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Before we dive in, let us explain what premature advertising is. Premature advertising is basically any form of advertising you do before understanding the capacity of customers you can cater to. Meaning that you’re probably not ready for a large number of customers.
Before we start expelling the reasons why you should avoid premature advertising, I would like to distinguish between advertising and marketing. The concept of advertising is to create awareness; to announce a product or service to the public or anybody that can listen. While marketing is to make sales.
In other words, any form of promotion you’re doing and you’re not making sales, it means you’re just advertising. These 2 are so similar in their definition but the difference is in the practice. Marketing is a concept and it starts from concept to delivery. It’s done effectively when it’s tracked, recorded and measured.
A lot of entrepreneurs confuse marketing with advertising but what I want you to leave with from this blog is that as a young business, whatever you’re doing to promote your business should have a direct impact on your sales, especially when its paid for.
I’ll be sharing 2 major reasons why you shouldn’t advertise too early:
- To Develop Your Ability To Adapt To Change
Business is something that can be very risky so in order to survive, you have to be very fluid. You have to be able to adapt to changes and remain relevant in your industry.
As a new business, you’re stepping into the industry totally clueless. No matter the amount of research you’ve done, it doesn’t change the fact that this is a new industry. You probably have your plan and strategy of how you’re going to deploy but you still need to sit back, observer, see what’s happening, see how often the changes come and know how you’re going to adapt to all those changes; and you won’t be able to do all those things if in your 1st week, you’ve already shared 2000 flyers. It’ll confuse people when you eventually find yourself and now want to get new customers.
Observe what’s happening in your industry and explore all the opportunities your business could have in that particular industry. When you want to get new customers, let it not be a gamble, make sure you’ve set a process in place. Its not just “okay, we’re going to be active on social media, we’re going to put up a billboard”. You have to know why you’re doing all those things. And the only way to know why you’re doing all those things is to do the research, talk to your customers, know what they want, develop your product so that when you now start talking to them, they’ll listen to you and pay you.
A very good example is Coca Cola. In it’s 1st year, it sold about 25 bottles. The 1st lesson that comes to mind is ‘be consistent in whatever you’re doing’ but if you research further, you’ll see that Coca Cola later understood that what people needed the most then in America was hope, they wanted something to believe in. So they started advertising and promoting their drinks as a symbol of hope. And because America is very influential, other parts of the world wanted to identify with them. And the easiest way to identify with America is to adopt its culture. And then the culture was being patriotic using the symbol of hope which was Coca Cola. And that was how their brand expanded to reach all parts of the world.
- It Will Reduce The Number Of Customers You Disappoint
As a young business, if you advertise on a large scale and it gets you so many customers that you’re not able to cater to and satisfy, it harms your business image. This is so because when you eventually get ready to now give them what they want, they won’t want to return back to you.
If you know that the capacity of customers you’ll be able to serve is 50 customers, why are you advertising so much? What happens when you get 51 customers? Because if you want to grow in your business, you have to make sure you’re delivering at every point in time. Most businesses complain about not having customers, not realising that they should work towards satisfying even the few they have so much that they become big fans of the business.
When you’re able to turn the few customers you have into your regular customers, they become your marketers. If you’re able to achieve that, it means that you’re doing something right. Find out what it is you’re doing right, why the customers keep coming back, why they love you so much; that’s what you need to replicate, optimise and then invite people in to come and enjoy what the few customers are enjoying.
But if you do it the other way round, when people come in, they’ll be like ehn… what’s here? like okay, what do you have for us?
Now you know, go get em…