Advertising is the act of creating marketplace recognition for goods and services. The process prior to the action involves many and diverse disciplines including target market psychology, which will be the subject of future articles. Message dissemination utilizes various venues to include, paid announcements in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, billboards; and, the more budget friendly Internet progeny. All of which shall be discussed elsewhere.
The proper function of Advertising is to establish a direct line of communication with your target audience, whether they be prospective or existing customers. The advertising techniques employed for engaging prospective vs. existing customers will be different; however, the following objectives should be the focus of your advertising communications:
- Make customers aware that you, your product or service exists.
- Create a desire for your product or service.
- Convince customers that your company’s product or service is right for their needs.
- Enhance the image of your company.
- Announce new products or services.
- Assuming you employ good salespersons, reinforce their messages.
- Motivate customers to act whether to request information, a sample, or place an order.
The point to keep in mind is your advertising efforts should involve a process, rather than a random act of torture inflicted on an unsuspecting, unwilling audience. Which is pretty much how we view most TV advertising. All the above goals won’t be emphasised equally in each and every advertizing instance, but you should try to interject their essense whenever possible. Your ultimate advertising goals should be established in your business plan describing your goods and services offered to meet a demand. If you can’t demonstrate on paper a demand for your goods or services, you won’t be able to advertise them effectively, which dictates a business plan revision. Establish a certain percentage of sales growth in your business plan and demonstrate how you intend to achieve that goal. Your business plan should describe how you intend to generate leades, turn those leades into customers and build in-store traffic. Depending on the level of competion in your industry, the desired result may be achieved by simply be increasing name recognition or modifying the image you are projecting.
All products and businesses go through three stages, with different advertising goals for each one.
- The start-up business. You’re new in the market and need to establish your identity. Your company needs high levels of promotion and publicity to grab consumers’ attention.
- The growing business. Once your identity is established, you need to differentiate yourself from your competition and convince buyers that yours is the service or product to try.
- The established business. The purpose at this point is to remind consumers why they should continue buying from you.
Regardless of the Growth Stage, advertising typically follows four steps: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. To elaborate:
- Make prospective customers aware that your product or service exists.
- Grow their interest in the benefits your product or service can deliver.
- Make them want to try your product or service
- Induce an action, through coupons, specials, or various other deals, such as packaging or bundling.
When developing an advertising campaign, complete the following four-step procedure:
- Define or determine your target market. Plenty of resources available on the Web will be revealed to you by a Google, Bing or Yahoo search for demographics or more specifically, American demographics.
- Establish your budget. Know what you can afford to spend to reach your target audience. An established business should spend approximately 10% of their revenue on advertising. Those that don’t, at some point find themselves loosing business simply because their customers aren’t engaged any longer.
- Plan which media you’ll use. Figure out what are the best ways to reach your prospective customers with your message.
- Create an advertising strategy. Choose the most effective content and graphics for your advertising campaign.
Money and Advertising make the World go ’round. Use them wisely.