Do’s and Don’ts for More Effective Ad Campaigns
Smart, successful advertising requires more than talent. It requires discipline. You might have a very creative ad, but if doesn’t contain a clear message relevant to the target audience along with a call-to-action, it’s going to miss the mark. Or you might find yourself with a campaign that generates a lot of leads to the website, but very few convert to new accounts. Here are some solid guidelines to help ensure that you create campaigns that make the cash register ring.
1. Don’t be a follower.
Too many advertisers get caught up in what their competitors are doing, assuming their competitors are smarter and in the know. That is rarely the case. If you want to be a success, carve out your own distinctive brand. Do your homework, know your strengths, understand your target audience, and make a brand promise that is relevant and meaningful. Most important, be unique. No one became a success by following everyone else.
2. Don’t overlook your website.
Too many financial institutions focus their efforts on their ad campaigns, and ignore the fact that they have an outdated website. If your site needs an overhaul, don’t bother investing more in advertising until you fix it. In today’s world, even consumers who might choose you because they live nearby are likely to “check you out” online. If your website looks archaic, this could stop them dead on their tracks.
Make sure your website is consistent with the brand you promote in your campaigns. It should have the same tagline, fonts, colors, message and brand personality. Ideally, it will be easy to navigate, explain your brand and products succinctly, and make it easy to apply for them. And don’t forget to regularly test your online application. Many financial institutions have invested money in online ad campaigns, only to lose prospective customers due to a complicated, time-consuming or broken online account opening process. Some even have links to dead online applications.
3. Don’t jump on every bandwagon that rolls by.
The advertising world is changing constantly, and there’s always some new fad. But that doesn’t mean that every new thing that comes along makes sense for you. QR Codes are a great example. For a while, they were touted as the hottest thing to hit the advertising world. But how many QR codes have you actually clicked on? They’re helpful when you actually have compelling additional information or a big payoff, but they’re not for everything. Simply slapping a QR code on your marketing materials that does nothing more that point to your general homepage is not necessary or helpful, it’s just gimmicky.
Then there is Foursquare, a popular social tool that rewards visits to an advertiser’s valet podium location. But the last thing most banks and credit unions want to encourage is more branch transactions. You are responsible for knowing understanding the tools you’re using and how they fit within the context of your organization’s goals. Choose options that can help you achieve your objectives, and forget the rest.