See a famous virtuoso, a violinist prodigy. See him sell out Boston’s Symphony Hall where the merely ‘decent’ seats sold for $100. See him the next day in a D.C. Metro Station performing Bach besides a trash bin for 45 minutes straight and earn, in total, $32. See over 1,000 people pass him by.
I recently read an article by the Washington Post who posed this experiment with Joshua Bell, a pretty darn famous guy by all accounts. In fact, he recently received the Avery Fisher price recognizing him as the best classical musician in America. I highly recommend reading the article and watching a video of his work because, without a doubt, it is beautiful.
Washington Post’s article talks about how this proves we as a society don’t seem to know when and where to put value on things. It’s called the “Art Without A Frame” problem. What would have cost each of those people $100+ to listen to was offered free or at least for a minimal tip of a few bucks. However, because the social prestige wasn’t there and because a street performer is just short of a panhandler, he was on the whole ignored.
Radio, TV and newspaper ads are very much like your company becoming a street performer. You aren’t noticed. You’re often purposefully ignored. (Banner ads anyone?)
Your business isn’t in its niche where it would be recognized for its amazing products or famous service.
Casting a broad net – throwing your talents in the form of Groupon, coupons or broad-based media – isn’t going to work, not unless you’re practically a home name like Coca Cola or Apple.
Go where your $100/person audience is. Don’t go to the subway station. Market to your target audience in small, focused ways.