How to have an Effective Advertising


By

Dr. Sarveshwar Pande
Asst. Professor
SITM
Lucknow
 


If you want your advertising to resonate with prospective customers, it's essential that you appeal to their emotions in some way. Fail to do this and you might as well be throwing money out the window. Effective ads sell your message, company, or product. They may or may not be creative, but if you can package some good creative in with a message that appeals to a strong need or want within your target audience, it will certainly help.

Effective ads are convincing. They engage prospects as if you were speaking directly to them, and when you succeed in making this connection your prospective customer's thoughts will become your brand itself. Be sure to check out Advertising Basics for Small Businesses in my next article releasing soon on this website. Even if you achieve the enviable position of having a provocative ad execution with an effective message, your work is far from over. In fact, in the world of advertising, your work is never over. Continually exposing your customers, prospective customers, and suspects (those who aren't currently interested in your company or product, but who might be shortly) to the same messaging over a prolonged period of time will lead to stagnation. Eventually, you'll fail not only to inspire brand loyalty, but also to retain it. Even Coke, one of the world's most valuable brands, reinvents its messaging and image when it decides they have begun to lose effectiveness.

Creating an Effective Ad Campaign

So how do you create an effective ad campaign? One way is to go with the single benefit methodology, which directly links your brand to a single benefit. If your deodorant lasts longer, tell the world about it. The characterization or personification angle involves creating a character that expresses the product's benefits or personality. The narrative methodology involves developing a narrative story with episodes describing a problem and its outcome.

Again, aim to produce advertising that states not only a product's facts, but that also appeals to emotions. Using the deodorant example, you might accomplish this by playing off your customers' fears of having body odor at an inopportune time.

Although a calculated and well thought out advertising campaign may do a good job of creating brand awareness, it may fall short of inducing product preference or, the end goal, purchase. For this reason, don't rely on advertising as a complete solution. Instead, support it with marketing and sales promotion to help trigger a purchase. Apply the following criteria to test the effectiveness of your advertising message:

1. The ad intelligibly and simply states a single message.

2. The ad evokes a specific, acute emotion.

3. The ad is being presented in a space where it will likely be noticed.

4. The overriding message is clearly evident.

Top 10 Tips for an Effective Advertising Campaign

The goal of advertising is to cost-effectively reach a large audience and attract customers. If done correctly, advertising can enhance the success of your business. Here are 10 advertising tips to pay attention to:

1. Go after your target audience. An advertising campaign should be geared to your niche market. It is a common mistake to create generic ads that do not speak the language or grab the attention of your potential customers

2. Highlight your competitive advantage. One of the keys to all advertising is to accentuate the pros of your company, those factors that give you your competitive edge. Too many ads are clever but fail to sell the benefits of the product or service.

3. Establish an image. You can recognize the McDonald's arches while whizzing by on the highway. Likewise, there are plenty of products that you recognize by their packaging or logo. Image counts when it comes to advertising and promoting your business. Too many advertisers do not work to build a consistent image. Check out Three Brand Identity Myths That Will Bring Your Business Down for additional issues to avoid.

4. You have to spend money to make money. There are ways to save money, but typically advertising is not the place to cut corners. It will affect sales, and that affects the bottom line. Successful advertising may cost some money, but that is because it works. Check out More Bang for Your Advertising Buck for cost-cutting tips that won't cut your goals.

5. Advertise in the right places. Your favorite magazine, radio station, or even television program might not be a favorite of your audience. Know what they read, watch, and listen to, and advertise in media that reaches your target market.

6. Don't allow your budget to run your advertising campaign. If you budget Rs.150,000 per month for advertising, you've made it very easy from a bookkeeping perspective. However, if like most businesses you have seasonal highs and lows, you are spending too much money advertising during down times and not enough when you want to attract customers. Too many entrepreneurs do not budget according to their seasonal advertising needs.

7. Diversify. It is all too common for business owners to choose the best place to advertise based on price and potential rate of returns and then stop. As is the case with investing, you do not want to put all of your eggs in one basket. Spread your advertising dollars around.

8. Don't try to be everything to everyone. No product or service will appeal to everyone. Many business owners, including corporate executives, try to come up with ways to reach every market. Typically, this does not work. It can spell disaster for small businesses, who cannot afford to spread themselves too thin. Therefore, find your market and be everything you can be to that audience.

9. Test your ads in advance. If you have the time or money to invest in focus groups, you should test your ads on other people. Do they understand and accept the message that you are trying to convey?. There are other less-expensive ways to test your ads as well: questionnaires, for example.

10. Monitor your ads. It is very easy to ask new customers or clients where they heard about you. As simple as this is, many entrepreneurs do not bother to do so. It is advantageous to know which ads generate business.

Find an Ad Agency That Gets Results

Many small businesses lack the expertise, time, and resources to create an effective professional ad campaign. Rather than randomly or blindly selecting an ad agency, choose an agency that can provide your business with a strong advertising strategy, an evolving creative development, and a fitting media selection. Your search strategy should include research, an evaluation of qualifications, and interview components.

Compile a short list of agencies that might be right for you.

1. Consult a directory to find information on advertising agencies, public-relations firms, media-buying services, and specialty ad shops. Request referrals from colleagues in business organizations, industry associations, and professional groups.

2. Screen effective advertising by your competitors and other similar-sized businesses. If you see something you like, call the company to inquire which agency produced the work.

Review. Evaluate the qualifications of each prospective agency.

1. Review a portfolio of recent work, with particular consideration given to those samples created for clients with budgets similar to yours.

2. Meet with agency staff, including the people who might be working on your account, in order to identify chemistry or a lack thereof. Get an idea of what each agency recommends for your ad campaign.

3. Check references. Ask each agency for a list of companies with whom they have worked, and contact each one

Find an Ad Agency That Gets Results

Make an assessment. Before you make a final decision, ask yourself these questions to determine if a particular agency will be a good fit for your business:

1. What is the extent of the agency's experience with clients industry or business sector? Do they specialize in retail advertising or business-to-business advertising?

2. Is the agency large enough to handle your business but small enough that you won't get lost? A one- or two-person shop might not have the resources to respond quickly and effectively to your needs. On the other hand, a big agency may have impressive credentials, but you could end up playing second fiddle to larger accounts.

3. Will you get attention from partners or top-level staff? Who will handle your account on a day-to-day basis?

4. Does the agency have expertise in the medium that interests you, be it television, radio, print, or the Internet? Is the agency knowledgeable about your business? Does it understand your competitive positioning? Does it present creative solutions for your advertising needs?

5. What is the caliber of the agency's media department? If the agency does not have a media department, then you will be responsible for placing ads.

6. Will you be charged on a project basis or fee-for-service basis? What are the hourly rates? What's the estimated cost for any outsourced work?

7. Does the agency seem flexible, open, and committed to your business goals?

Keep in mind that ad agencies vary in several ways, including size, minimum budget, and business and industry sectors served.

Does the agency's style and corporate culture match yours? Are you on the same wavelength? Putting together an ad campaign is a creative, collaborative endeavor, and you should feel completely comfortable with the agency and its staff.

Finally, understand that even a carefully thought out, highly creative campaign with a strong, concise message will fall flat if the product you're advertising just isn't any good. Be honest with yourself on this one. Solicit existing customer feedback. Then decide whether or not it would be a wiser investment if you were to spend the money and time on first improving your product. The better your product is, the less time and money you'll need to spend on traditional advertising. After all, word of mouth advertising is free, and it's often what ultimately makes or breaks a product, brand, or company.

References

Alison,M, "Advertising made easy", Journal of Marketing, Harvey Norman Publications, Sydney, 2007, Vol.25, pp25-28.

Brewster, G.K & Tucker, J.O, "Ad Campaigns & Budgetry Implications"Collins Publishing, Hong Kong, 2007, pp35-47.

Quebec, J. P. "Tricks in Advertising-getting your Customers the first Time", New York Times, 2007, pp45-55

Simpson, F. W. "Principles of Dynamic Advertising", New York Times, 2006, pp12-17. 
 


Dr. Sarveshwar Pande
Asst. Professor
SITM
Lucknow
 

Source: E-mail March 19, 2008

          

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