One of the ‘main men’ in advertising spoke with me over coffee; and the topic led to… well, advertising. (Obviously!)
We saw an ad for a theatre production and he mentioned that his affiliate was included in the play’s programme. Because it’s a play directed at women and includes topics such as molestation, breast cancer awareness and loss of loved ones in death, it is a very sensitive one. He advised his affiliate to advertise in the program since those ads would be seen by their direct target market – females.
In this day and age of so many options when it comes to advertising, it is very important to advertise our businesses – like the gentleman does – in a very targeted fashion. This means that while it is good to do some generic advertising, finding promotional sponsorships that target the same folks targeted by your brand is of utmost importance. For example, I am a car washer in the capital. My Facebook page promotions or advertising should never target persons under 18. Get it? They can’t drive, so they won’t have cars to wash! You may say that they could advise their parents to wash their car at a certain place, but I would say that’s stretching possibilities just a tad much.
So too, when it comes to brand ambassadors. I read a very disturbing article on Instagram (IG) influencers yesterday. The research was done by a top firm and showed that they created an artificial intelligence mechanism to detect fake followers on IG. The number of influencers who charge companies to endorse their product and who had thousands of fake followers was unfathomable. Think of it: you have a product and wish to promote it heavily. You pay a personality thousands of dollars for the year, only to find out that their real followers number almost as many as the teenager down the street! Do your research – or have someone do it for you – and verify if the endorsing entity truly reaches your target market.
Then there are shows. Big shows. Comedy shows. Music shows. All types of shows. Ask yourself a few questions before you sponsor:
– Do I want my brand associated with all elements of this show?
– What credibility does sponsorship of this show give to my company?
– Will my brand get lost in the noise of other brands?
– How will I measure ROI?
– Am I (and my people) getting caught in the excitement of the show, or will it be really valuable to us?
Those are some questions to consider when utilizing money for advertising. I always say that advertising should be an “investment” and not simply be spending money. This is because – if done in a properly targeted manner – advertising should give you a good return on your dollar!
(Veoma Ali is an advertising executive with a Ph.D in Communication and Master’s in