Why Yesterday’s Karate Advertising Ideas Just Don’t Work… And What To Do About It

If karate school marketing and advertising seems to have gotten a lot tougher for you than it used to be, you’re not alone. It’s not just karate schools that are having a harder time getting results from traditional advertising methods, but virtually all small businesses.

karate marketing and advertising

Face it... your days of advertising here and getting results are long gone.

But why is it that advertising isn’t working as well as it once did for many small businesses? According to best-selling business and marketing author Seth Godin, it’s because of the massive shift that has occurred due to the information revolution.

You see, in the past mass media was controlled and delivered through just a few channels; newspapers, radio, and television. And, in the golden era of advertising there were only a few choices available in each medium where consumers could get their news and entertainment… and where folks like you and I could advertise.

Because of this, it was easy to get the attention of consumers in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. And up until the mid- to late-90’s you could still rely on print ads and yellow pages ads to get your advertising message to your market. But, those days are long gone.

Why Your Karate Marketing Isn’t Working: Consumer Attention Deficit Disorder

Fast forward to today and consider how many media channels exist in the modern consumer’s world. Television, cable television, radio, satellite radio, internet radio, podcasts, streaming music, social media, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, Twitter, RSS, streaming video, Netflix, Hulu, Google…

It’s amazing that consumers are even able to think, much less consider an advertising offer, amidst all the noise and static clamoring for their attention. And there lies the advertising challenge that every modern small business owner faces. That is, you have to somehow get the consumer’s attention in the midst of all the hundreds of other advertising messages they’re being bombarded with all day long.

The truth of the matter is, it’s a tough nut to crack. But it’s not impossible; you just have to become a bit more savvy about your marketing. And, you have to be willing to use technology and modern media in a way that gets your message across in a compelling manner. So in the spirit of helping you overcome this modern advertising challenge, here are some karate advertising ideas that will actually work with today’s consumers.

First, You Must Tell A Compelling Story

Seth Godin has written extensively on the challenge of garnering consumer attention. However, he didn’t just say, “Oh well, you can’t get anyone’s attention anymore, so don’t even bother trying.” No, instead he has been telling marketers for years that in order to capture and keep the attention of consumers, you have to tell a compelling story about your product or service.

Not only that, but according to Godin the story you tell had better be true. That’s because with all this information available to people, it’s incredibly easy to tell a phony from the real McCoy. So, your challenge is to find what makes your story unique and to tell that story in a way that is authentic and engaging.

If you’ve spent any amount of time studying marketing, or if you have a background in communications, this may be something you can come up with on your own. But if you struggle with written communication you may want to hire a good copywriter and marketing strategist to help you define your story.

If this sounds like a waste of time and money to you, remember that you are welcome to continue struggling along in your mediocrity. However, if this idea of telling a powerful and authentic story about you and your business resonates with you, I encourage you to start brainstorming and pursuing this concept. Moreover, I suggest you take several months to chew on the ideas you come up with, bouncing them off people who know you and seeing which ideas seem to have the most traction.

Eventually, you’re going to come up with the story that tells people who you are and what makes you different from all the other karate schools out there. This is sort of like coming up with a “USP 2.0” for your school. Once you have it, then comes the hard part.

Now, Share Your Story In As Many Media Channels As Possible

The next step is to tell your story by way of as many media channels as possible. Believe it or not, this is where the information age becomes your ally instead of your foe. That’s because it’s never been easier to get a message out in multiple media channels than it is today.

However, this is going to take a great deal of work on your part. That’s because you’re going to have to take that personal and unique story that defines your business, and you’re going to have to share it through multiple media channels. These channels might include:

  • Blogging
  • Email newsletters
  • PDFs and white papers
  • Press releases
  • Social media
  • Podcasts
  • Video
  • Online articles

Here’s That Four-Letter Word Again…

Just remember, you also have to tell your story in a way that’s authentic. So, instead of bombarding the internet with a bunch of spam content, instead you need to weave your story into content that is interesting, entertaining, and informative. This takes work and a lot of consistent effort over time.

However, once you’ve spent six months to a year creating all this content and getting it out there in the interwebs, it’ll keep on working for you. Plus, you’ll have gotten into the habit of regularly creating really cool and interesting content that let’s people know just what you and your business are all about. Suddenly, you’ll find that clients are seemingly crawling out of the woodwork to find out more about who you are and what you offer.

Sorry, The Magic Marketing Genie Is All Out Of Wishes

Sure, it’s not as quick as putting an ad in the local newspaper once was. It takes longer to get a response, and you have to take the long view to make this method of marketing with new media work for you. Which also means you’re going to have to rely on methods of traditional advertising in the mean time as well.

But, at some point you have to let go of the idea that you can just throw money at your advertising today and still get the same results you got ten or fifteen years ago. Those days are long gone, so it’s time to either adapt or die. And, what I’ve just provided you with is a template for adapting and thriving using the advantages that new media provides the modern business owner.

Or, you could just continue clinging to those old karate marketing and advertising ideas. I mean, I’m sure eventually offline print media like newspapers and yellow page directories will make a comeback (along with the typewriter).  Then again, maybe not…

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