Last month I discussed the reasons for advertising in my blog entitled “I Don’t Need to Advertise…or Do I?” (Go to our blog at www.advertising-works.com)
This month I’d like to help you take the next step in a discussion about “Getting Ready to Advertise,” which will discuss strategy, action plan, planning an advertising budget, and types of advertising media.
First off, I’d like to share a simple Advertising Strategy Worksheet with you, which is a good start for anyone considering an advertising campaign. All advertising professionals use this strategy in one form or another.
1) What is your product or service? (List primary and secondary products and services.)
2) What are your primary selling points, e.g., only one of its kind, easiest to use, etc.?
3) What are the primary benefits to your clients, e.g., saves money, saves time, increases efficiency, etc.?
4) What is the profile of your target prospect, e.g., age, gender, income, education, geographic location, and other demographics?
5) What is the belief that you want your advertising to establish, e.g., that your product/service is the best choice they can make, that it far surpasses any other, that it will make their life easier, etc.?
6) What are the reasons why your prospect should believe your advertising, e.g., credibility, capabilities, experience, education, other reasons?
These six considerations will help your creative team come up with “The Big Picture” or creative approach (copy and design) for your advertising.
What is Your Purpose?
Next, you must decide the purpose of your advertising by defining its goals. You must set measurable goals so as to evaluate the success of your advertising campaign. Do you wish to increase sales by 25 percent this year? Do you want to target younger or older buyers? Or any number of goals.
How Much To Spend
Importantly, you must decide how much you can afford to invest. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising if you’re doing less than $5 million a year in sales and your net profit margin — after all expenses — is in the 10 percent to 12 percent range.
In 2010 the Chief Marketing Officers, or CMO, Council conducted a survey of its 6,000 chief marketing officer members to assess marketing and advertising spending across a wide range of industries. The survey results revealed that 58 percent of chief marketing officers spent less than 4 percent of gross revenue on marketing, 16 percent spent between 5 and 6 percent, 23 percent spent more than 6 percent, while 2 percent spent more than 20 percent. This survey seems to suggest that if you set your spending level between 0 percent and 6 percent of gross revenue, you will be in good company that includes 74 percent of the CMO Council membership.
Know Your Competition
Know your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses in order to find out what they offer that you lack, or the other way around. This will help you to set apart your product/service so prospects will want to do business with you.
Know Your Industry
You should know the ins and outs of your industry, keep up with industry and market trends, and stay on top of constantly changing technology. Read trade publications and join professional organizations.
Develop Your Action Plan, Select Your Media, and Set Your Advertising Schedule
There are many types of media from which to choose: print (newspapers and magazines), direct mail, outdoor advertising, Web advertising, social media, blogs, email blasts, and press releases. It’s best to have an advertising professional work with you on the type of “marketing mix” that would be most appropriate for your specific goals, keeping in mind, of course, your advertising budget. A professional can also help you set your advertising schedule. An ongoing campaign that serves to reinforce your brand is always best, with a consistent image and message across all media.
Welcome to the World of Advertising! It’s Guaranteed to Help Grow Your Business.
I hope you’ve found this blog helpful in starting your advertising efforts. Keep an eye out for our next blog that will discuss conversion of leads and measuring the success of your advertising campaign.
Founded in 1992, Advertising That Works is a full-service advertising agency offering print advertising, direct mail, web content/design, search engine optimization (SEO), blogs, email marketing, social media, public relations, strategic planning, media research, budget planning, and media buying.
We get results for our clients because of our extensive research of the client company and research of their target audience, an advertising strategy based on this research, and killer creative that speaks to prospects in a language they understand and that delivers a consistent message and call to action.
Advertising That Works would like to help you grow your business. Contact us for a FREE consultation.