Some of my coaching clients have asked about suggestions for improving the results of their advertising, so I decided to share SEVEN Key Points for Successful Advertising.
As I read recently, “any idiot can say ‘yes’ to the ad salesman and stick an ad some place, and often every idiot does.” But if you stop wasting advertising dollars on advertising that doesn’t work, you’ll very quickly build market share and sales volume simply because you’re getting the right message to the right people who can – and will – buy from you.
Every business needs to do some kind of advertising. The Canadian businessman Murray Koffler said: “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark – you know what you’re doing, but nobody else does.”
But nowhere does it say you have to gamble with your advertising budget. Follow these key points to rapidly increase results in your business:
1) Expect your ad to make you money.
It doesn’t matter where you run it, when placing an ad, your goal should be to make money from it. Don’t be persuaded you need to buy recognition, awareness or familiarity.
If you know that for a $1,000 investment in advertising you can make $5,000 in sales, then you can afford to scale up your investment and advertise continually.
2) Correctly identify your audience.
The RIGHT audience is vitally important. Remember this: a focused target audience matters more than the size of the audience. You don’t need millions of prospects to visit your business, or respond to your advertising. You couldn’t fit them through the door!
To grow your business; you just need enough of the right prospects. (See the previous article about ‘Big Fish in Small Ponds.’)
3) Match the offer to the audience.
This is so fundamental I’m almost embarrassed to mention it, but business owners still make this mistake! Advertise a product or service that is exactly tailored to your specific target audience, or else you’re wasting money by offering them something they don’t want or need.
As online marketer James Wedmore says, a successful business is one that solves a specific problem for a specific audience. So be clear on what problem you’re solving and who you’re solving it for.
4) Correctly identify the right media.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to waste your advertising budget on people who aren’t interested in your product or service or who can’t afford to buy from you, anyway. Surely it’s better to put your message in front of people who are more likely to buy from you?
So if you’ve identified your audience and you have an offer to match, then now you need to “fish where the fish are!” Advertise where your target audience will be.
For example, if you sell tires, you only want to reach car owners with your message, because someone without a car isn’t in your target audience.
You want to match the right media to the right market and the right message.
So, for your tire store, you might advertise by sending a direct mail postcard to a rented database list of people who have car insurance, on two to five year old automobiles, who live within five miles of your tire store.
You can see how this would greatly improve the results for your advertising investment.
5) Make sure the ROI is measurable.
Be sure the offer you’re promoting is measurable, so you can judge the return on your advertising investment.
As marketing expert Dan Kennedy says, “There’s nothing more frustrating for a business owner than writing a cheque to their media sales rep and wondering what result that expenditure produced for the business.”
Does that hurt, or what?!
Your competitors know how to buy advertising in the same places you do, but chances are good they don’t know how to use direct-response advertising or direct marketing. They’ll be running ‘awareness’ or ‘brand-building’ ads that give them a nice warm feeling but make it impossible to measure the results.
But when you can measure your response rate, your opt-ins, and your sales, you can TEST different offers, price points, headlines, and messages to steadily improve the result you get for your investment in advertising.
6) Make your message memorable.
Research shows that people are exposed to tens of thousands of advertising messages everyday – from banner ads online, to Radio and TV, print media, billboards, etc. What this means is that people “tune out” unimportant information.
In fact, it’s well documented that we can let through the information we need and block information that is unnecessary, thanks to the Reticular Activating Device. It’s a part of the brain’s central cortex and acts as a filter for unimportant information.
We shut information out unless it’s of value, or is needed immediately, so your advertising message must cut through the Reticular Activating Device and “call out” your potential customers.
For example, our tire shop ad might say: “Drivers! Are you worried that you’re driving on less than a hand-width of rubber?”
DON’T try to make your ad memorable by being funny. They remember the gag, but not the message.
7) Make it easy to respond.
When just the right person for your product, service or proposition perks up, pays attention and thinks, “Hey that’s for ME” then you want to make it EASY for them to take action!
Offer a free report on your website, a recorded message on an 800 number, or a bonus for coming into your store. With something like my Lead Sensation you can capture the lead and work to build a relationship, if you don’t get the immediate sale.
Of course, advertising is only a part of marketing a successful business. Yet it’s an important part and can make a huge difference to your sales volume, if done properly.
Follow these Seven Key Points and you’ll no doubt see a rapid improvement in sales.