For many business owners 2020 has brought significant hardship. We spoke to advertising guru, Adam Williams who shared some sage advice on achieving cut through with your next advertising campaigns. Whether you are a new business considering your first campaign, or a seasoned business owner looking to drive better revenue in 2021, we’ve got you covered.
What are your three tips for someone with a new business embarking on their first advertising campaign?
- Be clear about your target market. There’s an old saying in advertising… “Talk to everyone, no-one listens. Talk to one person, everyone eavesdrops”. That’s because, naturally, you’ll want your target market to be as broad as possible. But if you try to target everyone, you end up targeting no-one. So, focus your advertising budget and efforts on targeting the audience that is most profitable to you. And remember, a target market is simply a group of people who share a common problem, need or want.
- Be customer centric. Once you’ve identified the common problem, need or want of your target market, you need to tell them why you’re the best option to solve that problem, need or want. But here’s the trick. You’ll instinctively have things that are really important for you to say in your advertising. The question is, are those things important to the audience too? While you see your business from the inside-out, consumers see it from the outside looking in, and what is important to them might be completely different to what’s important to you. For example, you might think being a family run business for 70 years demonstrates care and trust. Others might just think it makes you sound old fashioned. So be customer centric. Having a clear and unique customer benefit is a great start.
- In advertising, businesses can often make the mistake of following the leader. They look at successful competitors and think “if they sound, look and feel like that, it must be the way it’s done.” The problem is that if everyone is doing and saying the same thing, how can consumers tell one brand from another, let alone develop a preference? You’ll just end up promoting the category leader, or the category in general, without giving consumers a compelling reason to choose you specifically. The risk isn’t in standing out from everyone else… it’s in being the same.
For those who have experienced business hardship in 2020, what are some budget friendly advertising strategies for 2021?
- Create urgency. At any single time, there is a certain number of people in the market to buy your goods or services. But you can shorten the decision-making process and pull more buyers into the market by creating urgency through a time-bound reason to buy. E.g., for a limited time only, for the first X customers, while stock lasts, just released, latest model, be the first to own, buy now to also receive… etc. This plays to our desire for instant gratification and our fear of missing out (loss aversion).
- Design for shareability. How likely is it that someone would share your advertising with all their contacts? Pretty unlikely, right? … Unless it either made them look good, feel important, reflected their beliefs, improved their social standing, or provided some other emotional benefit. Designing for shareability takes these things into consideration and simply means giving your content and advertising the best chance of people noticing it, remembering it and wanting to share it with others. Depending on your business, you could achieve this in different ways. You could be particularly informative, entertaining, humorous, unpredictable, emotive, outrageous, controversial, or any adjective that elicits a strong response from the audience and motivates them to want to share it. And when they do so, you not only win the battle for attention, you get free advertising too.
- Sleep and time are the enemy of memory, and repetition is its friend. So rather than trying to stretch your advertising budget too wide, try grouping your impressions together for maximum impact and memorability.
What are the three most important lessons you have learned working in advertising?
- Create strong brand assets. Brand assets, or brand codes, are those unique identifiers of your business such as its logo, colours, font, taglines, voice, tone of voice, music, and audio identity. Used consistently, these become encoded into long term-memory, help you become famous, and make you synonymous with a product or service. Think Toyota’s “Oh what a feeling”, McDonald’s golden arches, Coca Cola’s use of red and their ‘dynamic ribbon’, Cadbury’s specific shade of purple and Intel’s audio logo, etc.
- The power of branding. The importance of branding is that it determines how much someone is willing to give you. How much time, money, attention, priority, respect, loyalty, etc. And to create a strong brand, you need consistency.
- The goal for any business is to be top of mind when consumers are looking to buy. The way to achieve that – and build trust – is through consistency across time and touchpoints (consumers only buy from brands they trust). If there is no consistency, it’s as if the audience is seeing or hearing from a different business every time, and you need to start the relationship again.
What are some of the things the most successful clients are doing to drive revenue?
- Always on. The most successful businesses know that every day, week or month, there are new people coming into the market who are ready to buy. They recognise the need to be there when the customer is ready to buy, not just expect the customer to be ready to buy when they advertise.
- The 3 Cs. Convert. Continuously engage. This is a simple content and advertising strategy that aims to develop a relationship with the consumer as they move through and beyond the buying cycle.
- The PESO Model / Omnichannel Marketing. PESO is an acronym for Paid (advertising), Earned (reviews, PR), Shared (user-generated social media) and Owned (a business’s own assets such as their website and social media pages). Managing and giving consumers a consistent and / or lineal experience across all these touchpoints – as well as your retail locations – helps brands maximise their acquisition, retention and share of wallet. This is also known as Omnichannel Marketing.
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