Choosing the Right Kind of Advertising can make the right kind of impact for your business
Photo by CC user Rod Allday on geograph.org.uk.

Advertising experts like Jonathan Disegi can tell you that there are different kinds of advertising strategies; depending on your goals, some kinds will be better suited than others. For small businesses especially, it is very important to be sure that you are developing the right kind of advertising campaign before you consider the best media for communicating your campaign – mistakes can be costly and hard to correct. Here is a brief overview of two of the most common forms of advertising.

Product Advertising

If you are about to bring a new product to the market, or you are changing a product that you already have on the market, you should be developing a product advertising strategy. These can be very straight-forward, and should be quite directly focused on the features of the product or the changes (“new and improved”). This strategy should also carry a message about why the consumer needs this product, how to use it, and what benefits will come from using it.

The goal of this form of advertising could be summed up as being about building brand awareness, with the idea being that the more a potential consumer sees an ad for your product, the more likely they are to select your product the next time they make a relevant purchasing decision. Product advertising is appropriate for most media, including television, radio, social, print and others – this can be a fairly expensive undertaking. It is a fairly generic form of advertising which focuses on the product rather than on the specific consumer. It is also difficult to measure the effectiveness of such strategies. Your product may indeed be selling off the shelves, but you have no real way to know if that is because of your ads.

Direct Response Advertising

This form of advertising can be used not only to sell products or services directly to consumers, but also to gather information about new sales opportunities. They key to this approach is that the campaign is designed to solicit a direct response from potential customers via some form of mechanism in the advertisement itself – for example, a coupon, a toll free number, a QR code, or some other easy way for a person to immediately respond to the ad. This form of advertising offers particular benefits to smaller businesses because it encourages a relatively personalized interaction between the seller and the buyer.

Whereas product advertising is fairly generic in its focus, direct response advertising attempts to “speak to” particular consumers – the success of this effort can be directly measured by tracking the number of response to a specific ad. Additionally, when the consumer does respond, their data can be collected at that time and can contribute to a database of people who have “opted in” to a product or service. This allows for follow up directly with those potential customers with further offers that may be of interest to them specifically through email, mail, or other ways of reaching out.

For these reasons, if you are running a small business with a limited budget, you may find that a direct response advertising strategy will give you the biggest bang for your buck.