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Marketing: Back to Basics

Provided by Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting, Content Partner for SME Toolkit


It happens with many print ads: great visuals, catchy headlines, but no subsequent brand-recall whatsoever. The problem with these flamboyant but- easy-to-forget ads is that there is typically an overwhelming emphasis on visuals that divert the consumer’s attention from your key messages, brand name, and logo. This applies to ads in all platforms – TV, print, radio, and online. People may be humming your radio jingle throughout the day, but if they can’t affiliate that humming to your brand name, it won’t do you much good. Frequency or pulsing won’t help much either. If it’s a lemon ad, it’ll stay one regardless of how hard it is pushed. Regardless of your advertising objectives, they will for certain require more than an attractive visual. Here are some guidelines toward designing an effective ad that produces results, be that in the form of a TV or radio commercials, print ads, or online banners.

Attractive visuals: Visual parts should attract attention. In the case of newspapers, the artwork will determine whether the reader notices your ad. If the visual is too catchy or smart-looking, your ad might backfire, as the reader may spend too much time admiring the artwork, flipping the page without seeing the rest of your ad. Make sure the visual triggers the reader’s interest to observe all the details of the ad.

A great headline: The next item your reader needs to see and absorb is the headline. This is where the essence is served in one easy-to-read-and- memorize statement. You have to factor in the risk that your reader have lost interest beyond a certain line, so make sure the headline communicates what you have to say, briefly and clearly. Your ad agency’s copywriter is going to spend time and energy composing one that is right on target. If the copywriter does a decent job, the headline will entice the reader to move on to the text of your ad, which is exactly where you want them to be.

Effective text: The body of your ad is where you can elaborate more about what you are offering or promoting, so be precise and specific. Elaborate, but don’t overdo it. Use short sentences and a language that people can actually understand and memorize. Don’t brag about your brand, but focus on benefits and value. Again, the skills of a copywriter are critical here. Writing effective text is a gift that not many possess, so make sure you have a pro on board who can get the job done.

Call for action: Every ad should have a clear and specific call for action such as visiting a store, calling a number to schedule an appointment, or browsing a website. The call for action does not have to be limited to the text but can be articulated multiple times throughout the ad, as long as it is consistent and focused.

Measurability: Ideally, you want to incorporate tools that help you measure the results of your campaign. For example, if the add is an attempt to attract consumers to call a number and schedule an appointment, assign a phone number that’s exclusively linked to the ad, so as to gauge the number of calls you’re getting through that advertisement. Keep record of the number of callers, how many scheduled an appointment, and how many generated a service fee. If the number of callers fails to meet your expectations, you’ll know that the ad wasn’t effective. If the numbers are high, but don’t produce enough appointments, you may want to check up on your receptionist’s phone skills. If both are up to par, but your sales are not impressive, you might have to revisit the packages that are being offered. Last but not least, it all begins with you forming clear objectives and targets for your campaigns. Communicate those clearly to your ad agency, brief them well, listen to what they recommend, and then stick to your plan and commit to it.

Copyright © 2016 Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting. All rights reserved.

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