What Makes Advertising Effective?

March 9, 2012 at 8:31 am Leave a comment

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Advertising and marketing are so subjective that it can be hard to know what effective advertising or marketing looks like. Yet it’s results can be measured. Effective advertising can raise a company to huge success. Conversely bad advertising can destroy a company or put it in the national spotlight just because it’s bad. It’s a very fickle industry largely based on opinion, conjecture, and out and out guessing to say the least. So how can a small businessperson get his message out effectively when it seems that this nothing but a big crap shoot? After all, the small businessperson may not have the access to the resources needed to test and focus group his advertising campaign.

The first step is to partner with a marketing professional. That doesn’t mean an expensive advertising firm with a big conference room and fancy leather chairs. It means a person with a proven track record. Someone who understands basic marketing and knows how it works. Such a person can be very reasonable cost wise on a freelance basis but invaluable in the results he/she gets if they understand the following principles.

Advertising does have some rules that can be followed and when followed will help tip the odds in favor of a successful campaign. Each and every effort at advertising should contain the following in one form or another. These principles have worked for decades and have successfully made many products and services national brands.

Your advertising should educate
Maybe you have the best widget in the land. It out performs every other widget out there. You developed it and manufacture it in your basement. Even your brother-in-law loves it. Yet you don’t have any sales. Why? You need to educate your potential customer. Tell your audience what it is, how to use it, and how well it’s made. Give them details, the more informed they are about your wonderful product or service the more excited they will be about using it.

Your advertising should show them how to use it
Showing your potential customer how the product works is a fundamental step. By showing how easy your product is to use, you are giving your customer a reason to buy. By demonstrating the product you involve the customer and help he/she to visualize themselves using the product successfully. By comparing it to the competition you give your customer the information they need to choose your product over others.

Your advertising should show the benefits of owning

If your potential customer cannot see the benefit of ownership they will not buy. That’s the facts. By pointing out the ROI (return on investment) such as more leisure time, cost savings, or other benefits you give you customer a reason to buy rather than walk away. Does your product benefit your customer? How? Define it and make the sale.

Your advertising should always have a call to action

If you are not including a call to action in every piece of advertising you produce you are missing a big opportunity for increased sales. So many seasoned marketing professionals leave out this very important principle. People in general like to do things for others. By asking them to purchase your product after you have given them reasons to buy, you are tapping into the generosity of your audience. If they are properly educated, shown how to use it, and the benefits of ownership they will gladly say, “yes” when asked to buy. You just have to ask.

Advertising and marketing are more of an art form than science. Though results can be measured what influences or sparks one to buy can still be a mystery. I would like to help you become an artist. Let’s partner and create something beautiful.

Michael Irvin
Creative Project Manager
913.677.7060 cell: 913.530.7030

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