Advertising. Does it work?

This is something I get asked regularly by clients and it is normally followed by something about how much it costs! Two questions which are very hard to answer. However, I will try…….

To me the process of running an advertising campaign is something that can really add value to the marketing activity of a company. However, it’s not just about the anticipated image building benefits advertising can bring. It is also to do with to what extent can advertising generate leads.

Given the limited number of prospects who buy in the professional services arena and the infrequency of their purchase design making, a case needs to be made before doing any advertising. Not many advertising agencies seem to advertise. There might be a message in that!

As touched upon earlier, a consideration for implementing advertising as part of your marketing strategy is its ability to generate leads or open new doors. Don’t allow yourself to be seduced by the desire to become famous and to be talked about at dinner parties! In my opinion it is your job to focus your and your organisations’ attention on the additional benefit advertising can offer.

A well thought out media plan & advertising campaign can underpin your marketing strategy and aid other marketing areas, but, to give it the best chance of yielding a response, aim to produce a campaign that is unique, has real flair, is creative, well written and pleasing to the eye and its impact can be quite dramatic.

There is one obvious circumstance in which using advertising can be defended – when you launch a new product or service. This sort of campaign falls under the “announcement” heading which is aimed at building awareness, but it must contain the potential benefits. Merely stating that your organisation has a new joiner or a new department won’t cut it!

I think it is hard to deny that advertising will create curiosity and allow your sales people to make prospecting calls or follow up activity such as direct marketing as a minimum outcome of running it. In addition, advertising can also act as proof of commitment to marketing and raises profile both externally and internally as well as can maintain a trickle of new leads. This means that it very much can “work,” but you need to outline what the strategy is behind your marketing activity is before adding advertising to the mix.

Who knows, if you do decide that advertising is part of the plan, it may well even create a buzz within the industry and, whatever the outcome, please, please, please make sure that each campaign has an obvious response mechanism!


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