7 Rules For Successful Web Advertising – September 8th, 2015

Is your business-to-business advertising as successful as it could be? An effective way to find out is to measure advertising against the seven tenets below. If your communications programs omit these principles, chances are your efforts are not as successful as they could be.

rfswm1. What’s in it for me?

Focus on benefits, not features. Customers don’t care that your product has the most innovative, state-of-the-art widget. Customers care that this product will save them time, increase productivity, decrease costs or make them look good.

2. The wow factor.

Let’s say the unwritten advertising rule in your category is that you must always show the product, even though the product looks like everyone else’s. Why not take the unexpected step of not showing the product? Instead, show a visual that represents the product’s benefits. The idea is to take an approach that’s more involving and shows that your company or brand is not like every other player in your category.

3. Take it personally.

Even though you’re targeting other businesses, remember your real target is the people at other businesses. Most of us gravitate toward messages that have personality, that treat us like a human being. One tool is to read the ad copy aloud as if you were talking directly to the person. With limited chances to talk to your audience, why not talk one-to-one?

4. Speak up.

Effective advertising speaks with just one voice – always. A company’s voice is part of its personality – it’s a key indicator of its positioning and reason to exist. Many companies go to the market with more than one voice, creating audience confusion and eroding the company’s image.

5. Keep in touch.

Successful b-to-b advertising should create awareness and generate interest. It also should support and facilitate the sales process. Advertising should move prospects into the sales cycle through offers, calls to action, demonstrations and easy ways to get in via e-mail, toll-free numbers, etc. From there, other communications tools – such as the Internet or brochures – should be used to maintain interest. Never let a qualified prospect out of the sales cycle until you close the loop. Once that prospect is a customer, keep in touch. Product updates, special promotions, etc., reassure customers that they made a good decision.

6. Get more bang.

For years, b-to-b advertising was viewed as rote, particularly media buying. Agencies always negotiate for significant value-added media for their consumer clients to stretch the media dollar, why not their b-to-b clients? Let’s say you buy media space in a trade publication. What else can it do for you? Will it provide direct mailing lists? Will it conduct readership surveys for free? If you, or your agency, has a creative marketing idea, talk to your favorite trade publication. The odds are it would be willing to partner with you to get some value-added media.

7. Many happy returns.

To be successful, you need to evaluate each assignment’s potential return on investment. Sounds simple, yet few marketers fully embrace this concept. If the goal is to increase awareness, you should do pre- and postawareness research to measure results. If the goal is to increase leads, determine in advance how many are needed. If the objective is to increase sales of a specific product, quantify how much needs to be sold.

Direct marketing is the easiest to measure. A pro forma ROI should be done before spending your first dollar. Project the cost and the potential return. based on predetermined objectives, everything can and should be measured.

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Posted in Web Advertising

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