We continue our A-Z of marketing with one of the oldest marketing methods available, advertising. The first recorded piece of advertising dates back to well-known excavations such as Pompeii, where businesses would promote their wares and location through simple wall paintings.
The medium has changed a lot since then, and even over the last decade, with online advertising becoming an option alongside print, radio, and television advertising.
What is advertising?
Advertising is used by businesses to attract attention to their products and services whilst encouraging people to buy them. As with other marketing channels you only have a small amount of time to catch and keep your potential customers attention.
Advertisements need to be eye catching and keep information short, sharp, and relevant.
There are a number of mediums available and the main forms of advertising used today include:
- Print advertising in magazines and newspapers.
- Outdoor – posters such as those seen on the London Underground or at bus shelters.
- Online – banners, MPUs, and skyscrapers on websites. More recently social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have launched their own advertising options.
There has been talk over recent years about advertising becoming less effective, particularly through offline channels. However, if used as part of an overall marketing campaign which involves your target market seeing your message in a number of ways, and through a number of mediums, advertising is still an essential part of a marketer’s toolbox.
The great thing about the way advertising has evolved is that it has become easier to make interactive and measurable. Online advertising, unlike print, can be more accurately measured by monitoring impressions, click through and conversion rates. Even print advertising today often brings with it the opportunity for an online presence as many publications have moved with the times and now offer online versions.
Print advertising still works well in more niche publications such as trade magazines, you are hitting a more targeted set of readers, and in glossy magazines where taking out advertising space is still associated with glamour and success. Yes print advertising is harder to measure in terms of how many people actually see and take note of what you are offering, however, by placing an advertisement which includes a special offer or coupon with an associated code, you can easily track conversion rates and sales which are key metrics.
The new found interactivity of advertising online or on TV means that you can now point interested parties to all the information they need via a targeted landing page. You can offer special promotions because they’ve come to you through a specific advert, or you can offer them a free download, or the opportunity to request more information. The options are endless.
What to take into account when planning your campaign
Depending on the advertising channels you are using, there are a number of things to take into account when looking at placing an advertisement for your business.
- What’s your key message and how will the advertising channels you are considering display it.
- How will you measure the effectiveness of the campaign and do the channels you are looking at support that kind of measurement?
- What is your definition of a successful campaign? Is it number of visitors to your website, number of enquiries, downloads, sales.
- What is an acceptable cost per click /enquiry/sale for your business?
- Are any of your competitors great at running advertising campaigns? What can you learn from them?
- How much are you prepared to spend on your campaign?
How much should I invest?
Advertising is such a flexible medium that you can cater to most requirements and budgets. It all really depends on what you want to achieve and what budget you have available.
If you are looking for advice and how to get started call Ketchup Marketing today on 0330 088 9277.