Communication Associates



On a tight budget?

Get The Most Bang
For Your Advertising Buck

When You Don't Have An Ad Agency

Today, surviving means advertising, and no one can direct your advertising better than a qualified ad agency. However, let's say you're new in business, or your annual budget is somewhat less than the price of a new car. How can you get the most for your advertising dollar and compete with the "Goliaths" who do have agencies?

It's easy, just follow the "A.I.D.A." guidelines. "A.I.D.A." stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Let's go through each of the guidelines individually so that you'll have a better understanding of how they relate to your marketing situation.

Attention: Remember when you advertise in a newspaper or on television, you are an un-invited guest. Except for ad agency people and clients, most people have no interest in seeingyour advertisement, therefore, the first job your ad has to do is grab peoples attention by screaming, "Hey, look at me." This can be done by exhibiting your product or service with an unusual picture or drawing, or leaving white space in your ads. A good test of whether or not a newspaper ad will grab attention is to place it on the most cluttered page of a newspaper, then glance at the paper quickly and see if your layout stands out from the crowd.

Interest: Next you must build people's interest. An easy way to attract people's interest is by using the word FREE, however, I feel this only attracts customers who don't see any value in your service.

Perhaps a better alternative is to give your audience one unique selling proposition about your product or service.

What if there's nothing unique about your business? Most businesses have unique qualities if you look deeply enough. However, if you are one of those few that really have nothing unique, make something up. BIC sold a ton lighters by running commercials, with a butler offering the master of the house "a flic of the BIC sir." It was a catchy line, and sometimes, that's all it takes.

Desire: In the body copy, run off all the benefits of your product. Tell a customer how it will make them feel; show how it will make their life easier; or explain that using your service will make them look like heroes. Remember, businesses fill people's needs - in your advertising, show them how your business does it better than anyone else.

Action: "It's only for a limited time so call today before you miss out on this special____." Always invite your reader to call immediately. Let's face it, if someone has taken the time to devote attention to your ad, you've got everything to gain by making it easy for them to act.

So that's it. This is "good advertising in a nutshell," and if you look at the most effective ads ever written, they will usually hold true to these guidelines.

Remember, great advertising brings good things to life, and raises the standard of living for customers and business owners alike. Good luck!


By David J. Rampulla
President, Communication Associates

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