10 Ways to Waste Advertising
1. One and Done.
Any advertiser who runs a single ad and awaits results is wasting money. Advertising works best when scheduled frequently. Expecting that one ad is enough is like assuming that one tap from a hammer drives home a nail.
All successful advertising must make a point. If the reader must work to determine the point, the ad is wasted. Advertising without a value proposition is frequently wasted. Urgency and a call for action is necessary.
3. Too pointed.
Some advertisers feel that if every square inch of an ad must be used, 75 sale items can be cited in a two-inch ad. Such ads are like a bed of nails with so many points that none penetrates the mind. An ad that strives to make one simple point works best.
4. Stopping power.
If an ad doesn't seize readers' attention, it's often wasted. Many advertisers waste ad dollars by investing in personal preferences rather than those of customers. Much advertising is wasted because an advertiser promotes what isn't selling and it wants to move rather than what customers want.
Any ad with no goal is wasted. Ads aimed at driving traffic look quite different than ads trying to change opinion or drive image . Know vour strategy up front, or you'll waste dollars.
6. Miss the target.
An ad targeting travelers that runs in Tuesday Sports may not be as effective as one in Sunday Travel. Fish where the fish are by targeting consumers. Don't advertise in areas your customers don't come from. Track where opportunities lie.
7. Fickle format.
Advertisers who constantly change the look and style of their ads lose residual cumulative benefit of the ad schedule. Stick with the format long after you tire of it. Your customers are far more tolerant.
8. Point the finger.
Too often, when an ad doesn't work, the finger is pointed at the media. An old adage applies: Point a finger at something, and usually four more point back at you. Evaluate every ad to see what you could do better. Many advertisers waste their investment because they buy advertising based on price rather than value of the medium. The cheapest ad isn't always the most effective.
9. Look like you.
Adverting must reflect you. Walmart advertising reflects its image and personality, a quite different personality than, say, Nordstrom. Advertising that makes you look like someone else is wasted. Vanity ads including the advertiser or the family typically satisfy egos but are a waste.
10. Incomplete communication.
Don't forget to communicate your advertising investment with employees, sales personnel, merchandise buyers and even vendors.
Source: The Great AdVenture: How to Succeed in Newspaper Advertising Sales, Version 3.0; Newspaper Association of America