Thursday, May 2, 2019

Advertising and/or Marketing

Advertising and/or Marketing

By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, May 2, 2019
NOTE:  Anything in BLUE and Underlined is an active link to an Internet Web Site

I have always been amazed at how few people understand the difference between Advertising and Marketing.  Simply put, you ADVERTISE to people you DON’T KNOW.  You MARKET to people you DO KNOW.  The rest of this Nugget is based on my over 33 years in the real estate business.

With that said, where should you put MOST of your money that you designate to increase/grow your business?  Before you answer, let me explain.

Advertising is a “shotgun” approach to attracting business to you.  You spend whatever it takes to run advertisements in the paper, on television, in magazines and on the radio that target a very wide audience in hope that someone in that audience at that particular time has a need for your product and/or service and you hit them right at that moment. If you think by advertising to the general public they will remember your name or how to get in touch with you, you are sorely mistaken and probably wasting a great deal of money.

Marketing on the other hand involves contacting (marketing) to the people who already know you.  Study after study has shown that the majority of new customers to almost any business come from personal referrals made by people WHO ALREADY KNOW YOU AND MORE IMPORTANTLY TRUST YOU.  Of all the people you know, your past customers are the best source of new business unless of course you did not provide those customers with first class service or a first class product.  Word of mouth is the BEST ADVERTISING/MARKETING! 

Want proof?  Look at your own life and the last time you needed the name of someone to handle an issue for you.  That issue could be a new roof, yard care, dental work, back surgery, the list is endless.  You can do as people have done since the beginning time and select someone by pure chance that you will get a reliable resource or you can ask a friend or family member if they know of anyone who could help you.  Given the two options, which one would you select?  Hopefully the personal referral but then that is just the way I think. 

The purpose behind this Nugget was pure frustration that I have been experiencing in the New Orleans area.  If you watch any television or drive down any street in the New Orleans area, you can’t help but see advertisements for attorneys.  During one commercial break I counted four different attorneys advertising within the space of 2 minutes.  The only other businesses that do this are car dealers.  More importantly I am shocked at several of the attorney’s advertisements.  I have never seen commercials as dumb and insulting as these several are.  First lesson.  If you are going to spend the kind of money it takes to get your name out by using television advertisements to do it, BEFORE you air your first commercial, you should get a group of independent potential buyers and have them review your ad to ascertain its effectiveness and then weigh the cost versus the effectiveness.  This would be a two step process whereby you first run your IDEA or CONCEPT of what the commercial would look like to get their okay.  Then you would run by the proposed actual video advertisement to get their approval.  Let’s be honest here.  As much as you might think you are the EXPERT in all things relating to sales, you are NOT!  No one is.  Besides, times and beliefs change; are you changing with them?  In one commercial the attorney appears to be advertising jazz and local bars; not legal services.  In another I have no idea what the ad is selling, it certainly is NOT legal services, it IS that bad.  The problem with both of these ads and many more is YES I remember the name of the individual but would I ever select him or her to take care of my business?  Absolutely not!  I could be wrong in judging these ads.  It is possible they are in fact targeting the audience they wish to target but that audience does NOT include me.  So why would you intentionally disregard a large segment of your source of potential customers?

A lot of national advertisers now use Rap Music to promote their products.  Dare I say it?  At my age I can assure you that I do not like rap music.  Besides just not liking it, I seriously object to some of the lyrics that a lot of rappers have used in their songs.  Maybe you feel differently maybe not.  Here is the deal.  If you KNOW that some people and I would think that it would actually be a LOT of people dislikes rap music, why would you ever include rap music in your ads?  There are so many other types of music available to reach your targeted audience.

Whether it is advertising or marketing you want the viewer of your advertisement or marketing piece to first remember your name, then what you do or sell and then how to contact you.  Finally you want YOUR commercial to have shelf life meaning it stays with the potential buyer of your product or service for a very long time.  For example, I can still see the little man in the row boat inside the tank of my toilet – that’s shelf life!  Watch television but this time watch and judge the advertisements.  How do they measure up to these four requirements needed to be effective?    More importantly get someone you don’t know to look at YOUR advertising and marketing pieces to see how THEY measure up.

Back to Advertising and Marketing accepting them to be different from each other.  You have seen car commercials on television and in the newspaper.  They are targeting thousands upon thousands of people they do not know in hopes that some will have a need to buy a car.  I have bought a lot of cars over my lifetime and I can tell you for a fact that NO ONE has ever called or written to see if I like my purchase or ask if I know of anyone who would be in need of a new car.  NO ONE!  The last car I purchased I was more than pleased with the company and the salesman but two years into the sale; no contact with them.  To prove my point, I don’t even remember the salesman’s name.  Your satisfied customers are your best resource for new customers and just maybe also be in the market for a new car themselves. 

Look at the real estate business.  Real estate agents for as long as I can remember have advertised their properties they have on the market for sale.  But only a few of the advertisements emphasize why a potential buyer or more importantly seller should absolutely want to do business with YOU!  They simply show a photo of the listing and include a small description of the property.  In fact, the descriptions are typically so small it is difficult for people to read them.
In this age of electronics and social media, I would strongly recommend incorporating your contact info BOLDLY in all of your ads.  But look at them!  The agent’s email address is so small you can’t even read it. The easiest way BOLDLY include pertinent information into your ad is to create a web address that no one would ever forget.  Remember, TV viewers and Radio listeners are interested in watching or listening to THEIR shows not remembering something they hear on the TV or radio as ads. Therefore if you want them to remember your name, what you do, how to contact you and hopefully be able to remember it for a long time to come, what are you going to do to make that happen.  Otherwise you are probably just throwing your money away and then complain about the high cost of doing business.

Again, look at your advertisements, how do they measure up.  Will people remember YOUR name, YOUR company name, YOUR phone number and web address and finally will any of it be remembered very long?

Here is my own story.  I had customer after customer tell me when they heard my name Jim Brown that Jim Brown is an easy name to remember.  But in reality it was a very easy name to forget, not remember.  On the spur of the moment at a real estate convention when asked what name did I want to use on my name badge, I created my own nickname – GYMBEAUX.  It is a Cajun spelling of JIMBO.  From that point on (it was the early 90s), I used Gymbeaux in everything I did.  My web site was  My email is  It was unquestionably the best marketing idea I had ever had.  I still use the name and people still remember it.  In fact, people remember Gymbeaux but are uncertain of my real name.  That should tell you everything you need to know about both advertising and marketing. But I also learned another lesson, whatever you use, make it easy to spell and remember.  Gymbeaux does not fit that requirement.  Still, I am grateful that I used it.

Want more proof?  Answer these questions without thinking:

Name a real estate agent
Name a car salesman
Name an insurance salesman
Name a plumber
Name an attorney (one that you would actually want to use)

Get the idea?  If you can answer any of these questions, can you also remember their phone number and/or web site address?  Why would you WANT to remember them?  You must give your potential and previous customers REASON to WANT remember your name, what you do, how to contact you and why they should remember you literally FOREVER!  Are you doing that?

Final Lesson:  Never spend a dime on Advertising or Marketing without knowing if it has a chance of being effective.  HOPING someone will call your ads is NOT an effective strategy!

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