Advertising - are you getting it right?



No matter who you are or what business you are in, if you don't get your advertising right, from your business card to major TV promotions you might as well forget about building a successful business. The effectiveness of your advertising depends on the way you present what you have to offer to your potential customers.

It is not enough to have an excellent product or service if the news is not getting out there.

What is the point of telling people that you are bigger, better or brighter than your competitors, until they have tried the competition's products they have nothing to compare you with and by that time you have lost the sale. So, to convince people to chose what you are offering above all other's you must have something new, something different or at best, extra benefits. You must identify and cater to your customers’ needs and wants if you are to run a successful advertising campaign.

Where to advertise

To select the right advertising requires more than placing an ad in a newspaper, the yellow pages or merely putting a sign out front. It requires research to find the right media outlet whether it be a major publication, a business card or a simple ad in the local newspaper. TV advertising is exactly the same since the people who are likely to be watching are all potentially customers.

If this is the case, then researching what your customers read and what they watch is equal to manufacturing a perfect product or providing a quality service. Without effective advertising you cannot build and grow your existing business to the level of success it could and should be.

What to advertise

Advertising boils down to offering not only what a customer needs but also what they want.

This may sound a little difficult if you are selling dog food, however, your customer's dog will no doubt be in dire straits if it doesn't get fed, this in turn will distress the dog's owner who would then be unable to experience the joy of owning a happy healthy dog.... Get the picture?  At this point you will need to know exactly what you are selling, who you are selling to, what benefits your customers will derive and how this will fill their needs.

One of the most effective lessons in successful advertising can be learnt merely by watching the commercials on TV. It costs you nothing and if anything, you will benefit from these lessons in more ways than one. The money you save on the sweets and treats you would usually duck out to the kitchen for during the commercial breaks may be put to better use in contributing to your next advertising campaign. Think of the weight you would lose, a healthier body, a more active mind as well as a lesson in effective advertising to boot, and it costs you nothing, what more could you want.

During commercials have a note pad handy and at each commercial break jot down what the product is, what benefits it offers and what needs it satisfies. Involve your family, your friends and see if their responses are the same as yours. Do they react negatively to a particular commercial and if so why, or is their response a more positive or amusing one than yours.

Here are some examples of some old commercials you may recall that I have personally found interesting.

The first commercial is Ian Thorpe with friends eating cereal hanging from a platform on the side of a mountain. We recognise that it is advertising a breakfast cereal.  My interpretation, as a unique individual (which we all are), of this commercial is as follows;

The benefits are that if you eat this cereal you will have a fast, healthy breakfast that will nourish and give you stamina to face whatever challenges are put before you that day (the mountain).  By choosing to eat this cereal, you can satisfy your need for adventure, you too, (the people climbing from the bottom up) are able to climb mountains be they real or imaginary. It can provide you with the stamina and vitality to face whatever lies before you (why else would you be hanging from a rope on the side of a mountain first thing in the morning). By eating this cereal all things are possible. Come to think of it, who doesn't want a bit of adventure in their lives anyway? Whether this is what the advertising guru's had in mind is anyone's guess; however, it did get my attention.


Another example is the Lottery commercial, 'Win it before she does'.  The young lady with the heavy eye makeup and the questionable voice obviously would never become the next Australian /American Idol; nevertheless, she had the desire to make it big in the music industry, if only she could win the lottery to get started.

For her the benefit of buying that lottery ticket is that she has the chance to win the major prize. The need this fulfils is to be successful, to be a star, the fact that she cannot sing is of little importance to her. However, if you were to win this major prize then you would be able to fulfil the need to save the world from having to listen to this poor misguided soul. 

And finally a notable non-commercial example:  A few years ago a new residential estate in South Australia won the developers major recognition and an award for being 'The best address in the world'. Two days after the announcement, signs went up on all the major roads, bumper stickers had been made available free by the developers, to anyone who came to the office to collect one. There were stickers and plagues everywhere, on houses, on T-shirts, carry bags, buses, cars, prams and anything that could be printed on.

People living in the area walked around with a sense of pride, their heads held high, announcing that they lived at 'The best address in the world' and defended the title to the death if anyone should make the mistake of dismissing it as a ploy to make more sales. Suburbs advertised that they where only minutes away or next to this wonderful address and the local council took credit for their decision to approve the development.  The amount of free advertising the company received in that year was phenomenal.


The benefits where obvious with the careful layout and planning the company had undertaken although the allotments had been considerably reduced in size from the quarter acre blocks of old. Why then did people from the area feel so good about it? Why did they freely advertise the development without payment or inducement of any kind? Because, it fulfilled the need to belong to something special, they had made the now obvious best choice, they had made the decision to live there.

Whether the area was any better or worse than any other was besides the point, given the opportunity who wouldn't like to be able to say they live at the  'Best address in the world'.  The moral of this story is that in the event of your business being recognised as being 'the best' then ensure that this feeling of pride is not only passed on to the staff but also to your customers - they still are your best form of advertising.

As a business, making research a vital component of developing an effective advertising campaign can only lead to greater success.  A wise man in advertising once wrote; 'Unless your name is Robin Hood, you will probably need more than one arrow to hit the Bulls-eye' (Guerrilla Marketing Handbook).



0 #1 luigi4235 2015-02-14 20:53
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