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Advertising: Is it still a worthwhile marketing tool?

By Miria Cowperthwaite, Media Account Handler at Bluestorm

Nobody can deny that although there is still a place for traditional media advertising in our marketing budgets, we are all experiencing the major transition from the world of print to the increasingly popular use of digital technology. With all this new-fangled technology becoming a prominent element of most businesses marketing mix, has media become the forgotten service? Is it still worthwhile?

Rather than thinking of advertising as an alternative to other methods of marketing, it should be considered as part of the wider mix – a complementary service to PR, digital strategy and direct methods of communication. A carefully constructed media plan can reach out to your target audience and subtly put your business or brand in the forefront of their minds.

Before taking the plunge and putting together an advertising plan, you need to establish two essential things – who your target audience is and what is your ultimate objective by undertaking the activity?

Is your target audience an end user or a B2B client? The approach for these two audiences would be very different. For example, when targeting a consumer you would look to develop a picture of the buyer by honing in on their demographics, geographical reach, specific interests and the key USP which would particularly benefit them. For a B2B target, you would be more interested in identifying the industry, job title of key decision makers, any specific geographic boundaries and key USPs.

Next, you must decide what you want to achieve from your advertising plan. Are you looking to increase general brand awareness, promote a new product or service or advertise a special offer or incentive? Whatever the message – there needs to be a clear and direct call to action.

Once you have confirmed who you are speaking to and what you want to say, you must establish the best outlet to get your message across. This could entail an outdoor media campaign using buses and poster sites, broadcast media such as radio and press, industry publications, online platforms or social media. There is obviously a cost associated with advertising – ranging from low to high investment – so you want to ensure that whatever you choose, you are going to make the biggest impact and get the best bang for your buck.

The advertising plan would need to be strategically aligned to fit in with any overriding business objectives. You would have to take into consideration any key timings throughout the year, special feature opportunities and package deals for multiple bookings. As well as managing the bookings aspect, you would also need to ensure that a punchy creative was pulled together – concisely demonstrating your key USPs.

Advertising is notoriously hard to measure. However, with the rise of online, this is now making things somewhat easier. We recommend placing custom URL’s on all online adverts or social media posts, so you can track the entire user experience of the visitor to your website via Google Analytics. You can see how they have arrived at your website, and the journey they take once they get there. Print or broadcast advertising can be harder, however there are ways around it. You can include a “name” or a “code” for people to quote when contacting for more information – although this heavily relies on your internal sales team tracking enquiries thoroughly. It can help you measure the success of a campaign.

Things change, so you need to constantly monitor the success of your campaign to make changes along the way. By evaluating and analysing your campaign throughout its duration, you can keep it fresh. Depending on actions needed, this could include updating artwork with new messages or tweaking the channels used accordingly.

Do you need a media campaign which packs a punch? We can help!

Identifying the right media channels, collating a full analysis, negotiating rates and formulating an effective advertising strategy and providing post-campaign analysis can be time consuming and hard work. Why not let our dedicated media team support you? It’s a service which we offer at no cost to our clients. We can even co-ordinate artwork for you through our design studio – ensuring it’s a completely smooth and efficient process.

Please contact Miria, Media Account Handler, for more information via miria@bluestormdesign.co.uk or call 01482 308822.

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