7 Ways to Make Advertising a Sure Thing

7 Ways to Make Advertising a Sure Thing


Advertising is a significant investment for any company. If approached correctly, it can yield great results, yet similarly, if it fails, it can be an expensive mistake. I’m sure you’ve heard the statement: “50% of advertising is effective, we just don’t know which 50%.”

That kind of guesswork isn’t necessary. Here are seven areas of advertising that will help give insight into getting it right.

Consider these carefully before embarking on any new advertising campaign to ensure the best results.

Results: Advertising But Being Ignored?

1. Strategy

The first step when considering an advertising campaign is to have a clear strategy underpinning it. This can be defined as a plan that needs to be carefully thought through before any action is taken.

What is your strategy? Most simply put, you need to decide who you want to influence, what do you want them to do, and how are you going to encourage them to take action? It is important to spend time carefully considering each of these points.

2. Sell one thing at a time

Keep your ads as simple as possible. If something looks too complex, people will shy away from it or get overwhelmed and confused by the detail.

Although you may have many products and services to sell, it’s best to cover one key product or aspect of your service in an ad, and then use your personal selling skills to educate the customer about your other products and services when they come into the store or visit your website.

3. Local is lekker

People are generally loyal when it comes to their local communities – just think of sports teams, schools and community organisations.

Where appropriate, try to tap into these in your advertising with communication that is relevant to the community.

4. Tell a good story

People like a good story and this translates into advertising too. There are very few people who are interested in straight facts, figures and statistics. If you think about it, when you overtly try to sell to people, it often pushes them away. Many people don’t like to be sold to, but they do like to buy things. The vision you create through your advertising should show the potential customer that the product or service solves a problem, adds value to their lives or fills a need that they may have.

5. Offer great value

Why should people buy from you and not your competitor if there is nothing to differentiate you from them? To be competitive, you need to offer value to the customer and this doesn’t necessarily need to cost money.

In fact, you may already be offering services that your competitors don’t and missing out on the opportunity to use this to your advantage. Some examples include: Expert advice from your sales team, package deals or even special deals with different, but related businesses whose products and services complement yours.

6. Under-promise and over-deliver

Placing an ad should be with the intention of making sales, not just for the sake of placing the ad. The first part of the challenge is to get the customers into the business.

Once they are in your business, you need to ensure that you not only deliver on the promise, but that you surprise and delight them. The impact of this on the customer will have them talking about your product or service to their family and friends, resulting in good referrals.

7. Test and measure your advertising

Don’t fall into the trap of assuming that your advertising is automatically guaranteed to have the desired results. You need to ensure that your strategy is sound, the mediums are carefully selected and that your idea is strong.

Test your ads by running different ones until you find the one that works. If your ads are not working, don’t continue running them hoping for a different result, and similarly if they are working, rerun them.

Related: Why Your Business should be Devoted to Promotions

Harry Welby-Cooke
Harry Welby-Cooke is the Master Licensee for ActionCOACH South Africa. He is also the President of COMENSA (Coaches and Mentors Association of South Africa). ActionCOACH is the world’s largest executive and business coaching company with operations in 39 countries. It is also on the list of the top 100 franchises globally. As a highly successful Business and Executive coach, Harry is a master of teaching business owners how to turn their businesses around and accelerate their growth. Email him at harrywelbycooke@actioncoach.com or call 0861 226 224