Advertising That Gets Results
Make your advertising start generating real results.


Incentives and deadlines give people a specific reason to come through the
door or pick up the phone.  A gift or free premium… a 25% off sale that lasts
only three days… these are incentives and deadlines.

All too often, people advertise with a goal of “raising awareness”. The
problem is that raising awareness and bringing people through the door are
two different things. Unless you’re Coca Cola or McDonald’s, and have their
marketing and advertising budgets, skip the “raising awareness” efforts, and
focus on giving people a reason to patronize your business or organization

Tell people they’re going to save 40%, get some sort of free premium or gift,
and they need to call, visit, or place their order by a certain date or time, if
they want it. The fear of the take-away is a big motivator for those people who
see or hear your ad, and were interested in your product or service before
they noticed it. This is true whether your selling business to consumer or
business to business.


What do you want your customers or potential customers to do? Call or stop
by? Visit your website? Order online? Come to an event?

Tell them by issuing a specific call to action. While it may seem obvious that a
restaurant wants you to come in for dinner, or a plumber wants you to call if the
sink is backed up, the simple act of issuing a call to action still goes a long
way toward bringing business through the door.


Knowing who your customers or target customers are, their habits, likes and
dislikes, and which media they’re consuming/using, is critical to getting a
return on your advertising. Scientific data from a qualified market research firm
is your best bet, but simple, informal research on your own part can also go a
long way toward getting that return.

Very simply, ask your clients or customers which media outlets they pay
attention to. Which paper or magazines do they read? Do they listen to
country, rap, classic rock, or talk radio? Are they cable news junkies, or did
they give up on television years ago? Have they noticed any billboards
recently? Are they addicted to Facebook? You’ll be surprised at how much
they’re willing to tell you, and you’ll have a much better insight into where you
should put your advertising dollars.

You should also ask everyone who calls how they found out about your
business or organization. If your website is a large part of your business, you
may also want to post a short survey there, as well.

While you’re at it, ask friends and business contemporaries who fall into one
of your target customer demographic the same questions, even if they aren‘t
clients. You’ll gain additional, valuable information to make your advertising
more effective.


People buy based on emotion backed up with logic… particularly in business
to consumer settings. Emotion plays a smaller role in business to business
settings, but your advertising message still need to show your audience how
the features of your product or service will benefit them, solve their problem,
or make their life easier.

As an example: It’s not the rear-window defroster in the new car you’re looking

It’s the safety and comfort the defroster provides on a cold, rainy night when it’
s pouring out, the windows are foggy, you’ve got the kids in the car, and you
really need to be able to see everything in front of you and behind you, in
order to make it home safely. You have the security and comfort of knowing
that you’ll be able to better see what’s going on behind you because the car
you’re interested in has a rear-window defroster.

How do the features of your product or service benefit your clients, or your
potential ones?  How do they solve a problem, make their lives easier, or
address a need or concern they have? You’ve also taken a simple logical
idea and given them an emotional investment in one of the features of your
product or service. You’ve shown them how it benefits them.

(But, hurry, factory to dealer incentives end this weekend, and these are the
lowest prices of the year! Take advantage of this offer now, before it‘s too late!)


Advertising can be very effective when the right message is put in front of the
right audience. It’s important to stay on top of it and consistently ask people
who contact your business or organization how they found out about it. You
should also be asking them which media they pay attention to, whether it’s
traditional such as radio or newspapers, or online, such as Facebook. If you’
re going to be advertising on a larger regional or national level, consider
investing in some quantitative market research.

Use incentives and deadlines to encourage people to contact you now, not
later, and be sure to issue a call to action, telling your audience what specific
action you’d like them to take.

Focus your message so it tells a story about how your product or service
benefits them, makes their lives easier, solves a problem, or helps them
achieve a goal or objective. Sell the sizzle, not the steak!

Posted on 7/21/10
Ithaca Public Relations   159 Snyder Hill Road   Ithaca, NY 14850   607-280-3840
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