Those that have been following me for a while might accuse me of being anti-advertising. So I want to address that today.
I am not against advertising, per se. However, I want to make sure that businesses are always using the marketing activities most suited to themselves, their market and their brand, and activities that give them the best return on investment (hmmmm very much a business phrase! :) – and activities that can be measured to show that they are really delivering results and that all important ROI.
Unfortunately, many of us just throw adverts out there and don’t think enough about what we want them to do, or make sure that they are doing what we want them to do. The fact is that people need to see you (your business, product, service) quite a lot of times before they are ready to buy, and for most small businesses, getting that exposure entirely through advertising is simply too expensive. I have spoken extensively about how often people need to see you in videos. If you plan to drive your marketing mainly through advertising, you have to advertise a lot and that can get very expensive.
Another thing that non-specialists in marketing have a tendency to do with their advertising is to try to say a million things at once. The fact is that it is hard enough to get people to take note of one message in your advert and as soon as you try to get more across everything becomes muddled and the ad loses its effectiveness.
Advertising can however be a great marketing tool if used correctly. What do you need to do for that? Here are five things you need to remember when you use advertising in your marketing:
- Where is your target group and how can you best reach it? It is generally stronger to advertise in niche media, reaching fewer people but the right people rather than taking out a whole page in the main newspaper or advertise on prime time TV.
- What message is most effective to connect with your target audience? What are they looking for? What can you do for them? What matters to them? You won’t know this unless you have done a thorough target group analysis.
- Use smaller ads and more frequent. A big ad here and there won’t really do much, but smaller ads constantly running will build awareness and keep reminding people of you, which is more valuable.
- What do you want the ad to do? What is its purpose? ONE thing – no more! What do you want the recipient to do next? Yes, sure, sometimes we advertise just for awareness and to remind people of us, but using advertising like that is generally too expensive for small business. Big banks and retail chains can afford it, but for most of us this isn’t really a viable option. Better to use the ad to get people to take that next step towards doing business with you. What is that step?
- How will you measure whether the ad is doing what you want it to do or not? If you want to measure awareness and interest, that takes quite a large sample for research to be useful – so hassle and expense. Online advertising can more easily be measured, sure, particularly if you want people to click it as you can measure how many clicks you get – but then what? How do you measure what happens after that click?
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