the word out
businesses advertising is an essential part of their marketing
strategy. It can be a very effective way of getting the word
out about what that business does, why it's good at it and where to
find them. It can also be waste of a lot of money if you get
an oft quoted quote; "We know that at least half of our advertising
spend is wasted ... we just don't know which half!".
If you are
thinking of using advertising then consider these key points
your target customers
start point for any advertising campaign is customer
knowledge. The more you can get, the better your advertising
strategy can be. Don't be afraid to segment a large group of
target customers into multiple smaller groups if that allows you to
increase the focus and relevance of the campaign to the
mean creating multiple adverts, one variation for each target
group. On the surface this would seem wasteful as the cost of
the designs would increase. However, if the more specific
adverts generate a higher response rate from the targets, then
the payback will more than compensate for the increased initial
carefully about which media will best carry your message to each
target customer group. Whilst an advertising agency can offer
you professional advice on media selection, there is no substitute
for customer knowledge. What newspapers and magazines do they
typically read? Do they spend a lot of time surfing the internet? Do
they listen to commercial radio? And so on.
It pays to
think laterally as well. One fact that continues to amaze me
is that an excellent place to advertise all sorts of professional
services is in Parish Magazines. They are very cheap,
are retained for some time (as they contain local event
calendars) and are often read completely from cover to
closely at the core message that your advertising will carry.
Try to keep it simple and keep it focused. If you do have a
complicated message to convey, then be sure to choose media capable
of delivering it correctly and allow for a longer time for the
message to be understood by the targets.
remember that we are subject to thousands of advertising messages
each day and have developed very sophisticated 'mental filters' to
screen out what we think is not relevant ... or is too complex to
understand instantly. Sometimes witty or clever advertising
fails because people can't be bothered to decipher the
your target customers will help you work out which simple message
will have the best effect. Again, advertising agencies can
help you, but you need to help them first with a well thought
out and concise message.
are advertising a time-critical event, such a shop opening or a sale
starting in a few days, advertising should be seen as a long
term strategy. I meet far too many business owners who have
placed a single advert in one magazine and wonder why the 'phone
isn't ringing off the hook.
advertising as a slow burn marketing tool. The best advice I
can give you, is that unless you are prepared to stay the course ...
don't start. Placing adverts in ones and twos is generally a
waste of money.
the question, of course, of "how long should I plan to advertise for
then?". There is no single right answer. Even looking
at campaigns run by your closest competitors may not illicit
the answer. Very often the best approach is the most pragmatic
one. Assign a budget that you can afford and then work with
professional media buyers to construct a programme that best meets
forget to regularly track where new customers approach you from so
that you can begin to measure which bits of the advertising are
working well ... and which bits aren't. Fine tune when
necessary, but don't give up too early or you will surely waste the
money spent already.
and working pragmatically like this will help you to make
your marketing work better for you in a more memorable way.
This means that your target customers will be able to differentiate
your products and services from those of your competitors and
clearly see the value in buying from you.
If you would like some advice on memorable
marketing techniques for your own business, or you know someone
at another business who might need help, then please contact
The sooner you start, the sooner you will benefit.
Download this handy guide which explains how to
get the best from advertising in order to improve business
the Chartered Institute of Marketing as part of
their Directors' Briefing series, this document makes easy
reading for business people of all experience
free service to small businesses in the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire
and Oxfordshire area, the Marketing Effectiveness Assessment
delivers a professional audit of how a business is using the tools
of marketing to communicate to existing and potential customers. It
also includes a series of simple and cost-effective marketing
activities that the business can implement immediately and at low
Download the factsheet now.
Chartered Institute of Marketing
Marketing UK (information portal)
Marketing Profs (free articles)