Do Your Adverts Get You More Sales?

Philadelphia retailer and US Postmaster General, John Wanamaker, once said, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half."

If you're spending $10,000 a month on advertising $5,000 is going straight down the tubes. That wastes $60,000 of your hard earned cash every year. Money you could spend on better, more focused marketing.

Imagine if you could work out which half works and spend only on that half. The good news is you can. All will become clear in a little while.

In the meantime let me explain how advertising works.

Broadly there are two types of advertising. One is Branding and Positioning (BAP) and the other is Direct Response (DR) advertising.

Branding and Position concentrates on getting the company's name, or service or product continually at the forefront of its customer's minds. As you can imagine this needs continual advertising activity and can cost megabucks. Companies doing this type of advertising include Coca-Cola, British Airways, Nike and MacDonald's.

These are all major companies and everyone already knows their name and what they stand for.

Why do they do it?

The simple answer is that they're in a highly competitive market. They want to retain their large market share by ensuring that the most recent ad a prospect remembers is for their service or product. So when they're thirsty it's a Coke. If they're hungry it's a Big Mac if they want to fly they choose the World's favourite airline.

Picture the mountains of money that go towards that aim. But picture too the accountants horror ? they don't know which campaign makes a profit.

Profit is the one thing that tells you if your campaign is working. If you know your ad makes more revenue than it costs to create, run and service you'd keep running it wouldn't you?

Unfortunately Branding and Positioning (BAP) advertising can't be evaluated. You just don't know whether it's worth doing or not. How do you know which advert finally persuaded your prospect to do business with you.

Interestingly Bill Bernbach one of the founders of modern advertising said that, "Advertising doesn't create a product advantage. It can only convey it."

So why bother doing BAP advertising?

Probably because advertising agencies are happy to use BAP advertising for almost any company. Any slowdown in sales can't be attributed to their adverts. Any increase is claimed to prove the advert is working.

In reality you don't have a clue.

Former Canadian policeman turned fabulously paid copywriter John E. Kennedy coined the phrase, "advertising is salesmanship in print".

Would you tell a salesman to go see a prospect and to strip customer oriented benefits from their presentation? Also would you tell them not to ask for the order? You'd be laughed at and if you insisted you'd probably go out of business and certainly lose your salesmen.

BAP advertising does exactly that to your customer.

In contrast Direct Response (DR) advertising is able to directly relate a specific advert to an increase in sales. Or alternatively highlight a problem ad that needs fixing.

This type of advertising seeks to inform the prospect as to how your product or service improves their life, rights a wrong or smoothes a problem. Additionally, DR advertising almost always asks for a response. Either to call in to buy immediately (unusual), to get a free sample, free report, free voucher, free experience or other intermediary step before buying the target product.

Imagine the calls, letters and emails you can get from advertising that encourage your prospects to take action to contact your company immediately. You get to see whether the campaign is working. That means you can step in and tweak it if it's not.

But it also allows you to test different aspects of your advert to try and increase response further. So for instance you could run two adverts with the headline changed on one, or a different offer on one or a free-phone number against a geographic number.

You can see how every single word and picture in your advert performs. Doesn't that just feel better? You've control over your spend and the customers who are bought for your advertising dollar.

There are many people who would agree that DR advertising is the right way to advertise. But they still don't do it.

Why?

Usually the reason is simply one of ego. Direct Response adverts don't tend to be pretty or to win the Cannes Advertising Lions awards. If you're the head of the company or you're the director of sales imagine how tempting it is top run ads that might win awards?

You already have sales coming in. Running a BAP advert will still get sales coming in. And you might win that Lion at the Cannes awards for best advertising.

You're fooling yourself if you think it's for any other reason. Because almost without exception Direct Response adverts will pull more sales than BAP adverts.

Yet many advertisers don't realise it. They're convinced that an advert has to look "professional" to sell. WRONG!

Do you want more sales?

If you do, and I'm sure you do use the following steps:

Step 1: Learn how your products relate to your users. Which emotions, feelings and beliefs does it generate or speak to?

Step 2: Assess the best way to convey that to your ultimate user.

Step 3: Do the newspapers/magazines/radio/tv channels you've chosen to advertise in get read by your preferred prospects?

Step 4: Check and test each ad with a single entry in your chosen media. (Do not run ad series until you've tested the pulling power)

Step 5: Buy the smallest display ad possible. Then each time it makes money buy the next size up until it starts to lose money. Then go back to the last one that made money - the optimum size.

Step 6: Continually run split tests to find the best pulling direct response for your product

Step 7: Use some of your advertising saved to buy other means of marketing

Jim Symcox, also known as the Marketing Magician has worked as a consultant since the mid 1980's. He is a marketing coach, copywriter and the author of "How to Leap Ahead Of Your Competitors".

web: http://www.acornservice.com
blog: http://www.blogspot.acornservice.com
tel: 0161 278 1919

In The News:

Truth in Advertising  Columbia Star
The NBA's return-to-work plan  Business Insider

Advertising Headlines and How to Write Them

1. Attract prospects with your headline Use your headline as... Read More

Trade Writing - For Cash!

Often considered as "plain Jane's" of the print world, trade... Read More

The TV Shoot, The Spoiled Brat, And A Painful Lesson

It was two days before our shoot. I was in... Read More

The Seven Second Race: How to Draw Attention Your Ad

You've decided to launch your advertising campaign but you have... Read More

How to Make Your Claims Believable

When you hear claims like??Best Lawnmower in the country?Absolute Lowest... Read More

Latino Television Programs Fill a Void in Hispanic Advertising; While Advertisers Look to Attract

Advertisers that are beginning to focus on the young Hispanic... Read More

The Graphic Problem

Digital printing has revolutionized the sign industry. Current printers can... Read More

Advertising on a Budget -- Part 2: Thinking Small

This is the second article of a three-part series. I'm... Read More

8 Low Cost Ways To Advertise, Promote and Market Your Business

We all are looking for ways to market our businesses... Read More

Business Ideas: 5 Uncommon Ways To Generate More Online Business

Sometimes, it is not an obvious business idea that will... Read More

Moving message Sign

Moving Message Signs are a unique, attention-grabbing way to communicate... Read More

7 Unique Ways To Get FREE Advertising

1. Give Testimonials When you purchase a product or service... Read More

How To Create A Better Brochure

Having a quality brochure makes a positive impression on a... Read More

Media Savvy - Treat Them As You Would Your Best Customer

The ability to lead, persuade and influence are integral skills... Read More

What Happened? Troubleshooting Poor Response from Ad Campaigns

Too many small business owners today run ad campaigns that... Read More

Free Internet Advertising: 6 Proven Ways To Prevent Your Competitors From Stealing Your Customers

It is getting harder daily to generate traffic.And when you... Read More

Understanding Internet Banner Advertising

Banner advertising is an effective way of getting your advertising... Read More

Improve Your Promotional Flyers And Improve Sales

Admittedly, I have not seen your advertising flyer. Then again,... Read More

Online vs. Offline Advertising

Let's face it. Email marketing and publishing have became very... Read More

The First UK Man To Become a Human Billboard an Interview

Advertising on humans using tattoos is rapidly kind of freak... Read More

Where To Call For Free Advertising And Free Business Advice

Believe it or not, there are plenty of opportunities out... Read More

Wheres Me Pot of Gold and Lucky Charms?

We already know this from our history books. If you... Read More

Sex in Advertising: Does it Sell?

We're surrounded by advertisements that desperately compete for our attention.... Read More

Reach vs. Frequency: Touch 100 Once or 25 Four Times?

Reach and frequency are terms generally used when planning advertising... Read More

Advertising: 10 Powerful Secrets To Help You Sell Your Ad Space Like Crazy

If you want to sell more ad spaces, you must... Read More