Advertising your great product or service

Advertising: The Basics

Advertising your great product or service

Advertising  your great product or service? Unfortunately, no one’s going to know about it unless you advertise.

Advertising, if done correctly, can do wonders for your product or service sales, and you know what that means: more revenue and more success for your business. But be warned: it is not a panacea.

Below you will find a list of what advertising can and can’t do for your business, along with the steps you can take to start using advertising to your business’s advantage.

What Advertising Can Do For Your Business

  • Remind customers and inform prospective customers about the benefits of your product or service
  • Establish and maintain your distinct identity
  • Enhance your reputation
  • Encourage existing customers to buy more of your product/service
  • Attract new customers and replace lost ones
  • Slowly build sales to boost your bottom line
  • Promote your business to customers, investors, and others

  • Advertising is not a one stop solution

What Advertising Cannot Do For Your Business

  • Create an instant customer base
  • Cause an immediate, sharp increase in sales
  • Solve cash flow or profit problems
  • Substitute for poor or indifferent customer service
  • Sell useless or unwanted products or services

Two Important Virtues of Advertising

  • You have complete control. Unlike public-relations efforts, you determine exactly where, when and how often your message will appear, how it will look and what it will say. You can target your audience more readily and aim at very specific geographic areas.
  • You can be consistent. Presenting your company’s image and sales message repeatedly to build awareness and trust. A distinctive identity will eventually become clearly associated with your company. Customers will recognize your brand and product quickly and easily if you’re consistent in presentation.

Advertising has it’s drawbacks

  • It takes planning. Advertising works best and costs the least when the planning and preparation are done in advance. For example, you’ll pay less per ad in newspapers and magazines by agreeing to run several ads over time rather than deciding on an issue-by-issue basis. Likewise, you can save money by preparing a number of ads at once.
  • It takes time and persistence. The effectiveness of your advertising improves gradually over time because it’s impossible for every customer to see every ad. You must repeatedly remind prospects and customers about the benefits of doing business with you. The long-term effort triggers recognition and helps special offers or direct marketing payoff.

Getting Ready to Advertise

Use the following steps to help draw a blueprint for your business’s advertising plan:

1. Design the Framework

  • What is the purpose of your advertising program? Start by defining your company’s long-range goals, then map out how marketing can help attain them. Focus on advertising routes complementary to your marketing efforts. Set measurable goals so you can evaluate the success of your advertising campaign. For example, do you want to increase overall sales by 20 percent this year? Boost sales to existing customers by 10 percent during each of the next three years? Appeal to younger or older buyers? Sell off old products to free resources for new ones?
  • How much can you afford to invest? Keep in mind that whatever amount you allocate will never seem like enough. Even giants such as Proctor & Gamble and Pepsi always feel they could augment their advertising budgets. Given your income, expenses, and sales projections, simple addition and subtraction can help you determine how much you can afford to invest. Some companies spend a full 10 percent of their gross income on advertising, others just 1 percent. Research and experiment to see what works best for your business.

2. Fill in the Details

  • What are the features and benefits of your product or service? When determining features, think of automobile brochures that list engine, body and performance specifications. Next, and more difficult, determine the benefits those features provide to your customers. How does your product or service actually help them? For example, a powerful engine helps a driver accelerate quickly to get onto busy freeways.
  • Who is your audience? Create a profile/avatar of your best customer. Be as specific as possible, as this will be the focus of your ads and media choices. A restaurant may target adults who dine out frequently in the nearby city or suburban area. A computer software manufacturer may aim at information managers in companies with 10-100 employees. A bottled water company may try to appeal to athletes or people over 25 who are concerned about their health.
  • Who is your competition? It’s important to identify your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what your competition offers that you lack – and vice versa – helps you show prospects how your product or service is special and why they should do business with you instead of someone else. Knowing your competition will also help you find a niche in the marketplace.

3. Arm Yourself with Information

  • What do you know about your industry, market and audience? There are many sources of information to help you keep in touch with industry, market and buying trends without conducting expensive market research.
  • Examples include U.S. Government materials from the Census Bureau and Department of Commerce. Public, business or university libraries are also a good option, as are industry associations, trade publications, and professional organizations.
  • You can quickly and easily learn more about your customers by simply asking them about themselves, their buying preferences, and media habits. Another (more expensive) alternative is to hire a professional market research firm to conduct your research.

4. Build Your Action Plan – Evaluating Media Choices

  • Your next step is to select the advertising vehicles you will use to carry your message and establish an advertising schedule. In most cases, knowing your audience will help you choose the media that will deliver your sales message most effectively.
  • Use as many of the above tools as are appropriate and affordable. You can stretch your media budget by taking advantage of co-op advertising programs offered by manufacturers.
  • Although programs vary, generally the manufacturer will pay for a portion of media space, time costs or mailer production charges up to a fixed amount per year. The total amount contributed is usually based on the quantity of merchandise you purchase.
  • When developing your advertising schedule, be sure to take advantage of any special editorial or promotional coverage planned in the media you select. Newspapers, for example, often run special sections featuring real estate, investing, home and garden improvement, and tax advice. Magazines also often focus on specific themes in each issue.

5. Using Other Promotional Avenues

  • Advertising extends beyond the media described above. Other options include imprinting your company name and graphic identity on pens, paper, clocks, calendars and other giveaway items for your customers.
  • Put your message on billboards, inside buses and subways, on vehicle and building signs, on point-of-sale displays and on shopping bags.
  • You might co-sponsor events with nonprofit organizations and advertise your participation, attend or display at consumer or business trade shows, create tie-in promotions with allied businesses, distribute newsletters, conduct seminars, undertake contests or sweepstakes, send advertising flyers along with billing statements, use telemarketing to generate leads for salespeople, or develop sales kits with brochures, product samples, and application ideas.
  • The number of promotional tools used to deliver your message and repeat your name is limited only by your imagination and your budget.

The Advertising Campaign

You are ready for action when armed with knowledge of your industry, market and audience, have a media plan and schedule, know your product or service’s most important benefits, and have measurable goals in terms of sales volume, revenue generated and other criteria.

The first step is to establish the theme that identifies your product or service in all of your advertising. The theme of your advertising reflects your special identity or personality and the particular benefits of your product or service.

For example, cosmetics ads almost always rely on a glamorous theme. Many food products opt for healthy, all-American family campaigns. Automobile advertising frequently concentrates on how the car makes you feel about owning or driving it rather than performance attributes.

Tag lines reinforce the single most important reason for buying your product or service. “Nothing Runs Like a Deere” (John Deere farm vehicles) conveys performance and endurance with a nice twist on the word deer. “Ideas at Work” (Black & Decker tools and appliances) again signifies performance, but also shows reliability and imagination. “How the Smart Money Gets that Way” (Barron’s financial publication) clearly connotes prosperity, intelligence and success with their advertising campaigns.

Comparing Advertising and Public Relations

Advertising Public Relations
Space or time in the mass media must be purchased. Mass media coverage (if any) is not paid for.
You determine the message. The media controls the interpretation of the message.
You control timing. The media controls the timing.
One-way communication – using the mass media does not allow feedback. Two-way communication – the company should be listening as well as talking, and the various PR venues often provide immediate feedback.
Message sponsor is identified. Message sponsor is not overtly identified.
The intention of most messages is to inform, persuade, or remind about a product – usually with the intention of making a sale. The intention of public relations efforts is often to create goodwill, to keep the company and/or product in front of the public, or to humanize a company so the public relates to its people or reputation, rather than viewing the company as a non-personal entity.
The public may view the message negatively, recognizing advertising as an attempt to persuade or manipulate them. The public often sees public relations messages that have been covered by the media as more neutral or believable.
Very powerful at creating image. Can also create image, but can sometimes stray from how it was originally intended.
Writing style is usually persuasive and can be very creative, often taking a conversational tone; it may even be grammatically incorrect. Writing style is generally more formal and less colloquial.

Bucket list are you chasing your big idea?

Bucket list are you chasing your big idea?

Bucket list are you chasing your big idea? you’re going to ask yourself what’s the point? A bucket list shouldn’t be full of impulsive stuff that we pick up as we go along through life. It shouldn’t be filled with stuff that others talk and dream about unless it genuinely resonates with your dreams.

Chasing others dreams would be similar to having a hole in your bucket list.

The most gratifying things to go into the bucket list for most of us are those that are part of a larger context.

For instance, visiting the Great Wall of China would more than likely be a more meaningful experience. Acquiring that larger context or framework is something that can and should take careful and thoughtful consideration.

Bucket list building
Bucket list goals

It often takes hard thought and hard work to develop.

Here are our suggestions for creating and managing your Bucket List:

1. Make sure you get satisfaction and joy from your day-to-day stuff.

2. Do not buy into your ideas and turn them into goals immediately. Mull them over. If you weigh them carefully, you will probably find you are able to improve, substitute or cancel them while heightening your total life experience.

3. Make a plan and enjoy the process. Planning isn’t optional. It’s a generally accepted as being a requirement by most of the experts in the field of setting and achieving goals.

4. Discover ways to make each bucket list more meaningful. Include dimensions of quality within the items on your list. If you involve like-minded individuals in group activities, you will probably get much more from the experience than if you do not.

For solitary pursuits, take steps to ensure you get the most from the experience.

5. Ensure your goals are consistent with who you are. Or reshape them to suit your style and preferences.

Bucket list package

For example, introverts and extroverts alike can enjoy a certain travel destination like say the Eiffel Tower, yet experience it quite differently.

Make a choice bucket list: income, health, physical vitality, beauty, creative thinking, Acknowledgement, power, risky venture, contentment, accomplishment, self-expression, confidence, love, serenity, Nirvana.

Would you like any of these? If you’re like most individuals today, you likely want all of these to be on your bucket list.

Would you like any of these? If you’re like most individuals today, you likely want ALL of these.

However if you explore your true desires, you might discover that there are a few things you want more than others. If you keep on going in your search, you will discover one desire that has been with you your whole life.

Although income is the obvious desire, it’s usually not the final goal.

Indeed, money can, and does buy happiness -up to a point. When you have plenty of money to be financially secure or to buy the material objects you want, the true desire may be something else.

Love is the goal of each individual’s heart. Whether it’s love of a spouse, family, value and acknowledgement from equals, love is the everlasting pursuit. The mystics say that love is the sole intent of life-to give love and to find it- love is such a big part of your bucket list.

Many individuals search for confidence that comes with a dependable position in a job. Along with that can come acknowledgement and popularity.

Although you may want the money that’s related with high management levels, several individuals simply seek that gratification of working with the inner circles.

The goal of each individual bucket list no matter your background and material desires, is health. A healthy body is the gift that will get you to the other goals. Even a fresh diet and physical activity can give you more energy.

Bucket list ideas

You will need this energy to accomplish your bucket list.

Adventure and travel is a driving force for several individuals. They may look for jobs that demand travel, or they might be looking forward to taking time off to visit the exotic ports and see the other sides of the world.

If you do not want a long journey, maybe you would just like a couple of weeks in a sunny resort or the luxury of a summer and winter vacation annually.

Then there’s creative thinking and self-expression. What about the book you are going to write or the watercolor class you would like to take? Creative expression is a wonderful inner release that boosts self-assurance and gives you something to achieve.

Ultimately, regardless of wealth and health, expression and love, everybody is looking for his or her peace of mind and the enjoyment of reaching one of your bucket list goals.

That’s not to say emptiness of mind, but to eliminate petty worries and confusion, to be finished with fears and live in absolute awareness. It surely is the ultimate lifetime goal.

Prior to going any further with your life, create a bucket list for your future.

Write it down -do not just think it. What would you like to achieve in the next decade? A new home, a high-paying position, a home in a new city, a trip around the world? Break that list down into those things you would like to achieve in the next five years on your bucket list.

Then make one further division into the next six months. What can you execute in the next few months to further you toward your long-term goals?

 

You need to make the list or a goal sheet. It needs to reflect your desires and how you’re going to reach them. It also needs to reflect what you have already accomplished and reward or credit yourself for those accomplishments.

  • My most significant desires are:
  • In my life, the most significant things I have accomplished:
  • If you look back on your life in 20 years, what would you like to have accomplished?
  • In 10 years, I would like to achieve:
  • In 5 years, I would like to achieve:

In the next six months to a year, these are the matters I am going to do to work towards by goals:

Regardless of your family loyalties or your personal relationships; regardless of your business enterprises or any false sense of accomplishment, what do you really want?

Give yourself acknowledgment for your past achievements, and give yourself credit for your future accomplishments. You are able to and will accomplish all your goals, both long-term and short-term if you approach them in a step-by-step fashion and if you believe that they’re worthwhile for you. You’re the most important person in your life.

Though you are able to be considerate of your surroundings and all the individuals in it, first look at yourself. Your welfare, your happiness, your success. Make a pact with yourself right now that you’ll accomplish your goals. And make them realistic to reach. Then individually, make your own life a success.

A significant step in accomplishing goals is to be able to relax.

You will get nowhere if your body and brain are anxious, jumping from one place or idea to another. So to center on your goal, you must center your being.

Relaxation is the balance of the mental, spiritual and physical aspects of yourself. Arrange time every day for deep relaxation -not sleep, but relaxation.

Exercise or sports are a great way to get into relaxation. The body needs physical stimulation to pump blood into all its extremities, and to give the heart a good workout.

Bucket list in the next 10 years

Physical activity is a fantastic way to let the mind relax. For several individuals, sports and exercise are gratifying ways to feel alive, youthful, and satisfied.

Float freely. Relax. You need to assume the best. Expect to achieve; expect to accomplish your desires; expect to succeed; press on to accomplish more. The higher your goals, the further you will go with your bucket list.

The moon is no problem, nor are the neighboring planets. Do not go for less that your entire potential. Aim for the universe. You owe yourself nothing less. Apart from the universe, keep your thoughts on Earth, in your office or studio, working closer to those goals you would like to accomplish.

Bucket list and your fears

You have a right to be happy. You have the substance to be successful.

You are able to succeed in what you desire.

Always keep in mind the fact that you’re in transit, accomplishing your goals, moving through life as though you’re an actor, and the setting is a stage.

Keep your thoughts firmly planted on prosperity, good luck and lucky breaks.

Imagine that you’ve already achieved your goals. It’s with that attitude that successful individuals achieve all of all important bucket list.

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