Increasing ad effectiveness: How to review and refresh with your clients

Advertising is likely to be the cornerstone of your clients’ success, and makes up a correspondingly large proportion of their budgets.

Naturally your clients want to make sure that their advertising budget is money well spent. You can help them ensure it’s meeting their objectives and targeting the right audience.

The answer is to have a routine review and refresh strategy built right into your client strategy. It’s worth their time, and yours, to make sure their advertising pounds are well spent.

Set objectives

Ideally, your client already has a clear idea of what they want their advertising to achieve. Whether their ad is in the press, on TV, outdoors or online, they should know why the ad is there and what it’s trying to achieve.

If they don’t, here are some questions to help begin the review process:

• What’s the goal of the ad? An advert to market a brand will look very different to an ad announcing a big sale or new product.
• Who does your client want to talk to? The advertising channel, timing and even the look and feel of the ad should all be tailored to this audience.
• What is the product or service they’re trying to market? Most companies offer more than one. Which one is the hero in this ad?
• What makes the product or service unique? Why should the audience take notice?
• What does your client want people to do? The call to action in the ad should be clear.

How often will they review

Once your client knows what they want their campaign to do, they need to decide how often to review its success.

• There could be natural breaks in the campaign cycle – seasonally for retailers, for example – that present the perfect opportunity for a review.
• If your client has monthly, bi-annual or quarterly targets, this review could present a good time to consider their advertising too.
• Certainly it makes sense to refresh ad campaigns at least once a year – the market, advertising and even audience expectations change often. It’s good to make sure your clients keep up with these changes.

Decide how to measure success

Now your client knows what their ad is supposed to do and how often they want to review it, they’ll need to know how to measure its success. This will differ from channel to channel, but here are some basics that apply everywhere:

• Monitor sales before, during and after the campaign – it’s a tried and tested for campaigns pushing a particular product or provider.
• Keep an eye on retail traffic – in conjunction with sales this can be a great indicator for retail clients.
• Website traffic – if the ad is prompting people to visit a particular website, consider setting up a landing page specific to the campaign or product. Traffic to this page will be a great way of showing how effective the ad is.
• Talk to customers – research is the most direct way for your client to see how their ads perform. It could be that commissioning research before, during and after the campaign gives them the confidence to invest in the most successful channels.
• Discount codes – some clients choose to add incentives to their advertising such as “5% discount when you mention this ad”. How many were redeemed?

Special considerations

Everything above applies to any channel, but there are specific considerations for press and TV.

Press
• Does the headline focus on the audience? Five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy – it’s important to make sure it makes an impact.
• Review the layout of the ad – does it make have a good balance of photography/imagery, white space and copy?
• Is the ad in the right publication? You’re in the perfect position to advise the client on this before the ad even goes to print, but it’s important to periodically review shifts in the market and audiences to make sure it’s still the right fit.

TV
• Right place at the right time? Just as we checked the publication was still a good fit for the audience, it’s important to know that the channels and time slots for your clients’ ad are still the best.
• Does the content still suit your clients’ needs? Do the voiceover artist, actors, visuals, script or sound still suit the message your client is trying to convey?

There’s a lot to consider: breaking the process into these steps is one way of easily incorporating a strategic review into your clients’ advertising process.


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