David (PPC) vs. Goliath (Traditional Ads)
A classic tale and an oft-used analogy for any underdog going up against a huge opponent. But what if the story wasn’t about the little guy taking down the giant, but rather, about efficiency and having the right tools to get the job done?
Traditional advertising is Goliath
The giant is large and slow but extremely powerful. Sounds a lot like TV ads– long lead times, high production costs, but an extremely large reach and a lot of potential. In this instance, I picture Goliath (and traditional advertising) like a heavyweight fighter who goes in swinging wildly with his eyes closed. Very powerful, but difficult to measure results. He’ll never know what he’s swinging at and even if he hits someone (or something), he’ll never know what it was or how effective his strike was. Companies can try unique URLs, different phone numbers, offer codes, and promotions– but the fact is, you’ll never be able to effectively measure how many people even SAW your ad, no less how many times it was acted upon.
PPC Ads are David (more specifically, his slingshot)
David’s timeless shot is all about efficiency and precision. Using the tools he already has (his slingshot), the resources available to him (a rock), and a laser-focused approach, David is able to achieve all of his goals quickly and with no wasted motion. PPC ads allow for small business owners to know exactly who they’re targeting, where they’re going, what they’re looking at, and follow them all the way to a point of conversions. It’s not about working harder, it’s about working smarter. Traditional ads inherently have a ton of waste. 20MM impressions looks great on a memo to the CEO, but when you’re a startup or small business owner working on a tiny advertising budget, efficiency is the key, and getting the most bang for your buck.
What’s the Lesson?
While online ads might not have the reach or the allure that traditional advertising has, there are a lot of practical advantages. The ability to set your budget and only pay-per-click (rather than per impression) means that money is being spent more wisely. It also means your advertising budget doesn’t have to be thousands, or even hundreds, of dollars per month. The ability to segment your audience means your message is ONLY reaching the right people. This can mean by search terms, age, location, related interests, friends/followers of fans, and a wide variety of other parameters. Regardless of what target audience you choose, it’s much more precise than readers of Newsday or watchers of New York 1. Last, but certainly not least, your advertising strategy doesn’t need to be pricey and widespread. Using the right tools, the appropriate resources, and a hyper-focused approach- will help you reach your advertising goals quickly and inexpensively.