How to Choose the Most Appropriate and Effective Advertising for Your Budget
It’s all about bang for your buck.
If you are one of the many businesses struggling to identify where, when, why, and how to make the best use of your Advertising budget, you are not alone in this quest.
First of all, it is important to realize that Advertising works. If you place the right message in front of the right audience, the right number of times, you will succeed. Even businesses that we might think don’t need to advertise (McDonald’s, Monster.com…etc.) spend millions each year to reach prospective customers, retain market share and position themselves against competitors.
Second, Advertising is an investment not an expenditure. The bottom-line purpose of any Advertising initiative is to improve your business’ bottom line, not fund media sales representatives. For those of you who take the position of, “I’ve tried it and it didn’t work,” the realization that you may have been misled can be extremely disappointing, especially since you probably lost money on the deal.
Take heart! Remember, the right message placed before the right audience, the right number of times is the key to success. If even one of these elements is incorrect, it will affect the outcome.
In addition, Advertising options are expanding quickly making the decision process even more confusing. In days gone by, one had to only consider radio, television, print, outdoor, and direct mail. Now, in addition to those choices, there is Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click campaigns, viral marketing, social networking, product placement, mobile marketing, e-mail marketing, and a myriad of other choices. While the opportunities have expanded, most likely your budget isn’t even approaching the point where you can invest in everything.
Deciphering the options can be nearly impossible. Any media representative will tell you that their product is number one and the best option for your business. Are they lying? Of course not (we hope!) Using ratings data and other qualitative and quantitative tools, such as Scarborough research, a case can certainly be made regarding the appropriateness of nearly every option. At this point, consulting an unbiased marketing professional who is not influenced by one particular Advertising option over another, is definitely a very intelligent course of action. A trained professional can assist you in deciphering the usually confusing data that is presented, negotiate better Advertising rates, and “added value” (free) promotional opportunities, and present you with a plan that makes sense and will get results.
A key to success with a limited budget is to start small and work your way up as your Advertising begins to bring in a solid return on investment. Many businesses are eager to start “ at the top”. This usually means purchasing an expensive television campaign when perhaps an inexpensive radio or direct mail campaign might be the most advantageous choice. Your professional media planner and buyer is an expert at helping your decide which options are your best choices based on your business model and budget.
Finally the last piece of advice that I can give you, is “Be patient.” Effective Advertising is the result of reach and frequency. Remember, the right message delivered to the right audience, the right number of times, yields success. However, with the bombardment of Advertising messages in today’s society, it is only logical that your prospective customers be given time to assimilate your message and then act on it. If you follow the rules of Advertising, you will see results over time.