Waste #7 – Failure to Make Advertising Direct Response

In the 21st Century, the investment required for successful media advertising can be very significant. Many business owners try to do a little bit of advertising in the paper or radio or billboard, etc. but find out they don’t get back any return. They become frustrated and upset.

There are two reasons for this frustration. First, there probably isn’t enough advertising going on in a synergistic way that creates results. If the company is advertising on radio, they might need to do newspaper and billboard as well. If they start marketing and advertising on the web, they probably need to do off-line marketing to support it. These costs and investments can become very difficult to maintain. A huge waste of money.

The second reason the advertising falls short is most are doing what is called “institutional advertising” rather than Direct Response advertising. They are sold by the advertising agency that “branding” and “positioning” is important. They are told that if they don’t advertise, their competition will and beat them to the customer. These are both possible true statements. But, not necessarily true.

21st Century Marketing System’s recommendation to small businesses is to make all advertising a direct response. That is, make the advertising create a response of some kind i.e., a lead, purchase or request for more information. That way, the advertising can be measured. It can be held accountable.

Briefly, there are several important elements that should go into every advertisement that makes the ad direct response. These elements include: headlines, sub-headlines, good copy, offer, urgency, reply mechanisms, bonus, P.S., etc.

If a company will follow these rules, the advertising can be tracked and different testing accomplished. Institutional advertising simply tells people that the company is in business and has great service. There is no USP, offer, urgency, bonus, reply mechanisms, etc. Therefore, the company cannot measure results. A big waste.

By implementing direct response marketing into all advertising, different testing can be used to make the same dollar invested return more in leads, sales or even an opt-in E-mail database. Waste (in the form of non-producing ads) are eliminated.

Even with direct response, there is branding and positioning that can be accomplished. At the same time, if there is room in the marketing budget, branding and institutional advertising in and of themselves can be effective. It’s simply the case that most small to medium sized companies can’t afford both types of advertising.