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Top 7 Steps to Effective Advertising

By Don Keller

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Good advertising that wins awards is fine, but if it's not effective, it's not worth doing. For too many companies, their advertising looks great, but doesn't deliver. To help make sure yours does, here are seven tips to ensure effective advertising.

  1. Know Your Business.

    Identify your strengths, weaknesses and unique features. Honesty is the best policy here. Take an objective look at your business and assess who you are in very direct terms.

  2. Know Your Competition.

    Know who they are and where they are located. What are their strengths and weaknesses? (Go through this process with your top 3 competitors.)

  3. Position Yourself.

    Develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) based on your own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your competition. What sets you apart from your competition? Find that and you've found your USP.

  4. Develop a Theme.

    Put your unique selling proposition into an advertising theme that will be remembered. Use this theme in all your advertising. (Whether it's a theme of words or a theme of graphics. The key is consistency: consistent look and message.)

  5. Identify Your Target Audience and target your message to your market.

    Who will your product or service appeal to most? (Gender, age, income, geographic location, etc.) Don't try a 'shotgun' approach and try to market to everyone, be focused. Once you've identified your audience, talk to them in a way that appeals to their needs. Remember this acronym - W.I.I.F.M. (like a radio station call letters) - What's In It For Me?

  6. Use the Media that will most effectively reach that market and measure your results.

    Not all forms of advertising are cost-effective or appropriate for all types of audiences. Do some research and fact-finding before you buy any media. Then, design a means to measure your results. Knowing which advertising method is most effective will help you make the most of your future advertising budget.

  7. Develop a Budget and Consider Using an Agency.

    Most generally, your budget will be a percentage of your gross annual sales and will vary depending on your goals. Once you determine what this budget will be, stick to it. To get the most from your budget, consider using a professional agency. A good agency will cost some money, but they will make any investment you put into advertising work harder for you.

Catalpha creates award-winning package design, corporate identity, POP, advertising, marketing collateral and more for retail and B-B product manufacturers and healthcare clients. Catalpha has worked with a number of industry leaders including Black & Decker, Screenex, Smyth Jewelers, Cooper Lighting, St. Joseph Hospital, Cosmic Pet Products, Johns Hopkins Healthcare, St. Joseph's Medical Center, Dewalt and more. For more information, call 888-337-0066 or visit


Article Submitted On: July 18, 2006