I spent $500,000 in TV ads to promote my own ad agency, and this is what happened. I’ve been doing marketing for over 20 years and honestly, I always thought that TV ads suck. Who likes being interrupted by ads when you’re watching a favorite TV show or movie, right? I don’t.
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In 2021, I decided to bet against the odds. Here’s what I thought, if everyone is slowly leaving TV advertising and going digital, TV ads are probably getting less competitive and cheaper. So I decided to take some of the money that we’re making and put that money into ads, specifically on TV ads. During this timeframe, I spent $500,000 on TV ads and here are the results.
So first off, I started putting my ads on stock channels. Our clients at our ad agency NP Digital, are big large companies like the Fortune 100, or Fortune 50, Fortune 500, you get it. Publicly traded companies. Ideally not companies that are worth 500 million or even a billion, I’m talking about companies that worth 10 billion, 20 billion, 50 billion. So what do they watch in the background in all offices? CNBC and Bloomberg and all the stock channel. So we decided to put our ads on all these stock channels.
TV ads doesn’t really mean you’re successful, it just means you spent money. Even then didn’t generate any return. Then what I do? I spent another 100,000 and I kept going until 500,000.
And here’s what I learned. Website traffic, not much. Branding? We got a lot more people typing in our brand. Leads? Not a ton of qualify leads but we got a few. But you know what it did? It brought more legitimacy to my ad agency. We’re already big. We were on the Inc 500 listing. We’re the 21st fastest glowing company. Wasn’t top 10 so I wasn’t really impressed. 21 is only a good number if you’re playing Blackjack, but we digress.
And what I ended up learning from that process was, a lot of other companies were like, “Yeah we knew about you but we thought you guys were small.” Even though at that time we had roughly 640 employees globally, and we were growing at a rapid pace, more than 50% a year. And we’re just like, “No, we’re growing fast, we got tons of awards, we won Performance Marketing Agency of the Year, and we got all these awards, and we showed some of that in our TV commercials.”
But you know what happened? These bigger companies like, “Yeah we already knew about you but we thought you were small. We now realize that you guys are bigger, so we’re now open to potentially hiring you.” That’s what it helped. It didn’t help generate new awareness, it didn’t help generate more leads. It got the people that already knew about us that were on the fence, to go over and include us in their RFP. RFP stands for requests for a proposal.
So that we got more big companies saying, “Hey, we’ll consider you doing our marketing, doesn’t mean you got it. You can try to get it, and if we like you out of other 10, 15 companies that apply, maybe you’ll get it.”
So do I think I would do this all over again? Yes. More so, would I do this all over again? Yes. Would I do this on a regular basis? No. There wasn’t a huge ROI, but it’s good to just get you on the map and maybe do other trickle effects or other versions of it. Like now we’re starting to advertise in some of the big marketing and advertising sites that CMOs read. Probably won’t generate sort a huge ROI, but I’m hoping it creates the same effect.
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