Advertising - From Media Strategy to Ad Creation
Advertising, as usually discussed within the confines of a business-to-business marketing communications plan, is comprised of two distinct areas. The media - the magazines and websites where we might choose to place your ads; and the creative - the messaging, copy and images that are assembled into an ad designed to inspire readers and viewers to think and act.
Advertising is often one of your company's largest marketing budget line items, and therefore gets a lot of attention...justifiably so. We carefully consider the role of advertising in each of our client's marketing plans. It has its own strengths and weaknesses when compared to other tactics, and we consider all input, including budget, when deciding how to put together an effective advertising strategy.
While the Internet has dramatically changed the dynamics of what we call advertising, the basics are still the same. We must first understand who your markets and target audiences are. We then consider all online and offline opportunities that are read or visited by those audiences. A compelling message is then developed into a creative, relevant and attention getting print or online ad, and placed in the chosen media.
Marketing to your audience is fundamentally simple. It's all about getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time. It's the execution of that goal that's the challenge.
- Media Strategy and Planning: What are you trying to accomplish with your advertising? Brand building, introduction/reintroduction of products, services or capabilities; lead generation with a clear call to action? Do you need short term results, or is this a longer term or ongoing effort? Of course, who are you trying to reach...in which markets, and to which target audiences within those markets?
- Media Research and Analysis: After understanding your objectives, we analyze and evaluate all print and online media that will reach your markets and target audiences.
- Media Recommendations: We then make recommendations based on the media's ability to help us accomplish our objectives. Some of the criteria considered are circulation, editorial content and quality, readership studies, media loyalty, web traffic (online), and ability to drive qualified visitors to your website. We also rely heavily on our own experience with the media we're considering.
- Ad/Message Creation: Our creative process is always grounded in a solid and complete understanding of your marketing and media objectives. With an understanding of the objectives, we develop and present creative concepts that are on target, and based on what it is we're actually trying to accomplish, rather than just how clever we can be. As we present our creative ideas, you will see exactly how the approach we're recommending dovetails with your objectives.
- Media Placement and Coordination: Armed with approved media recommendations, we put together a media schedule, negotiate the best prices and value-added services we can, on your behalf. We take care of all media buying, insertion orders and media placement, all coordination, followup and results/measurement tracking.
- Media Relations: A big part of what we do is build and nurture mutually beneficial relationships with the media...from publishers and editors to the sales rep. Some agencies treat the media as adversaries. We treat them as allies.