Advertising: Purpose is Pivotal

When a business owner tells me they need a brochure for their business, my first question is:  Why?  The answer usually goes something like:  Well, everyone has one, we should too.

Again, why?

I take it a step further by asking:  What is the purpose of the brochure?  This puts a big stump in the middle of the road.  When you take the time to think things through, the purpose of a brochure is, first of all, to get the viewer to pick it up.  That means it either has to have a strong attention getting device or that the viewer is interested in the subject of the brochure.  That could be a resort, a restaurant, tourist attraction, business information, or whatever else is being advertised, if done right.

Thinking it through a bit more, the second step in the process of an effective brochure is to get the viewer or person who picked it up to open it up and spend some time reviewing the contents.  Typically, once they’ve digested the information, they look for a call to action or a reason to save the brochure.  Without a call to action or reason to save it, the odds are that little brochure winds up in the recycling or trash bin.

The plus is that a brochure that is picked up and looked at has made at least one impression on one human being’s brain.  Whether anything is done about it is another matter, and that is what has prompted this blog.

The purpose of the brochure or other advertising is pivotal.  The call to action is essential, especially if it is intended to drive sales.

Regarding a brochure, here are a couple more questions:

Who do you want to see or receive the brochure?

What do you want them to do once they’ve received it?

The answers provide you with basic information about your target audience, how many brochures to print, the delivery vehicle (a brochure rack, direct mail, etc.), and how the reader should contact you.  Have you ever received a brochure in the mail that was without any contact information?  That’s a big “Oops!” and a costly one, too.

Whether it’s a brochure or some other form of advertising for your business, here’s the basic question you need to ask yourself:  What’s the purpose?

You should know what you want your advertising to do.  Do you want viewers, readers, and/or users to call you?  Stop by your store?  Go online?  Check out your website?  E-mail you?  You must first give them a compelling reason to take action, and then call them to action so they do what you want them to do.

Even if you merely want to share information to educate potential consumers, you need to stir action to get them involved.  If you’ve paid attention to the fine print in TV commercials for ED products, you’ll notice they generally direct people to a magazine ad for more information.  Pick up that magazine and you’ll see a three-page ad; one for the product and two pages of disclaimers.

Think about who you want to receive your advertising message.  Male, female, or both?  What age group?  What income level?  Where do the majority of them live?

Next, consider what is the best way to reach them with your message.  Are they most likely to listen to radio or view a brief video online?  Choosing the right delivery vehicle and crafting a message relevant to your target audience are additional steps to gain success and a return on your investment in advertising.

Advertising seems simple, but it’s a complicated process that requires you take the time to think it through.  Save yourself some money and engage a qualified consultant to help.