“Do-it-yourself advertising disasters”

Dishonest sales person showing thumbs up and fingers crossed, presented by Words at Work copywriter to remind small business owners of the advertising scams that can hurt their business.

Have your heard the radio and TV spots promoting do-it-yourself wills for just $29? Whenever I hear them, I expect the next ad to promote something equally crazy – like do-it-yourself brain surgery, or do-it-yourself sky diving.

Think about it -- does it make sense to put the fate of your entire financial worth in a $29 do-it-yourself will? No. It's similarly dangerous to promote your business in do-it-yourself advertising, because the resulting mistakes can literally kill your business.

For example, we just spoke to a business owner who was convinced by a print media rep to place a full-color, full-page in a local newspaper. The content was completely wrong – and even though the company had purchased the entire page, the key offer was buried in tiny type near the bottom of the ad, where, of course, it was missed by virtually every prospective buyer. Not surprisingly, the ad pulled not one response. Actually, that is wrong. They did get one call, but it was a wrong number. The cost of the ad? Just under $5,000 (including the healthy commission that went to the very happy media rep). Other companies make the same mistakes, the only difference is the wasted expenditure isn't $5,000, it's $50,000 – or more.

So what's the solution? Don't jump into the marketplace without the help of an advertising pro. Even a little money spent on a pro can take you a long way. Or go the do-it-yourself route. And keep an eye out for those do-it-yourself wills. Chances are that is all you will be able to afford...

Read Wolfgang's latest marketing blog.

Wolfgang Franke is President & Creative Director of Words at Work Advertising & Marketing, a full service communications company established in 1988. Our growing list of valued clients are found throughout our local market, Markham and the Greater Toronto area, across Canada in cities such as London, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta, and an expanding list of international locations ranging from The Big Apple in New York to Kanturk, Ireland.

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