Friday, January 1, 2010

Use Both Repetition and Progression in Ads

Almost all retailers depend on text advertising—either in print media or on a website—as the bedrock channel for carrying the sales message. Research at Baruch College has refined some assumptions about what gives the best payback for a retailer's advertising dollars when running a series of text ads:
  • Each ad should show movement forward from the prior ad. This is called bookend advertising. For instance, the first ad in the campaign might present a problem to be solved by using products from the advertiser's store. The second ad would show how the problem is solved in part with particular products or services. Each subsequent ad would show further progress in solving the problem, with the last ad portraying full achievement of the objectives. Bookend advertising is more effective than a campaign that repeats all the same content in each ad. This is true even for those consumers who miss out on seeing the initial ads which set up the problem to be solved.
  • In each ad, use some of the same elements that relate to the theme of the campaign. Although the ads show progress, repetition drills the messages into the consumer's long-term memory. Pictures can be effective devices for this. But the Baruch College research findings suggest that repeating the business logo will do the job only if the business logo is directly related to the main meaning of the campaign. Sure, in each ad, you'll include your business name, logo, main tag line, and how to find you. But you'll also want to repeat the selling points, such as, "We have the products plus the advice for you to landscape your yard within your budget."
  • Use ads to define a start and a conclusion to the campaign. This is another aspect of bookend advertising.

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