When it comes to advertising, of all the metrics out there to measure your spend, such as CPC, GRP, CPM, ROAS, and ROI, no metric is as valuable as getting calls, seeing in-store traffic and seeing email inquiries from your advertising. Those are tangible results. Media can get you the audience and stats but how can you ensure you’re getting sales from your ad?
Let’s start with your actual advertising strategy, design and copy. Because this is where your advertising begins. This is where it succeeds or fails. It’s not about the newspaper or the readership or the month or the internet or any other reasons. It starts with the advertising look and message you’re putting out to your customers. So here’s five ways to ensure you’re advertising smarter from the very start.
1) Primary Advertising vs. Complementary Advertising. What is the primary advertising medium that yielded your business the best sales? How about the best awareness? What advertising method garnered the most engagement? If you don’t know which advertising medium will yield ABC, DEF or XYZ, you’re not advertising smart. Is your print ad your primary source of sales? Great, design an advertising campaign around print as your primary advertising tool and complement it with email, social media and banner advertising. Email marketing driving the most sales? Ok, focus on email marketing trends and complement it with print, social media, and mobile marketing. Don’t throw marketing darts blindfolded. Define and refine your primary advertising vehicle and reinforce the message through complementary advertising.
2) Don’t Copy Brands. Learn From Brands. We worked with a client that was in the mortgage broker business and they were in love with the Rolex ads. They were determined to have a luxury, high end feel for their services and reflect it in their design their website, social media, brochures and collateral. Here’s the problem: they’re in the service business, helping families realize their dream through affordable home financing; Rolex is a high-end product-based brand targeting high-net worth individuals. Apples and oranges. You need to step back, know your brand, understand the customers’ needs you fill and advertise how you fill their need best. In this case, the mortgage broker needed to show families how they provide a sense of a service, assistance, trust and hand-holding for first-time buyers, none of which exists in Rolex advertising. Don’t copy brand marketing just because you love it; it’s not about you. It’s about your customers.
3) Invest In Your Artwork. Don’t create many ads. And don’t create just one ad. Use your money to create a few amazing ads. Do you only have one type of customer? Probably not. An ad designed to target new moms won’t appeal to college bound high school seniors. So invest in superior ad design and memorable copywriting. And don’t just hire a designer who knows Photoshop; get a marketing expert who knows market strategy, segmentation, and sales and will design artwork to meet those goals (you can see my post “Ditch The Designer, Get A Marketers” online). Use the latest fonts and themes in your advertising to make your brand relevant, fresh and creative. Hire a design team to write copy that people will take pleasure in reading. Make it interesting, informative, and most importantly, compelling enough to get them to take action. Leave them wanting more. Urge them to go online, call, order, browse, enter and follow. Investing in your artwork will make your business more appealing to more people.
4) Go ahead and Bend The Rules. You’ve got a great image for your ad and you’re set with your ad buy, great! But. Your. Ad. Copy. Is. Sounding. A. Little. Too. Robotic. Hmmm. Not sure if I’d feel comfortable dealing with a robot. See, I just put a Hmmm into my paragraph. And I did it again. I started a sentence with a preposition somewhere I bet too. Your ad isn’t about perfect spelling or grammatical glory. It’s about speaking the language of your customers. Don’t be afraid to defy grammar or spelling rules if it means designing a catchy slogan that rolls off the tongue or a strong copy that’s draws the eye. Be conversational in your ads. Not too chatty but conversational. Most customers prefer to do business with people they can have a conversation with. It’s. Not. Just. About. The. Spelling. Ok, if you’re in the tutoring business, maybe put some extra emphasis on grammar. But if you’re not in that business, then spice up your ad with more conversational copy that speaks the language of your customers.
5) Lather. Rinse. And Repeat. Ever see those words on the shampoo bottle? That one word “repeat” is one of the most timeless marketing tactics ever. The company essentially is telling you to use their product one more time just because we told you so. Use more, buy more. Maybe you’ll wash your hair better, maybe you won’t. Hey, they said repeat so they must know, right? Ok, well, nice hair. But there’s another lesson to learn here. We all hop on the latest business trends and try the latest products. But are we going back to our original marketing tactics and doing it again. You jumped to grab a Facebook Page and lock in those addictive Likes! But did you revisit your website lately and freshen it up for mobile devices? Because that’s more important. You made sure to add your Twitter badge to your five-year old print ad because everyone has it! But did you forget your audience has changed in five years and needs a better ad designed? Lather. Rinse. And Revisit. For every new trend you invest in - which is totally not a bad thing! You should just as vigorously revisit your past investments. Marketing changes fast. Keep up in all areas, not just the trendy ones.
Yitzie Hyman is the Director of Strategy at The Jewish Link of NJ and founder of Henry Isaacs Marketing, a marketing, design and digital ad agency specializing in Jewish & Kosher marketing. You can reach him at [email protected] or online at www.henryisaacs.net.
By Yitzie Hyman