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.

One of the biggest gripes I have about modern business today concerns the issue of common courtesy. It's a major failing of not only businesses but of consultants to get back to someone in a timely fashion, and I feel that it says volumes for each as to whether or not business will be transacted between the two.

Mitch Mitchell

I spent 18 years working in a relatively traditional business, although most people wouldn't consider working in a hospital as traditional. But it was; we received calls from clients just about as often as those who work in other businesses did.

We received the same kinds of advertisements through regular or email that everyone else did. Business is business, even if the vendors, or as we like to call them, corporate partners, were from different fields than many other businesses deal with.

As a hospital director, I was inundated with solicitations on a daily basis. Whereas I will acknowledge that I didn't often respond to the mailings that came, I at least opened every single one of them to give them a glance. I always returned every phone call I received, and I also always responded to every email I received.

I didn't do it for the most part because I wanted to partake of the services; I did it because it was the common courtesy thing to do. I did it because it's how I wanted people to treat my correspondences with them.

I have found, since I started my own business, that I've had to develop an even thicker skin than I did as a director. People can be rude, whether it's to your face or just by ignoring your trying to contact them, even when they may have initiated events. They don't see it as being rude; they see it as a nuisance, something that takes time away from their daily operation.

The first article ever on the PCA website was the one below by the former president of PCA, Richard Snyder. It's been used as an article that many of the posts on this blog have linked to over the past few years.

When the website was updated, it included an update to the blog as well. One of the pages we decided to remove was our articles page, since we only had 3 articles on it. Anne Notarthomas was able to get the previous blog posts to link to the article, which she put into its own directory. However, that meant that the only way people could see Dick's great article was if they saw the link in a previous blog post.

At the latest Professional Consultant’s Association meeting, the topic of discussing during what we call a roundtable event was “Why The Cobbler’s Children Have No Shoes!” If you know the story, it involves a poor cobbler who makes shoes to sell to customers for food to feed his family, yet doesn’t make enough money to make shoes for his own children and never even thinks about doing so.

Our version of this was this question: What advice do you give to others that you don’t follow yourself all the time?

The peace building, consultant solopreneur can’t wait until they are “in the mood.”

The fact is, the person building a project, always goes on, whether they feel like it or not.