Advertising| direct response advertising| internet advertising| corporate advertising| classified advertising

by Bency Jones
Advertising for Success

The vast majority of advertising that small and medium sized businesses do, does not work. There are a whole host of reasons for this. This special report will outline some of the mistakes to look out for and will give you advice about how to make sure that your advertising gives you the results you're looking for.

If your Advertising isn't working - STOP IT!

Let's start with the simple stuff. If you are running advertising that is not working, please stop it!

This applies to you whether you're running ads in newspapers, magazines, or on radio, television, billboards, posters, taxis or buses.

I know it sounds obvious but here's what often happens: People run advertising because they feel they ought to. They're not really sure if it's working but they are hesitant to stop it because it may be one of their main forms of marketing.

By the end of this report you will have enough information to ensure that you are never in that position again. You will either be running great ads that produce great results, or you will be spending your marketing money elsewhere.

Only use Direct Response Advertising
There are two types of advertising - direct response advertising and brand advertising.
Understanding the distinction between the two will immediately save you a fortune.

Brand advertising is used by large companies to build awareness of their brand. Unless you have huge amounts of money which you are happy to lose, you should avoid brand advertising at all costs. For a small business it is a complete waste of money.

The only type of advertising you ever want to consider is direct response advertising. The only purpose of direct response advertising is to produce a clear response.

The type of response may vary depending on the type of business you are in and your overall marketing strategy. You may want the response to be an immediate purchase. You may want the response to be for someone to contact you to ask for a brochure.

The great thing about direct response advertising is that you can instantly tell whether it is working (see the next point) It either produces a response or it doesn't. One of the reasons that most small business advertising does not work is that it's a combination of half hearted direct response and highly ineffective brand advertising. 

Fortunately, you now know the difference. In the land of the small or medium business, direct response is King!

Testing and Measuring
It is absolutely essential that you test and measure all of your advertising. 

If we are going to engage in direct response advertising we obviously need to be able to measure that response, otherwise we are not going to know if the ad is working.

At the very least we need to know how many people responded, how many of them were converted to a sale and what that is worth to you. Then you need to compare that figure to the cost of the ad and you can immediately work out how profitable the ad was, or whether you should stop running it.

So many businesses just allocate a certain mount of money to an advertising budget, spend the money every year.and they've only got a vague sense of whether the ads are working are not. This is crazy. If your ads are working, you want to roll them out on a larger scale. If they're not, STOP and use the money on one of the dozens of other marketing strategies that can bring you a much better return on your investments.

Your Headline is the most important part of your Ad
In the ad itself the most important element is the headline. The headline is either the heading that goes at the top of the ad or if there's no heading it's the first words of the ad. If you're on the radio it's the first thing people hear. If it's TV it's the first thing they see and hear. The headline needs to grab peoples' attention. One change in a headline can produce a 50-100% increase in response. 

One of the biggest challenge that any print advertiser faces is getting people to read their as - let alone for the ad to produce a result. So the main purpose of the headline is not to sell your product - it's just to get people to read your ad.

Be adventurous with your headlines. Test different versions to see what works best. There are no rules - except what works.

Remember AIDA
There's a classic formula used by advertisers and it's well worth remembering. The formula is AIDA. This stands for


If you follow this formula in every ad that you write or produce, you will greatly increase your chances of success.

Attention - the first thing your ad needs to do is grab the reader's attention. You achieve this with your headline.

Interest - once you've got their attention, you need to create an interest in your product or service. 

Desire - There is a big difference between being interested in a product or service and desiring it. You need to convert the reader's interest into a strong desire for what you are offering.

Action - Even if someone desires what you have, it is not enough until they take action. At the end of the ad you need a call to action. Tell people exactly what they need to do to follow through and make it easy for them to do so. Even if you have a good ad, you still need to tell people precisely what to do - how to take action.

Benefits, Benefits, Benefits
One of the principles that should drive all of your marketing is communicating the BENEFITS of your product or service.

Your ad needs to be a personal communication to the individual reading, hearing or seeing it. And it needs to be about them. It needs to address their needs, desires and fears and it needs to constantly communicate the benefits of what you are offering.

Nobody will buy anything from you until they have explicitly understood how they will benefit from what you have to offer. So here's a useful tip. When you've written your ad, imagine stepping into the shoes of your prospective customer. From this perspective does the add fully convey what those benefits are? If not go back and fine tune the ad until it feels right.

Don't Advertise on a Left Hand Page
If you're doing newspaper or magazine advertising, this one piece of knowledge can turn an unsuccessful ad campaign into a successful one. This has been tested again and again. When you read a publication, your eyes are drawn to the right hand page as you flick through, so statistically, more people will see your ad if it's on the right hand page.

When you book your ad space, tell them you want it on a right hand page. Very few people in your position ask for this, so the publication will normally oblige. If they tell you they can't guarantee it - tell them you'll advertise in a future edition when they can guarantee it. You'll soon discover how obliging they can be!

Never pay the full rate for advertising
The person selling you the advertising needs to know very early on that you have absolutely no intention of paying the full rate. 

You should always haggle and negotiate. The worst that can happen is that you don't get a deal. If you can pay 20 or 30% less for your ads it can turn an unprofitable ad into a successful one.

Another point to remember is that the closer to the deadline you can book your ad, the better chance you have of getting a deal. Sales teams work towards targets and as the deadline approaches they get more desperate to fill the ad space. They become far more open to negotiation.

9. Don't Follow the Competition
One of the biggest mistakes people make is advertising in publications or on various forms of media (taxis, billboards, buses etc) just because their competitors are doing so. Don't for a minute think that all your competitors are there because their ads are producing great results. They're more likely to be there because everyone else is and most of them won't have a clue whether their advertising is working.

10. Don't buy into the myth that Advertising is essential for your Business Success
Advertising is just one of many marketing options that you have. All businesses should utilise several marketing channels and advertising may be one of those channels. But the fact is that advertising is often an expensive option. Now as long as it is providing a rich stream of leads this may be fine but the key is how much is each lead costing? So start to think more creatively. Ideally, you should be using a combination of several other marketing strategies to grow you business. These include (but are not limited to).
  • Telephone Marketing
  • Direct Mail
  • Internet
  • Email marketing
  • Direct Sales
  • PR (Why spend money on advertising when PR gives you coverage for free)
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Referral marketing
  • Exhibitions
  • Networking

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About Bency Jones Freshman     

0 connections, 0 recommendations, 31 honor points.
Joined APSense since, June 3rd, 2009, From Surrey, United Kingdom.

Created on Dec 31st 1969 18:00. Viewed 0 times.


Rafal Mly Advanced   Internet marketer and blogger
That's very interesting blog, thanks for sharing the info.

Jun 25th 2009 02:25   
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