shopper

"A bridge over troubled waters is better than burning your bridges after you've crossed them."

Companies tend to stop advertising in times of economic downturn or at a point when it just doesn't seem like the program is working. The troubled waters could be a recession or they could represent a time of year when people don't buy as much of what you sell. But at those times, what will happen if you drop your advertising? Will people forget you? Will someone steal your customers? Possibly.

Picture this: You have built a bridge, that is, a communication link to your customers. You have built up a certain amount of awareness. If you stop advertising, that will be lost. You will lose your investment. As one marketing guru has put it, "The bond of communication is too precious to break capriciously." Remember, it does take time for a program to show results. So be consistent in your efforts; regard them as an investment and be committed.

You need one bridge or program to reach, retain and cross-sell customers, and another to reach prospects. Often, people think of advertising only as a way to reach prospects, and that is unwise. In today's marketplace, retaining your customer base is a key to survival. To retain customers, do simple things like reinforcing purchase decisions with a "thank you" or with an elaborate brochure that celebrates the benefits of the purchase.

We usually court the customer with a brilliant website and gorgeous printed materials to sell the product, but once it's sold, we think all is well. However, that may be the very time when the customer begins to doubt his decision especially on large ticket items. At this point he needs a congratulations or other positive reinforcement. That will assure positive word-of-mouth advertising.

To get new customers, you need a creative advertising program which features a simple message touting customer benefits, not product attributes. Remember, a benefit is what a product or service attribute does for the customer. Make that clear to capture their attention and awareness. Then repeat the strategic yet simple message with as much frequency as your budget will allow.

©2014. DAY Communications/fastzone.com. All rights reserved.

nervous man

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained" is especially true in marketing. Successful programs require calculated risk taking. We are in business to help you develop communications programs that will target the right audience--grab attention--relate your message--and be remembered. Achieving that level of impact requires planning, creativity, and a willingness on the part of the client--you--to take some risks.

One agency executive has said: "An advertising agency that shows you work that does not contain some sense of the unexpected - at least a few surprises - is simply not doing its job the way it should. I am quite serious when I say that one of the main responsibilities any advertising agency has is to prepare, propose, and fight for ads that make clients nervous!!"

If you feel nervous after your agency has made a presentation, ask yourself: Is my reaction based on a valid intuition that these creatives simply won't achieve my goals, or am I timid about really making an impact?

Would customers and others consider the program under review refreshing-- inspiring-- meritorious-- clever-- thought provoking-- innovative? Would your competitors wish it was theirs? If so, your nervous feeling is a good sign. And if the program has no breakthrough qualities, why consider it at all?

Breakthrough programs are the way to go in marketing, so relax, and take a risk!