Friday, 18 February 2011

Advertising Strategy

An advertising strategy should support the marketing plan, which in turn supports the company business plan.
In the Real World you will rarely be handed a marketing or business plan. So you'll normally have to figure things out for yourself.
How to create an advertising strategy: The first step in the development of your communications strategy could be should be a SWOT analysis.
Properly done, a Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats assessment will give you a 360 degree, full-color picture of the market, the product or service, and the company.
There are two major parts to an advertising strategy.
1) Assessment.
What's going on in the market, what’s the history, the current situation? What are the major trends in the market, what's the future looking like? With the product. With competitors. With consumer attitudes.
2) Action
What should your client do about the most significant opportunities or problems presented by the situation? What should you do with the brand? With direct marketing. The Web site. The way the company is positioned.
A SWOT analysis will help you figure out the "What's going on" part. And figure it out quickly.
The "What to do" part of your ad strategy should follow logically from the "What's going on" part.
Example: Say the SWOT analysis reveals that there is serious and growing competition from price slashes.

Your strategy might be:
A) Position, or re-position the product: "Because you're worth it - worth so much more then the extra dollar."
B) Invest in, create a stronger brand personality - one based on an upscale, character that people will aspire to associate with.
C) Use traditional dm and the Internet / Web site to target and sell younger buyers, new buyers, before they have established a product / service / company preference.
You can see how your ad strategy addresses a business issue, competitive price pressure, in the above example.

You can also see that the ad strategy deals with the big strategic issues: branding, positioning, direct marketing, and media. And it does so with simple action statements describing, high-level, what you intend to accomplish.
Eventually your strategy will influence all the details, down to the copy and design of your ads. But start with an executive summary of the big issues, the big picture.
"OK, Mr. President. Here's what's going on. Big picture. One, two, three.
And here's what we will do about it. Big picture. One, two, three."
That's the essence of strategic leadership and vision.

Always yours

Atul Sikrai

Founder & Chief Mentor

Brand Diagonal

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