How do you know where to advertise? And is the back of a bus a good choice?

A few weeks ago I was a passenger in the car when I came up behind a bus with an advert on the back of it.

What surprised me was that the advert was for a forklift truck – (I grabbed a quick photo with my phone to look at when I got back.)

I took this picture and blew it up to see the ad properly

So why is this a bad choice for selling forklift trucks?

One key element to all of your marketing is the target market, or niche. This is the group of people you’re trying to sell to.

Imagine for a moment that you are the forklift truck company. Exactly who are the people that are likely to buy forklift trucks? And where will you find them?

Not the best place to sell forklifts

I would imagine it’s anybody with a warehouse – so the materials or warehouse managers in bigger businesses, farmers for their barn management, smaller businesses in industrial units, any business that uses vans or trucks, and so on.

Once you understand your target market, you can pick the best places to reach them in a concentrated way. This bus advert, unless it gets lucky, is never going to do that.

It’s a waste of maybe £500 that could have paid for a better targeted marketing campaign to just the right people.

Direct mail, cold-calling, magazine advertising within the industry, a stand at an industry exhibition.  All are going to reach a far higher concentration of people who want what you sell, if you’re selling forklift trucks and accessories.

The next time somebody calls you up and asks you to advertise with them, consider whether enough of your best customers would even see the advert.

The back of buses is a place to reach the general consumer, not your specialist niche markets.

Bus-back advertising is normally done either by large corporations who use it as part of a far broader brand-building exercise or by small businesses who don’t have any kind of effective marketing plan.

If you normally approach your marketing rather randomly, consider starting with how to create a unique selling point for your business.

You might also use the free marketing plan template to build a more solid foundation for your lead generation.

If you’re considering social media for business, you might want to read about small business online marketing before you devote too much time to Twitter or Facebook.

And, if you know the guys responsible for marketing at Genesis Forklifts, help them out by getting them to give me a call.