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25 May 2016

Say Something Meaningful...

In terms of advertising in the technical and engineering sector, we are constantly amazed at how little thought some companies give to the construction of any kind of message in their advertisements.

Having committed a large sum of money to take a presence in a trade magazine to display their product to their target audience, they then proceed to create an ad that says…..nothing.

You must have seen examples –

  • No headline, just the company logo at the top of the ad
  • Below it, some product photos and captions
  • Text written by the receptionist
  • All signed off by a meaningless strapline

(for legal reasons, we can’t reproduce any here…)

So let’s apply a bit of strategic thinking

We think it’s worth analysing what is happening and to show the process to follow as a doublecheck for you to ensure you make the most of the expensive space you’ve reserved in the magazine.

1. Create a strategy

First – what is the reason for taking the space in the first place? That is to say – what is the main objective? Whatever is the proposition, it should be clear to the reader immediately.

2. Plan your ad out

What products or applications should it feature? Ensure your copy emphasises the benefits to your prospective customer – don’t make a list of the features of the machine or product, thinking this will explain why they need it.

Try to include a call to action at the end of your pitch. This needn’t be “telephone us today” but could be more subliminal by leaving the reader in no doubt that he or she should make a mental note of your business for future reference or to check out your website.

3. Create a stopping headline

You have around 2.5 seconds to gain the reader’s attention. Simply placing your logo at the top of the page won’t do it. When they turn the page and see your ad, readers must immediately understand the point you are trying to make. If you aren’t making one, then what is the point of being there at all?

Having made your point, careful construction of the ad will draw the reader down to the text and signoff. The better the construction, the longer the “dwell time” spent by the reader on your page, aiding memorability.

4. Content is King

Many advertisers also make the mistake of masking their lack of content by overdoing the graphics. Keep things simple and to the point. Too often we see ads that say nothing but have every Photoshop trick known to man applied in the absence of a clear message.

The appliance of science

The science of advertising will never be a precise one but, by combining tried and proven processes with a little creative thinking, you can really help establish brand awareness and support all the efforts your sales engineers are making in the field.

We could expand much more on the above process if you’d like us to, either via email or on the phone – it’s your call and we are here to help.

…and finally…

At the bottom of this piece, we show an advertisement which demonstrates clearly the application of the above process:

  • Headilne positions the company
  • The product is illustrated and shows sector applications
  • Copy and signoff says what advantages the prospective customer (the reader) can expect to gain by dealing with the company
  • Logo neatly positioned bottom right, following the natural eye-line