Adverts. They are everywhere, and how often have you seen one that has left you less than inclined to rush out and buy what it was (trying) to promote. And have you ever noticed the types of adverts that are on during ‘men’s’ programmes and those that air during ones expressly made for women or children? And don’t get me started on the time of day, night, week and even year that these little snippets of subliminal selling have been carefully scheduled to show. That’s right, there is something savvy going on in the world of advertising, much of which should be applied to your own advertising strategy.

Perhaps it is safe to say that when it comes to business, the blanks in the well known crowd mantra that goes like this

“what do we want”…

“and when do we want it”….

will most likely be filled in by two simple, extremely familiar words, ‘Money’ and ‘Now’.

We know the first doesn’t grow on trees and that it seldom comes for free but is in fact a bi-product of countless hours of behind the scenes work. so when it comes to using it wisely with a view to increasing it, you must follow a structure.

And to break this down into manageable, blog friendly pointers; I have chosen the ‘gossip guru’s’ favourite saying as the basis for my tips, for absolutely no other reason than it is as thorough as thorough can be.

  • Who

  • Where

  • What

  • How

  • When

The ‘Who’ applies to your customer demographic. Are they the aforementioned men, women or children, or can a broader spectrum be applied to your target audience? Once you have established this you can move onto the next step, ‘Where’…

…Ask yourself this, where do my customers hang out (both virtually and in reality)? Do they have spare time on their hands to leisurely peruse the newspapers, magazines, local restaurants and hotels or are they beginning to set up camp in the office and think of their watch as more of a hindrance than a help.

What does this tell you? Are they the type of people who would be more likely to respond to an advert placed in a newspaper or do they shop with a purpose, mouse in hand, and know exactly where to look. Perhaps their work commitments require them to travel or perhaps their lifestyle allows them to travel.

How do you get their attention? This is where your imagination is your boundary, it is all very well attaching a banner to a bi-plane if your audience works outside during the day, but it is completely pointless if they are holed up indoors on the nightshift. The best and easiest way to answer this, and a tactic that has helped me in the past, is to visualise your customer and put yourself in their shoes. Do you now think, or can you make an informed decision as to whether they are more likely to respond to a specific form of advertising from the following?:

  • newspapers and magazines – how long do you schedule it for, how big is the ad and where should it be positioned

  • Television or radio – when do you air your ad and on what channel

  • Mobile advertising – where should you locate this so as many people see it as possible

  • Billboards – Where?

  • Direct contact – you will need a database for this

  • brochures or inserts – what are they likely to read and what is its reach and drop stats

  • Car park tickets – consider areas and regions

  • Sponsorship – make sure you sponsor something your demographic will be likely to appreciate

  • Busses and taxis – consider routes and where the people you want to see your ad will be going

And finally, when is the best time to strike? Is it weekends? Maybe night time so your offer is ready and waiting in their inbox at 9am? Perhaps it should arrive with the postman or maybe it will get a better response if it is waiting for them when they get home and are in the mood to relax. All these are important questions that need to be considered.

The list of contributing factors goes on and on but by following this simple structure you will be able to pick the right type or combination of different types of advertising to reach as many customers as possible.

Next week we will look at perhaps the easiest way of advertising your business; networking. Come armed with business cards and a cheery disposition, you can leave the carpet bag at home!

Choose the right advertising for your business

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