• Footprints

Is Advertising Necessary When I Startup?

We appreciate that it may seem weird that a marketing consultancy would talk about whether advertising is essential or not but the reality is, this is a business too and a startup one at that so we run into the same challenges and questions as every other business.


It’s actually difficult to do your own marketing. This is the very reason Footprints exists! But even for us, and perhaps even more so, it is a struggle. For us, it’s because doing our own marketing is like bringing your work home but it is also essential to our brand because it's important that we practice what we preach. It’s also because we want to be using our time to help our clients with their marketing rather than our own! So we’re right there with you.


So let’s break it down.


Firstly, it’s important to understand the why, what and wheres of advertising your business.

  1. Why do you need to advertise at this stage? What are you hoping to achieve from it?

  2. What do you want to say and what is important for your audience to hear?

  3. Where is your audience? Where are your leads coming from?

Then, you need to look at your finances because you’ll need to calculate what is worth it and what isn’t. ROI may not be realised immediately or indeed, directly from your advertising.


For instance, if you want to raise your profile, advertising in an industry magazine or on LinkedIn might be a great way to get in front of the right people, however they are unlikely to produce immediate direct leads. They may warm up otherwise cold leads but you’ll need a few different strategies to increase your inbounds. This advertising will work for raising awareness but are you okay that the benefits haven’t immediately come to fruition?


The Budget


Is your budget right for what you’re after? For example, PPC is expensive and time consuming, particularly if your landing pages aren’t optimised or you are looking to attract people to build a relationship with rather than to buy straight from your site (i.e. you are not running eCommerce.)


The Audience


Do you run a B2B or B2C model? This affects how your audience behaves, where you will find them and what they want to see.


What will your adverts look like? Do you need help with design and copy? Or implementation and execution? Don’t forget to put that into the budget.


How many and/or what value customers do you need to land to make it worthwhile?


What do your customers need to hear and in what format? Remember it’s about them - not you - they don’t care that you redesigned your website or logo or that you have a different package system to your competitors… they only care how you can help them. What is it that you do that helps them?


What is your audience’s attention span? Are they busy executives? Distracted teenagers? Frazzled parents? When are they receiving your information? Are they relaxed? Looking for solutions? Wanting some light relief?


How do they contact you? Is it easy for them to do so and if so, is it in a format that they prefer?


Where Are You At?


The main takeaway from this is that it is really about the stage you’re at with your business and how much risk you’re willing to take at the beginning. When you begin on your marketing journey, it is mostly experimentation and finding out what works.


Advertising certainly works. If it didn’t the big brands wouldn’t bother advertising but they do and they spend big.


Work out whether it is the right time for your business, whether you will benefit from it and how you will measure your ROI. The saying goes, you have to spend money to make money, so is this a good way to make money? If you spend £20k on advertising and can make that back with one or two clients, well it’s probably worth it. You just have to understand what its value and ROI is to you and go from there.


What are your thoughts on advertising? Has it worked for you? Do you find one particular channel works best for you or do you find advertising works better across multiple mediums? Let us know in the comments.




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