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Most common mistakes made in advertising

by scottbrowning on 6 July 2011

1. Making a knee jerk decision 

Bad AdThis is probably the one that most of us are guilty of, so this may sound all too familiar.  You get a call from a publication offering you a heavily discounted rate, it’s a great deal and you just can’t resist booking it.  There are two problems with this, the first is that you’re not taking the time to research and choose your media carefully.  The second is that these deals are often due to there being last minute availability for space available near to deadline.

So how should you approach booking advertising?  The key question when selecting media is does it reach your target audience? Get to know your customers as much as possible. Create a survey for them to fill out. Ask them what radio stations they like. What newspapers or magazines they like. You need to construct a profile of your target market. Look at their circulation figures and calculate their cost per thousand so you can make comparisons and decide what you see as a fair price, this will put you in a stronger position when negotiating the rate.

2. Booking a one-off advert

Some people make spur of the moment buying decisions, but most need to become familiar with your services and products, and this takes time. If you want your advertising to work, you need to ensure that your prospects see or hear it regularly, over the course of a minimum of 3 months.

3. Cutting corners on copywriting and design

You’ve invested in advertising, and let’s face it, it is an investment and not a cost, the next step is to create the artwork for the advert.  The publication is offering free design – great!  Or is it?  As good as they may be at design, their artwork is only as good as your brief and if you don’t know your headline, key benefits (not product features) and have a strong call to action, neither will they.  Your advert needs to stand out from all other adverts on the page, you need a unique style and layout which reflects your company branding.  This is best achieved by a qualified designer and good copywriter / marketer.

4. Not measuring your advertising

Always include a unique reference in your advertising or some form of response mechanism that can be tracked and measured:

  • Discount codes
  • Tear off slip
  • Unique URL/ Telephone number

Ask every enquirer how they heard about you?  Tip – if they say it was from your website, they must have come to know of your website either through an internet search, from an advert etc.

Help is at hand -  If you would like us to take care of the research and selection of advertising media, why not give us a call for a chat to find out how we can help.

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