Approaching effective advertising
Post all the ads you posted last year. Ahead. Get them out of your magazines or newspapers (if you are lucky enough to have proof sheets, all the better). Also remove the competitor's ads, as many as you can. Then hide company names, addresses, and logos. If company names are in the headlines, block them out with paper and tape. Now tape them to the wall, placing yours on top and your competitors' below. Now back off, at least five feet. Let's gradually get closer to the most effective announcement in the group (hopefully one of their own).
The view "Eye test"
First, and this is very important, don't read any of them. Instead, take a quick, visual look at them, what I call an "Eye Exam." Do your ads stand out? Or do they dissolve into the mass of equality? Remember, your audience will see your ad, not in a vacuum but with dozens of competitive ads in the same or similar magazines or newspapers. If your ads stand out, you're way ahead.
Enter, feel the image
Now get a little closer to your ads. Close enough to get the feel or image they project As a new salesperson walking through the door, the first thing people react to is the overall image they project. The same goes for advertising. The colors, the design, the typography must be consistent with the image of your company. A tennis shoe salesman can wear a referee shirt and whistle around his neck, a medical sales rep cannot. If your ads are in sync with your business image, you are one step closer to your audience and a sale.
Are you projecting a consistent appearance?
Then comes an equally important aspect: consistency. All your ads should project the same image. No, they do not have to have the same image or the same title. However, they should appear to all come from the same company. After all, this image is your "familiar face" in the crowd. It's also something he worked really hard to create. And it is exclusively yours, nobody else's. Like a good salesperson who finally walked in the door to make that first sale. I wouldn't dream of changing salespeople after that. If your ads appear to be coming from several different companies, your audience may assume that your product does. If your ads pass this test, effective advertising is within your grasp. Which is exactly where you need to be for the next step.
Arm length for positioning
One step away from your favorite ad campaign. The object of this test is to see how well you have positioned yourself. Yes, you can now read their ads, but not for details. How you position yourself should be pretty obvious when you finish the first paragraph. Positioning is basically how your audience perceives your product, service or company. For example, entrepreneurs, engineers, and students need computers, but each has a different idea of what computers can do for them. Advertise a computer to a businessman and it would be better positioned as a management or accounting tool. Students may better respond to an ad that features computers to aid in writing and studying. And engineers would be better persuaded to buy a computer if you positioned it as a design or research tool. In each case, the products are the same but the positioning creates a unique appeal for any given market. And the higher the appeal, the higher the sales. If you've done your research, your positioning should bring the reader a little closer to your ad and your product.
Go to an ad
Now we are going to focus on an announcement. So pick your favorite and get close enough to read it comfortably. The title and image should answer the question "What's in it for me?" If you don't do it quickly and efficiently, your audience may miss it without even bothering to read it. Some of the best salespeople in the world begin their speech with a direct benefit to the customer, even before presenting the product. They have learned that customers want to know immediately what the product can do for them - the big profit. If the benefit of your product is buried in the body and your main image is a non-engaging product shot or a photo of the earth floating in space, your ad won't get far. And the sale will go to your competitor.
Ok, close-up time: the body of the text. You should "offset" or support the claim you made in the title by forcefully and effectively communicating the key benefits of your product. In essence, to
To do this, you will need to near the end of your ad. Close enough to read your call to action, which should be short and direct, leaving no doubt in the reader's mind about what to do after reading the ad: call, clip a coupon, circle a bingo card. It should also be clear what the reader can expect to receive: more information, schedule a demo, call a salesperson, get a test sample. The reader shouldn't have to get too close to read this either (don't write this or your phone number in fine print). Remember, when a salesperson places the order or gives their phone number, it is always loud and safe, never a whisper.
Obviously, there are many market, demographic and personal factors that we have not considered. But if you meet the key goals we presented, your audience can't help but get closer to your ad and your product. And that's what effective advertising is all about.