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Is Your Business Advertising Effective? - How Do You Know?

Oct 12, 2007
It really does amaze me the number of businesses who advertise purely for the sake of advertising. If you were to randomly ask ten business owners why they advertise, nine out of the ten will most likely say, because everyone else does or something similar.

This may seem like a strange thing to do but it is a serious challenge that is rarely addressed, especially by the smaller business owners. The real question that needs to be answered is; are you potentially tipping vast amounts of your hard earned profits down the drain because of ineffective advertising campaigns?

The best kept secret in the world of advertising is that most business advertising does not work. However, don't expect anyone who sells ad space to tell you that. Because most businesses don't monitor how well or badly any particular advertising campaign is doing, very few are aware of this fact.

Just because you have advertising budget doesn't mean you have to spend it without knowing what return you are getting. There are a multitude of sins committed when it comes to publicity but here are three key elements that you absolutely must get right every time if you are to avoid profit depletion.

1. Always Test and Measure.

It is paramount that you test and measure any advertising. This applies to all forms of promotion, TV, radio, newspaper, magazine and any other medium you use. It would seem like an obvious thing to do but very few businesses actually do it. A focused plan has to be in place so that you know, with absolute certainty that the ad you are running is worthwhile and producing a return on investment. If it is not stop it! Again this would seem obvious and logical but it doesn't always happen. Some companies will run ads for weeks and months, spending thousands of pounds or dollars with absolutely no idea if the ad is producing a profitable outcome.

2. The Headline.

Your headline is the most important part of any ad. If the headline does not catch the readers attention, your ad will not get read, period. I see ads all the time, where the headline is the company name and logo. The truth is nobody cares about your company name or if you've been established for 125 years. The headline must always appeal to your targeted audience and where possible include a benefit. Which headline is more likely to attract your attention?

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The moral of the story is, take care with headlines. They can make or break your return on investment. Getting your headline right can increase your response rate by as much as 50% to 100%.

3. Printed Ads. Rule #1 Never advertise on a left hand page.

Now, some say that this little gem is all psychobabble and nonsense. Ask any of the worlds greatest marketers though and they will agree on this point. Test it for yourself! Next time you see someone flicking through a newspaper or magazine, watch their eye movement. It will almost always be orientated towards the right hand page. It really can make a huge difference in creating a successful campaign and has been proven time and time again.

It's not always easy but you have to be strong on this point. Some publications might say they can't guarantee this. Just tell them that you may advertise with them when they can and more often than not they will oblige.

If you can get these 3 elements in place then your advertising campaigns will be more successful than the majority of your competition. Obviously there are other ground rules that make up a successful campaign and a little research will go a long way. But having read this article and honestly implementing these points, you will already be streets ahead of the pack.

In conclusion, before you embark on your next advertising venture think about this. "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results" - Albert Einstein.
About the Author
Paul Sutherland is an Accelerated Business Growth Coach. His company - Daniel Thomas International - www.dti.eu.com helps SMEs to grow their businesses with tried tested and proven techniques and strategies, whilst increasing their bottom line profits at the same time.
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