Weíve all heard of the saying that a picture is worth a 1,000 words, but business owners beware. Donít take this saying literally when it comes to your advertising. Too many times business owners make the mistake of trying to be too clever or creative with their marketing pieces that their message becomes muddled or unclear to their target market.
Although you probably donít want to use 1,000 words in your advertising, words are an important piece to your marketing and should complement your graphics and help get the message across. Thereís nothing worse than spending the time and money on an advertising piece only to find in the end that no one gets it. Sure it may look great, but is it effective? Remember, there are several important messages your clients should get when they read your advertising piece.
1. Who are you? You spent all that time on your advertising, but can your client immediately identify what your company name is? If your logo and company name arenít immediately apparent in the design, than you have no branding value to your marketing piece and itís time to rethink your creative.
2. What do you do? I canít tell you how many times this happens. Business owners get so involved in the aesthetics and the cool factor of the design that they forget the entire purpose of the piece. If you canít tell from looking at your design exactly what your company does, why bother spending the money?!
3. What do you want your clients to do? Ok, so youíve sent them this great advertising piece. It has your company name on it, and it clearly states what your company does. Great. Now what? What should your clients do about it? Should they call you? Should they visit your website? Set the expectations for what you want to happen by including whatís called a call to action. This is marketing speak for tell your clients exactly what you want them to do. Literally use the words, "Call 555-5555 now for an appointment," or "Visit our website today at www.prova.fm." Remember to keep it simple!
4. Why should your clients follow through? Now that youíve told your clients what you want them to do, give them a reason to do it. Offer them an incentive to pick up the phone and call your business. Whether itís 10 percent off or buy one get one free, it doesnít matter as long as itís an attractive enough offer to entice people to use your products or services.
Offering incentives also gives you another great benefit besides bringing in new customers. Incentives allow you to track your marketing efforts. Not following me? If you offer a 20 percent discount only to people who have received a certain advertising piece, then when they call asking about it, you will know where they found your number and ultimately you can track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Try to make sure each marketing effort you employ gets a different incentive. This will make it possible to track your efforts.
Creating great advertising pieces that draw your clientsí attention with attractive graphic design is just the beginning of a successful marketing campaign. By keeping these rules in mind when you create your pieces, you will ensure that your advertising efforts will not be in vain.