Q: All of my competitors advertise in our industry trade journal. Should we?

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Branding, from Q to A, Integrated Marcom Initiatives, Marketing | Comments Off on Q: All of my competitors advertise in our industry trade journal. Should we?

Q:  All of my competitors advertise in our industry trade journal. Should we?

A: Since the most fundamental objective for advertising is to call attention to your business, advertising just because your competitors are advertising is somewhat counterproductive and makes standing out a challenge.

Advertising requires strategy and investment to be effective. Unfortunately keeping up with the competition is not a strategy. In advertising, the most effective frequency is the number of times a person must be exposed to an advertising message before a response is made and before exposure is considered wasteful. Opinions on that frequency vary greatly; industry experts say anywhere from three to seven times.

So before investing in advertising, establish goals in your business plan. For example, the desired result can simply be increasing name recognition or modifying the image you’re projecting. Or you may want to obtain a certain percentage of growth in sales, generate more inquiries for sales, or build online traffic. The objectives vary depending on the industry and market you’re in.

Your advertising objective will be slightly different depending on where your business is in its lifecycle:

  1. The start-up business. You’re new in the market and need to establish your identity. Your company needs high levels of promotion and publicity to grab customers’ attention.
  2. The growing business. Once your identity is established, you need to differentiate yourself from your competition and convince buyers that yours is the product or service to try.
  3. The established business. The purpose at this point is to remind customers why they should continue buying from you, or to make them confident in their decision to do so.

No matter which stage your business is in, advertising should move your target audience from awareness to action.

When approached strategically, advertising can provide a direct line of communication to your existing and prospective customers, and help you stand out from your competition.

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