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Designing Your Advertising Message

Craft a message that will cut through the blizzard of other messages to attract attention and capture customers.
Today's consumer is in a big hurry. We are overwhelmed with work, family, school, children, meetings, moves, and a myriad of other duties and activities. We like things that are QUICK AND EASY. Your customer should be able to QUICKLY find what you are selling and EASILY understand your message. Don't make the customer work or wait to find out what you're selling!

Steps to Follow

1. Target Your Audience
Advertising is too expensive to waste on people who aren't interested in what you have to sell. Knowing your audience makes all the difference and will save you tons of time and money. Once you have targeted your audience, you can hone in on what appeal is most likely to motivate them, and what tool to use to capture their attention.

Here are a couple of ways to identify the demographics of your target audience.

Look at the newspaper, magazine, Internet site or broadcast media that you want to advertise with. Look at their websites as well. Find ads from at least three of your competitors. Analyze what is effective, and, importantly, what is not.

Answer these questions when you look at the ads the competition is running:

  • Who is the audience for the ad, exactly?
  • Is it men, women, both? What percent of each would you guess? 60% men, 40% women? Come as close as you can.
  • Are they married, single, divorced, widowed?
  • What age range do they represent?
  • Where do they live?
  • Can they afford the product or service?
  • What does the ad tell you about their wants, needs, values, lifestyles?
  • How does this audience match the audience for your product or service?
  • How does it differ?

Visit some of your competitors in their physical locations. Check out who is shopping there, answering the same questions as above. Also note whether the place seems prosperous or not. Look for the things you like about what they are doing. Make a list of the things you don't like about what they are doing and a list of the things you will do differently and better than they do.

Match up the data you gathered from your visits with what you found in the ads. You should have an excellent idea of who your audience is, and what appeals they are going to respond to.

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