07 January 2007

Advertising for the advertiser

There is a quote which is attributed to Lord Leverhulme "Half of my advertising is wasted, the problem is that I don't which half." That may sound bad, but for many businesses the figure is much worse.

Advertising is relatively expensive so it is worth looking at to see if it can be made more effective. Once again, the key is testing. If you don't know whether something works then stop until you have inserted some control codes so that you can begin to collect some data. Businesses often use their competitors as their research vehicle:
  • advertising in the same journals and papers
  • using advertisements which are almost indistinguishable
Advertising based on that kind of research is almost certainly wasted. Competitors aren't being scientific about what they are doing so they aren't a good role model.

Here are some high level guidelines for the neophyte advertiser:
  • all advertising should contain some call to action - when you have a restricted budget, the advertising that you buy should pull its weight in your sales cycle
  • don't advertise on the left hand side of the page - studies show again and again that advertisements on the right hand page get more eyeball time
  • be prepared to negotiate a rate
Many people seem to believe that advertising is the most important lever in marketing - in fact it is one of a number of methods of getting access to a market. If you treat all these mechanisms as if they are in competition with one another for your budget then you have a chance of getting better value out of your investment.

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