A business owner came to me recently with the problem: They were investing heavily in marketing but seeing minimal results. It took me about 30 seconds to identify the mistake they were making and to get them on the right path. I’m blogging about it here because it’s a mistake I see VERY frequently.

You run a service business and you want to serve the city you live in. So you advertise all around the city, hoping to reach each neighborhood and suburb. And chances are, you’re spending A LOT to do it… with disappointing results.

Here’s the instant fix: Stop advertising everywhere.

Unless you have an unlimited marketing budget and can spend millions of dollars on marketing each month, you are wasting your money.

That’s because you’re spreading yourself too thin. You’re putting your marketing message out there for EVERYONE to see but it’s spread so thinly around town that only a few people get just a small, occasional glimpse of your marketing – a totally ineffective approach.

The better way is to do what I call “going deep first, then wide.” It’s far better to choose one small location in your city – just a single neighborhood or intersection if that’s all your budget allows for – and market only there over and over and over again. That’s going deep first because you’re using the strength of marketing frequency to hammer your marketing message home to your audience.

There are several benefits to this approach:

  • People see your message over and over and your brand gets implanted in their brand, and it increases the likelihood that they’ll call you.
  • It’s way more affordable to market to this geographically narrow audience, which increases the return on your marketing investment and, ultimately, your business’ profitability.
  • You’ll get more calls in a smaller area, which increases the number of calls you can do in the day and decreases how much driving around you’ll have to do.
  • You’ll compound your marketing results you get with additional brand exposure when the neighborhood sees your truck parked at one house one day and then another house another day and then a third house another day.

If you want to instantly make your marketing more effective and cost less, stop marketing everywhere around your city. Pick a neighborhood and start marketing there. Hammer them with frequent marketing. Grow your business (and profitability!) in one area of town and then expand your marketing to new neighborhoods as you grow.