Published April 2001
How To Make Your Advertising Really Work
Advertising is one of the key marketing communication strategies that can significantly reduce your overall marketing costs and increase sales -- if it's developed, placed, and scheduled properly.What does it take to make your advertising successful? Ask yourself these questions: What is it that stops me long enough to read an ad? What TV commercials do I watch and why? What direct mail do I open? And what are the common elements that they all possess?
If you can't define those elements, start paying closer attention. They'll probably incorporate these 6 main elements:
|Make Advertising Pay|
The six main elements to effective advertising.
1. A headline is the most essential element of an ad.
2. Headlines and body copy should appeal to the reader's self interest.
3. Use subheads.
4. Urge action.
5. Use visuals that have a high degree of stopping power.
6. Use images that help tell your story.
But there are other factors as well that will determine whether your advertising is effective.
Identify your target market. Before you decide where to run your advertising, you must understand your target market. Do you know the demographics and psychographics of your target market? Those are the age, education, income, sex, and lifestyle characteristics of your customers or clients. Without a precise picture of who your target market is, you'll waste valuable time and advertising dollars.
Knowing your target arms you to make good media selections based on how well that media delivers a qualified audience. And, you'll be able to evaluate that media's ability to get you in touch with your market at a competitive cost per contact.
Develop Communications Strategies to help you combine and incorporate the best media mix, frequency and message necessary to influence more prospects to purchase from you. Frequency is one of the key ingredients to the success of your communications program.
Studies point to the necessity of creating an exposure frequency of at least 9 impressions in order to influence your prospects to action. These "impressions" can be a combination of advertising and public relations activity, and willeffect sales more quickly if they are highly targeted. You should note, however, that only every third media mention or ad is usually seen by your prospects. Thus a schedule of 27 exposures or more will bring optimum results.
Observe other advertising if you really want to get good at the development and placement of your own. Watch TV commercials. Can you identify the demographics and psychographics of the audience they're trying to reach? Look atprint advertisements in newspapers and other publications. Use your six point check list above to evaluate the copy.
Was it an effective ad? Read all of your direct mail. Note which pieces you would normally open and which you're only opening because you read this article. What was it that made you want to open the package?
If you become an educated observer, you'll find that the most effective advertising always shares the key elements mentioned on the right side of this page.
Jody Hornor has 30 years experience in marketing and consults and speaks on the topic all over North America. Author of several marketing books and tapes, Jody's philosophy is to use strategies that produce quantifiable results in every area of sales and marketing, helping organizations constantly improve their marketing performance.