In fast food, you have three main pillars: Good, Fast, and Cheap. Unfortunately, you never get all three. If it is good and cheap it will not be fast. If it is cheap and fast it will not be good. And if it’s good and fast it will not be cheap. Selling advertising solutions is a lot like fast food – what people want is good, fast, and cheap and these three do not coexist. If you buy a Yuma advertising solution that is cheap and fast it won’t be good, good and fast and it won’t be cheap, and fast and cheap will not be good. But, many settle for fast and cheap because “it’s cheap.” A wise man once said, “if you are turned on by the idea of cheap, so are you.” And some people are. But as the writer, Kurt Vonnegut said, “In this world, you get what you pay for.”
Fast food while not a purely American invention, is an American obsession. As automobiles became popular and affordable after the end of the First World War, we saw the appearance of drive-ins across the country. In 1916, Walter Anderson had built his restaurant called White Castle In Wichita, Kansas. He introduced the idea of a limited menu, low-cost/high-volume hamburger restaurant. He later partnered with Billy Ingram to open the second one in 1921, in what became the first hamburger chain, selling is burgers for five cents each. One of the novelties of this chain was watching your meal prepared right in front of you. Due to its success, it opened the door for many competitors to its space. Each one adding a change element to the equation.
One of the main catalysts of the fast-food explosion, besides the automobile, is this idea of time poverty, which is solely an American creation. Corporate America has long hated the forty-hour workweek. We first tried to institute it by presidential proclamation in 1869 but it took until 1937 to become the law of the land when the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. The owners of the salt mines would much prefer the 60-80 hour work week, no breaks for meals, and of course let’s make kids work, too! And forget about minimum wage, you should be lucky to have a job – but I digress.
Fast forward to the late 1960s when working Americans began to need more than one income to run a household, the increase in the divorce rate and the rise of single parenting – we are responsible for creating this culture of time-poverty where we constantly live in fear of not doing enough and never having enough time to conquer our self-imposed deadlines. Because of this, we have driven demand for more and more fast food. And fast food is considered more unhealthy, in most cases, than the time poverty that invented it. Fast food has been liked to a wide spectrum of diseases like heart disease, obesity, cancer, high cholesterol, diabetes, and depression.
Fast food is so ingrained in our vernacular the Beastie Boys paid homage to White Castle and Fat Burger in The New Style, “I chill at White Castle ‘cause it’s the best, but I’m fly at Fat Burger when I way out west.” And they for sure know that “White Castle fries only come in one size.” The late rapper Gregory Jacobs, Shock G to you and me, “Once got busy in a Burger King bathroom,” (you sang that, admit it) and John Mellencamp, when he was known as John Cougar, extolled the virtue of the fast food, soft-serve joint Tastee-Freez in the 1982 hit record, “Jack and Diane.”
Fast Food is also so ingrained in our advertising. It is a dominant advertising category across Radio, Television, and the internet. These advertisements have produced some iconic characters, like Clara Peller’s “Where’s the beef” for Wendy’s, Fred The Baker in the “time to make the donuts” commercial for Dunkin Donuts, or how about the Taco Bell Chihuahua, “Yo Quiero Taco Bell. What about memorable audio signatures, or jingles, like 1975’s “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a Sesame Seed Bun” for McDonald’s (I did that from memory and that came out when I was three.)
While this category may serve some combination of good, fast and cheap, they never do this with their advertising. In fact, when you look a the top advertisers year over year, your find icons like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s, Dominos, Sonic, and Dunkin Donuts. They know that losing just 1 point of market share will cost them millions if not billions of dollars each year. They know that in order to be successful marketers, they need ads that are creative, memorable, and impactful. They know they have to dominate the airwaves and be present, 365 days a year. They have multiple campaigns running off the same thing.
You don’t have to be McDonald’s to have this ever-present aura. You just need to be consistent, memorable, and convenient. When I say convenient, you need to solve a problem for someone. Think about what it that you do, what it is that makes you the expert? Why do people come to you and what is the reason they wind up there for the very first time? If you are a plumber, chances are people aren’t just looking to hang out and talk about plumbing. They have a problem; a leak, a stopped toilet, a shower head that is not working. That is what you are selling. It is not the plumbing, that is the function.
Instead of looking for the cheapest way to advertise, maybe you should start looking for the most efficient. What product or service is going to expose you to the most people who are going to have a plumbing problem you can solve in the next 365 days. Perhaps you look for a universe that is heavy with homeowners. Chances are that group is going to need you at some point. Renters, not so much. When you can talk to the largest universe of homeowners you can, and you can offer a solution to a problem or a future problem, the conversion rate on your advertising investment is going to be much higher. Craft a message that resonates with this group and speaks to the ease of the solution you are offering. This makes it much more efficient – in fact, more efficient than fast food. You no longer have to gamble with good, fast and cheap. You can just settle on good and efficient, and that is certain.
Not sure how to do this? Call our Victor Valley Director of Sales, James Rightmire at 760-881-3728 and via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to me directly, 760-881-3819, email@example.com. We will sit down with you and craft a plan for long term success. We know we can generate ideas for your business that can put you in the forefront of the consumer’s mind. We are the experts when it comes to Victor Valley marketing and advertising. Let us put this expertise to work for you, today!