Stop Spending So Much On Ineffective Advertising
Advertising known as institutional advertising is the practice of running ads that are designed to keep your business name in front of the public.
Institutional ads are ineffectual, non-trackable, and a blatant waste of your resources. These types of ads are so ineffectual that they’ll accomplish nothing more than drain your advertising budget.
I try to get my clients to understand this logical fact: Advertising is salesmanship. It’s either salesmanship in print, salesmanship on the web, salesmanship on the air, or salesmanship in the mail. It’s not blind, nebulous, or non stimulating statements that say nothing, make no case, or compel no one to action.
But few, if any, business owners truly or properly understand the very purpose or reason for running an ad.
The purpose of an ad is to stimulate a direct and immediate response — either a qualified inquiry, phone call, visit to your website or visit to your location — or better yet, to promote an instant sell. Nothing else justifies spending the lavish monies ads cost.
How do you tell the difference between an institutional ad and a direct-response ad? Very simply… An institutional ad is not trackable, its purpose is merely to put a company name in front of the general public. A direct-response ad is trackable — it asks the reader to respond in some way (by phone, by website form, by mail, by coupon) — so you can measure the effectiveness of the ad.
Here’s an example of an institutional ad. It’s a full page ad I found in the Robb Report Magazine.
Even though this ad includes an address and phone numbers I still consider this ineffectual advertising because it really doesn’t solicit a direct response. Also, if someone calls or visits how do they know that visit or call was stimulated by this particular ad? It’s not trackable.
The rate card as posted on the Robb Report’s website shows that a full page ad, just like the one above, costs $31,896 for a one time run. Wasteful? In our example above, yes indeed! Now imagine if they reworked that ad to be a direct response ad it could have a dramatic effect on their business.
Direct-response advertising will help prevent you from blindly throwing money into the coffers of the radio and TV stations, and the newspapers and magazines, because you can measure whether or not your ad is effective.
Here’s an ad that is a direct response ad.
This ad has a good compelling USP which is; “A Sunsetter makes your life outdoors more enjoyable by keeping your deck up to 20 degrees cooler”. It has a phone number to call and if you noticed there’s a “tracking code” under the number, #PA019260. Now this ad isn’t perfect because there’s things that could be changed to make it more effective, but it’s much better than the Dubuis ad we looked at above.
Until a company understands the purpose of an ad and how to construct and formulate it, I advise my clients to hold off and stop throwing their money away. We’ll look at how to formulate an awesome, highly effective direct-response ad in a future post.