The Best Way to Advertise

A couple of weeks ago, Ad Age published a very interesting article about the effectiveness of television advertising versus digital advertising like banner ads or Facebook ads. At the same time, as we mentioned here on this blog, there has been a lot of conversation about whether or not Facebook advertising works. If you are new to marketing and/or advertising, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed. Maybe you believe that advertising could be beneficial but you’re hearing from other places that advertising is dead. Even if you ignore the “is dead” warning, how do you know where to start?

Are you ready for some profound advice about your advertising strategy?

It depends.

This probably is not exactly what you were hoping for, but our agency has been around long enough to know that there is no single solution that will work for everybody. Two clients in the exact same industry still will need to evaluate their needs individually so that they can get the most out of their advertising. And while the Advertising Age article mentioned above was very insightful, it was really focused on just one niche of the world – consumer packaged goods. It also focused on very large companies like Procter & Gamble. Not everyone has the kind of budget, and hence the kind of flexibility, that companies of that size enjoy.

So what can you do?

Let’s talk about how you can approach what can be the very confusing issue of where and how to advertise your products and/or services. This brief series of questions will give you an idea of the kinds of things that are important to consider.

1. What are the objectives of your ad or ad campaign?

• Are you trying to enter into a new market and raise awareness about your company?

• Are you hoping to drive traffic to your website?

• Are you hoping to increase sample requests?

2. What other marketing tactics are you using?

• If you are doing a lot of email marketing, it may be good to offset that with some offline advertising

• If you attend a lot of trade shows, perhaps some banner ads where those shows are promoted would make more sense

3. Who is your target market?

• It is important to understand who your prospects and customers are. How do they most prefer to get information? What resources do they trust?

• Are you looking for customers nationally, locally, or internationally?

4. What are your competitors doing?

• Although we don’t recommend building your strategy around your competition, it’s important to know where they are

• If your competitors are insinuating or openly promoting falsehoods about your product, you need to counter that

5. What is your budget?

• Obviously this can be a key deciding factor. Digital advertising can be more cost effective in many cases

• When measuring your budget versus tactics, consider what will give you the biggest “bang for your buck”

This is just the tip of the iceberg, of course. Once you answer these questions, further questions will arise, not the least of which is how you should approach the creative for that particular campaign. However, being able to answer these questions internally will give you a great start in beginning to find what the best way to advertise may be for you. Answers to these questions will also be extremely useful if you do decide to work with an agency – the more goals that are understood, the better chance your advertising goals will succeed.

If you have any questions about this or if you’d like to talk to us about your own advertising plan, just let us know!

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clockworkgh0st/4895520811/ via Creative Commons


2 comments on “The Best Way to Advertise

  1. As always, thank you for sharing your insights and experiences. “It depends” is a great way to start addressing many different questions!

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