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Advertising in a nutshell

By Chris Haycock | 17 June 2021

Despite the internet making it dead easy to jump into advertising, there's some specific objectives that you really don't want to miss before diving in.

The bottom line of all advertising efforts is an obvious one: to attract customers and increase sales. That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Hopefully, this doesn’t need explaining further.

But often, small business advertising is wasted on a shotgun approach that doesn't focus on the company's best prospects: i.e., those who are ready, willing and able to purchase the product or service.

In an attempt to reach "everybody", these advertisers either miss their true market, or spend far more than necessary to reach it.

Once you've targeted your market and know exactly who and where your prospects are, it's important to clearly identify what you want your advertising to accomplish.

So, for ANY type of advertising that you set out to do, there should be some specific objectives that you want to achieve for the campaign.

These can include:

  • Creating new customers
  • Increasing usage
  • Increasing order size
  • Promoting replacement of functional but outdated products with technologically superior ones
  • Improving brand name recognition
  • Generating customer inquiries
  • Creating sales leads through the use of response ads, coupons or toll free "0800" numbers
  • Promoting special events such as sales, business openings or the introduction of new products or services
  • Enhancing the overall image of the business

Generally, the most effective ads tend to focus on customer needs or wants and emphasize the most desirable benefits of the product or service, such as convenience, style or durability.

Other tactics include comparisons with competitive products, two for one sales, special one day discounts and offers of free information.

The techniques and objectives you choose in your advertising will help determine the media you select, and the exact message you want to communicate with your ad.

One of the best ways to become familiar with the tactics in your field is to collect your competitors' advertising materials and use them to stimulate your thinking.

The most important things to take into consideration in any ad are the audience and the offer.

Who is the ad trying to reach? If the ad isn't presented to the right audience and addressed to them in their own language, then it isn't going to get noticed.

And if the offer isn't something that interests them and gets them excited, they're not going to take any action - even if you’re lucky enough that your audience notices the advert.

Make it easy to respond

Finally, make it easy for customers to respond to your ad. Tell them what action to take and include (depending on the advertising medium) coupons, a Freephone "0800" number or business reply envelopes. And be sure to stand behind what you sell.

Believing in your ad

Inject that belief into your message, and back it up with emotion, statistics, facts, and a little bit of your brand personality.


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