Thursday, June 23, 2011

Evaluating Print Advertising Effectiveness


When evaluating the potential effectiveness of different print campaign ideas, you should ask the following questions:

* Does the ad offer a high degree of visual magnetism? An ad should be constructed so that a single component dominates the area -- a photo or screenshot, the headline or text but not your company name or logo.

* Does the headline immediately grab the reader? In Ogilvy On Advertising, advertising guru David Ogilvy states that five times as many people read
headlines than read body copy. Ideally, the headline is nine words or less. Promise prospects a worthwhile reward for continuing to read.

* Does the ad talk person-to-person? Copy is more persuasive when it speaks to the reader as an individual -- as if it were one friend telling another friend about a good thing. The terms should be the term's of the reader's business not the advertiser's business.

* Is the ad easy to read? Text type should be no smaller than nine point. It should appear black on white. The writing style should be simple: short words, short sentences, short paragraphs, active rather than passive voice, no advertising cliches, with frequent use of the personal pronoun you.

* Does the ad reflect the company character? A company's advertising should portray the company's personality -- the things that will make the company liked, respected, admired. A messy ad tends to indicate a messy company. A brag-and-boast ad suggests the company is maker-oriented, not user oriented.

* Does the ad focus on "What's in it for me (the prospect)?" How will the prospect benefit from your product?






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I'm really just a "mature" guy picking up experience along the way. If only by osmosis, I've observed what works and what doesn't work under the marketing umbrella -- with 11 years in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble; 30-plus years in B2B publishing (including three years as a publisher); and 1,000's of calls on every size company starting with the likes of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard all the way down to small, brash start-ups.

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