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Is Traditional Advertising Dead?

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Talk to almost any advertising agency, or Fortune 500 company
exec about advertising and promotion, and you will almost
certainly hear the buzz words “fragmented advertising” and
“consumer-centric campaigns” and long discussions about the many
pitfalls and difficulties of creating effective advertising
campaigns today.

What is fragmentation exactly? It’s the increase in the number
of available methods for getting your message to your audience.

One of the main difficulties faced by any entrepreneur is that
advertising has changed and evolved over the last few years. It
now includes visual, audio and electronic media.

In fact, if you do a Google search for advertising, you may feel
overwhelmed by all the options available to you now — if you
just look at the options for your Website you’ll find popups,
popovers, audio messages, flash video, RSS, even animated “sales
people” that can be programmed to appear right on your Website
and interact with your customers. And that’s just the tip of the

So is traditional advertising — which includes billboards,
radio, television, newspaper and magazine — dead?

Not by a long shot. According to one top advertising mogul,
traditional advertising methods are still around because they
still work.

The trick is to figure out who your target market is, what they
want, and how they look for that information.

Mark Twain said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the
right kind of advertising.”

If you know customers, you can spend your advertising dollars on
the mediums they use to look for answers.

If your customers are senior citizens who are not online, then
focus the majority of your advertising dollars on the
newspapers, magazines, television, and radio that they are
reading, watching or listening to.

If your target market are working parents, you need to know how,
when and where they get their information. Is it on the
Internet? What radio stations do they listen to? What magazines
are they reading? Do they watch television? When? Why?

So what are your best options for creating an effective
advertising campaign?

Here are some simple steps:

1. Know your audience. What do they want? Where do they shop?
What do they read? How old are they? Where do they hang out? Do
they need your product or services? Can they afford your product
or services?

2. Know your competition. Be prepared to do a little detective
work. What are your three main competitors doing to advertise?
Where are they advertising? How often? What types of advertising
methods are they using? How long have they been running? Are you
reaching the same audience? Is your message different?

Look at what they’re doing right, and figure out creative ways
that you can make your advertising just a little bit better, or
differentiate yourself from the crowd.

3. Next take a look at what the “big dogs” in your field are
doing, and see if you can adapt some of their methods to your
target audience and your budget.

4. Know your message. What exactly are you trying to say? What
do your customers want to hear? Why should they buy from you,
and not someone else? Make every word count.

Chances are, your customers are much more tech-savvy than they
were five years ago, or even one year ago. The Internet has made
unbelievable amounts of information accessible, but it also has
contributed to the “information overload” consumers complain of.

Another side effect of the Internet is that your customers have
probably become used to getting “instant gratification” when
they are looking for information, products or services. They
want it, and they want it now. Are you giving your customers
what they want, when they want it?

If you want to have an effective advertising campaign, don’t try
to be everything to everyone. Think of your advertising as a
conversation between you and your one “ideal” customer.
Remember, if you’re giving your customers what they want, they
don’t perceive your ads as a nuisance, they see them as a

Traditional advertising is not dead and you can use it to your
advantage if you pay attention to who your customers are, and
what they want.


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  • Posted On April 11, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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