Learn how to improve your television advertisements

Follow these 5 tips to establish your brand while increasing your bottom line with Television Advertising.

In my 30 years of work in local media and advertising, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of Marketing and Advertising efforts. Many local advertisers mix up spending lots of money on the general audience and little on creating a message that both resonates with the consumer and creates a call to action.

Advertising is not expensive - unless you're ill prepared to meet the market head-on, like you do while making other purchasing decisions. Advertising is an investment and it takes skill and practice to get the best return on your money.  Advertising works, but you need to know how to work it.  Think about it: You get up in the morning and use your advertised toothpaste, then put on your advertised clothes and drink your advertised coffee before you drive in your advertised car to work… You may have heard this before but it's really something to think about, which brings up another concept that I will address in a future article: Branding. You need to know there is a difference between Branding and Advertising. In this article, I will focus on 5 things you can do to improve your TV Advertising Campaigns. Check back for more about Print, Digital and other types of Advertising. 

1.  Define Your Target Demographic and Stick To It. 

The most common mistake occurs when business owners guess on who their core customer are. Business owners hardly ever get more than a name and address and sometimes not even that. I suggest getting the name, email and physical address from everyone you can.  With that you can cross reference who your customers are and can find out how many are home owners, their property values, household income etc. From there you can design your Advertising plan to reach that type of customer in the future. Of course, there are many other things like email marketing and current customer marketing that you can do, but my main point is:  gather quantitative data on you own system to cultivate and understand your market. 

2. Stay Within Your Budget and Be Consistent

Your budget is the most important part of your Advertising Plan. It would be nice if money was not a factor, but the reality is that unless you spend within your means you will be out of business in a short time. Just throwing money at the situation will not work.  Once you have decided an amount and committed to that amount you can begin to study how to get the best bang for your buck. This is where point 1 (knowing your demographic) becomes important. You can use that demo to target your message and its frequency and stay within your spending range to get the most out of the advertising spent. In television it has also gotten easier to target an audience through not only the demographics but also the psychographic information available. This allows you to see the Lifestyle Profile certain programs reaches. Then it is a matter of getting the best CPM (cost per thousand) people in that group to make your advertising effective.  

3. Create a Message That Is Honest and Can Be Categorized As A Real Sales Event. 

Never underestimate your audience by just playing games with them and trying tricks to motivate them.  Today's consumers are very aware of these tactics. The millennials are especially aware of these and you will get a negative response if you go there.  Create a sale that has real teeth with offers and discounts that show value. FREE this and that is something I try to advise my clients to use sparingly.  Of course it is used more often according to the type of business or offer that is being made. Anyone with a half a brain knows that FREE is not free; it costs someone something. That's why you need to keep your message honest and direct and make it a real sale. This policy also enlists your sales staff because they are more committed to the sale and its value.   


4. Mention The Unique Sales Proposition Early In The Spot. 

One of the big mistakes that many make in a television ad is to have such a big idea or convoluted name of the sale that it takes 15-seconds to say it and there is little time left to present the sale features and benefits. I personally like creating two :15 second spots  which air twice in a 2 -minute commercial break.  It is what we call in the advertising business "a bookend spot".  Now the challenge is to know how to present your idea in such a short time and that take lots of experience and practice.  Just the fact you have only 15 seconds to tell your story forces you to present your sale in the most efficient manner possible. 

5. Give Time For The Spot To Perform. 

This concept is twofold. First, you need to make sure that you air the spot long enough in linear time on all stations. Second, you should  give it enough time showing in your targeted programs.  In other terms: Air the spot often in the same program during your particular airing. Spreading out your campaign over too much time dilutes the message.  The key to any campaign is to give it enough frequency over a period of time that the call to action starts producing business.  Your ad should have been produced to give people an idea that the value offered in this sale is limited by time and shown enough to make that clear.

By:  Gary Murphy, President/Owner

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