All advertising should communicate to the consumer, "You need this. Here's why." Traditional advertising systems are effective in reaching audiences mostly by casting a very wide net. However, as audiences become more fragmented, it may pay to incorporate some non-traditional approaches. If you prefer to undertake a non-traditional approach to advertising, here are some insights into the process:
Target Your Audience
If you venture from traditional ads, spend your marketing dollars wisely. Use the money you would have spent on magazine or newspaper advertising to develop an on-line experience or a targeted local campaign. One downside of a traditional print ad is that generally it makes a one-time impression. Diversifying your advertising and focusing marketing dollars on different points of customer interaction can make more of an impact. If you can afford to build your brand online and in print, you should. The more platforms to communicate your brand's message, the better.
Create Value Over Time
If marketing dollars are in short supply, and traditional advertising is undesirable because of your target demographic, you have many marketing options. Choose any form of advertising that either creates value over time (like a website that can build your brand through an interactive experience) or establishes human-to-human interaction with your brand's audience through live events or street marketing. Either option can be a good use of a marketing budget and allow you to build up brand recognition with limited resources.
Understand Your Market
When making marketing decisions, it is important to understand your consumers. For example, while working with the luxury yarn supplier ArtYarns, we learned that the average yarn consumer keeps knitting magazines around for years, because the magazines are full of patterns that are used as a reference manual. That added value means Artyarns' fractional pages in Vogue Knitting (a traditional magazine ad) work harder for them over time and are an effective marketing investment for the company.
Effective advertising, whether traditional or non-traditional, targets a specific market with carefully crafted messages about your brand. Selective ad buys can make even small-scale advertising done on a shoestring budget valuable for a small business.
This article is part of our Project RE:Brand web series in which small businesses undergo brand makeovers from design experts.
Dominic Sinesio is Co-Founder at OFFICELAB, a New York City boutique branding agency specializing is in full-service brand identity and communication design for print, packaging, retail and digital media.
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