Advertising and PR
- What Advertising Can Do For Your Business
- Remind customers and prospects about the benefits of your product or service
- Establish and maintain your distinct identity
- Enhance your reputation
- Encourage existing customers to buy more of what you sell
- Attract new customers and replace lost ones
- Slowly build sales to boost your bottom line
- What Advertising Cannot Do For Your Business
- Create an instant customer base
- Cause an immediate sharp increase in sales
- Solve cash flow or profit problems
- Substitute for poor or indifferent customer service
- Sell useless or unwanted products or services
- Advertising's Two Important Virtues
You have complete control. Unlike public relations efforts, you determine exactly where, when and how often your message will appear, how it will look, and what it will say. You can target your audience more readily and aim at very specific geographic areas.
You can be consistent, presenting your company's image and sales message repeatedly to build awareness and trust. A distinctive identity will eventually become clearly associated with your company, like McDonald's golden arches. Customers will recognize you quickly and easily in ads, mailers, packaging or signs if you present yourself consistently.
What Are Advertising's Drawbacks?
It takes planning. Advertising works best and costs least when planned and prepared in advance. For example, you'll pay less per ad in newspapers and magazines by agreeing to run several ads over time rather than deciding issue by issue. Likewise, you can save money by preparing a number of ads at once. It takes time and persistence. The effectiveness of your advertising improves gradually over time, because customers don't see every one of your ads. You must repeatedly remind prospects and customers about the benefits of doing business with you. The long-term effort triggers recognition and helps special offers or direct marketing pay off.
Getting Ready to Advertise Drawing the Blueprint
- Design the Framework
What is the purpose of your advertising program? Start by defining your company's long range goals, then map out how marketing can help you attain them. Focus on advertising routes complementary to your marketing efforts. Set measurable goals so you can evaluate the success of your advertising campaign. For example, do you want to increase overall sales by 20% this year? Boost sales to existing customers by 10% during each of the next three years? Appeal to younger or older buyers? Sell off old products to free resources for new ones?
How much can you afford to invest? Keep in mind that whatever amount you allocate will never seem like enough. Even giants such as Proctor & Gamble and Pepsi always feel they could augment their advertising budgets. But given your income, expenses and sales projections, simple addition and subtraction can help you determine how much you can afford to invest. Some companies spend a full 10% of their gross income on advertising, others just 1%. Research and experiment to see what works best for your business.
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