Advertising - a necessary evil?
By Brigitte Heyer
"Advertising is the art of arresting human intelligence long enough to get money from it." Stephen Leacock Every business needs advertising, like it or lump it. Although there are some geniuses around who have the knack to get it right, for most people effective advertising is a long, and often costly, learning experience. You soon learn what does and doesn't work, and try bravely to withstand the lure of clever, well-trained reps working under the whip to get your dollars. In this article I want to give you some helpful hints regarding ads in print - whether on a flyer, in a magazine, newsletter or paper, the strategy needs to be the same. First of all - does the print medium target the same (or at least a good proportion) audience as your business? Next - is the medium attractively presented (layout)? Or is it hopelessly cluttered? What does a reasonable size ad cost? How often does the paper/newsletter etc. come out? How will you be gauging your responses from the ad? How much income do you need to make running the ad worthwhile? A word of caution: as a rule, one-off ads don't work, especially the small ones. Unless you're offering 50% off Nescafe by 12 noon the next day, or run a full page in The Canberra Times, don't bother. Even if your first two or three runs don't result in an overwhelming response, set yourself a timeframe of several runs before making your assessment. Also consider seasonal influences, the economy, and so on. Regularity gets results (your doctor will agree)! Now to the method! 75% of white space is a good idea - think of power point presentations! The human mind, unless totally intrigued by the offer, has a short attention span and does not like reading ads that look like hard work. Buying a space and cramming it full of words is a waste of money and effort. Less is more. The ideal ad has 4 - 5 components: • • A catchy headline that TALKS DIRECTLY to the prospect A subheadline...
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