Guide to Effective Advertising and Marketing

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Effective advertising relies heavily on market segmentation and the elusive window of opportunity. 

If you want to get a product or service advertised, you have to make sure you do it in an effective way because otherwise, you could spend thousands on advertising and not sell a single additional unit than you did before the campaign ran.

The first thing to consider is your target market. This is where the idea of market segmentation comes in. You want to get to know your audience well and determine what media vehicles will be effective in advertising to them. If you’re selling a toy, for example, showing commercials on ESPN is probably not the wisest marketing move. You want to target parents and especially, kids. So buy ad time on Nickelodeon or the Disney channel to get kids interested. They will do the rest of the work for you.

Another example especially relating to picking media vehicles, such as TV, internet, radio, or magazines, is trying to market a kayak. Someone who would buy a kayak probably likes the outdoors, which means they probably wouldn’t be sitting in front of their TV on a Saturday afternoon. So putting commercials for a kayak at that time might not be very effective. On the other hand, you should consider buying ad space in Outdoor Life magazine.

This all seems like common sense, but it is important to do research because some market trends are actually the opposite of what you would instinctively think. Consumers are very interesting creatures and it will benefit you if you thoroughly research the people you are trying to market to. You might also find information about what kinds of things get their attention or make them laugh to make your advertising even more effective.

Another important thing to consider is aperture, or the window of opportunity. 

You should always keep in mind that advertising is useless unless a customer is ready to buy a certain item. I love the Energizer bunny commercials but if I don’t need batteries, the commercial alone isn’t going to make me go out and buy some. You could set up a schedule of advertising that occurs on and off for some period of time. This is an example of what is called an awareness ad. If my computer breaks and I’ve been seeing commercials for the new Mac for months, I am more likely to look into that when I go out to buy a new computer. They make the consumer aware of the brand.

But for certain items, this kind of advertising is ineffective because they are seasonal or otherwise extremely reliant on when a customer is ready to buy. 

So you wouldn’t advertise for school supplies in the middle of the spring if the school year is almost over. Similarly, it is probably a good idea to increase advertising for video game systems around Christmastime because a lot of people are in the market for one.

If you keep these things in mind, you should be able to create an effective advertising and marketing campaign. Always remember to do thorough research. I cannot stress that point enough because it should be the basis for every other step you take in the advertising process.

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