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Advertising is dead - so what's the alternative?
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By James Mott

 Recently a company asked me, where in my opinion, was the best place to advertise their services?

They told me their advertising had become ineffective and they,( like many other companies struggling in this recession), were experiencing a decline in enquiries and needed to generate more work to stay in business.

“Advertising is a waste of money and doesn’t work anymore” I told them. “There’s no quick fix, you need to start marketing yourselves effectively and forget advertising.”

The truth is, advertising died a death many years ago. The question is why?

In times past, a company worked hard to offer a unique product or service, placed some nicely designed adverts in selected publications and more often than not generated a steady flow of work. The more work that came in, the more adverts they placed - simple. Advertising was expensive but got the job done.

Back then, people had a lot more time and not so much choice. Times have changed.

Now, we all have very little time and far too much choice. The novelty of adverts has worn off.

Tell your story with ProjectBook
We are now bombarded on a daily basis with adverts shouting things like ’we are the best’ and ‘award winning’ and ‘we only use the finest materials’. You and I have seen these messages a thousand times and don’t believe a word of it and rightly so - it’s become meaningless. 

Today, companies who put their faith in advertising to get their message across will sadly be ignored and be, in effect, invisible. So what’s the alternative?

Creative marketing; using a variety of different tools to tell your story to people who want to hear what you have to say.

If you get it right and your story is authentic, people will tell their friends and colleagues, who in turn will eventually become customers.

Sounds familiar? Ahh that’s word of mouth you say. That’s right, it’s just the rules have changed.

Today, the digital age offers wide ranging opportunities at little or no cost, enabling the spread of information, not just to a select few but to a much larger audience. Any way you look at it, it’s now far easier to reach the people you want to influence than ever before in history – but it has its challenges..

Nowadays, it’s not so much the quality of product or service that people care about so much (although it is of course important) it’s the story behind it.

To be successful your story needs to be remarkable – something people feel compelled to remark about. So what does ‘remarkable’ look like?

For me, I know the things that I find ‘remarkable’; an interesting news story; a thoughtfully designed website; a unique product that’s solves a problem; other people’s success’s.

You’re different from me, so you’ll be inclined to remark on different things that you see and hear.

In my experience, each business operating in the heritage sector have more than enough unique attributes to capture people’s attention; the wonderful things you make, your attention to detail, the way you go the extra mile to make your customers happy, the approach you took to achieve a complex project, how you conserved a building which had suffered from years of neglect – the list goes on.

If we want to create a sustainable future for heritage people, it’s vital that EVERYONE in the sector has a voice that’s heard.

I estimate there are at least 20,000 companies working in the sector. So what if you all tell your story?

Now that would be remarkable!!

Our mission to save the heritage sector has got people talking. ProjectBook can’t offer you advertising - instead, we provide some great ways to tell your story to people who want to listen.

Join us on the journey and we’ll help tell your story too.

To find out more about what membership of ProjectBook offers for heritage specialists, click here
 


About the author

James Mott is a conservation specialist with over 25 years experience working in the heritage sector as a skilled craftsman, contractor and consultant. He is the founder of ProjectBook which recognises and raises awareness of conservation professionals working in the built heritage sector. He oversees ProjectBook’s operations including offering technical help & advice, publications, courses and events.

James regularly writes for Country Life and Period Homes magazines, is regularly featured in the mainstream press and lectures throughout the year on building conservation issues, historic woodwork and the use of social media.
 
 
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