2. Where should your brand advertise?
Are your products and services local, regional, national or international? Your marketing plans should guide where (the geography) you advertise. For example, a national advertisement (or press push) is irrelevant if your brand is unavailable in a majority of the U.S. markets. Focus your efforts by starting locally, and expanding as your brand grows.
3. When should your brand advertise?
Most companies offer products and services that would be considered seasonal. For example, if you operate a Halloween costume store, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll need to spend ad dollars throughout the entire year. You may choose to “heavy up” in months preceding the holiday. If your company markets products that are seasonal, plan your advertising expenditures accordingly.
4. How many of your targets need to be reached and – how often do you need to reach them?
One of the first things small business owners realize is that their target audiences may vary and their limited budgets may make it impossible to reach every prospect. This is where every entrepreneur must prioritize.
Can you afford to market to the lowest hanging fruit in a few different mediums (Online, Spot Radio, Local Print) or should you focus on Online efforts to maximize frequency. The media mix you choose and the reach (how many people) versus frequency (how often you reach them) should be taken into consideration before you start spending ad dollars recklessly.
5. How long can your brand afford to advertise?
If your small business has limited funds it also means that you may not be able to advertise continually through the year. If this is the case, it’s important to develop a marketing plan that outlines your promotions, relevant periods and ensure theat your advertising dollars are working holistically with other efforts in market.
Continuity may be more important for some brands than others. But when you decide to advertise make it impactful and don’t spread your dollars too thin.
6. What are the creative requirements?
If you decide to drive efficiencies and focus your ad spend online, it’s important to consider the creative you’ll need to advertise. Will you need copy for search engine marketing (SEM) initiatives? Do you have banner advertisements readily available? Focus on cost-effective units with high impact to achieve the best results.
7. Will your brand require media efforts?
Before you allocate ad dollars to a local newspaper, broadcast push or out-of-home campaign, consider any additional promotional requirements that may be needed to support consumer promotions. Planning your promotional efforts first will help guide your advertising strategy and avoid needless waste.
Photo Credit: Maggie Boutique
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