Advertising. Yes or no?

Standing out?

Can advertising generate leads? Should it be a part of your marketing activity? What type works? Some quite strong questions for a Monday morning!

I believe that that there are limited numbers of prospects who buy in the professional services arena and, the infrequency of their purchase decision making makes a strong case for not doing any advertising at all. After all, why do so few ad agencies advertise? Maybe there is a message in that!!

Of course, for many years, some professional services were not permitted to advertise for ethical reasons (i.e. the legal sector), but, when these restrictions were lifted, their first impulse was to rush into advertising. But they forgot about below the line activity.

My main interest in advertising is whether it can generate leads; whether it should be taken seriously as a response generator. Do prospective clients come knocking as a result of an advert or does seeing an advert leave them cold? To me, advertising is about ensuring that prospects see the added value working with you brings. However, there are some professional establishments simply advertise to satisfy their egos………….and to annoy their competitors!

There is one obvious situation where advertising would seem an obvious route to market – the launch of a new product or service……or what I like to call “Announcement advertising.” However, for this to be truly effective, the advertising needs to be full of flair and create a buzz around the market. I have tried to do this with my latest Bath Life advert promoting my website/CMS package using a chocolate cake.

Wherever possible try (as written about by a fellow Tweeter Andy from Pro Ipbx), and put a response mechanism in place to allow reactions to get straight back to you. Or, at least ensure that you find some way of viewing effectiveness. Maybe by simply asking enquirers or promoting a particular page on your website that can be viewed via analytics.

Although it is sometimes hard to quantify, I believe advertising does create curiosity. It can also lay the foundation for other marketing initiatives such as e marketing or direct mail. It can also generate real positive feelings internally from your employees by showing real commitment to the business and raising morale. Hmm, but does this answer the question of its use? Tough one.

There will be plenty more on this subject from me tomorrow and later in the week, but, what do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment. Let’s share experiences!


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