One of the phrases I have heard from my customers about ads they have run in the past is "they never worked" or "people didn't seem to respond like I thought they would'. In my world an ad is supposed to "punch you in the forehead" in other words catch your attention right then and make you act or when you see it think oh yea, next time I am near them I need to stop as they have the best - price/service/value/selection - you fill in the blank. So I always asked for a copy and in most cases could see why right off the bat.
1) The offer in the ad was so small that unless you needed it right then there was no incentive to run to the establishment immediately. By that I mean $3.00 off a $30.00 purchase or 10% off any purchase off $100 or more. While a food restaurant may get away with the first offer since the consumer was probably going to eat there anyway a store that is 10 miles away is a different story. As people become smarter consumers and prices keep rising that $3.00 may not be worth the price of gas. As an example I shop my local groceryette if I need 3 or less items. Price there are $1 to $3 more than the grocery store 8 miles from my home. The savings in gas is worth it if I need more than 3 items. Grocery stores have what they call Leader Items - products they are selling at a great price to entice you in and while you are there they are hoping you but the rest of your groceries there too. If you can have a great Leader Item when the customer comes in you have the opportunity to sell them on additional items.
2) They had so much print or information in the ad that no one would read or listen to it. White space is essential - the simpler the ad the more effective. If you are a full service furniture store do you really have to say you have beds, dining rooms or easy chairs/sofa sets. NO! People expect that, I mean you are a furniture store. What makes your brands better. Are they solid wood? Do the have a lifetime warranty? What sets your store apart is what I am driving at here and that is what your ad needs to reflect. Having lots of information in a small ad may put older consumers off (and remember we are an aging population) as the font must be smaller to fit it all in or the offer is hidden in a myrid of superfluous wording.
3) Have a slogan or jingle that people can't forget. Two all beef patties, special sauce, ..............How many of you finished that without really thinking about it? The first run of commercials ran only a year and a half, going off the air in 1976. It was brought back for a short run in 2003 in a rapped version as background for their commercial. That is staying power and that is a catchy slogan/jingle. Again repetition is key...if your business puts the same message in marketing piece/ad people will soon tie the two together.
Next - Part two of effective ads
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Some people would say "any ad that gets your name out there" and while that is somewhat true you need to examine what you are actually wanting to accomplish with your ad. Are you having a sale or do you want Your Name to be "The One" that people think of when looking for your business? Now you need to set a budget. A one day sale ad run one time can cost as much as a series of ads depending on size,length or addition of color. Talking to a marketing consultant can give you insight as to what you will expect to spend.
Advertisements fall into three catagories:
1) Call to Action: This ad is for sales or special events. You want the customer to do something NOW. To get the customer's imediate action give them a reason to do so. Offering something Free is the best - even if it something small people love free. A great example of this is Sam's/Costco etc. If you have ever visited on a weekend you have seen the lines waiting for those free samples. Ten people qued up for a three cent sample BUT hey it's free; Next would be dollars off followed by a percentage. I say dollars of because lots of people relate to $25 is a half tank of gas or my morning coffee for a week vs. 25% off $100 being the same thing.
2) Advetorial: This is where you write a column on different aspects of your business. For instance a mechanic could pen a column on why it is important to keep your tires properly inflated or your car well tuned. A doctor could do an "Ask The Doctor" question and answer column,q anything to make you the expert in your field.
3) TOMA - Top Of Mind Awareness: Repetition of ads. Ads with the same look, sound or message. Keep your name out there so people automatically think of you when they need your product.
So now you know your demographics, have set a budget along with knowing what kind of ad you need.
Next time we will cover effective ads and customer needs.
For a free consultation call 603.568.0426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the 35 years or so I have been in sales, be it my magazine or paper or selling for the large dailies or small weeklies I have learned that most small business owners do not really understand how to market themselves. They know and understand their product or service and most work long hours trying to keep the business running. Marketing is something they know they need but is secondary to making sure the customer is satisfied. In the next few posts I am going to try to help the business owner understand how marketing works and what I know works.
First off what you need to do is figure out what kind of advertiser you are. There are 2 types of advertisers: Shotgun and Targeted. Shotgun advertisers have somewhat of a plan but do not really believe that advertising works. They spray one ad here and another there. Like a shotgun their ads have reach and do the job but have a short reach and dilute quickly. A Targeted advertiser researches their demographics, knows where their customers come from, knows their needs and sends a direct message to them. A shotgun advertiser usually does not have a set budget and more than likely does not track their results. The targeted advertiser sets aside a set amount of dollars and knows where he is going to spend it. Along with that they know they need a method of tracking it be it a coupon, an offer that is only in one place or they continously ask "how did you hear about us". Taking some time to figure out what kind of advertiser you are can help your bottom line.
Next: What kind of ad is right for you.
For a free marketing consultation please call me at 603.568.0428 or email email@example.com to set an appointment.