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How to Manage Advertising

by Mira Vlach on October 31, 2007:

Summary: Learn 10 easy steps how to manage your advertising systematically according to your real business needs. This will bring better results and clear control of your advertising budget.

Most companies are aware of the need to promote its own services or goods. Unfortunately, the top management is often too busy to search for the best possibilities of advertising. If they are far-seeing, they either outsource this activity or hire someone competent. The rest of the managers usually accept the offers of the most persuasive media sellers.

The above mentioned approach has one clear disadvantage. If you just choose amongst the offers that are presented to you, you are limited only to the opportunities that are actively promoted. In my opinion, it is much better to use a proactive approach, based on sound analysis.

10 steps for managing advertising

The following guide will allow you to control your business advertising effectively and will provide you with a clear framework that you can use during the process.

The result should be a specific advertising plan for a certain period (i.e. one year), including your campaigns, based on your real business needs and in accordance with your long-term business strategy. The steps up to step 8 are interconnected and you may want to repeat them until you find the best solution.

  1. Get to know the company
  2. Assess the competitors
  3. Choose the target audience
  4. Decide what will be promoted
  5. Set an advertising budget
  6. Choose suitable media
  7. Invent creative and efficient campaigns
  8. Create and approve advertising plan
  9. Execute the advertising plan
  10. Monitor the expenditures, watch the efficiency

1. Get to know the company

The company management should have a clear vision about the goals of the advertising. You also need to know the products well. Use the historical experience with advertising that is available in the company.

2. Assess the competitors

To create good plan and campaigns, you need to know the competitors – your competitive strengths and weaknesses. Why somebody prefers just you? Is it price, unique offer, easy accessibility or something else?

3. Choose the target audience

Who are your customers and who are you going to address with your advertising? This will depend not only on the product, the appeal of customer segments but also on comparison with competitors. The decision is connected also with the choice of media for your campaigns.

4. Decide what will be promoted

You will probably want to promote the most profitable or strategic products, possibly the brand itself. The campaign should clearly communicate the main advantages from the customer's point of view. The message will also probably determine the choice of media.

5. Set an advertising budget

The annual budget will depend on many factors. Some of them are:

6. Choose suitable media

Because you are limited by your budget, you need to choose the media, that will best convey your message to the targeted audience. Generally, you can save money by addressing only those people who are interested in or can buy your product.

7. Invent creative and efficient campaigns

People see and hear many advertising messages every day. If you want their kind attention, come with something interesting and not overly aggressive. Do not lie and don't promise anything that you cannot deliver.

8. Create and approve advertising plan

By now you should have enough information to create an advertising plan: you have a budget, chosen media, ideas for campaigns. Divide clearly responsibilities for the plan execution. The plan should get a definite approval by the management.

9. Execute the advertising plan

Once the plan is ready, hold the course. Part of the budget may be intended for unexpected expenditures and opportunities. Of course, the plan may be changed in case of new circumstances. Prepare the campaigns in advance and in sufficient quality.

10. Monitor the expenditures, watch the efficiency

To spend your money really efficiently, monitor the effectiveness of you advertising. Create a baseline before the campaigns are launched so that you can compare later on. The acquired information will be used to create refined plan for the next period.

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