Most taxi business owners are clueless when it comes to advertising and marketing. They usually have no idea how to tell the difference between “good” marketing and “bad” marketing. There are several reasons for it. First reason is that there’s much more institutional, or image advertising, around. Image advertising is what very large companies do. Goodyear, McDonald’s and HP. Obviously, companies like these have lots of money and can afford such advertising. Institutional advertising is designed to make you aware of the business and hope that eventually that awareness will translate into you purchasing its products. It’s a very indirect method of getting results.
Taxi business owners see image advertising around them all the time. The companies advertising are usually quite successful (otherwise where’d they get the money for all these huge billboards) and taxi business owners decide to advertise and market much like these big brand-name companies.
In 2006 it is estimated that McDonald’s spend more than $820 million on advertising. They have more than 13,000 restaurants in the United States alone. With those kinds of numbers, they can afford image advertising. However, most taxi businesses don’t have the budget that will last long enough to see any benefits from image advertising. For a small or medium taxi business this kind of marketing is a recipe for disaster.
Second reason is that many taxi business owners think that if they do exactly what advertising sales reps tell them to do, it’ll be the end to their marketing troubles. They think that this help will get them a ton of new business. Since most taxi business owners are already overworked, they rely on the sales rep to come up with the advertisement and the taxi business owner makes sure it “looks good”. However, advertising sales representatives are selling space, not results. What you bought is advertising space and what you want is results. You need a different kind of advertising.
The third and last reason for marketing cluelessness and vulnerability is unwillingness to think outside the box. Many taxi business owners look around at what everybody else in the taxi business is doing and copy it. Sometimes they don’t even know if it works or not, they just start doing it because they’ve heard someone else is doing same thing!
What taxi businesses need is direct response advertising. That is, marketing that is designed to produce measurable results every time. Marketing that pays its own way and targeted to reach only people that are similar to your best customers that you already have.
If you can’t measure the amount of business you get from some from of advertising – don’t do it. You need to get hard nosed about this. This will save you thousands of dollars a year. Next, you need to reinvest the marketing dollars that were previously wasted into direct response marketing.
Find out everything about who your best customers are. Match this information with the media that closely resembles this group of people of businesses. Monitor the results. Remember, it is you who is paying for all the circulation of the media you choose. The less waste – the better.
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