Don't advertise until you do this...


For many years I was an Advertising Account Executive for radio and TV stations. I worked on thousands of ad campaigns and saw some amazingly successful ones. On the other hand, I also saw some that failed miserable. So what did the successful ads have in common?


Successful campaigns have enough budget to get in front of the right audience with some frequency. I’ve seen many business owners with a small budget say “I know it’s not a big budget, but let’s give it a try and see what happens.”  That’s a terrible plan. Ask your marketing advisor if the budget you have allotted for your campaign is enough to reach your goals

The Message.

Ads with a clear message and call to action perform really well.  

Too many business owners spend their entire ad talking about the features of their business ie., the history of their business, their education, their experience. The entire ad talks about them. Successful ads don’t do that, they focus on the customer. Potential customers want to know how you’ll solve their problem and why they should buy from you. If you don’t give them a reason to buy from you, they will go onto to someone else who does. It’s that simple.

Here’s an example. A plumber might run a TV ad saying his family’s been in the plumbing business since 1962 and their clients love them.  His competitor could run an ad at the same time saying, “We’re so sure we can unclog your drain that if we can’t do it in an hour your visit is free.”

Which of these two ads will get the best response?  Obviously, it’s the one with the strong message and great offer.

Unfortunately, no one cares that your business has been around for 30 years or that it was started by your Grandfather.  Instead, tell your customers what they want to hear…how can you solve their problem as quickly, easily and cheaply as possible, or what makes you different from everyone else in your industry, or how you can make their life better, easier, healthier, etc.

The next time you’re promoting your business, take a good look at the message you’re sending into the world. Are you talking about your business or are you talking about how you meet your customer’s needs?  If you make your customers the center of your ads your campaign should be a success!

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About the Author: Meg Huwar is an award winning Marketing & Brand Strategist, and Founder of Brand Accelerator. Ms. Huwar works with small business owners to help them clarify their messaging and create a powerful brand through her 5 Step Framework. Once they go through the process, they are able to quickly and easily explain what they do so they are better able to sell their products and services. They no longer worry about where their next customer is coming from, and can finally make the money they deserve!

Meg Huwar