A to Z of Marketing: A = Advertising

The A to Z of marketing is designed to give you a flavour of the multitude of components that need to be considered when marketing  a business.

This week we look at A=Advertising.

Advertising is an area that many people think IS marketing (in its entirety).  It isn’t – advertising is merely one element of the communications mix.

Advertising used to be very much a mainstream mass marketing tool but the evolution of a new digital environment with a proliferation of multi-media channels has meant that you can be much more targeted with your advertising.

25 years ago we had 4 TV channels and if you wanted to reach out and send a visual message to your target audience you encountered a lot of wastage as you were sending your message to potentially the whole of the country (and paying to do so).

Nowadays, for example, if you want to send a message to 25-40 year old fun seeking sports fan males you can be more specific in the media channels you use such as Sky Sports 1, Dave, FHM, The Sun and TalkSport Radio.  Such targeted audiences makes the cost of advertising much more cost effective.  When you add in mobile applications, websites, billboards and industry journals, the number of advertising opportunities is quite overwhelming.

Advertising helps to make your business and brand “familiar”.  When people reach a point in their life when they are ready to buy the products and services you supply, if your brand is in the forefront of their mind, because you have positioned it there, then you will be one step ahead of your competitors (as long as you advertising has had a positive effect).

However remember that the purpose of advertising is by and large to sell (or some other call to action).  It does not matter how creative the advertising is as long as it does its job and provides a healthy return on investment.

Don’t be spun a line from a marketing agency that it is all about the creative and winning awards.  Awards are nice, yes, but they only benefit the agency – not your brand.  If your audience can remember the advert, but not the company who ran the advert….it is completely pointless.

Make sure you test and measure every single advert you run.  If your response rates drastically change with different ads – learn from them and understand the reasons why.  Do less of what doesn’t work and more of what does.  It sounds simple…..because it is!

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.