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Stop!! Here’s why you shouldn’t advertise

So you are probably thinking I am crazy for saying this, right? And why would I be trying to convince brands that they don’t need to spend any money on advertising, especially when advertising is key to promoting their products and services effectively?

Well, I think I need to explain myself a little better, before brands only read the opening statement, then leave in droves, looking to cut their advertising budgets in half.

I am not suggesting brands don’t need to advertise, quite the contrary. What I am wishing to highlight is that advertising will only promote results, should brands consider the following prior to spending a cent on advertising:

  1. Understand everything there is to know about your audience
  2. Ensure your website can support your advertising efforts
  3. Know that advertising is not the only thing brands need to invest in
  4. Implement systems to track, test and measure
  5. Creating a compelling offer
  6. Make sure your products/services are market ready
  7. Produce an advertising strategy

Understand everything there is to know about your audience

Blanket advertising for brands used to be the norm. Today this is not the case as advertisers now have sophisticated technologies available to them, which gives them insights into brands target markets. These insights include age, gender, customer geographical locations, shopping habits, likes/dislikes, device preference for how they view content and times of the day consumers search for products and services. Understanding ones audience enables brands to strategically define when and where they place their advertising budgets, and this is key to a successful advertising campaign.

Ensure your website can support your advertising efforts

Your website is usually the first place a consumer will look to learn more about a brands offering. This is where consumers will usually make up their minds in their first few clicks, on whether the brand is appealing enough for them to take the next step in the sales process. Consumers expect websites to be viewable on mobile devices as this is what more than 60% of consumers use to view content.

Ensure the content on your website reflects your advertising and is engaging enough for consumers to understand the key advantages of your brand. Consumers who react to advertisements are usually interested in learning more, and that is why content is key in the sales cycle.

Know that advertising is not the only thing brands need to invest in

Advertising can be quite expensive, and it is a big misconception that the big brands are frivolous with their advertising budgets because they have money to burn. Today, brands are so focused on achieving results, that every dollar needs to be justified. And successful brands also complement their advertising with many other marketing initiatives. They understand that they cannot expect consumers to purchase their products/services unless they have their trust first, and this is why brands explore numerous avenues to engage their audience with compelling content, to create a conversation with consumers. Social media marketing is key in creating a dialogue with consumers, and goes hand in hand with advertising to make it more viable.

Implement systems to track, test and measure

If you are wishing to advertise your brand online, then it is vital to invest in the back end of your brand. Having Google Analytics implemented into your website or online advertising campaign is absolutely essential and one of the most important aspects of tracking online advertising campaigns. This analytical data will not only tell a brand, which advertisements were clicked on, but it will also provide data on geographical locations of consumers, advertisements that achieved the highest clicks and much more.

This analytical data then has the ability for brands to refine their advertising budgets and messaging for future campaigns, and this is what delivers ongoing results and increases in sales opportunities.

Creating a compelling offer

There is no point advertising unless your offer is attractive to a consumer. Consumers are very savvy and they are able to investigate competing brands in minutes, and these days consumers are more likely to search for product reviews prior to purchasing anything.

Your offer must be compelling and leave consumers no reason but to choose you. And by this I don’t mean it must be focused purely on price, but it must demonstrate that your product will provide ongoing benefits to the consumer. By incorporating how a product/service will enhance the consumers lives into a headline or offering will take your advertising campaign to a whole new level, and will also encourage repeat business once your advertising campaign has finished.

Make sure your products/services are market ready

Raising awareness and promoting sales are the key objectives when wishing to advertise, so it is fair to assume that your products/services are the best they could possibly be prior to launching your advertising campaign. So how do you know when your products/services are ready to be promoted? Some things to consider might be:

  • Ensuring your pricing is competitive
  • Your products/services have been tested prior to being launched
  • Being sure your products/services will provide tremendous value to consumers
  • Knowing your brand can deliver on the products/service promises
  • Having case studies or rave reviews to justify your offering

Launching a new product or service to the market is an exciting time for brands, but it is staggering how many brands wish to launch prematurely prior to doing their due diligence. It is hard enough to make your products/services stand out from the crowd, and the brands that have done their homework will give their advertising every opportunity to succeed.

Produce an advertising strategy

Your advertising strategy will not only be your blue print for determining your expectations of the campaign, but it will also provide a road map for how the campaign will be delivered to the market.

Understanding budgets, goals and targets, deliveries, advertising channels, audience and timing, are the essentials for a successful advertising campaign. Your advertising strategy should also take into account results from previous campaigns to ensure each additional campaign is improved upon.

Advertising is an investment and should be treated like one and the brands that understand how to utilise and implement analytical data into their advertising initiatives, will have a leg up on their competitors.

Source: Richard Gerrettson-Cornell

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