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Is your business ready to take advantage of advertising opportunities?

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by Candice Sealey Tue, Jan 27, 2015

With more media entities entering the market, the media landscape in SVG is about to change significantly; therefore, it’s an ideal time for businesses to develop a comprehensive advertising strategy, so as to make the right decisions when faced with so many options.{{more}}

Does your business have a plan to reach and persuade customers to buy your offerings? If your answer is no, then it means you don’t have a strategy. In a nutshell, your advertising strategy will assist in communicating ideas about your products and services to potential consumers in the hopes of convincing them to choose your service or product. This strategy, when built in a rational and intelligent manner, will reflect other business considerations, e.g. overall budget and objectives, e.g. image enhancement as well. Even if your small business is unable to devote much money to advertising as a larger company can, it can still develop highly effective advertising campaigns. The key is creative and flexible planning, based on an in-depth knowledge of the target consumer and the avenues that can be utilized to reach that consumer. This in-depth knowledge will help you to make the right decisions about which communication channels are most appropriate for your business needs.

Here are some answers to advertising related questions that are often raised by business owners and marketers:

Q: What can my advertising realistically achieve?

A: A good advert can attract lots of enquiries and visits, but you may have poor sales for many reasons, including poor sales literature, misinformed staff, poor customer service or maybe the price is out of step with customer expectations, late or no follow-up (in a business to business situation). A well-designed advert can generate sales/enquiries, improve the company’s image or support a sales promotion offer. Decide on the precise purpose of the ad before you design it – don’t create an ad because you think you should have ‘something’. Remember the advert does the job of bringing the people; when they arrive at your business, it’s now all up to you!

Q: Help! How do I plan my campaign?

A: The best time to advertise is when your audience is most likely to buy your product or service. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to recruit new staff? Are you after a new segment in the market? Are you relocating or expanding?

Your campaign should cover placement of adverts, budgets, designs, timing and follow up reviews. Don’t underestimate the timescales involved and make your adverts memorable!

WHO DO YOU WANT TO TALK TO?

– Do you have a profile of your customers? Are they male or female? Do they have a particular lifestyle?

WHERE ARE THESE PEOPLE?

– Do they live in Kingstown? Do they live in the diaspora?

The answers to these questions should influence the media chosen.

WHY?

– Why are you advertising? You may think the answer is obvious, but increasing sales is not always the objective of advertising. You can advertise to educate the public about new developments or to even reassure existing customers; e.g. maybe your customers have been complaining about an issue, said issue is now resolved, so now it’s time to creatively bring that message across to the public!

Q: Where should you advertise?

A: You should always match your customer profile with what your target market reads, watches, listens to or engages with… Think about the returns and reach; e.g. a poster may seem cheap, but it may only be read by a small proportion of your target audience – to reach 1,500 people it may take two or more weeks, depending on where it’s placed; whereas an advert in the newspaper or on the radio may seem more costly but it reaches that1500 people & more much faster.

Q: How long does it take for an ad campaign to work?

A: Once you monitor the effectiveness of your campaigns, you will have an idea as to how long they must run to achieve their objectives… If you’re not getting the anticipated results, tracking will show when and how your advertising needs to change. Advertising is not a quick short-term fix that’s to be used only when there’s a need to get some sales in – it must be planned to support an overall strategy.

Q: Help! What sort of look should I go for? Who should voice my ads?

A: A casual reader will spend about two seconds looking at your print advert. If it hasn’t grabbed their attention in that time, the reader moves on to something else. A listener will lose interest if the ad doesn’t grab their attention in the first five to eight seconds. Therefore, how your advert looks and sounds is very important, as does the frequency of the advert and the placement of ad slots. An eye catching headline is essential – more than 50 per cent of readers do not read past the headline. If you depend on the body of your ad to tell your story, you are wasting a lot of your money.

Q: Should I try to match my competitor’s advertising?

A: You should keep an eye on your competitor’s advertising, since it can give valuable insight into their strategies, but don’t try to copy them. Marketing is about creating a competitive advantage so copying your competitors’ doesn’t put you ahead of them. Either do better or be different, but above all work to your strengths.

Q: Why should I use an outside consultancy?

A: An outside consultant doesn’t replace your Marketing staff, neither does he/she make them redundant… he or she serves as an adviser and can work along with your existing Marketing personnel or manager – an outsider’s view brings a fresh, objective perspective to the table. Utilize the services of an experienced consultant with a track record. Get a feel for what they can offer you… they should be able to explain in no uncertain terms how they can help you achieve your marketing or public relations objectives.

Remember your advertising creates an image of your company. It’s better not to advertise at all, rather than to have poorly thought out, mediocre advertising that damages your reputation.

Candice Sealey is Founder of Ignite! Full service Marketing & PR Consultancy Company offering tailored services to help businesses succeed.

Let Ignite create an effective advertising strategy that will create new sparks and get better results for your business.

Follow us @Ignite3D

Email: igniteresults@gmail.com

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