The Advertising Balancing Act

Advertising is a mix… not a one-item shopping list. Learn how to get the right combination of elements to make your advertising work.

Have you ever noticed that no matter which “advertising guru” you listen to, something always seems to be missing? That’s because something IS missing! Advertising is a mix… not a one-item shopping list. There is a combination of elements at play that make advertising work. Leave one of those elements out and you are likely to see poor results.

A typical example of this is the battle between copywriting and placement. You can have the best copy ever written, but if it isn’t seen by those who have a need/desire for your product or service what good will it do you? The same goes for the opposite scenario. You can have the best position in magazines, ezines or banner placement, but if the copy is not enticing, few sales will result.

There is a critical balancing act that must take place between copywriting and placement in order to obtain the outcome you’re looking for. Let’s look briefly at these two elements of the advertising process to find out how they come into play and what can be done to improve their effectiveness.

Copywriting Makes the Sale
The copy (text) of your ad is the salesman. It takes the lead and persuades the customer into considering a purchase. Good copy also creates a desire to buy and closes the sale.

When writing copy that works, you need to focus on the customer – not your product. The customer is the one with the money. The customer is the one with the need. All your attention should be centered on them. This includes writing copy that appeals to emotions and solves problems.

Good copy also answers the questions, “So what” and “What’s in it for me”. The customer is more concerned with the benefits of your product or service than the features. Chrome-plated headlamps and trim on a 57 Chevy are a nice feature but they don’t mean as much until you talk about how “hot” your car will look. Not to mention the fact that the guys will sit up and take notice when you’re driving down the street. Who cares if they ‘re rustproof? Those who are interested in that type of car feel an emotional attachment.

Placement Starts the Process
Imagine this: you hire the world’s number 1 salesperson to work for your company. Once she is hired, you take her and stand her out in the middle of an empty parking lot at an old, abandoned mall. What good does that do? Even if she IS the best in the world, it’s really hard to bring in sales when there is no one to sell to. The same applies for your ad placement.

You can create the most persuasive ad the senior citizens industry has ever seen, but if you run it in a magazine that focuses on bikinis you aren’t going to get a large response. Why? Most seniors aren’t in the market for bikinis. The ad has to be placed where your target audience will see it. Better to run that seniors ad in magazines, Ezines and Web sites that cater to those over 60.

Put It All Together
Once you put it all together… writing an ad that makes your target audience drool, then placing it right in front of their face, you have an exceptional combination that will pull given proper time. Most statistics claim that it takes about 7 impressions before a customer even notices your ad. Before deciding that you haven’t done something right, give your combo time to work.

Copywriting alone won’t do it. Placement alone won’t do it. You’ll have to experiment a little to find the balance that works right for your product or service. Once you do, just sit back and watch the business roll in!

Copyright 2001 Karon Thackston

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