How to Know Which Form of Advertising Will Work for Your Business

How to Know Which Form of Advertising Will Work for Your Business

Are you spending a large portion of your budget advertising in The Yellow Pages or another medium? Have you ever wondered if these types of advertising truly work? Unless you are the type of company that gets called in an emergency such as a plumber, dentist, or electrician then The Yellow Pages may not be the best investment of your advertising dollars. What are your other advertising options?


Are you spending a large portion of your budget advertising in The Yellow Pages or another medium? Have you ever wondered if these types of advertising truly work?

Unfortunately, in some industries, such as businesses that tend to get called in an emergency (e.g. plumbers, electricians, and dentists) you need to advertise in places such as the Yellow Pages. I say unfortunately because this type of advertising is so expensive. However, the majority of us may not need to use such advertising mediums.

I am not saying that you must go out and cancel all of your Yellow Page advertisements; however, I recommend that you take a close look at the options in renewing before you get sold by the salesperson. Check to see how many advertisers have been listed within your category and, how large they are. If there are 10-15 full-page ads and another 10 half-page ads, this may be a good medium for you; however, you will either need to spend a large part of your budget to advertise in the top 5-10 ads, or you will need to design your ad so that it stands out among your competitors. Another option is to purchase a listing, not an ad if you cannot compete, and then use your budget more effectively in another advertising medium.

If you are considering other print mediums such as newspapers or magazines, you must ensure that those mediums reach YOUR target market first. Ask the publication to provide you with their circulation (actual number of printed copies they produce), how and where it is distributed, and their readers' demographic profile. Next, be sure that this information matches that of your target market. Calculate what the cost is per thousand. That is the cost for every thousand pieces printed and distributed. For example, if a 1-month advertisement costs $600 in a magazine and they print 25,000 copies, your cost per thousand is $24 or $.024 cents per person it reaches. This assumes that one person only reads each magazine. They will, however, claim this is not the case.

Next, compare this cost to other mediums, such as coupon books and direct mail. As long as the medium reaches your target market, you can make some better marketing decisions.

I cannot tell you which form of advertising to use since we all have different businesses, target audiences, and marketing styles. However, instead of just looking at other advertisements to determine where you should put in your ad, remember your target audience. What will attract them to your ad?

Remember, prospects do not care what your name is. Therefore, do not put it at the top of your ad; instead, put it at the bottom with all of your contact information and logo. They will have specific "Hot Buttons" that they care about and that you need to address in your heading.

These rules apply to most print advertising as well as TV and radio. Of course, you need to grab the reader, viewer, and/or listener's attention; however, do not try to do it with your name unless you're at McDonald's and it's lunchtime. Identifying your customer's "Hot Buttons" is the key to creating a more effective ad. Remember, you only have 1.5 - 3 seconds to grab someone's attention in any medium. How are you doing with your advertising?

Another idea you can use to catch the prospect's attention is to consider using reverse text if you cannot afford a color print. Try using big bold headings to grab their attention to key areas within the advertisement.

Do you know how many different yellow-page books there are that cover your area? There are probably at least 3-4 different companies, not to mention all the various geographical areas each of them cover. Everyone in your area will typically receive them all. Which of those should you select to advertise in? Many people will choose the cheapest; this is WRONG.

Fun Advertising Facts & Questions:

* Some communities can have a lot of printed publications that sell advertising and are distributed in their area. Do you know which ones hit your target market the best and for the least amount of investment?

* Do you know what R.O.I. means? It is referred to your return on investment or is the ratio of how much you make from what you spend.

* Do you know what PCI means? It refers to the price per column inch, as used in the newspapers.

* Do you know the circulation numbers of all the mediums in which you advertise? I am referring to the actual number of households, not the readership or reach (those are typically exaggerated numbers)? If you do not, you should find out and see what your cost per 1000 households is.

* I am often asked if it really matters if labels with bulk mail are used when running a direct mail campaign or if printed out addresses and a stamp should be used instead. Sometimes it does matter and other times not. I recommend the latter when sending mail to a cold calling a prospect; however, the same is not true for your regular database mailings to those people you know. Some will disagree with me on this, but I typically choose what is most economical as long as the mailing is still delivered in a professional manner and contains a good, attention-getting message. That is what is important!

Always remember, before you make a media buy, take time to think through your purchase. Do not get pressured into purchasing. Be sure to do some research so you can ensure you are reaching your target market, not just getting a good deal. If you do not have a marketing plan, make sure you take the time to develop one. If you do not have time to do it, then hire someone experienced to do so. This will allow you to make an educated decision when you are approached by an advertising salesperson. You will know how to spend your marketing dollars wisely, not haphazardly.