University of Maryland Extension

When Advertising is a Waste of Resources

Beware of “pouring money down the advertising hole!” Tailor your advertising and promotions to your current and prospective customers. Evaluate the results so you don’t keep spending money on ads or promotional campaigns that aren’t working.

Ask your customers where they saw your ad. This can be done by “pretesting” through simply asking family or friends what they think of your ad before you run it. Tabulate sales and try to make a judgment as to how many of the sales resulted from the advertisement. If it doesn’t work, don’t repeat it.

Before spending money on advertising, utilize all the free publicity that’s available, such as press releases and feature stories. A story written about your product and published in the local newspaper can be worth hundreds of dollars.  An industry rule-of-thumb is that editorial coverage is seven times as valuable as paid coverage.

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