What Is It?
Advertising is the promotion of your business to your targeted audience with the intent of them taking some specific action with regards to your company’s services. Advertisements can take the form of online banners placed in strategic sites where your prospects congregate, print ads in directories for trade shows or events, placements in online directories, or other promotional vehicles like trade magazines.
For your shop looking to attract engineering & design prospects, that specific action usually means establishing a path to learn more about the specific capabilities that make you a preferred business candidate and get you on a list of approved suppliers.
Why Is It Important?
Of course, direct orders for jobs are great. But the longer discovery and research cycles that your prospects must adhere to demand that they spend more effort in qualifying acceptable suppliers with the right experience and expertise for their ‘short lists.’ For many companies, advertising is critical to build brand. But a machine shop’s brand is unique, since yours is seen and retrieved differently by industrial buyers than Ivory Soap is by consumers. Since highly technical products and assemblies often require unique quality capabilities, agility and tighter conformance to standards, it’s often difficult – if not impossible – to adequately and accurately convey your shop’s worth in a conventional advertisement. If advertising is an option for your shop, the best practice is likely to present brief attributes and capabilities of your business, with a direct call to action to visit you Website for more information. Treat your advertisements as a channel to feed prospects to your Website to maximize its value, and familiarize prospects with your entire set of values and benefits.
Key Elements & Considerations:
Advertising – particularly in print – can be prohibitively expensive, especially for a small manufacturing business where brand is retrieved on an ‘as-needed’ basis, as opposed to a brand in the consumer markets
Research the audience specifics thoroughly before placing an ad. What are the demographics of the audience that will see the ad? How many prospects will see the ad? What are the timeframes & frequency your investment will get you - once a month, revolving banners, content specific placement?
Often, advertisement performance can be difficult to measure. But there can be strong branding results from a properly prepared and placed advertisement that can rarely be measured. Discuss these tactics and values with any advertising source as you investigate these options
Remember that your Website is the center of your marketing universe. Advertising is a channel to feed that center. Include prominent links and your Web site address (URL) in all ads you place
Banners or another promotional presence on sites where your prospects congregate online offer the small shop the best advertising return for investment