Half of all money businesses spend on advertising is wasted – but which half? Or are both halves wasted?

Although social media must have made inroads into the paid-for advertising market, quite a lot of money must still be spent on conventional advertising. But I would be interested to know the sort of returns that, say, television advertising brings. I always press the mute button when they come on, but someone must watch them and be influenced enough to buy.

A former local radio presenter told me that radio advertising was a waste of money unless you advertised regularly and at peak times. In it’s favour he said that furniture and home improvements drew the biggest sales from the radio if you could afford the peak time rates. I suspect it must be the same for newspapers; your business must be of interest to the typical reader.

For those of us in business with minimal advertising budgets, social media has been our salvation, but we still don’t get to all our potential customers. I still think that I might try direct mail again. There may be less advertising mail sent these days, but that could be the opportunity one needs – it might actually get read. And despite social media, there are still businesses that do well out of conventional advertising. I know of a craft business who still advertises a small catalogue in a magazine which they charge for (most are paid for by cheque) and the cost can be set against a future order. It sounds dated, it’s slowly declining, but it still works.

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