There are two key types of advertising and both are critical to making a business successful, the first being ‘Branding’. Now branding advertising is hard to track the response of, sometimes it feels like it’s not working or is a waste of money but don’t be fooled branding is the key to long term success with your marketing. The Second is ‘Call to Action’ and is great for monitoring/tracking a response, will empty your shelves of stock and push product lines but will long term have no effect on the success of your business. Let’s explore each of these two marketing/advertising strategies as I reveal both their strengths, weaknesses and why you must do both to build a strong longer lasting business plan for your marketing.

Branding

It’s simple, branding needs to first and foremost convey the image of your product or service in an instant, branding advertising needs to be well thought out, consistent and most importantly everywhere. Ideally the more often you are presenting yourself in front of your key audience then the more often you are building a strong bond between your product and your audience’s engagement. You are trying to get them to recall you as soon as they need a similar product or service, you are now placing yourself on your audience’s ‘buying map’.

We are talking about logos, billboards, TV ads, radio, newspapers, magazines, social media and so much more. Make sure you have research where your customer base goes for your products and start placing your business in front of them.

Pros – Long term recognition from the target consumer, reputation, loyal and repeat spend, business value/profile increase.

Cons – Cost is the big con to this one. Marketing/advertising is an endless money-pit, it can eat up your money like an industrial shredder. So make sure you research and focus your spend wisely, don’t get hung up on response because you are playing the long game.

Call to Action

Rather self explanatory, call to action advertising gets people to take their money out of their wallet right now. You can’t get that money in every case unless you are trusted but never-the-less it’s a price war so discounts, vouchers, specials, offers are the way to empty your selves. The same branding needs to be present but this time you have a specific message, buy now and save %. We all end up buying things we don’t even need when we see discounts on the high street so think like a consumer and build your hot deals around your own buying habits, test them out on friends and family or employees and see if they would buy. Make sure this call to action advertising doesn’t become the norm for your business because consumers wise up fast and catch onto this. Rare discounts clear shelves, regular discounts cheapen your brand and make the consumer wait until the product are on sale before buying.

Pros – Cash in the till, old stock/end of season/product lines gone. Consumer happy, everyone’s a winner.

Cons – You have to discount to get the business and you have to advertise to sell the products so you have cut down your profit twice. Make sure you have done the mathematics on offers as sometimes the cash in the till can become uneconomical.

Both Branding and Call to Action advertising combined

Now we are onto a winning formula, if you have the branding down then your call to action advertising will carry more authority. Your consumer will walk into the store with a coupon in one hand and a cheque book in the other. The key is to understand your audience, build your brand and make sure you know your margins when giving out discounts and offers.

Daniel Frye