5 Reasons Why Signs Work For Your Small Business

business signs

In a square mile radius in Germantown, Maryland are about 6 Asian grocery stores. Yet I visited the one store whose location was way off the main road and was difficult to find. I saw a sign for the business in another Asian grocery store and knew that they stocked goat meat, which is a delicacy for meat eaters from the Indian sub-continent.

I can’t tell you how many countless times I have used a new business based on their business signs. Business signs work – and here’s why.

5 Reasons Why Business Signs Work


For a brick and mortar small business your sign is important as it acts like a  guidepost to guide customers to your place of business and attract the attention of new customers. If you are a new business, people driving by will be attracted to stop in and try your business. People moving to the area look for local businesses that they can start visiting.

Brand Promise

A sign should always be neat and bright and should convey the promise of your brand, convey the high standards of your business, your differentiation. A sign board that is damaged or smudged may fail to convey your brand.

business signs

Special Occasions

In the photo above, SXSW is a large event in downtown Austin and this small business is attracting event attendees walking by. Find local events and community gatherings like parades to create awareness for your business


When Groupon rented ad space outside Living Social’s offices in downtown Washington, D.C. it created some buzz. You see these signs often on highways advertising restaurants or gas stations just a few miles ahead of an exit ramp. Signage is important in a high traffic location as overflow traffic from other places can find your business and make an impromptu decision to use your business.

5 Reasons Why Signs Work For Your Small Business

Online-Offline Connection

Take a look at the picture at the very top of this post from an Irish pub in the Cleveland Park area of Washington, D.C. that advertises their Facebook page.

Adding your website url to your sign is a good idea for people who don’t have time to stop and can check you out later. Adding a QR code is a good idea if your sign can be scanned easily.

In photos of your business on your website, it may be a good idea to include pictures of your businesses physical location, signage and neighborhood. So that when people visit, they are already familiar with how the business and surroundings look.

More and more people are finding your business online, but that is only half the story. If you have a great location, you can also appeal to new people who are walking past your business every day.

LocationBusiness signs serve as guideposts for brick-and-mortar businesses, directing customers to their physical location and catching the attention of potential new customers.
Brand PromiseA well-maintained and visually appealing sign conveys the brand's promise, high standards, and differentiation. Damaged or unclear signs can fail to represent the brand effectively.
Special OccasionsLeveraging signage during special events and community gatherings, like parades or festivals, can create awareness and attract event attendees to your business.
CompetitionStrategic signage in high-traffic areas and locations with competition can divert overflow traffic from other businesses, leading to impromptu decisions to use your services.
Online-Offline ConnectionBusiness signs bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds by promoting online presence through website URLs and QR codes, enhancing accessibility for potential customers.

5 Reasons Why Signs Work For Your Small Business

Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Advertising and Marketing

While implementing various advertising and marketing strategies is essential, it’s equally crucial to measure their effectiveness. Without data-driven insights, it’s challenging to determine which strategies are delivering the best results and where adjustments are needed. Here’s a section that explores the importance of measuring the impact of your efforts:

Understanding ROI and Key Metrics

As you navigate the intricate landscape of advertising and marketing, tracking the return on investment (ROI) and key performance indicators (KPIs) becomes paramount. These metrics provide a clear picture of how well your strategies are performing and whether they align with your business goals. Here’s why measuring effectiveness is crucial:

  1. ROI Assessment: Every advertising and marketing dollar spent should contribute to your bottom line. By tracking ROI, you can determine which channels and campaigns provide the highest returns. This information empowers you to allocate your budget more effectively, channeling resources into strategies that generate revenue.
  2. Conversion Rates: Understanding conversion rates is vital to gauge the success of your marketing campaigns. Whether it’s website visitors becoming customers, social media followers engaging with your content, or email subscribers making purchases, tracking conversions helps identify what’s working and what needs optimization.
  3. Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC): Knowing how much it costs to acquire a new customer is crucial for sustainable growth. Compare your CAC to the lifetime value of a customer to ensure your marketing efforts are cost-effective. If CAC is too high, consider refining your strategies or targeting a different audience.
  4. Click-Through Rates (CTR): CTR is a valuable metric for online advertising and email campaigns. It indicates the effectiveness of your ad copy, email subject lines, and calls to action. A high CTR suggests that your messaging resonates with your audience.
  5. Engagement Metrics: On social media and content marketing platforms, engagement metrics like likes, shares, comments, and time spent on a page reveal how well your content connects with your audience. Engaging content often leads to increased brand awareness and customer loyalty.
  6. Customer Feedback: Don’t underestimate the power of customer feedback. Reviews, surveys, and direct feedback provide insights into customer satisfaction and areas for improvement. Listening to your audience can guide your marketing efforts in the right direction.
  7. A/B Testing: Experimentation through A/B testing allows you to compare different marketing approaches and determine which one yields better results. This iterative process can help refine your strategies over time.
  8. Google Analytics and Marketing Tools: Utilize analytics tools and marketing platforms to gather valuable data on website traffic, audience demographics, and user behavior. These insights can inform content creation, ad targeting, and website optimization.

5 Reasons Why Signs Work For Your Small Business

The Continuous Improvement Loop

Measuring effectiveness isn’t a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process. Regularly review your data, analyze trends, and adjust your strategies accordingly. This continuous improvement loop ensures that your advertising and marketing efforts remain aligned with your business objectives and adapt to changing consumer behaviors.

In the dynamic world of advertising and marketing, success hinges on your ability to evolve, refine, and optimize your strategies based on measurable outcomes. By tracking ROI and key metrics, you’ll not only maximize the impact of your efforts but also stay ahead in the competitive landscape. Remember, what gets measured gets managed, and what gets managed gets results.

Key MetricsDescription
ROI AssessmentEvaluating the return on investment (ROI) is essential to understand the financial impact of your advertising and marketing efforts. It helps identify which strategies are most cost-effective and contribute positively to your bottom line.
Conversion RatesTracking conversion rates reveals how successful your marketing campaigns are in turning prospects into customers. It can be measured across various touchpoints, such as website visits, social media interactions, or email sign-ups.
Customer Acquisition CostsCalculating the cost of acquiring a new customer (CAC) helps assess the efficiency of your marketing efforts. Comparing CAC to the lifetime value of a customer ensures that your acquisition strategies are sustainable and profitable.
Click-Through Rates (CTR)CTR is a crucial metric for digital marketing campaigns, indicating the effectiveness of your ad copy and calls to action. A higher CTR suggests that your messaging resonates with the target audience, driving more clicks and engagement.
Engagement MetricsOn social media and content platforms, engagement metrics like likes, shares, comments, and time spent on a page reflect the level of audience interaction. Engaging content often leads to increased brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Customer FeedbackCustomer feedback, obtained through reviews, surveys, and direct communication, offers valuable insights into satisfaction levels and areas for improvement. Listening to your audience helps refine your marketing strategies and meet customer expectations.
A/B TestingA/B testing involves comparing two variations of a marketing element to determine which performs better. This iterative process helps optimize messaging, design, and other aspects of your campaigns based on data-driven results.
Google Analytics and ToolsUtilizing analytics tools and marketing platforms provides detailed data on website traffic, audience demographics, and user behavior. These insights inform content creation, ad targeting, and website optimization, enhancing overall effectiveness.

The Psychology Behind Effective Advertising and Marketing

Understanding the psychology of consumers is paramount when it comes to crafting successful advertising and marketing campaigns. While strategies and channels are essential, the human element plays a central role in influencing buying decisions. This section delves into the psychology behind effective advertising and marketing:

Appealing to Emotions

  1. Emotional Storytelling: Humans are inherently emotional beings. Effective advertising often taps into these emotions, telling compelling stories that resonate with the audience’s feelings and experiences. Whether it’s a heartwarming narrative or an inspirational journey, stories evoke empathy and connection.
  2. Emotionally Charged Imagery: Visual elements, such as images and videos, have a powerful impact on emotions. Choosing imagery that aligns with the emotional tone of your message can evoke the desired feelings in your audience. For example, images of happiness and joy can be used for products associated with positive experiences.

Building Trust and Credibility

  1. Social Proof: People tend to trust the opinions and actions of others. Incorporating social proof, such as customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials, can build trust in your brand and products. Consumers are more likely to engage with businesses that have a proven track record.
  2. Authority and Expertise: Establishing your brand as an authority or expert in your industry can instill confidence in potential customers. Share your knowledge through content marketing, blog posts, and informative videos to position yourself as a trusted source of information.

The Power of Persuasion

  1. Scarcity and Urgency: The fear of missing out is a potent motivator. Creating a sense of scarcity or urgency in your marketing messages, such as limited-time offers or low-stock alerts, can drive action as consumers seek to seize opportunities before they disappear.
  2. Reciprocity: People are inclined to reciprocate when they receive something of value. Offer free resources, downloadable guides, or valuable content in exchange for email sign-ups or engagement. This reciprocity fosters a sense of obligation, leading to future interactions.

Understanding Cognitive Biases

  1. Anchoring: The human brain often relies on the first piece of information encountered when making decisions. Use anchoring to your advantage by presenting higher-priced options first, making subsequent choices seem more reasonable.
  2. Confirmation Bias: Consumers tend to seek information that confirms their existing beliefs. Tailor your messaging to align with your target audience’s values and preferences, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

Personalization and Relevance

  1. Personalized Experiences: Leverage data to create personalized experiences for your audience. Tailor product recommendations, email content, and advertisements based on individual preferences and behaviors, enhancing relevance and engagement.
  2. Segmentation: Divide your audience into segments based on demographics, interests, and behavior. This allows for targeted messaging that speaks directly to the unique needs and desires of each group.

By understanding the psychological drivers that influence consumer behavior, you can create advertising and marketing campaigns that resonate on a deeper level. Effective marketing isn’t just about showcasing products or services; it’s about connecting with people on an emotional and psychological level, ultimately driving them to take action. Whether you’re aiming to inspire, build trust, or persuade, psychology plays a pivotal role in shaping successful marketing strategies.

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Shashi Bellamkonda Shashi Bellamkonda is CMO of Surefire Social, AKA "Social Media Swami" at SurefireSocial. Visit Shashi Bellamkonda's blog. He is also an adjunct faculty at Georgetown University. Shashi is a regular contributor to the Washington Business Journal, DC Examiner and other tech blogs like Smallbiztechnology and Techcocktail. Shashi has been in the list of Top 100 Small Business Influencer Champions list for 2011 and 2012.