Advertising on a Budget — Part 2: Thinking Small

admin, 25 June 2013, No comments
Categories: Advertising
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This is the second article of a three-part series. I’m
illustrating the marketing challenges of a small business,
PrescottWeddings.com.

Our goal was to both build the PWC brand and drive traffic to
the Web site. Advertising regularly was essential. Yet it was
also essential to keep our costs down. So we leveraged our
monthly newspaper advertising to stretch our marketing
dollar as far as we could.

How did we do that? We “thought small.”

We bought one inch by two column inch ads (a column inch
in this particular publication is approx. 1.88 inches). The ads<.

To reflect the small ad, the copy also had to be short and
sweet. Like so:

www.PrescottWeddings.com. Everything you need to say “I
do.”

Just the name of the business and the slogan.

We put the name in large type and made the tagline much
smaller.

Did it work?

The first day this ad ran, we garnered 350 hits on the Web
site and several phone calls from business owners who
wanted more information.

And that was just the beginning. Hits steadily grew during
the campaign, and every time it ran we always noticed a
jump.

Not bad for a little ad.

Conventional wisdom says bigger is better. And while it is
true that big ads stand out (after all, they do take a big chunk
of real estate on the page) it doesn’t mean big is the only
way to go. Small ads can pack a punch too.

Why did the PWC ad work? First of all, it got noticed
because it stuck out (yes, small ads can stick out). It had an
odd shape — long and thin, not a square like so many other
ads. The name was big — bigger than many other fonts
surrounding it. (But not so big that the ad lacked sufficient
white space.)

But probably the biggest reason it worked was because the
message was simple. This is clearly a Web site about
having a wedding in the Prescott area. Therefore if you’re
involved with weddings, whether as a business or on a
more personal level, and you’re also associated with
Prescott, then this is a Web site clearly worth taking a peek
at.

People instantly got the message. And they got it even if they
only scanned the paper. It was quick and painless for them
— something all ads should strive to be.

What’s also interesting is how this ad hit its target market.
I’ve spoken to people (mostly men) who have no interest in
getting married and have never seen the ad even though
they read the paper. Conversely, businesses in the wedding
industry and brides have said they see the ad all the time.

Now, you may have a business name that doesn’t capture
your business’ products or services as well as
PrescottWeddings.com (my business name for example). In
this case, why not think of a catchy tag line you can use in
those small ads to drive people to your Web site?

Web sites can be huge, wordy, information-stuffed selling
tools. So use short, sweet one-message statement to get
people to go look and learn more about your business
rather than try to shove everything in an ad. Don’t forget to
include your business name and logo for branding
purposes.

Okay, so small ads with one simple message work. For the
final key in PWC’s marketing program, check out Part 3:
Frequency, frequency, frequency.

series
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