One of the struggles that every Washington D.C. business
owner has to deal with is determining how to create the most effective advertising campaigns for their business. Sometimes you don't know if something is going to work until you try it, but it is best not to shoot in the dark. You are much better off if you use some tried and true stratgies for making your advertising more effective.
The most used line in dialogue between advertisers and the advertising salespeople who meet with them is, “If it works, I will keep buying and become a huge customer.” This statement should certainly elicit the advertising salesperson to say, “Thank you, Captain Obvious.” Since the salesperson’s goal is to get the sale, however, he or she typically agrees and continues on with the sales process.
What the salesperson should be saying is that there are three elements that must be properly planned and executed in order to make the advertising campaign as effective as possible:
1st – TARGETING THE CORRECT AUDIENCE
- You, as the business decision maker, probably already know information about your target audience including age, geography, income, and the other psychographics that play a role in the purchasing of your product or service.
- The onus should be on the advertising vendor to show you how their audience matches up with your desired target customer and how many people in that target your advertising will reach.
- Then, based on your typical customer acquisition costs, you can determine how much of your budget should be allocated to this asset. (Hopefully you know how much a lead is worth to you. If not, check back for an upcoming article on this topic.)
2nd – PROVIDING A COMPELLING AND APPEALING MESSAGE THAT ENTICES ACTION
- Now that you know where you are going to advertise, it is time to focus on your message. If you truly want to track results and develop a return on investment equation for your business, the message is key. I work with a window replacement company that is excellent at this. They test a variety of different offers/positioning and track responses to each.
- Offer A: “Buy 4 windows and get the 5th free.” Offer B: “20% off on the purchase of 5 windows.” The same offer, right? You may be surprised to know that the two offers deliver different results.
- The offer MUST be compelling and actionable or you will not be able to realistically track the value that you are receiving from your investment.
3rd – MAKE SURE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE SEES/HEAR YOUR MESSAGE ENOUGH TIMES TO REMEMBER ITBy far, this is the toughest element to perfect, and there is no clear answer to how much exposure is enough. If I were to put a very small ad in a local newspaper stating that the first 100 people to meet me at City Hall get a free gold brick, then “enough” could easily be defined as just one time. Since no one reading this would ever make an offer like that, “enough” is going to be relative to the size of your target audience and the size of the advertising medium.
There are a variety of strategies to narrow this down in your favor:
- Choosing a specific day of the week, coordinating radio, TV, newspaper and direct mail to all hit on that same day. For example, run ads only on Thursdays for a furniture store that wants weekend traffic.
- Choosing a specific time of day. Maybe a pizza chain would run internet, radio, and digital bus shelter ads simultaneously from 4pm to 6pm to drive dinner business.
- Choosing a specific medium and dominating it. For example, you could run multiple ads in the same magazine or take over the home page of a particular website that reaches your target audience.
The key is coming up with a way to make your company and message stand out. You want the audience to become aware of you and your message without being obnoxious. There certainly are infinite ways that this can be done, the point to remember is that buying the advertising is not enough, you must strategize one how to use the valuable assets that you have purchased from a media company in order to get those assets to deliver results to you.
For more help on creating advertising that generates results, download our free eBook, The Marketing Strategy Model. It is a step by step outline to an effective marketing strategy. You will receive help with your target audience and your message. This guide is effective for businesses of all sizes.