By: Ujaya Shakya

Misplaced Notion

I am often amazed when I hear my business colleagues claim that advertising simply doesn’t work. And I always wonder what measure they are using to determine this failure. I often want to make them all understand that doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does. No matter how wonderful your products or services are, if you don’t advertise nobody is going to know about them.

John Wannamaker, one of the fore-fathers of advertising, is credited with the famous phrase: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” His words survive as one of the most frequently quoted clichés in marketing and advertising. And this goes true for all means of advertising we have been traditionally doing which include radio, television, print and outdoor. However, as for internet and social media where measurement and analytics are relatively easy, this adage is true, but only to a limited extent. So true has this adage been till date that I often wonder if only I can tell which half is wasted because that would mean a fortune for anybody who does.

In our business of advertising, it is the result that counts. And for most of our clients, you are only as good as your last job or campaign done. An advertising campaign won’t be successful just because you run the advertisement in some of your favorite channels and newspapers you read every morning. They must engage the right audiences, speak to them in their language and cater to their needs and desires.

Roadmap to Produce Spectacular Advertising Campaign Results

If done correctly, your advertising can produce wonderful results for your business. Here are a few quick recommendations to plan and execute your advertising campaign more effectively.

1) Define your target audience:

An advertising program should always be conceptualized from the perspectives of your niche focus. Many clients often make a common mistake to create a generic advertisement program that does not relate to your focus areas and thereby does not reach your potential customers. Always ask who your target audience is and make sure your campaign speaks to them in their language.

2) Showcase your Unique Selling Point:

The USP makes your service or product stand out and demand action. Before you begin the advertising program, figure out what it is you are trying to sell, and what is special or unique about it for your target audiences. Make sure the final advertisement program is crystal clear on this particular point. This will give you your competitive edge. Unless you highlight your benefits, your advertisement delivers no value to your potential customers.

3) Spend money to make money:

You don’t devise your marketing plan to save money. As a professional working for your company, the employers have not placed you in that position to save money. There could be many other ways to save money, but advertising is typically not the place to cut corners. Saving money in advertisement affects your final off-takes from shelf space, even when you have managed to convince your trade partner to place your products in their retail points. And that in turn will affect your bottom-line at the end. Instead, a successful advertising campaign may make money for you, but that is because it works.

4) Invest in the right media:

Many times, we end up advertising in our favorite magazines, friendly radio stations, or even television programs which are preferred by your wife. But remember, those media vehicles might not be the favorites of your target audience whom you need to reach for effective advertisement. Do some quick research about your target market to understand who they are and determine what they read, what they like to watch, and what radio-station they tune in to when they are driving home. There are external agencies to do this research for you. And in case there is not much budget, internal dipstick research can also be done. Then invest in the right media to ensure that you reach your target market.

5) Take consideration of seasonality:

Most businesses have seasonal highs and lows, so study your trend and plan your advertisement investment accordingly. You should not be in a situation where you are spending too much money on advertising during downtimes and having not enough when you want to attract customers. I have experienced this phenomenon with many homegrown entrepreneurs who do not tend to budget with these considerations. They mostly advertise because they generate some money in-between or want to get associated with events and activities for their own PR boost.

6) Spread your portfolio:

As is the case with your investment portfolio, you should not put all of your eggs in one basket. You should spread your advertising budget by choosing a variety of suitable media for your audience. There are practices among many to choose the best place to advertise based on absolute price and their own relationship. Media mix should be eclectic, diverse, based on rationale and intuition, and result-focused.

7) Don’t Try to Be Everything to Everyone:

This is a golden rule for effective advertising, “No product or service will appeal to everyone”. Many business owners, including professionals, try to come up with ways to reach every market. Typically, this does not work. It could mean disaster for smaller businesses, who cannot afford to spread themselves too thin. Therefore, always find your market, your niche, and be everything you can be to that particular audience.

Know Further:

About the Book

Ujaya Shakya’s Brandsutra is a collection of inclusive & incisive thoughts on the marketing & advertising field in Nepal. This book tries to introduce all of the 360-degree communication touch-points, elucidating upon the model of Integrated Marketing Communication, or convergent branding.

Published by FinePrint

Ujaya Shakya is the founder and managing director of Outreach Nepal based in Kathmandu and the author of ‘Brandsutra’.

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