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Steps to a successful advertising campaign

stepsWhile the goal of advertising is basically to make a sale, not every advertising investment is going to lead directly to a sale.  Sometimes an ad works not in driving an immediate sale, but in building your business brand or creating awareness of your products and services in your targeted consumer’s minds.  That is why calculating the return on advertising investment can be difficult.  So much of advertising success is impossible to track because it is highly subjective, and occurs in people’s minds…not through their wallets.  As you develop your advertising strategies and choose the best investments for your business goals, keep these steps of advertising success in mind:

Awareness:  Whether you are launching a new product, or expanding your business into a new region, or extending your brand to a much bigger audience, the first step of successful advertising is to generate awareness.  Without awareness among consumers, no one will know you exist.  Messages in awareness ad campaigns are typically focused on your brand, your capabilities, your differentiators and the benefits provided to your customers.  Awareness advertising gets your business, product, or service on the mind of consumers.

Recognition:  Once you have created awareness you need to consistently repeat your marketing messages to your target audience so that the audience recognizes and remembers you and connects it to a previous experience like your awareness advertising.  Successful recognition advertising campaigns build on the original messages communicated in your awareness ads.  Consistency is critical if you want recognition.

Interest:  Awareness and recognition advertisements should get consumers interested in your business, product or service being advertised.  Knowing that, interest ads should help consumers learn more about the business, product or service.  These ads should answer questions, introduce more niche benefits, and create a perceived need for the product by focusing on emotional triggers such as comfort, security and fear.

Purchase:  When consumers get to this level they understand the business, product, or service enough to feel motivated to take action and make a purchase.  Messages related to special promotions or ease of purchase concepts are needed in order to convert the interest to an actual purchase.

Repurchase:  After your customers try a product and are satisfied with their experiences with it, your advertising should focus on convincing them to purchase it again.  Special promotions for repeat customers with the focused benefits language that speaks directly to your target audience, and a focus on emotional triggers will drive consumers to purchase.

Loyalty:  Loyal customers will buy from you repeatedly, choose you over competitors, and go out of their way to purchase your products.  Loyalty advertising should focus on trust, relationship building, and meeting your consumers needs.  The  relationship is already established, now you need loyalty advertising to enforce the connection.

Influence:  Your loyal customers will typically be so satisfied with your products and services that they are talking about you and promoting your business through word of mouth marketing.  That word of mouth marketing presents an incredible opportunity as more conversations happen online, leading to possibly global exposure for you.  For these influential customers your message should be appreciative, recognize their loyalty and encourage them to keep talking about you and your products or services.

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