Successful business growth relies on one thing: expand your client base faster than the rate of inflation.
Back in the day, owning and operating a successful business consisted of establishing a brick and mortar business, hanging a sign on the door and telling all your buddies where you were and what you were selling. Today’s competitive markets have introduced a slew of ways to attract new business as well as cultivate existing clients into more profitable ones. In fact, it’s estimated that the average American is exposed to more than 3,000 commercial messages a day, and as a whole $620 billion is spent each year by businesses with the aim of making their product more desirable to the public (Union of Concerned Scientists, http://www.ucsusa.org/publications/).
So how do we maximize our advertising spending to make sure we’re capturing and keeping as much business as possible? Read on to learn the secrets to successful advertising:
- Define your goals – For each ad you place, whether it be in print, television, radio, pay per click (PPC), outdoor advertising, etc., have a clear goal of what you want the piece to do for your business. Are you trying to generate interest? Make the phone ring? Schedule a specific number of presentations? How do you want your audience to respond? Write down your goal for the advertising piece and make sure that all decisions leading towards the execution of the ad support that goal.
- Develop a plan – a no-brainer, right? You’d be surprised how many advertising dollars are hastily spent without thought to overall marketing goals. Set a budget; prepare a calendar; profile your clients and/or prospects. Without a plan, you’re advertising could potentially do more to harm your business than propel it if you send the wrong message to the wrong audience.
- Qualify your audience – Knowing how to deliver your message is as important as the message itself. Who are you targeting? As a group, what are their interests and how can you appeal to them? What delivery method (platform) do they accept best? To maximize your impact with this group, list specific features and benefits the client will see by choosing to work with you.
- Keep your message simple – Don’t get overly wordy or too clever with your advertising. You may spend days working on an advertising project to get it “just right,” but your audience is going to spend about .6 seconds looking over it before making the decision to respond or ignore it.
- Establish a clear call to action – Tip #5 goes hand in hand with Tip #4. Having a single call to action will help funnel your audience to the goal you have set. Use distinct words and phrases to outline what it is you want your audience to do. For example: Click Here; Call Today; Register for your free gift, etc.
Remember, advertising is much more a form of art than it is a science, but by knowing how to systematically deliver your message, set measureable goals and track campaign successes and losses will certainly help you make better educated decisions on how to spend and maximize your overall advertising, capture more market share and ultimately grow your business to new levels of success.