Monday, August 09, 2010

Is your advertising dollar buying you new business?

Advertising can be one of the most expensive elements of marketing your business. It can be highly effective, but the return on your investment will vary widely depending on your business, product and audience targeted.

The Benefits

• It is highly visible and seen/ heard by a lot of people
• It reaches customers who don’t already know about you
• Imparts new information to those who do (such as special offers and discounts)
• If done well, can have high recall
• Places you into people’s consciousness, even if they don’t need your services right now.

The Pitfalls

• It can be expensive to make the ad and then run it (depending on the media chosen)
• It will not reach people who are not watching and listening to the place where your ad is.

Is advertising for my business?

Before you consider advertising, you need to have a thorough understanding of your target audience and what they watch, read and consume. Try asking some of your existing customers where they heard about you. Have they seen any of your latest advertising? What magazines do they read? What radio stations do they listen to and when? What other advertising have they noticed?

Which advertising works best?

There is no easy answer to this question. It really depends on where your customers are at. But some media is better at some things than others, as shown below. We've used examples of Northern Territory media to demonstrate.

Newspapers: Examples include the NT News, Darwin and Palmerston Sun, Centralian Advocate and regional weeklies such as the Katherine Times, Territory Regional Weekly and Eylandt Echo. Newspapers have a short shelf life but high circulation. Depending on the publication, they can be really cheap to advertise in. You pay more for Saturdays and Sundays, colour and specified pages. Be aware that public notices cost more per column centimeter than regular advertising and the ad size is smaller. At the same time, public notices offer highly qualified traffic – people looking in the cars section are actually looking for cars. Newspapers are best for imparting lots of information. Design and layout of your ad will be an additional cost of between $100-$500 depending on size and style.

Magazines: Examples include Darwin Life, Resident, Intensity, fishing magazines and Top End Arts. Magazines generally have a longer shelf life, which means your ad is seen for a long time. Most magazines are also directed as specific target audiences, so readers are better qualified. Some magazines also offer complimentary editorial if you buy advertising. Design and layout of your ad will be an additional cost of between $400-$1500 depending on size and style.

Radio: Examples include HOT 100, MIXFM, Territory FM, KIKFM, Larrakia Radio, 8HA and Sun FM. Each individual advertisement on radio is relatively cheap, so you run a lot of ads. Set a budget and ask the radio station to design a campaign for you. Production of your ad will be an additional cost of between $100-$1000 depending on style, voiceover, music and sound effects used.

Television: Examples include Channel Nine, Southern Cross, Imparja and Channel Ten Digital. Television advertising can be expensive, but ask your salesman to work to a Budget. Less watched shows can be much cheaper to advertise in, along with morning and daytime timeslots. Production costs vary wildly – from as little as a couple of hundreds of dollars to over $100,000. Most businesses can make a simple but effective advertisement for $1000-$3000. Beware of special approvals needed for TV advertising and allow plenty of time for production.

Online: Examples include news websites like, Facebook and Google AdWords. Online advertising is cheap to produce and run. With improvements in targeting, they can also bring you very qualified inquiries. First consider whether your audience is online.

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