Theories about advertising come and go, but the basic starting point for designing an advertising campaign is the USP. As a minimum, there must be a USP – Unique Selling Point – compromising a benefit which is uniquely yours and which attracts. Then you must gain attention from the reader.
Creating a print ad with both these elements is a skill which, in my opinion, demands the hiring of professionals. A good idea drawn on a napkin during a business lunch is not normally a good way to plan an advertising campaign!Nor should you be using the publisher to design your advert. Many publishers offer “free design” as a part of their sales pitch and you must resist the temptation to take them up on their offer! They do not know your business or what your aims are so may well miss the point altogether. In my opinion, there must be no economising at all with advertising and no DIY.
Many designers will relish the chance to display their talents in print and there are many companies to choose from, but set a clear budget and give a clear brief or the design could end up costing a lot more than you thought. If you do make your advertising professional you will stand out from the crowd and this is a worthwhile investment.
At the risk of repeating myself from other posts, please don’t forget to have some sort of response mechanism in your advert. After all, a key aim should be to sell a meeting so give your target market the chance to identify themselves! Some companies display the name and details of a senior person within the organisation to encourage a response.
When purchasing advertising space there is one key word – negotiate! Very few companies will pay “rate card” so nor should you. Explore a special offer or an introductory offer if you are a new advertiser. I would suggest you avoid advertising in supplements as these are generally a vehicle for the media to generate additional revenue and you will quite often find yourself surrounded by your competition which will reduce your potential impact.
Fight to get a colour spot if there is a difference in cost between colour and mono advertising space. Try for a full page for the cost of a half and try for a repeat ad at no additional cost. Some agencies (like Bath Marketing Consultancy) have very good links with the media and can negotiate an advertising package on your behalf which may well include a press release or a news snippet in the magazine or paper. However, most agencies will take a commission from the media so beware of costs (BMC do not).
And then there is the internet……………..