Why is advertising a critical factor in the success of your company?
- Unless customers know who you are, they can't buy from you
- Unless customers have a healthy perception of you, they won't buy from you
- Advertising gives you the opportunity to control the message and "tell" the market what they should know about your company. Don't leave it to your customers to guess. Don't give your competition the opportunity to tell potential customers what they should think about you.
Penetrate the market adequately.
Frequency and consistency are two of the most important commitments an advertiser can make.
It is crucial to:
- Penetrate the media with dynamic graphics and a clear message to take dominance over your competitors
- Ensure your ads and online content is viewed often enough so people will remember you
- Execute a consistent marketing program (it is counterproductive to "start/stop" your campaign)
- Capture and maintain market share with frequency, consistency, and strong messaging
The most successful companies use an integrated approach to:
- Create visibility, awareness, and brand recognition
- Convey what your advantages are and how they benefit your customer
- Offer reasons for potential customers to change vendors
- Generate leads
- Plant seeds for future sales
- Establish your company as the market leader/innovator/expert
It takes time, visibility, and a financial commitment to achieve these goals.
Your marketing efforts should include the integration of:
- Print Ads (to drive people to your website and brand your company)
- Content Marketing, Internet Ads & Sponsorships (so people can find your company; these can produce a quantitative measure of clicks, produce actual lead contact information, and/or help brand your company)
- Technical Articles (establish you as a credible authority)
- Press Releases (keep you in front of your audience & editors)
- Trade Shows (show people you're real and link you to your prospects)
- Booth Graphics and Display of Products (with possible multi-media videos, etc.)
- Your Web Site (to dispense information, rank you higher in searches, establish you as an expert)
- Trade Magazine Cover Art (adds additional visibility and credibility)
- Trade Show Demos and Product Spotlights
- White Papers
- Media Interviews and company inclusion in editor-written articles and editorial roundups
- Buyers Guide Listings (in core industry and related vertical industry print and online pubs.)
- Webcasts (either as a sponsor or a presenter)
- Video postings on online trade publication and resource sites
- Membership in appropriate professional organizations and societies (ex. SPIE, OSA, AIA, etc.)
- Services of an agency experienced in your industry
Where should you start?
Strategy, strategy, strategy.
This is the single most important factor in an effective campaign. With careful strategic planning and goal assessment we answer these questions:
- What products/services do we offer?
- Who are our competitors?
- Why are we better?
- Who is our market?
- What are our growth industries?
- What is the market perception of our company?
- Do we need to self-correct?
- How will we gain market share?
- How will we maintain market share?
How much should you spend?
Many companies allocate 10% of sales to advertising. In Optoelectronics and affiliated fields, our experience tells us a medium-sized company can run a successful campaign on less.
For example, 3-5% is often sufficient, depending on your gross sales:
If your sales are $1,000,000, 3% ($30,000) might not be enough to do the job. If your sales are $100,000,000, 3% may be far more than you need to spend to penetrate this market.
An experienced advertising agency and PR firm, proficient in your industry, will add value to your marketing investment. They should have a thorough understanding of your market and provide new marketing opportunities to give you a distinct edge over your competition. An effective marketing/advertising agency will become an important arm of your company, setting you apart from your competition by guiding your markets efforts, implementing your media plans, and helping your company achieve increased revenue over the course of time.