As a small business owner, you’ll want to get positive returns on a limited marketing budget. It’s important to monitor the quantity and quality of advertising in order to be as effective as possible.
It’s impossible to measure the exact returns from investing in building your brand. A familiar saying is, ‘I know that half my advertising is wasted – I just don’t know which half.’ However, most small businesses can’t afford to advertise for brand awareness. They need a return on their investment.
If you have a limited marketing budget, you need to give preference to advertising methods that you can measure.
What you don’t measure you can’t manage. To get the most out of your advertising budget you need to monitor the results so that you can:
The main methods of measuring your advertising include:
These methods allow you to identify the sources accurately. In addition, you can survey results through your daily business processes by:
It’s vital you employ these tactics consistently. Then, record the results – there’s no point in tracking this data if you’re not going to use it.
Use your results to refine and improve your advertising. For example, if you’re an electrician, you could place an advert in two city newspapers using different headlines and advert layouts to see which ad generates the best results.
Television and radio advertising work through repetition and require a substantial budget. Try cheaper methods first before you attempt more expensive options. Consider:
Eliminate these mistakes from your advertising and you’re well on the way to getting better value for your marketing budget.
Many good adverts fail because there’s no call to action. The reader, viewer or listener may be persuaded but they’re not told what to do next.
Effective adverts include some key points that encourage the customer to take action now through decision drivers such as:
The start of your advertisement is the most important. An effective advert or direct marketing letter has to capture the attention of your potential customers through a compelling headline.
While your headline pulls readers in, your text needs to entice them to read on. It won’t do this if it focuses on features instead of benefits.
People aren’t interested in how many bells and whistles your product or service has. They’re interested in how your product or service could transform their lives. The more effectively this competitive edge or USP is portrayed, the better the results are likely to be.
It’s important to recognize our strengths and limitations. Advertising is a specialized activity and you need to understand the nature of each medium – such as direct marketing, print ads, radio, TV, and the Internet. Also consider what will work for your products or services.
Relying on ‘desktop publishing’ programs to produce your own adverts rarely produces credible or professional results. Get help from a copywriter or an advertising consultant.
Advertising starts with market research and targeting your market. Choose the right medium for your products and services without being seduced along the way by ‘special offers.’