Advertising Campaigns Are Not Etched in Stone

Modify campaigns and bring more leads into your store

It is often said that successful advertising campaigns are born from well-conceived plans; we say yes and no. The beauty of advertising is that it is not set in stone. You may have a solid plan that includes agreements with advertising outlets, but you usually have the flexibility to change your creative direction and turn a lackluster campaign into a success.
There are some simple components to address when developing your advertising’s creative content that will help create a successful advertising campaign.
Have a unique position
A strong, memorable, credible position is at the heart of every effective creative advertising strategy. Successful dealers use advertising messages to distinguish their business from those of their competitors in ways that capture consumer’s hearts as well as their minds…all while asking them to act. Apply these messages consistently and visibly in all aspects of your operation to build a unique selling position. One way to ensure a call-to-action is memorable is to include a branding response tool in your ads—like a toll-free number that fits your brand. Consumer research has shown that people tend to believe more in companies that advertise a toll-free number. A vanity 800 number brings in the element of memorability and provides a unique position in your market.
Expect accountable performance
Your advertising may at times be a trial run of messages and sensory components. You cannot know exactly what is going to work with your target audience, so you need a way to test and measure your ideas and assumptions. There are a few ways to measure and analyze advertising to make it accountable, like standard A/B advertising testing. However, you can also easily refer to response metrics to identify successful ad messages, or failures. Testing can be time intensive, while monitoring response rates with real-time metrics is immediate. Armed with response metrics, you have evidence of what advertising messages are producing leads, and what ones are underperforming. The beauty of having this knowledge is the empowerment you now have to make slight creative changes that will have a major impact. Small changes to your advertising message or call-to-action will help drive more traffic into your store.
Here is a scenario—Imagine you’ve just spent your budget producing television and radio spots for a new campaign. You test the messaging and believe you have communicated your image in an understandable, unique, and persuasive manner. The campaign launches and you expect that you will be getting hundreds of calls within weeks of the launch, but you are proven wrong. Your messages are probably not resonating; calls and leads are trickling in, not flooding in. Your budget is blown and your store is not seeing a return on investment.
What questions should you ask? Should you have incorporated a different position? No, you feel your positioning and image are fine—your ads are memorable and believable. They are relevant and engaging. There is a call-to-action and it’s noteworthy!
Ironically, often we have found that what is missing is an easy action item for the consumer. Ask yourself…is my phone number easy for the consumer to recall? What about my website address? Adding these easy-to-recall elements to the scenario may turn a poor-performing campaign into a successful one.
If you are running a campaign that is not producing a significant number of leads compared to what you’ve spent, make minor adjustments now that will have tremendous impact with more leads coming into your store later. We have seen the big dealerships do this when they needed to refine their image, or add an offer to boost sales. You can do it too. A small change to your advertising message will turn a fledgling campaign into one with lower cost-per-lead and improved ROI.
Laura Noonan has 16 years of experience in the vanity 800 numbers and telecommunications industry. She coaches automotive clients each year on using toll-free vanity 800 phone numbers as direct marketing tools to increase advertising response rates. Laura can be reached at or 800-NEW-SALES.



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