How Do You Advertise More Effectively?

Advertising can be a bottomless pit for the business dollar. It is a necessary activity for most businesses, but is also one that can cost more than it returns. To advertise effectively requires insight, planning, creativity, communication skills and an ability to think outside the square.

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For an advertisement to work, it must take the potential customer through the following 6 stages:

1. Developing Product Awareness
The advert must first catch the attention of the potential customer and in doing so, make them aware that the product exists.

2. Provide Information
Next, the advert must raise the potential customer’s knowledge of the product. In writing an advert, you need to carefully consider what are the most important “facts” to be included in the advert. An advertisement of any kind will have limitations to the quantity of information it can contain.

You need to be selective, and use the most pertinent information, that will provide the best reason for a person to buy. At the end of this stage, the customer should like the product.

3. Develop a Desire for the Product
A liking for the product is converted to a wish to possess it. This conversion may occur for any of many reasons; for example: an attractive appearance, nice taste, novelty or uniqueness factor, a perceived use by the customer, etc.
At the end of this stage the customer should desire to possess the product

4. Develop Conviction
Desire is not enough to ensure a sale; given that customers have limited budgets, and must choose between different purchases (They may desire many things but can only purchase some).

Conviction comes through the customer making comparisons, and from those comparisons: choices.

An advertisement can facilitate conviction through such things as testimonials, money back guarantees, test reports, or sometimes through the corporate image or goodwill that has been created over a long period.

5. Distinguish Brand or Model Preference
For many products and services, there can be variations offered for sale, within the product.
A person may have developed a conviction to buy a car, but they still haven’t decided whether to buy a 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder version.
A person may have decided to purchase a box of chocolates, but they are still not firmly set on whether to buy the Cadbury’s brand, or the Nestles brand.

In this stage, the advertisement needs to focus the customers attention on a particular brand or model.

6. Create impetus to Make a Firm Decision.
The advert needs a prompt; that is, component that promotes a decision, in order to move the potential customer toward the closure of a sale.
Examples might be:

  • A coupon
  • A discount offer
  • A reason to go to the shop (eg. free entertainment on a particular day)
  • Bonus gift if you buy before a particular date
  • A point of contact and a message urging contact (eg. Phone Today for a free handbook)

Using words like “Free”, “Bonus” or “Discount” are widely accepted as tried and proven strategies in this stage.