Would you be surprised to know advertising companies don’t like to be open about what they sell? You seem shocked. The truth is they’re in the business of selling ads. I however am not, so I don’t mind sharing 5 things that they prefer you not know.

1. Buying ads is addictive

It’s all too common for companies to buy ad space, see their ads in public, receive money from new customers, buy more ad space. Think of it like this: you’re buying ad space to fund buying more ad space. Sure, there’s a certain rush you get when you see your ad in public, and then find new customers knocking on your door. The thing that never comes to mind is: are the advertisements worth it? No matter the situation making profit or not, people will always respond with a yes. Companies will say: “Yes, we’re making a profit,” and if it’s a no, they’ll say “Well, we’re building brand awareness; it’ll pay off in the long run.”

Be careful. Purchasing ad space is addictive. Never forget to measure your return to determine if it’s a worth while advertisement. An ad strictly for brand awareness is a terrible investment of money.

2. Be careful of the numbers

With online advertising, you’ll get a bunch of numbers thrown at you from Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, or whatever. Numbers are strictly numbers. Just because it’s a number they give you doesn’t mean it matters. It’s up to you to determine what matters to your business, and sometimes it’s a number you generate outside of your advertising platform.

Remember to be cautious of supplied numbers.. Advertising companies give you numbers that will persuade you to spend more on advertising.

3. Perks & Recognition won’t make payroll

Just because everyone knows your jingle or company mission doesn’t mean you can pay your employees or make a profit. Sure, it may mean you have more social credibility, but that’s no excuse to pay for advertising. Make sure your advertising is sustainable, and you’re not paying for others to talk highly of you or your company.

4. Guerrilla advertising is usually an excuse

This is a common excuse these days. Companies more and more are posting videos on Youtube for example Jeff Gordon pranking unsuspecting people into thinking he’s an average driver. If you’ve seen the video, ask yourself what was the product he was representing? Exactly. You remember the stunt but not the company that fronted the money to make it happen. Because you can put Jeff Gordon in a car pranking people, doesn’t mean you should. However, I do appreciate it.

5. Good products don’t need to advertise

I would dare say most of the products you bring up to friends have no advertising budget. So why do are they successful? Because they’re good. You mention it to friends because you find value in the product, so you think they might appreciate it too.

Poor-to-average products need to advertise because no one will volunteer to share it with other unless they have an outside interest. Good products however just need a solid customer base who then presents its solution to his/her friends and family.  Good products never need to advertise.