaign is not the amount of money spent on it. Rather, it is about whether or not the campaign is a good fit for the business.
There is a lot that goes into crafting the perfect marketing campaign. Forget about what other businesses have done for themselves. Here are a few suggestions for crafting the perfect campaign for your business:
Billboard or T-Shirt
A billboard advertisement is a little like a Super Bowl ad in that it can be overkill for a small business. Not every type of business is aided by a giant sign overlooking a freeway. Some businesses do better when emblazoned on a colorful t-shirt. It makes even more sense when you realize you can order shirts in bulk for pennies on the dollar compared to billboard ads.
If you are targeting the Silicon Valley tech crowd with your product or service, t-shirts make a lot more sense as that is what many of them wear all day. They are used to buying t-shirts from their favorite podcasters and tech personalities. It is a thing that makes a lot of sense for that crowd. So the first thing you need to determine is if yours is a billboard or t-shirt kind of business. From there, much will be clarified.
Yellow Pages or Search Engine
Another important question you have to address is how people will find you. Will they look you up specifically when they are ready to do business? Will they do a generic search for your type of business? Will they be looking for a generic solution to a problem and happen to discover you that way? Or will they be looking at something only tangentially related and see your product or service?
This is also a question of who is doing the searching. If your chosen demographic tends toward an older audience, you may want to invest in the direct search approach. But younger audiences tend to be more social. If they have a plumbing issue, they are likely to ask friends on social media. They may do a search for “fixing leaky faucets” rather than a search for “plumbers”.
Rather than a typical ad, you might want to invest in a good YouTube video strategy. Doing a how-to series can get the word out as effectively as direct search methods. Once you determine how your target audience likes to source information, you will know better how to market yours.
App or Website?
This is a trick question. Every business needs a website, even if it is nothing more than a landing page with your business contact information. Of course, you should be doing much more with that online real estate than that. But there is no reason to do less than that.
An app is a trickier proposition. Not every business lends itself to a full-blown App Store presence. Your local lemonade stand is probably not going to benefit from having an app. But a services-based business that requires an ongoing relationship with the customer will do well to have an app for better curation of the customer relationship.
As a new business owner, you might be tempted to try and emulate a successful strategy from companies like Apple or Disney. But what you have to realize is that those companies achieved success by catering their marketing strategy to the realities of their situation.
So before buying into a cookie-cutter package, determine what makes the most sense for your target audience. Think about how they are most likely to find solutions to their problems. And provide the best experience based on whether you offer a transactional or relational model.