Payson Business Owners Urged To Simplify Ads

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Andy Towle/Roundup - atowle@payson.com

TOMA Research President and Co-founder Mark Rood discusses getting the most for your advertising dollars at a seminar held Tuesday at the Elks Lodge.

Scoops co-owner Maria Higgins was not shocked to learn that 69 percent of area residents polled couldn’t name a roofer. She couldn’t. But she said she would be surprised if roofers took the news to heart and adjusted their advertising campaigns.

“People’s egos take over and they think they have higher numbers than they do,” Higgins said after a Payson Roundup-sponsored presentation by TOMA Research President and Co-founder Mark Rood on Tuesday morning at the Elks Lodge.

TOMA Research polled 300 people in Payson and the Rim Country during a telephone survey in May through June. Surveyors asked participants to identify businesses in 37 industry categories ranging from auto repair to insurance and plumber to veterinarian.

For roofers, Shreeve Roofing ranked No. 1 with 12 percent of participants naming them as the roofer who comes to mind. Nationally, when callers are asked to name a roofer, 70 percent could not name one, meaning there is a lot of growth room in the category for businesses.

Rood pointed out if you are a roofer, or the owner of any business, it is important you capture customers Top of Mind Awareness — or TOMA — before someone else does.

“There is only room in my mind for two names,” Rood said. This is evident by the soda industry where Coca-Cola and Pepsi dominate, making it extremely difficult for anyone new to enter the market and succeed.

“You need to position yourself in the mind of consumers before they need you,” Rood said to a room of 100 business owners.

If your car breaks down, you don’t pick up a paper looking for a repair person, you often go with the first place that pops in your mind and call them, Rood said. Becoming the company that pops in a customer’s mind is the goal of Rood’s program.

To do this, he suggests simple, short and clean ads in print to build a customer preference for a company name.

“Give your name and a reason to prefer you and that’s it,” he said.

Don’t overload an ad with every minuscule detail about your business thinking you are getting your money’s worth. Create a straightforward ad that catches their eye and builds trust, Rood said.

Moose Capital Woodworks owners Bobbie and Mark Scott said Rood’s message about a simple ad hit home.

“Everyone tries to put too much in their ads,” Bobbie said.

The Scotts said they plan to redesign their ad and continue advertising even though their budget is tight.

Removing their weekly ad from the paper will hurt their bottom line more than the advertising cost, Bobbie said.

Higgins said she is considering advertising in print for the first time.

“In this economy, with small businesses, you don’t need big ads,” she said. “Little ads work.”

Rood agrees with Higgins and suggests spending more money in print media than in the phone book.

Businesses reach a larger audience in a newspaper Rood said, because with a phone book, you have to wait for a customer to pick it up and search through it.

He recommends running smaller print ads frequently, even multiple times throughout the same day’s paper, to get readers’ attention. For more information on Payson’s TOMA survey results call Bobby Davis 474-5251 ext. 105.

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