Advertising And Promotion

Advertising and Promotion

Some mistakes can be extremely costly. I joined a community organisation as a volunteer in 1981 called, Harlesden People's Community Council and watched it grow into a multi-million-pound business in eleven years. We trained hundreds of people in information technology, personal and interpersonal development and more. We provided space for small businesses and assisted over 300 people in the community to set up their own enterprises and enter the free market.

Our football, netball, basketball, table tennis and squash teams were of the highest standard, winning major trophies each year. We advised government officials, community organisations and others, both at home and abroad. There are a host of other things that we did, and I suppose if I were to mention them all, this page would be too large and unbelievable. Yet one of our biggest downfalls was our inability to advertise and promote our business to our customers. Whenever the press reported a negative aspect about the organisation, all our customers knew was what the press had reported. If you wish to remain in business, a planned advertising and promotional campaign is a must. Even though I have learnt the expensive and hard way, I have still learnt that:

Good
Advertising and promotion
Sells

Advertising and promotion are a major financial gamble with no guarantees that the customer will co-operate. However, your chances of success will be increased if you follow some basic principles. By concentrating on the laws of advertising and promotion you will be greatly rewarded.

  1. To be effective in your advertising and promotional campaign, you must first identify who your customers are. To advertise and promote to everyone, you could be spreading your wings too far too soon and this could be a huge waste of your time and money. What colour, age, size, sex, or shape are your customers? Are they rich, poor, or famous? Where do they work, socialise, eat, or get entertained? What are their interests and hobbies? What books, newspapers, magazines, comics, or articles do they read. Knowing your customers makes advertising and promotion very easy.

Having identified the segment of the market or the customers that you wish to do business with, now identify the unique selling points of your service or product. The unique selling point is the reason why your customers should do business with you and not your competitor. If you are not able to identify and communicate the uniqueness of your service or product to your customers, you will lose business. You have now identified the segment of the market and the unique selling points of your service and product. Now concentrate your time, effort, and finance in those areas. Remember to stay focused on these three areas:

Segmentation
Unique selling points
Concentration

  1. In pursuit of excellence in advertising and promotion, you must develop and write a plan of action. Failing to plan means that you have planned to fail. In your plan, you must clearly identify the following:

Why: must it be done
What: must be done
Who: will do it
How: will it be done
Where: will it be done
When: must it be done by
Resources: needed
Cost: of overall plan
Risks: associated with it
Success criteria: how will they be measured

  1. Regard every contact your organisation makes with the customer either by letter, telephone call, sales, promotional souvenirs, or personal contact as an act of advertising and promotion. Use your business cards, letter heads and complimentary slips to also advertise and promote your business. Continually ask yourself, "What messages do they convey?" If it is negative, get rid of it immediately or it will get rid of your business.
  2. The market is saturated with thousands of promotional adverts of other products and services. Therefore, design your campaign in such a creative way to capture the hearts and minds of your customers. Always ask yourself these questions:
aWhat message do I want to convey?
bIs it easy to read?
cIs it immediately understandable to all ages?
dIs the most important message in front?
eIs the headline powerful enough?
fDoes it clearly indicate the benefits?
gHave I used short words, sentences, and paragraphs?
hWhat am I asking my customers to do?

Test your campaign with at least ten customers and pay attention to their opinions. If you design a campaign that works, use it for as long as it gives you the desired results. Customers are busy and intelligent, always on the lookout for a bargain, so remember to:

Keep
It
Short and
Simple

  1. Consult experienced people before you make your final decision. Use the most cost-effective method to get your message to the customers. Having pinpointed accurately who your customers are, you can choose from the following channels: television, radio adverts and interviews, billboards, direct mail, train stations, buses, local or national newspapers, magazines, home flyers, newsletters, press releases and others.
  2. When you prepare an advertisement, always use a (COP) Creative, Outstanding and Powerful headline. A creative headline as part of your ad could improve it by approximately 50% or more. Take time to discover a headline that will cause your audience to stand to attention.
  3. Look at other organisations advertising and promotional campaigns and see if there are any ideas you can use for your campaign. Why waste time inventing the wheel when it has already been invented.
  4. If customers do not get the service and product that the advertising and promotional campaign suggested, you will lose credibility.
  5. Failing to evaluate will result in you not knowing where you went wrong. Always evaluate your campaign to see if you have achieved the results you desired. For your next campaign you can easily:

Build on your Strengths
Eliminate your Weaknesses
Exploit your Opportunities
Remove all Threats

Errol A Williams

About The Author

Errol A Williams

I am an International Management Trainer with over 36 years’ experience. I have trained thousands of directors, managers, leaders, supervisors, and unemployed people. My passion is to coach one million students to unleash their unlimited potential through personal growth. I was co-founder and Executive Chairman for one of Europe’s largest multi-million pound community complexes, launched by HRH the Prince of Wales in 1988. For over 25 years I have visited, counselled, and ran training courses for UK prisoners. Currently I am a Senior Pastor and Regional Overseer who sits on the National Executive Board for the Church of God of Prophecy UK Trust. I have taught Systematic Theology for over ten years. I am married and have six children and six grandchildren. I am the author of “Pursuing Excellence”, “The Temptation Trap”, “Sowing For A Blessing”, “TIPS For Dealing With Difficult Conversations” and “Building A Dream”. During the 2010 general election I stood as a Parliamentary Candidate. I am a professional photographer, graphics designer, virtual services provider, and web developer. My hobbies include chess, squash, backgammon, and domino. errol@errolwilliams.org (My Profile)

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