When to Buy Advertising

Getting a great message made for your business is the most important part of advertising. Without a good message, you can’t have a very good campaign. But, when you should run your ads? I personally believe that your best choice is to run your ads every day of the year. But, I completely understand that not every business can afford the cost of such a campaign. So, at that point the question becomes “when?” There are two schools of thought, and they’re both good options.

#1 - Advertise when the fish are biting – This means putting all your advertising dollars into your busiest seasons. Ultimately, you’re trying to increase the amount of people exponentially. If you get 500 clients in a day, you want to push it to 700+ by advertising when the need for your product is prevalent.

We discussed this topic with a local greenhouse recently and landed on keeping the advertising campaign during their busy season. The reasoning was that people almost always buy all of their bedding plants in the same 2 month window every year. At all other times of the year, they don’t really care about buying plants. It was a better decision to increase the amount of customers when it was really busy than trying to convince them to visit off season. Also, even if “off season” advertising was effective, the greenhouse wouldn’t be properly staffed to accommodate demand. That would leave clients with a bad taste in their mouths. Basically, you need to decide whether you’ll make more money by adding new clients when you’re busy, or adding new clients when you’re not. If you can accommodate more during busy season, it’s worth looking into. If it’ll make you far too busy, don’t do it.

#2 - This is where offseason advertising comes in. Every business has its high & low seasons. If you’re completely satisfied by your busy season, don’t advertise during it. It’s a waste of advertising dollars to contact new clientele that will be underserved if they arrive during high season. Don’t buy new clients only to send them away disappointed. If you’re full to capacity, spend your advertising dollars on when you could use new business.

A good example of this is advertising furnaces in the summer, or AC in the winter. There are creative angles you can take to make people interested in your product at non-traditional times. You may get more bang for your buck by advertising when you’re lean.

Both options are valid, and the right answer for you depends entirely on your product and capacity for new business. To keep things simple, I’d say advertise in high season when you can feasibly accommodate doubling your business. If you’re at full capacity, advertise in your off season or consider opening new locations or adding staff.