Elections are a great chance for small business owners like you to see how advertising works in a rather short time frame. With three weeks to go before elections here across the USA, you have the opportunity to observe local and state political races.
Consider the candidate "the product" and his / her campaign advertising and public relations campaigns.
As you try to predict the winners, it's a great opportunity to observe how various politicians communicate their messages to specific groups of voters.
Compare this to your own small business advertising.
Of course, candidates have been working their audiences throughout the campaign, but what media they use and how is worth watching in these final weeks.
Sure, there will be upsets and predictable wins and everything in between. You'll be able to observe whether or not those "dirty campaign tactics" worked or not on election eve. (P.S. most don't!)
Using combinations of different media makes the candidate appear to be everywhere,
You'll find each politician strives to stimulate personal referrals, debates / forums (you use seminars to educate), and different media such as direct mail pieces, newspaper ads, lawn signs, radio, tv as the budget allows.
The political advertising season once again hammers home the need for advertising to repeat, repeat, repeat. Studies show it can take from 6 to 9 impressions before your ad gets the attention of your potential customers (i.e. the voter).
The repetition factor came to mind one recent weekend here in Connecticut when - all of a sudden - almost overnight, literally - yard signs appeared for a new candidate for State Senate, running for his very first time. Not only did he have a difficult to recognize last name, but he was pretty much unknown in some of his district towns.
But this was no amateur effort. It seemed as if suddenly the distinctive yard signs appeared. You could see them from one yard to the next as you drove down some of the main streets, Very hard to miss. Not one sign here and there. It was repetition of lawn signs superbly orchestrated.
Some people love to watch the politicians battle it out and pay fairly close attention. At the other end of the specrtum, some voters sort of listen and make vague emotional judgements. Just goes to show how different people often react differently to the same message.
So whatever your political persuasion, remember you still need to promote your small business with advertising. Learn from what you see happening in political campaigns in your town or city during these last few weeks.
© 2006 Jon Sinish
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