Advertising. The premise is to immediately attract attention, to resonate and stimulate interest. It’s forged on the notion of interrupting a prospective customer and taking their attention away from something else they are focusing on. That alone makes it a risky way to secure new customers. It’s also expensive, despite best efforts largely untargeted, relatively unsophisticated and consequently difficult to measure.
Offline advertising in whatever format (press, trade, poster, billboard, TV or radio) can be effectively neutralised, ignored and not acted on by media savvy buyers.
So, how do you combat this and make advertising work as a revenue generator, even though the experts say advertising is more about awareness than conversion?
Consider the following:
1. As a marketer consider why you advertise? Is it to build, protect or defend your brand share? Is it to promote specific products and services in a timely way to a specific audience? Is it because your company always has? Is it because your think it makes a difference but don’t really know how or why?
2. Identify a good advertiser. Follow the lead of the companies that do it best – that’s financial services and insurance and mobile phone companies right now. Give every piece a unique reference code, use specific campaign telephone numbers, set up specific internet landing pages, offer promotional rates based on contact window.
3. Demand more from the media you use. Demand accompanying editorial, demand companion buttons on the website, demand reference points in email marketing and demand response data.
4. Ask relevant people what they think. Test concepts before you run them live. Run online polls and focus groups to assess their advertising. At a less expensive and time consuming level this could involve asking your colleagues, sales teams, customers and prospects to feedback.
5. Brief your sales people, especially telesales, to validate the source of enquiries as they come into the business. And use a drop down on all website enquiry forms so advertising can be logged as the primary method of attribution.