Successful businesses are deluged with advertising and marketing opportunities and requests on a daily basis. The sheer variety of marketing opportunities and tactics in today’s increasingly digital marketplace sometimes makes it challenging to decide which opportunities will deliver the most benefit to your business. It can also be difficult to say ‘no’ to not-so-promising advertising opportunities, especially if the advertising spend would go to support a good cause, like a charity. So how do you draw the line?
In order to help decision makers decide whether or not to renew or agree to a marketing or advertising opportunity, we’ve prepared this advertising checklist. This checklist is not exhaustive, nor is it intended to act as a replacement for a fully-fleshed out marketing strategy. Rather, this checklist was designed as an aid to turn to when you need help deciding whether or not to pursue or renew an advertising or marketing agreement.
When considering a pitch, and yourself, is this advertising opportunity:
- In line with our business objectives?
- Within the established budget?
- Targeted to our audience?
- Going to reach enough people?
- Through a reliable agency or publication?
- Is this advertising opportunity in line with our business objectives? When Media X-Ray’s marketing team meets with a new marketing client for the first time, one of the first questions we ask the client is “what are you core objectives?” We ask this question because it is impossible to determine whether or not our marketing efforts have been successful unless we first understand what the client’s objectives are. Once your business objectives are defined, ask yourself if this advertising opportunity will help your business meet any of its core objectives.
- Is this advertising opportunity within the established budget? Set a monthly ceiling for your paid advertising expenditures. Do not exceed your budget unless you have a strategic reason to do so. For example, you’ve noticed a positive correlation between how much money you spend on a specific campaign, and the number of warm customer leads coming in from this campaign, etc.
- Is this advertising opportunity targeted to your audience? Ask yourself if this marketing or advertising opportunity is targeted to the correct audience for your business. In other words, who will see and engage with this advertisement, and are these people likely to become your customers? For example, an advertisement in a tourist magazine may not be a good fit for your business if you are trying to target homeowners and residents. Revisiting or creating personas for your brand can also help you determine if an advertising opportunity is targeted to the right audience for your brand.
- Is this advertising opportunity going to reach enough people? If the advertising opportunity is targeted to the correct audience, ask yourself if the audience is large enough. In short, how many people will see this ad? Is that enough people to justify the amount of money you would spend?
- Is this advertising opportunity through a reliable agency or publication? Not all advertisers are going to be a good fit for your business. Learn as much as you can about this advertiser or marketing partner before signing any agreements with them. Read their testimonials, or ask to chat with one of their customers if you can’t find any testimonials. Ask the sales consultant as many questions as you need to in order to find answers to the questions above.
Unfortunately, we must often remind our customers that some less ethical media, marketing, and advertising companies use fear-based techniques to sell their services. For example, everyone with a website receives those poorly-written emails from a stranger at a “website firm” telling them that they could be getting more customers from their website if only they sign this marketing contract for $200 a month. Even though that low price point sounds too good to be true, and they have no idea who the sender is, these marketing messages often hit their mark because they effectively manipulate their audience’s desire to do the right thing, their sense of urgency, and fear of missing out (FOMO).
If you find yourself agreeing to a marketing or advertising agreement for emotional reasons (maybe you feel guilty about saying no, or scared to miss out on a new opportunity), you’re probably not making the decision based on the business objectives you outlined in step 1. Take a deep breath and revisit the checklist above in order to determine whether or not this is a worthwhile advertising opportunity for your business.
Being able to distinguish between marketing and advertising opportunities which are a good fit for your business – and which are not – will help you save money and derive a higher ROI from your marketing investments. If you still feel that your marketing initiatives are all over the board, and not generating the results you want, contact us to discuss marketing strategy!