Marketing Clinic – Effective Advertising
The insight and understanding that goes behind every advertising campaign incurs hours of thought and exploration, focus groups, market testing and then potentially back to the drawing board. Every advert you create is an investment in your brand's future. If you don't have time to give it the consideration it deserves, then consider this, if your advertising goes unnoticed, everything is wasted.
Remember that advertising works best as part of a marketing mix – PR sews the seed and creates the credibility in your brand, whilst advertising harvests the crop and converts the sale.
The basic principles to what makes an effective ad:
Don't use false or outrageous claims
These may make a good headline and grab attention, but when you are discovered as a fraud the resulting negativity will have the potential to destroy your brand.
- Avoid clichés - these will cause the 'I've heard this before' reaction which will prevent any further message being absorbed
- Don't patronise your audience - they're smart and like to be treated that way
- Don't be aggressive in your style or techniques – this will only cause the audience to become so
Advertisers get a very brief opportunity to catch the consumer's attention. Use language that they will relate to and give them something that switches their brain from 'ignore' to 'ok, I'm listening'. You can use techniques such as those listed below to gain a few extra valuable seconds of your audience's time.
- Intrigue - 'So what's this all about then?'
- Emotion - Stirring feelings or memories
- Association - 'I can relate to that'
- Identify a problem - 'I wish there was a solution to that'
- Making a claim - 'That sounds interesting'
Generating interest and desire
Ok, so you've got their attention for a few seconds - how do you hold their interest and get them in the mood to buy? To make your advert appealing you need to tap into the emotional and practical sides of your target's nature and show how your product can help...
- Reduce or avoid effort
- Save time
- Make them money
- Save money
- Gain knowledge
- Become more successful
- Avoid a missed opportunity
- Improve their image
- Be more popular
- Give them a great experience
Selecting the right image can make a huge difference to the impact of the ad. People will make quick assumptions about your product and brand from the images you use in your creative. Ensure the imagery used reflects your brand values - premium brands invest large sums of money grading and retouching images to ensure they give the right impression, but cheaper products should still strive to invest in the best quality photography which will contribute much more to your brand perception.
Call to action
Make the next steps you would like the consumer to take incredibly obvious and as easy as possible, whether this is visiting a website, dialing a number or walking into a high street shop. Make it clear how they can obtain what you are selling, and give them some motivation to do it quickly. Limited offers are a great way of stimulating short-term interest. Once the prospect makes the next move, they have entered your purchase chain and you must ensure your marketing mix and all customer touch points encourage the next step to be taken towards purchase.