By John Hunt, General Sales Manager, WOLF 105.1, Movin 100.3/96.5, 95.3/103.9 The Dinosaur And Fox Sports 1490AM

Our team discusses advertising and marketing with local small businesses every day. Many of the businesses know they need to advertise, for many various reasons or to reach certain business goals, but are unsure where to start or what the process looks like. Let’s discuss what the advertising buying process looks like, along with best practices. When you and your business are “better educated consumers” as advertisers, your business is better positioned for the campaign to be a success.

Ready, set, plan…!!

Before contacting any media, review your internal business plan. Look at your quarterly and annual goals and projections. Are you on target for the year? (Congratulations if you are!) Is the advertising campaign going to be designed to increase overall sales, profit and/or traffic? Hire more employees? Improve your image? Encourage customers to visit you and experience your products and services more often? Advertising can accomplish many business goals, but it’s best to focus on one business goal at a time. Begin your plan by defining what your company goals are. Be specific and measurable with the goals so that the effectiveness of the campaign can be measured appropriately.

Know your potential new and recurring customers…

Small businesses have very, VERY limited budgets. Every dollar counts. Make sure your business is targeting those BEST prospects in order to position the campaign and maximize the advertising investment. Remember, a small business doesn’t need to target everyone in the community in order to have a great and effective campaign. (Not sure who your best prospect is? Take a look at the blog post “Who Is Your Best Prospect?” on

Do you have vendors to help support the campaign?

Some vendors have co-operative or brand development dollars to highlight their individual products or services within a small business campaign. We’ve found co-operative dollars for all business categories, including but not limited to: auto repair, tanning salons, insurance and even pet supplies. Let your suppliers know you are looking to create a marketing campaign, and ask if they have a program to help support the campaign if their brands are highlighted. The results sometimes can be quite surprising!

So many choices and options!

Yes, there are many choices between traditional media, digital media, active and passive campaign and other options as well. Keep in mind that the media will work for your business if it is used properly. Since your business will have all of the above information ready, and your business is in the client position, your business is ready to discuss media options with local sales representatives.


Yes, a well-trained salesperson for the media you are working with is essential to the success of your campaign. A well-trained salesperson will look at your business goals and make recommendations based on research to help you decide how their medium will work best for you. After your medium is finalized, and based on your customer information, it’s time to write and design your message.

We have friendly staff and are conveniently located!!

Your message must, and we can’t insist on this enough, MUST be your own. A creative marketing representative for the medium you choose to use will be able to make the best recommendation for your message to position your business for the results you want. Resist the urge to use a formulaic approach. Be less concerned if you like the message, but ask “Does this message represent my business?” Resist clichés, such as the “friendly staff” example above. Insist on approving the script (or proof) prior to producing the commercial; also insist on approving the final ad before broadcast.

Here’s a great resource as well! Many of our customers have found the book “The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising” by Michael Corbett is a great resource for planning local advertising campaigns.

Want to know more?

Let’s discuss your business’ short and long-term goals at no obligation. Visit to learn more and connect with us.

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People in this conversation

  • Well the word advertising means to expand and here advertising a business requires well planning of whole business. We have so many ways to do advertising. We must know the potential of the employee. A good business need not have any advertising, focus in your quality.

  • Thank you for reading the article and your insight! Advertising a business can take many forms, that's true. Now - when a business focuses on their quality, the business owner, or other person in charge of lead generation or store traffic - absolutely must ensure that each and every employee is sharing the same, consistent business story. Without that marketing/advertising plan, each employee then puts a different spin on the essence of the business story which can possibly create inconsistency in marketing the business. Remember, word of mouth advertising does not mean the business does nothing in regard to marketing and advertising. Good word of mouth advertising means that a story has been created for the business and is consistent and easily repeatable. Media advertising helps accelerate the sharing of the word of mouth story in the community, bringing faster and more efficient results. Thank you again for reading!