Advertising is the way in which consumers are convinced to purchase products or services from a business. While advertising can occur on a variety of formats on a range of different scales, it always follows the same basic principles.
If a product or service is advertised poorly then it is impossible for it to reach its true sales potential. Every successful enterprise has advertised in some fashion and it would be foolish to ignore its power in driving business goals.
Let’s take a look at some of the basic steps required to create effective advertising.
Research your target market
Anyone with a cursory understanding of marketing understands that knowledge of the target market is essential. Ideally, much of this research would have occurred during the product development stage.
The target market, also known as the target audience, is the group of people who your product is targeted to. This means that they share traits, preferences and demographic factors that make them predisposed to buy your product or service.
For example, the target market for cat food would be cat owners. The target market for hammers would be construction workers, tradesman and homeowners.
Target research is not simply identifying who would use the product but why they would use it to. In order to advertise successfully you need to understand the deep down, sincere reasons why the target wants or needs what you’re offering them.
Developing an advertising message
After you’ve done in-depth target research, you’re ready to begin developing an advertising message that will be persuasive to the target audience. This means creating an argument for your product that the target is going to agree with.
For example, the best baby products use advertising messages that communicate more than just the features of the product. The message recognises that mothers, the target audience, want to make sure their babies are healthy, comfortable and happy.
This is why commercials for baby products are filled with imagery of smiling mothers playing with laughing babies. They’re not just selling a product; they’re selling a happy, confident lifestyle for mothers and their newborn children.
This kind of advertising can be seen everywhere from clothing to cars. Products in highly competitive markets need to differentiate themselves from the competition by selling a unique feeling and/or lifestyle to their audience.
Choose a delivery format
The way in which you deliver your advertising will be heavily influenced by the target research you have already done. You will only want to spend resources advertising on certain platforms your audience will be exposed to.
If your target audience is made up of young people, then perhaps newspaper ads aren’t worth your investment. If your target audience are all working age adults, perhaps you shouldn’t focus on running ads on daytime TV.
The choice of format also heavily depends on the capital you have available to put into it. Certain high exposure formats like TV are far more expensive to run ads on than those with less exposure, like a local newspaper.