Good Advertising Can Kill a Bad Business

I read that somewhere — unfortunately, not even Google can remind me where.

But it came to mind the other day when I met with the owner of a home improvement company. I’d put together a very powerful ad campaign for him, and we were scheduled to hit the airwaves in six days. But he wanted to postpone it.

My initial reaction was to try to talk him out of postponing. It’s been a rough few months in the industry, and I was convinced that the campaign would truly enter the conversation that homeowners were having as they thought about remodeling.

But he stopped me short with a surprising statement — in the past two weeks, his traffic had jumped considerably. Interest rates had dropped to the point where buyers were finally being lured back into the game. His salespeople were (finally!) so busy scheduling jobs that they couldn’t handle any new ones. He didn’t want the phone to ring until he had more people in place to take care of the new customers.

Although it took money out of my pocket, he was right to postpone. If the campaign had launched and gotten the job done (and trust me… it’s good), he risked disappointing and angering his new customers by putting them off or doing shoddy work. They would have ultimately taken their business elsewhere, and the word-of-mouth would have been disasterous.

Better to wait a few weeks and get it right.


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