Most business owners have accepted the fact that advertising and revenue are two sides of the same coin.
If you don't advertise your business, you won't get the traffic (physical or virtual) that you need to sustain a profitable business enterprise.
But the concept of "advertising my business" involves a lot more than slapping your name and address on a couple of signs. Effective advertising is both an art and a science. Although it has creative elements, successful ad campaigns rely on a comprehensive advertising strategy and proven ad techniques.
Whether you're looking at a simple print ad in the local newspaper or a series of sophisticated Internet ads, the basic advertising principles remain the same. Here's what we think are the most important concepts to integrate into all of your business advertising efforts.
- Focus your message. The best advertising vehicles are focused around a single, consistent message. There are a lot of things you want the public to know about your business and your products. But unless you can condense your message down to a few words, the return on your investment will be disappointing, at best.
- Back up your claims. It's fine to make outrageous claims in your advertising. But if you make a claim, you have to be prepared to back it up with solid facts. Today's consumers can spot unsubstantiated statements from a mile away, so you'll need to dispel their skepticism with reliable research and other supports.
- Develop a strategy. Random advertising is only slightly more effective than flushing your money down the drain. You'll get the most impact from advertising that has been coordinated with a comprehensive strategy to target specific market segments and products.
- Be creative. Advertising your business can be a lot of fun, especially if you solicit the creative input of employees and your executive team. Your ads have to be creative to compete for your customers' attention – but don't use that as an excuse to go overboard. If you put creativity above content, your message will get lost in the shuffle.
- Offer simple responses. Every successful ad invites a response from the viewer or hearer. Your job is to make it as easy as possible for the customer to respond to your ad with a phone call, a store visit or an online action.