Lucky Ducky

Carry a lucky penny.  Rub the belly of your Buddha.  Tuck the lucky rabbit’s foot into your pocket.  You can cross your fingers and hope for a successful ad campaign. Or you can subscribe to some basic common sense principals that will greatly increase your chances for success. 

A little luck will always come in handy, but here are some common sense campaign tips that will ensure a successful campaign…

Strong Creative.  You’re spending money on media so your message and creative units should be equally strong.  Your creative should be focused, targeted and work in tandem with where you are advertising.  If your audience is Kids, creative should be focused on Kids – fun and engaging.  If you’re trying to reach Parents, make sure your creative speaks in a language that connects and resonates with that audience.

Call To Action.  I’m sure I’m insulting someone somewhere, but bluntly said, if you want the consumer to take action, you have to be obvious in what you want the audience to do.  This is especially important with online advertising.  If you want them to click, say so!  You don’t have to be crass or loud.  Just don’t assume people know what you want them to do, especially in the few seconds you have to engage them to take action.  How does that old adage go?  “Those who assume…”

Know Your Core.  Your core audience is your first buyer, your low hanging fruit.  Get a very clear image of who your product or service is going to appeal to the most.  Who are the people that are going to buy your product when it first comes out?  Know those shoppers and what they are watching, reading, and listening to.  Where do they shop?  What do they like to do?  What appeals to them?  If you don’t know, do the research and find out.

Research & Learn.  If you don’t know who your audience is, do the research.  Define your audience.  You might be surprised.  You might think your consumer is boys when it’s really girls or teens.  If you don’t know who your audience is then you don’t know how to reach them.  Maybe you’ll get lucky, but chances are you’re leaving too much to chance.

Test What You Think You Know.  It can be wise to test mediums and different creative.  Learn from every campaign - from every step you take and from every dollar you spend.  While not always possible, if you can, build in some extra time and spend a little bit of money to go into the real world to test your creative, your message and your media.  Even if you have a long-term campaign that’s been successful in the past, it’s wise to re-evaluate your message and the media you use to distribute your message.

Consider Direct Response (DR).  It may not be ideal for every campaign, but it can be a great way to increase sales.  It also can be a highly accountable advertising tactic that provides a picture of what works and what doesn’t – allowing for continual tweaking and knowledge for future campaigns.  You might be surprised to learn that your media partners are looking to show you how their vehicle can prove well in a test environment.  They know perfectly well that if you are successful, they are successful.  It’s not about luck.  It’s about accountability and ROI.  A misconception is that DR will cheapen your product.  But with the right creative, a strong identity and the right placement, you can stay true to your brand’s integrity.  A number of successful high-end brands use DR when first launching and continue to utilize DR for an efficient branding and selling tool as part of their media mix.

This is just the tip of the marketing iceberg.  A few basic principals that might seem obvious yet are often overlooked when building your media mix.  

So go ahead - carry your lucky penny.  Rub the belly of your Buddha.  Tuck the lucky rabbit’s foot into your pocket.  Cross your fingers, too.  But apply some basic common sense principals and your next marketing campaign will not be left to chance.  

They’ll call you lucky.  We’ll know better.  

David Becker, President, Blue Plate Media Services

Published 04.05.10