Are You Better Off Avoiding Advertising?

Too many businesses waste their marketing budgets on adverts in print media.

Advertising is sometimes seen as the easy route to finding new customers, but today it can be an old fashioned approach and is often not very effective. After all, we live in a multi-channel world, so why spend fortunes on adverts when there are so many other better value communications channels which deliver higher returns?

Perhaps you should be improving your website’s SEO; or driving ‘inbound marketing’ with blogging, social media and high quality email marketing; or using targeted direct marketing and PR?

We only believe in very focused advertising campaigns. Work out which are the top 2 or 3 publications or websites used by your customers and only consider advertising campaigns in those. Say ‘No thanks’ to advertising sales calls for any other media, even when they tempt you with heavily discounted rates.

Reallocate your marketing budget to the most effective communication channels and you’ll save money. We regularly do this for our clients with excellent results.

However, there can be a role for advertising when…

  • Developing brand awareness and communicating brand values.
  • Differentiating and (re-) positioning brands.
  • Reinforcing brand messages.
  • Persuading audiences to think and change their behaviour.
  • Supporting lead generation and sales with direct response mechanisms (clear calls to action).
  • Giving you a high degree of control, compared to some other techniques like public relations.

Real Marketing’s advertising tips

  • Adverts should focus on one idea. Too often adverts include too many selling messages and are confusing.
  • Adverts must be well designed (to reflect your brand) and have carefully crafted copy.
  • They should be sufficiently big for impact, and well positioned in the publication (early right hand pages are best).
  • It’s more effective to run a campaign of 2 to 3 adverts (the ‘power of three’).
  • Ask for free editorial in exchange for paid-for advertising, whenever the opportunity arises.
  • Where possible, find ways to measure the response to your advertising.

Learn more about Traditional Marketing, PR & Sales and Advertising.

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