There is a lot of mixed evidence and advice over advertising and how effective a marketing strategy it is.
My view is that it plays a very important role if you have a product to sell. The reason is that a product is tangible so you can see it, feel it and in some cases taste it. Usually with a product, you know what it is for and what it will or won’t do. A service on the other hand is intangible and so in some way they have to be demonstrated so that prospective clients can understand
the benefits and this means that many methods of advertising will be far less effective – a dentist or a plumber etc are exceptions when a print advert can be very effective at bringing in clients when they have an emergency and grab for the yellow pages!
For me, the biggest disadvantage of advertising is that it doesn’t allow potential clients to get to know you on a personal basis which makes it harder to build up the trust I mentioned in previous blogs which is required before a potential client will buy from you.
One form of advertising that I advocate every small business should have is a website because when accompanied with good search engine optimisation, this can be an effective advertising tool. This is particularly true when you have your website listed on relevant web directories and when monitored carefully, pay-per-click advertising can also produce results.
When considering advertising as a marketing strategy, I would recommend that you begin by looking at your competitors to see where and how they are advertising and given the high cost of advertising, be sure that you take the
time to evaluate the potential return on your advertising investment. For example, how many clients do you need to get from a particular advert before it pays for itself? And is there a more effective way you could spend that money?
Then, whether you choose to advertise online, or in a newspaper or magazine, make sure that you include the following:
- An attention grabbing headline
- The problem that your potential clients have
- The results that your product/service will produce i.e. how your
product/service will solve the problem
- A guarantee
- A call to action
I’d be very interested in hearing your advertising successes (or disasters) and if you’d like to share then please add them as a comment.
I have experience in writing adverts that work and if I can help you with writing your advertising copy please drop me an email, email@example.com