Ad campaigns play a key role in most marketing strategies, but to get the best bang per buck you need to spend your money wisely on the target market that's right for your business. This guide takes you through the process of working out a sensible budget through to measure response.
1) Working out a budget
A good rule of thumb for ad budget is 3% of turnover. Be prepared to spread your budget across a variety of channels (print, online, radio etc) - one type will seldom be enough as each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, a complex sales message might be better delivered in the trade press, whereas a one-day only sale could be more effectively promoted on local radio. Ad campaigns work best when run over a length of time - customers often need reminding. Commit enough budget to cover the full campaign period. Media owners will usually drop from rate card - for example, you should get a better deal if you're taking out repeat advertising.
2) Measure results
At the beginning of any campaign you need to set a minimum response rate. To work out this rate you can use previous campaigns as a benchmark. If this is your first campaign then any advertising agency you work with should be able to advise you on reasonable response rates to expect. You also need to work out how to measure response. Cost per target customer reached is a useful metric and can allow you to compare the value offered by different advertising channels.
3) Respond to results
Track the results of advertising in terms of orders placed and enquiries, and readjust your ad spend accordingly. If the print ads are working but you're getting no response from radio, it could be time to reallocate your budget accordingly. It's also important to keep the campaign fresh - you could consider dropping the campaign for a couple of months. This is especially true for press advertising, which can lose effectiveness the longer an ad runs. Introduce new campaigns regularly - usually after three months.
To help you on your business journey, we've created Smarta Business Builder, the complete online tools package for growing your business. Website Builder, Business Plans, Accounting Software, Legal Documents and Email - all in one place - from just £20 per month with no contract! Try it out today.