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Advertising Your Business - Response Or Brand Advertising?

May 14, 2008
Marketing your business properly is one of the most fundamental skills required to achieve success. In order to have a successful, established business, it's important to be sure you are advertising your business in an effective, value for money way that's likely to generate a return on investment. Not all advertising works, and where some advertising campaigns may turn out to be incredibly successful, others will have minimum or only short term effect.

Crucial to learning to properly market your business is determining the difference between direct response advertising & brand advertising.

Direct response advertising is far more important, at least in the short term, to the success of your business. This is advertising that demands an action from the target. Examples could include details of a specific offer, a new promotion or launch of a new product. This is advertising designed to tug at the emotions of customers, prompting them into action, and it is this form of marketing that will boost sales and cash flow in the short term.

The alternative, and less effective for a new or small business is brand advertising. While this might be a successful technique in some niche markets, generally it is a more expensive way of building sales than employing direct response advertising techniques. By strategically promoting the brand and the underlying brand values, this form of advertising ultimately vicariously promotes the individual products and helps to build customer loyalty.

Deciding which route is most relevant for your business is the first step in ensuring that you are advertising your business properly and effectively.

Brand advertising is pretty effective for big businesses or a business in a particular small market niche which may find it profitable to appear to be a brand leader. However it does require much more significant investment, because of the lack of direct responses generated and the more subtle effect it has on bottom line sales. Thus for a new business on a start-up budget, it might be best to steer clear of brand advertising - at least, initially.

The next step is to find some way of tracking your return on investment (i.e. response) from each specific advertising campaign. This could be achieved by only advertising one offer through a particular medium, or by advertising with slightly different phone numbers to manually record the number of leads from two different advertising strategies. Also, remember to take account of the cost of different advertising campaigns. Work out overall which advertising strategies are most cost effective for your business.

Finally, advertising your business must be viewed as a cumulative process. To start with, going for direct offers is the best way to encourage first-time buyers, which could then hopefully translate into a loyal customer based. Continuing to grow your business through advertising of this nature is perfectly plausible, and over time it may even prove cost effective to switch to some brand advertising techniques.

It is important not to rush in to advertising in a big way until you have tried out some mini campaigns to evaluate the response.
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