Of course almost every company needs to advertise. But where? Targeted advertising is most effective. So just put a sign at where your market hangs out (what’s “market”? check out my article on some commonly mistaken business terms)? You can put up a sign but it comes off as inauthentic and lazy. You have to deliver the brand message/concept in a way that will be received.
H&M is sponsoring Coachella for its seventh year. Premier music festivals can make over $1 million by selling stage-naming rights to corporate sponsors. However, other businesses are getting on the ground-level and making for a more interactive experience. One way is experiential marketing / promotional events: Levi Jeans’ Pool Party at Coachella. Yeah, you know it’s commercial but it still creates a positive association with the brand. Yes, the same positive association used on all animals to create habits. Habits = sales, if ingrained deeply enough.
Where do you find where your market hangs out? Google industry trade shows, magazine, clubs, etc. Selling knitting needles? Find influential people on Pinterest and send them a sample. Opening a bakery? Go get a booth at the local farmer’s market and get to know those in the neighborhood. In Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, Shep sold out Alice Cooper’s show in London by having a billboard truck advertising Cooper’s show breakdown in Piccadilly Circus (one of London’s busiest roadways) during rush hour traffic. So for hours people helplessly saw in person and on the news, Cooper’s ad while stuck in traffic for pennies on the dollar!!! There are only as many ways to promote your business as the imagination allows.
So don’t just spend a ton of money and blow it into the wind. Do a ton of research and then inject that into a targeted promotion as part of an overall marketing campaign strategy.