3. Message

How many times have you seen a print or television advertisement and wondered, what was it about?

Some of those ads are the most entertaining advertisements around, but for most businesses, advertising should be about achieving a positive return on investment for each advertising campaign.  While it may not be possible to achieve this on every campaign, it should always be your goal and over time your accumulated spend on advertising must result a positive return.

Yes, large companies can, at times, get away with running vague (but entertaining), branding campaigns. They have the budget and resources to make it work with follow up PR and more advertising. Companies that run these campaigns almost always have a product with a wide potential market, so that there is a big payoff when it works.

None of these conditions are true for small to medium businesses (or even most large businesses). For the vast majority, advertising campaigns can and should bring about a positive ROI. You simply can't afford to run expensive advertising campaigns that do not bring in more then they cost.

Does your message match your market?

When it comes to search engine marketing in particular, there is a unique opportunity to match search phrases to specifically designed 'landing pages' with messages written to target people searching for these phrases. Considering the potential for success with this strategy, it is surprising that most small and medium sized businesses fail to implement this.

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