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10 years Ago By / AJ Ross Staff

Pay Now, Or You Might Not Be Around To Pay Later

Remember those classic Fram Oil Filter ads where the mechanic would look you in the eye and say, “You can pay me now or pay me later.” The premise was you could pay for an oil filter today or pay for an expensive engine repair later.

Something similar is going on in the advertising/marketing business today. The wording of the line, however, is slightly different. Today it’s, “You can pay now or you might not be around to pay later.”

The economy is getting better. Believe it.

In good times and bad times, it’s not the time to stop telling customers what you can do for them. The assumption that you can cut back on the ads and wait until everything turns around before you remind people how good you are at what you do, may not be the most prudent strategy. People forget. People change. And if they’re not hearing from you, they’ll always be willing to listen to an offer from somebody else. Don’t for a second believe they’ll jump right back to you when you decide to start communicating again.

So what are we saying here, today’s the perfect time to spend like there’s no tomorrow? No, we’re just saying times like these may be better than you think to advertise and build business. You might well be the only voice in your category. Maybe.

Of course, you have to do the advertising right. And that means having professionals working with you. Unfortunately, there are some people out there nationally, and especially locally, who are trying to make the most of a volatile economic situation. You know who they are. They’re those “new” ad guys on the block who claim they’ll give you everything you need for a lot less. You have to be extremely careful when you hear this pitch. It’s very tempting. Just remember, experience matters and so does proof of success. Cheap is not a good trade off for effective or smart.

If you believe as we do, that these times are good for advertising, you should seriously evaluate any advertising proposal made to you. Just make sure it’s legitimate. Check references. Call the agency’s clients. Ask them if they’re happy. Look at the work the agency’s done. Do you wish you had run some of the ads they created for somebody else?

Finding the right partner and putting some muscle behind a solid plan with creative that grabs eyes and ears can make a huge difference in your business right now and perhaps even more impressive for years to come. People should know you’re still here working hard and you’re not going to forget about them, because if you don’t do this: Remember, you can pay now…or…well, you know the rest.

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