Is your advertising targeting the right people or are you wasting your budget, Alun Rees questions

‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.’

Attributed to everyone from Henry Ford to Lord Leverhulme, there is no evidence that this was anything other than a throwaway comment looking for a laugh.

It’s folklore without research to support it.

The implication is that if you are spending £1,000 on promotion then you would be equally effective by spending £500, by targeting your money correctly.

Or that you have wasted half of your budget.

Unique

It probably started with the people who say: ‘In order to be successful, all you need to do is build a better mousetrap’.

They point out the success of Milton Hershey who built the Hershey Bar into America’s best selling candy bar without any advertising – they don’t tell you that once the original owner retired the firm started promotion that saw sales and profitability increase significantly.

To succeed you have to have something that is seen to be unique.

In Paddi Lund’s case the thing is a locked front door and new patients who are accepted purely on referral from existing patients.

Does he promote the fact?

Of course he does.

Wasting money

In my first full year in business I bought a quarter page in Yellow Pages; it nearly broke me.

The following year an eighth, then a box half that size and eventually a free single line entry.

My promotional budget increased I just targeted it differently.

It is easy to throw money at marketing without asking why.

It is important that you work with someone who understands your business and both your existing and potential patients and knows precisely how to target them.

They suggest, you decide and then measure.

Fail to choose wisely and you may indeed waste half of your money or more.