Advertising strategy: finding the right mix
Advertising campaigns are a good way to promote your product. We are then no longer only talking about old-fashioned television or radio advertising, but also about online campaigns. A good advertising strategy is indispensable because it forms the basis of every successful campaign.
Six principles of a good idea
Before we think about everything that has to do with an advertising strategy, let's pay attention to the search for good ideas. After all, an advertising strategy has to be a good idea. In general, there are six principles for a good idea:
The idea is simple
You get straight to your point. Less is more, so come with a strong message.
The idea is unexpected
You do something different from everyone else. This arouses the interest and curiosity of your target group.
The idea is concrete
The idea is specific and visual. What will your advertising look like in pictures?
The idea is believable
You can't sell anything without credibility. The idea must be testable
The idea has feeling
Play on emotions, make it tangible.
Inspirational stories always sell better. People love to buy from people.
Developing an advertising strategy based on a problem analysis
Preliminary research precedes setting up a good advertising strategy. A market analysis is made, an analysis is made around the competition, customers, and the product, and the opportunities and threats are investigated. Making a problem analysis does not have to be too technical. Ask yourself simple questions: “What do people need?”, “What problem is there?” and “How do we solve that problem?”
An example: Heineken was seen as a real beer brand for men. Research showed that there was no drinking drink for women at all. Beer is too heavy, wine is no longer refreshing enough. That is why Heineken came up with the new brand 'Jillz'.
Goals and target groups
Why are you advertising? For many companies the answer will be: 'To stimulate a purchase', but you can also have other motives. For example, you may want to increase your brand awareness or build a better image. Think of a clear goal and put it on paper.
A clear goal also includes a clear target group. Good advertising is aimed at a well-defined market segment. The advertiser knows exactly who the target group is and what moves it. It is virtually impossible to target the entire market. That is shooting with hail and few entrepreneurs can afford that. So think about who you are making the product for or for whom you are offering the service.
The target group analysis includes six questions. By answering these questions, you simplify your research and formulate its answers more effectively:
- Who is the potential customer?;
- What does the customer do with the product?;
- Where does the customer buy the product?;
- When does the customer buy the product?
- Why does the customer choose this product? And how?;
- Why would a potential customer skip our product?
How do you market yourself?
Good advertising makes it clear where your product or service stands or for whom the product or service is intended. Just think of beer 'for the bon vivant' or an electric bicycle, which is 'a means to remain independent'. This positioning has consequences for all elements that you further develop for the advertising.
In the past, brands made huge promises with their products. This is what makes today's consumers anxious. Rather come with an achievable promise. Think of a hospital that promises to help patients quickly and effectively, without waiting lists. Or to Jillz, 'the refreshing drink'.
Why is your service or product the best?
This brings us to the next point: with your advertising campaign you make clear why your product or service is the best. Where it used to be about tangible things and properties (such as 'the purest spring water), it is now more and more about emotional, non-rational matters. A car rental company who says 'not to be the best, but to do the best' is more likely to be believed than a car rental company who says: “We are the best and we are proud of that.”
Good advertising addresses the motives to buy the product. You can show that you solve a problem, or that it appeals to an emotional motive. A brand often means something to a buyer. That is, if you spend enough time and attention on your image and branding.
USPs (Unique Selling Propositions) and UBRs (Unique Buying Reason) still offer a good starting point to show how your product or service distinguishes itself from others. Sometimes your product or brand does not always have a big advantage (such as a huge tax advantage with a car). Then it is good to focus on smaller benefits. Of course, your product also has something special.
A slogan: still of this time
You would almost forget, but nowadays a good slogan is still important. Who doesn't know 'Just call Apeldoorn' from Centraal Beheer, or '4 hours Cup a Soup, more people would do that'? For such a good slogan you often have to sit down yourself, or outsource it to a good copywriter or an advertising agency.
Today, social influence is increasingly important. Despite our individualization, people still live in social groups. Just think of families, colleagues at work, associations or, today not unimportant, followers on Twitter and Instagram and friends on Facebook. As a result, Word of Mouth (WoM) or buzz marketing is becoming increasingly important.
The Heath brothers once did extensive research into the secrets behind 'a good idea'. Then they came up with the acronym 'SUCCESS': Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional and Story. You can apply this to any communication framework. Make sure the audience:
- Pays attention to the idea (Simple + Unexpected);
- The idea remembers (Concrete);
- believes in the idea (Credible);
- Has feeling for the product or service (Emotional);
- Can act on the advertising campaign (Story);