5 Advertising DON’Ts for Businesses

Whether you’re a large corporation or a small business, there are right and wrong ways to put advertising into play for your company. Let’s talk about five common mistakes to avoid when it comes to your business’ ad plan.

  1. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
    It may seem like common sense, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the options available when you start to build a marketing plan. Television, radio, mobile advertising, billboards, magazines, the list goes on. It’s hard not to feel the need to “do it all”. But the truth is, too little money in too many places achieves nothing. Pick one or two key areas to concentrate your advertising dollars, and focus on high quality, targeted campaigns. You can always adjust your budget to try a different approach down the road.
  2. Don’t rip off another brand’s messaging.
    It’s useful to have companies you look to to guide your marketing goals. After all, who wouldn’t want their business to have the next ‘Got Milk?’ campaign or a logo as recognizable as Coca Cola’s? But completely mimicking another brand’s messaging to draw attention to yourself is a cheap trick. Sure, people might recognize your logo if it looks strikingly similar to that of a national brand, but they’ll also know you couldn’t come up with a good enough idea on your own.
  3. Don’t stop asking questions.
    A campaign medium that yielded great results two years ago might not be as effective today. Technology is ever evolving, and your advertising plan should reflect that. Constantly ask your customers what you’re doing right, what they remember about your brand and how they heard about it. Hold focus groups. Test new ideas on your friends and family. Don’t get complacent!
  4. Don’t talk all about yourself.
    Too many unsuccessful campaigns spend too much time telling the customer how great the company is. Instead, focus on what YOU can do for the CUSTOMER. How can you make their life easier? What problem will your product or service solve?
  5. Don’t fix something that’s not broken.
    Anybody know Burger King’s slogan? They’re the burger chain that promises you can “Have it your way”, right? Not anymore. Earlier this year, the company changed its 40-year-old slogan to “Be your way”. A tiny shift in wording, but a major difference when it comes to branding. Do you like the new slogan? Thousands of people don’t. The jury’s still out on how it will affect Burger King’s sales (if at all), but the point is this: if you’ve got a great brand identity that people love, it’s okay to hold on to it.

If you found these pointers helpful, be sure to check out our post on 5 Social Media DON’Ts for Businesses.