Seven ways to get the most out of advertising

Advertising is a significant investment for any company. If approached correctly, it can yield great results, but in the same way, if it fails, it can be an expensive mistake.
There are seven key areas of advertising that will help give insight into getting it right.
Clear strategy
The first step when considering an advertising campaign is to have a clear strategy. Strategy is simply a plan that is carefully thought through before any action is taken. Important decision points include who the advertising is intended to influence, what action points they should follow and how they are going to be encouraged to take action.
Keeping adverts as simple as possible helps people understand the message being portrayed. Even when a company has many products or services to sell, it is best to cover one key product or aspect of service in an advert and then to use personal selling skills to educate the customer about other products and services.
Differentiating value
Customers have no incentive to choose a company over its competitors unless it has a distinguishing selling point. Value to the customer doesn’t necessarily need to cost money, but it can be existing services that aren’t yet well known.
Local is lekker
People are generally loyal when it comes to their local communities. Where appropriate, it is important for companies to tap into these elements in their advertising strategies with communication that is relevant to the community.
People like a good story, and this translates into advertising too. There are very few people who are interested in straight facts, figures and statistics. Overtly trying to sell to people actually often pushes them away. The vision companies create through their advertising should show the potential customer that the product or service solves a problem, adds value to their lives or fills a need that they may have.
Over deliver on expectations
Placing an advert should be done with the intention of making sales. Advertising draws people to a business, but once there, they need to be assured that the promised offer will be delivered on.
Measure everything
It is important not to fall into the trap of assuming that advertising is automatically guaranteed to have the desired results. Adverts should be tested, with different ads being run until the one that works is found.
Businesses that want to improve their advertising reach and return need to ensure that their strategy is sound, that mediums are carefully selected and that the idea is strong.