1. Define Your Customer
Successful advertising doesn’t begin with a great creative concept or visual or copy. Successful advertising begins with knowledge—specifically, knowledge of your marketplace in general, and your customer in particular. Who are your target customers? What do they need? What do they want that you provide (and that your competitors do or do not offer)?
Especially for a small business with a limited advertising budget, it is imperative that you define the profile of your core customer, then laser-focus your message to that profile. Otherwise, you risk creating an unclear message that strikes at the heart of no one.
Be specific in your profile, because it will define what you say (see #2 below) and how and where you say it (as in, where you’ll place your ad). Are your target customers parents with high disposable income? Are they specific, such as the IT Director at a Fortune 500 company? Defining your target customer is a critical first step. Sometimes you’ll be able to identify your target customer easily, especially if they’re simply residents of your local community. Sometimes this exercise can be more complex. Is it a decision maker in another type of business? Do you need to better understand your competitors’ customers, and identify the ones you can most easily lure away? Take the time to consider your audience carefully.