How to Advertise Your Business the Right Way.
When I’m coaching my small business clients and they tell me they want to advertise, the first question I ask them is “Why?”
They need to get their company name out to their target audience and they’re at the point where they know they have to pay to reach their target segments through business advertising after pursuing other FREE marketing vehicles such: as PR, social media, public speaking venues, blogs, email, etc.
Since that makes sense to me, the next few questions I ask them are: where do they plan on advertising, when are they going to advertise, and how much are they willing to spend. That’s typically the point where they tell me: “That’s why we hired you.”
So, the first key to understanding what advertising is and isn’t we need a working definition. Advertising is the collective set of all your structured and composed NON-PERSONAL communications of information, almost ALWAYS paid for and usually persuasive in nature, about products (goods, services, and ideas) by identified sponsors through various media. This means you are paying to influence your existing customers and mostly highly qualified prospects using multiple media (print, broadcast, outdoor, online.)
Next, it helps to understand exactly what advertising can and CAN’T help you to achieve. Advertising is used to help your business:
* Identify products and differentiate from competitors.
* Communicate info about the product.
* To induce consumers to try your stuff.
* To stimulate the distribution of a product
* Increase product use.
* Build value, brand preference & loyalty.
* Lower overall cost of sales.
start by building an ad campaign. The 3 main areas of an advertising plan:
1) What do we want to accomplish? Our objectives or goals.
2) How will we reach those goals? What will we do, and what will it cost, to achieve our objectives.
3) How do we measure results? How do we determine whether we have accomplished our objectives?
Beyond the big three categories common to most advertising plans, the exact nature and details can very significantly depending on the purpose of the plan.
For a comprehensive explanation for how to develop an AD CAMPAIGN, click here.
The key to developing a powerful ad campaign is to define your goals, which are tied directly to your business objectives. Also it helps immensely that you first develop a comprehensive ideal customer profile of your ideal customer, including which media they use, when they engage that media. The goal is to be as efficient as possible in placing your messaging where your ideal customers are when they are most receptive to receiving and considering your messages. If your target are professionals ages 25-34 living in major Metropolitan areas with disposable income who enjoy participating in recreational sports, socializing in bars who are college educated…then you would partner with Zogg Sports. If you need to reach small business owners that run their business in a local community, you would pursue Minor League baseball advertising.
You use advertising to promote all of the following:
* Public Service Announcements: Ad serving public interest
* Goods: Tangible stuff
* Services: A bundle of benefits
* Ideas: Economic, political, religious, etc.
* Products: the particular good or service a company sells
Your advertising plan falls squarely within your marketing plan. Following is a template guideline for a fictitious marketing plan to show you how you would lay your plan out.
Target Market: Upscale households with incomes between $65,000 and $500,000 with an emphasis on female decision makers between the ages of 30 and 55
Positioning Statement: The best looking and sounding modular stereo system
Offering to customers: Add one lower-priced model and two higher priced models
Pricing Strategy: Price 10% above our closest competitor (be specific here)
Distribution: Internet gift stores i.e. red envelope, Brookstone, high end catalogs i.e. Sharper Image
Sales Strategy: Expand by 10% for this product line, hire a national account manager
Service Strategy: Available through all major box chains
Promotional Strategy: Develop a new campaign that focuses on the positioning, emphasize higher price and designer look
Marketing Research: Conduct customer audit and identify new market opportunities
Any other component of your marketing plan: Anything else not covered in a prior section of your marketing plan.
Ethan Chazin, The Compassionate Coach