As a small business owner, your number one goal should be to attract new customers. How else are you going to keep the doors open and the lights on? You should be looking for opportunities that present the highest ROI. As a business owner, your gut tells you to look at everything as an expense. I would like to challenge you to change your way of thinking and start viewing advertising as a necessary investment to grow rather than a line item on your balance sheet.

There are three factors that work together that when executed properly are proven to have a 10:1 ROI over any other media. Higher ROI = lower cost per customer.

The three items are math, media and message.

I will explain these three items in detail in just a minute but I would like to start by saying that if any of these items are out of whack you will increase your cost per customer. A synergistic plan is essential to running an effective business that has a constant funnel of new customers.

1. Math: General rule of thumb tells us that 2% of the people in your market are shopping for your product/service at any given time. You need to reach people with a 3.0 frequency on a weekly basis to have any impact at all. Under the math category we should also discuss budget. You should be spending at least 5% of your annual gross revenue per year on advertising.

2. Media: If local television isn’t a part of your media strategy, you are missing the boat completely. Even in the digital era, people spend more time watching local television programs that any other media available. Although viewing habits have changed with the invent of the DVR, local TV is still number one and is still the BEST way to reach your potential customers. Local television has the lowest CPM (cost per thousand) of any other media. This is due to the fact that the viewing audience is so large.

3. Message: Your offer must be so compelling that the 2% that are shopping would absolutely die if they don’t call you right now. Your message must create urgency among this group that is in the market for your product/service right now. It must also be crafted to brand your business to the other 98% of the market that aren’t currently shopping.

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