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Issue Date: January 2005

Industrial advertising - how to generate response

January 2005
Megan Stark

It is really quite easy to get response from any advert. The secret is to keep it simple, very specific and only give relevant facts. In order to create a successful advert you need to establish why you are advertising in the first place? Is it to create awareness or generate sales leads? Unless the objective is set in place from the very start, there will be no clear direction or message to market.

Most companies try to get their adverts to be all things to all people and land up cramming them with information. The result of this is that the reader of the advert does not know what he should be responding to, so no response is generated.
One also needs to decide what it is you are trying to persuade your target market to do. The more specific and relevant you are about what you do and whom you do it for, the higher your response rate will be. Keep the reader in mind at all times, put him/her on centre stage. Identify what really matters. What problems do you need to solve? What points of friction do you reduce for them? What motivates him/her to seek you out? Keeping to the facts in a simple, direct way will help readers quickly understand what your product or service can do for them. This direct approach will get people to phone you, rather than you having to chase them.
Think about some of the adverts you have read recently. Do you think they had enough information about the product they were promoting? Now think about the target market - engineers and technical people. Will puffery and wild promises get them to respond to your advert, particularly when they are looking to buy controllers, drives, networks, sensors, instruments, cyclones or software? The adverts I have read do tend to have some valuable information in them, but it is normally well hidden in the puffery. Engineers tend to be a literate bunch and they also have an insatiable curiosity. Pique that curiosity with some attention-getting facts and they will be all ears.
It is critical to clearly define what it is that makes your product or service unique. Equally important is trying to state the facts in a way that is relevant to the reader of the advert and not from the advertiser's perspective. Readers of your adverts want to know what the product or service will do for them. Does it save time or money and how much? Will it increase productivity? Then, lastly, if you want the phone to ring, there should be a call to action. For example, you can give a 10% discount to the first 10 readers who reply to the advert, or offer an additional component for free.
For further information contact CubicIce, Megan Stark on 011 705 2545, Fax: 011 705 2448, e-mail:

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