How to Get Better Results in Advertising

‐ December 31, 2013

bigstock_Business_Man_427842If you are like most business people today you are constantly looking for better, cheaper ways to advertise and market your business. Before you select a medium to advertise you should first understand the reasons why advertising can fail.

There are three basic reasons why advertising and marketing programs fail:

1. An underestimation of the amount of effort it will take to get a return.

The fact of life today is we live in an over advertised society. One wakes up on their Serta “Perfect Sleeper” mattress to their GE “We bring good things to life” alarm clock, drives to the “Golden Arches” for breakfast in their “The American Revolution” Chevrolet. By the time people have gotten to work they have driven past hundreds of signs, billboards and bumper stickers. They are exposed to many, many commercials on the radio and TV. At work their computers have become an intrusive barrage of advertisements.

The last research done on the subject showed that the average American is exposed to 1800 advertising messages – a day! People are over exposed, over worked, stressed and short on time.

The net effect of all the above is that people tune out most of what they see and hear, especially since most of the advertising they are exposed to is poorly messaged and poorly designed.

What does this mean to you? It means if you want results from your advertising, you hone your message, you target your prospects and you advertise that honed message to the targeted prospects until the proverbial fat lady sings or the cows come home!

An average person needs to see your message at least three times before they take notice, six times before they remember it and ten – fifteen times before they buy something from you. This is called frequency. Frequency is affected by the need at the time of exposure to your message. In others words, if a person is in the market and looking for your product when they are exposed to your advertisement, they are more likely to call you.

But, there is no way of telling how many people will be in the market (need) for your product at any given time. If you are making advertising decisions based on a time of “projected need” for your product, it is a bit of a crapshoot.

If you advertise with consistency and regularity as your mind set you are setting yourself up to win big in the advertising and marketing game. You will find that you get more results the 4th, 5th or 6th time you advertise a database of prospects. This is so because people are constantly moving in and out of the buying zone. The rule of thumb is that the bigger the ticket-item the longer people shop. Which means you need to reach them early, regularly and often. The smaller the ticket-item the more often and regularly people move in and out of the buying zone. Which means you need to reach them regularly and often.

2. Incorrectly designed message.

Why do people buy? Do they buy for your reasons? Or, do they buy for their own reasons? The answer is they buy for their own reasons also known as benefits. If your advertising is designed based on the benefits of your product or service to the customer you will see a 10 fold increase in your response. Benefits are also known as buttons. Because a benefit is used as a button to get a prospect interested.

The best way to find a customer’s button/benefit for a product is to ask them. Do a survey. You may think you know what it is and you may be right. But you are going to spend a lot of money advertising, wouldn’t it be better to know for sure?

The marketing arm of Wilson Printing can help you come up with survey questions to ask your customers. Once you know the buttons it is a matter of using specific design strategies so the message is remembered and the prospect responds. Our graphic design department can help you with that.

3. Wrongly targeted public.

You have to know who your customers are so you can identify who will be your best prospects. The important thing to remember about getting more results from your advertising and marketing is reach and frequency. You have to know whom you need to reach and how many times you will need to reach them (frequency) to get results.

The amount of response you will get is governed by a how well your ad communicates a targeted message. If your message is basically, ” we are open, send us your money, we really need it,” and you promote that a lot – you will waste a lot of money. But having said that, a poor message communicated often will get better results than a well-designed message communicated infrequently and sporadically. Frequency is that important to results.

The main point I am trying to impress on you is – do not underestimate the amount of effort it takes to get a buying customer into your business today. The quantity of people you advertise to should be determined by budget. It is better to advertise more often to a smaller group of prospects than once or twice to a large group.

The rules of thumb are:

  • It is always better to be a big fish in a small pond than a little fish in a big pond. Frequency makes you the big fish. Select the right size pond for the amount of marketing money you have.
  • When fish’n Grandpa always used to say “use the right bait for the fish you want” (a.k.a. – buttons). The right bait depends on the fish.

Wilson Printing can help you with your message to get better results in advertising your business and we offer several cost effective means to get that message out.

Mark Hale


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