With very little forethought, small businesses jump into advertising. Usually, an advertising campaign is a reaction to; slow business, market conditions, being sold by a media rep, pressure from employees, or a wild hair. Rather, your advertising should be a product of what Nido Qubein calls intentional congruence.
With a plan, all your marketing communications should work toward a common goal. That goal should be the broadcast of your brand promise. Transmit everything so that it feeds off everything else. The resulting leverage will give you that return on advertising investment you’ve been craving. And it’s simple to do.
First, inventory all your advertising efforts for the previous year. Collect all your ads and schedules and compare them. Are they congruent? Do they tell the story of your brand promise? If not, here’s what to do.
Qubein’s advice on how to write effectively is also sound advice on how to advertise effectively:
- Focus your objective. Your objective is the communication of your brand promise. Don’t be tempted by the desire for instant gratification through sales and gimmicks.
- Focus your customers. Your advertising is a positioning tool, not channel of random communications. Keep your customers focused on the prize: the most important reason they should be doing business with you.
- Focus your campaign. Each ad show flow seamlessly to the next ad. Keep the message the same, but adjust the delivery on a small scale to keep interest in your message.
- Focus your clarity. There’s no need to be fuzzy or beat around the bush. Say what you mean. Make your message easy to understand.
- Focus your results. The success of your advertising is not judged by how much business you get this week. Instead judge results on how you continue to advance awareness of your brand. Do customers understand you better today than they did a year ago? How about a year from today?
It is tempting to try to use advertising like you would a rented message board parked in front of your business. But that’s not its best use. So on Monday, deliberately align all your advertising to work for the common goal of advancing your brand promise.