Successful Advertising and the Audit


15 Questions to Get Right and Make Sure You Pass!

Most people don’t like the word “audit.” It conjures up images of suits walking around your offices, opening your file cabinets, and catching all of the mistakes you’ve made in accounting and reporting measures. If you think it just applies to the accounting realm? Think again, the word audit also applies to the world of marketing and advertising.
Marketing and advertising people I know, myself included, first cringe when we hear that word used with regard to a review of an advertising campaign. Yet we all understand and appreciate that for a creative strategy to be effective and successful, we must ask ourselves tough questions, which ultimately means running our ideas through an audit. It is a core competency today for advertising to be accountable—it needs to work. If it is “working” it should be delivering (over a period of time) our desired outcome—producing qualified leads.
To conduct an audit of our advertising ideas and strategies, we should ask (or remind) ourselves what role we want our advertising to play. It is certainly straightforward to say you want your advertising to position your dealership positively to the consumer, however, there are some unbiased audit questions to consider asking:
1.       Does my advertising project a unique image?
2.       Is the advertising message understandable to my target consumer?
3.       Does the advertising message engage people?
4.       Does it introduce news?
5.       Do I want my advertising messages to be inspirational, funny, and entertaining? Is it any of these?
6.       Is the message relevant to my customers? What makes it relevant?
7.       Does the message persuade people, and what about the message is persuasive?
8.       Are my advertising messages memorable, and what makes them memorable?
9.       Is there a call-to-action for the consumer? Is it easy for them to act?
10.    Is it easy for a consumer to recall how to contact my dealership?
These are all important. And while an ad trying too hard to do everything often does nothing, it may be most important to ask if your message is single-minded. Other goals your advertising strategy should address include:
1.       If the sound is off and your TV ad is running, does your ad still have a message? It should.
2.       Is your radio campaign consistent with your image?
3.       How simple is your billboard campaign, and does it pass the 50-mile-an-hour test (i.e. is it clutter free, eight words or less, and have just one image for people to focus on)?
4.       Is your website working hard to generate leads for your dealership, and is it an extension of the image you want for your dealership?
5.       Do you have video on your site, and is it consistent with your advertising?
Your advertising should have a clear strategy because ultimately you want your campaigns to capture the consumers’ hearts and minds. By performing a simple audit of your ad campaign, you can ensure that it will be effective and successful. Communicate to the consumer that your dealership is worthy of their attention and your advertising will be working for you.
Michael Bedell has more than 24 years of sales and marketing experience in business-to-business and business-to-consumer market segments. He coaches hundreds of clients each year on using toll-free vanity 800 phone numbers and call tracking services to increase advertising response rates. Mike can be reached at or 1-800-NEW-SALES.






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