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How to make the best advertising

How to make the best advertising

Helpful hints to introduce you to the key facts about advertising.

What is advertising?

Advertising is the act or practice of calling public attention to one's product, service, need, etc., esp. by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, etc.

Knowing about how to create great advertising is essential to creating a powerful brand. This article gives a very brief overview of the basic principles of advertising, helpful if you have lost your way and want to get back to some basics.

The primary benefit of advertising is its ability to build brands. Developing a brand helps:

 - To simplify consumer choice
 - To differentiate from competitors
 - If your service is not a brand, then it is a commodity
 - In the long term, a successfully branded good will make more profit than a commodity good
 - When and why do you use advertising?

Why do people advertise?

To sell more. For no other reason, unless you are a not for profit charity or a government. In which case the means are still the same, but the ends desired different.

Claude C Hopkins, whom many marketers see as the father of modern advertising expressed this imperative as "Advertising is salesmanship to millions." His advertising copy was based on his experience as a door-to-door salesman.

An increase in sales is the only criteria for why you should advertise. This may be in the short term by lifting sales immediately. Or it may be in the long-term by building awareness and/or the key brand benefits with consumers, which will in the end lift sales. Quite simply, an advert that does not sell is a waste of time and money.

How do you use advertising?

The key principles of advertising are driven by understanding how your ad can sell to the audience you are targeting:

 - Great advertising is built around a sound copy strategy which is designed to emphasise the messages we believe will sell. This is covered in a separate article.
 - Great advertising is NOT build around vague concepts of "creativity"
 - Creativity is a means to an end, not the objective in itself. Whatever your agency tells you, no matter how "whacky" they claim they need to be, if you don’t think the advertising sells your product, then don’t use it. It’s crucial to achieving your goals.
 - David Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy and Mather points out, "The difference between one advertisement and another, when measured in terms of sales, can be as much as nineteen to one"

The skills applied to good advertising can broadly be applied to any medium:

 - Print, TV, outdoor etc
 - Merchandising, such as point of sale material
 - Online marketing
 - Direct mail
 - Newsletters and other forms of CRM

Costs and benefits of advertising

How long is a piece of string? An advert can cost as little as 5p when someone clicks on it in Google, to £100,000 for a 30 second spot in Coronation Street. Prices depend generally on the size of audience; the quality and value of that audience and how well you negotiate!

You generally need to budget for both creative and production costs – these can vary wildly again, but for conventional media they will often be around 10% of the cost of the media space you are buying.

Advertising agencies, such as AMV BDDO, can help you create the best ads but of course, this costs.

Retainers and fees for advertising agencies vary wildly, but an average advertiser with a monthly retainer arrangement with a top 100 advertising agency will pay a minimum of £5,000 a month going up to £50,000+ for the biggest clients like BT or Procter & Gamble.

Creative agencies traditionally charged 10-15% of media spend, but this practice has been largely abandoned as clients decided that paying for the agencies fleet of Porsche 911’s didn’t seem like a great bit of business.

The benefits of advertising are articulated elsewhere on, but they are clear and well documented. You build your brand, you sell more. How much more you sell will depend on how much you spend, how good your ads are and how competitive your market is.

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