8 Point Ad Critique Checklist

8 Point Ad Critique Checklist

There’s a very, very famous saying by the CEO of GE Electric that, ‘I know half my marketing is working, I just don’t know which half.’ What’s interesting is I see so many people out there running marketing that’s not working and in this day and age, it’s very, very easy to track your marketing. There’s no excuses. In fact, especially if you’re doing a lot of online marketing, everything’s traceable, trackable, there’s reports galore, there’s analytics. So there’s no excuses!


So what I’ve got is a checklist to go though that will help you think about, ‘Okay, is my marketing effective? Is my ad going to give me a return on my investment.’


1. Know what you want to achieve with your marketing:


First of all, what concisely is your measurable objective? What is it that you’re trying to achieve? Are you trying got get leads, inquiries from the marketing that you’re doing? Are you selling something with the marketing? Are you doing branding? What is your measurable objective that you’re trying to achieve, because it’s very important that before you run a marketing campaign of any type, that you think about, ‘What am I actually trying to achieve with this marketing?’


Because if you can’t clearly define what it is you’re looking to achieve, how are you going to define it? So for example, it maybe an exercise to build a following on your Facebook page. It could be that you want to get direct sales on your website. It could be that you want to get leads into your database. You might want to get people to an event. You might want to get referrals. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re clear as to the objectives of the campaign, that’s step one. You need to understand, ‘What am I trying to achieve with this campaign?’


What do you need to break even?


The second thing I’ve got here on my checklist is what are my break even response scenarios. What am I looking for as a response to break even. So if I’m spending x dollars, say I spend $500 on a Facebook marketing campaign. What do I need to get in return to break even on that $500. Now it may not be sales, it may not be direct sales. You might be thinking, ‘Ben what do you mean?’ Let’s just say that one customer has, on average, has a lifetime value of $1000 and that your gross profit is 50%. So you know you’re going to make $500 profit from that $1000 customer. Well then your break even scenario is one customer. What if you’re in a business where your average dollar sale is $30? Well of course, now your break even scenario is going to be much lower or it’s going to be more customers to break even.


So it starts to give you an idea of, okay, what exactly do I need from the advertising and the marketing I’m going to do? How many responses do I need to break even? Now if it’s something that’s less measurable, so it’s not actual sales, it might be leads coming into your business, then you need to start working out, okay, what’s my break even on leads? And this is one thing in knowing your numbers. So if you know for every 10 leads you get in your business, 3 of those turn into customers, and on average those customers are $200 each, then you know to break even on a $500 campaign, you’re going to need 10 inquiries. So it’s about just knowing those numbers and being able to work them out. So that’s number two. What are the break even response scenarios. So what is it you want to do.


3. Know what your audience is after:


Third thing, how well is the material targeted to the potential customer. I find that this is an area where people are really weak. In fact, we can probably look through these magazines and see some really crap ads because they just don’t target it at all. I do see some that are really well targeted. But when I look at marketing and it’s so so easy in the market right now, I see people marketing online with just rubbish. If it’s not targeted, people aren’t going to buy. You see in magazines and newspapers as being great at targeting a story to a particular audience. Look at this one here... ‘8 Pages of Tips to Start a Business With No Money Down.’ Pretty targeted, right? So they’re targeting people that want to start a business but have no money. How targeted is your advertising to your potential customers? No good being very broad about what it is you’re trying to say. Get very specific!


4. Do you have a great copy?


Number four, how effective is the headline, opening paragraph of your marketing? And this is a huge one. 80%, you’ve heard of the old 80/20 rule. Well 80% of your time is going into thinking about your marketing or your thought should go into the headline. You want a headline that’s got an impact. I mean, once again, that’s a good example of a headline, ‘8 Pages of Tips to Start a Business With No Money Down.’ Let’s see if there’s anything else here. ‘Seth Gordon’s 4 Steps to Entrepreneurial Success.’ Makes you want to open the cover and have a look in here. I find the most effective headlines are the ones that are like, ‘How to x Without Having to y.’ So for example, ‘How to Recruit a Team Member without Having to Have 24 Interviews.’ Something like that can be very effective. It’s got to be compelling, it’s got to be so people want to click on the ad on the timeline or want to open the magazine if it’s in the magazine, and they want to ring your number if it’s there. So that’s number four: how effective is the headline, because the headline is where you’re going to grab them. It’s where you grab their attention.


5. Do you have a compelling offer?


Step number five is does your Ad have a powerful offer? Now, think about it, this day and age, people love getting something for nothing, but that might not be your ideal market. But certainly you want to have an offer that’s irresistible, that makes people want to call you and makes people want to deal with you. So make sure you have a powerful offer. I see, once again, too many ads that are, ‘Here’s what we do, here’s our number. Hopefully you’ll call us.’ That doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to have an offer. It needs to be compelling so that people want to ring you.


6. Is you Ad visually appealing:


The next one, number six is how effective is your marketing visually? And this can be difficult because if you are, for example, running Google AdWords, you don’t have a lot of space to play with. Even Facebook is limiting to you to what you can and can’t do as opposed to a magazine. A magazine, let’s have a look in here and see what I can find. In a magazine, you can get much more much more graphics into your ad. You can make things much more interesting. There’s usually ads in there. That’s boring, that’s really boring. I don’t want to bag them out too much, but that’s really boring. They’ve taken the whole back page and it’s just really boring. You want to think about that...


How visually appealing is your marketing? If this was just a white cover with the word ‘success’ on it and nothing else and it was sitting in a news agency, the likelihood is you’re not going to want it. So it has to be visually appealing so that when people look at it, it grabs their attention. Where are people’s eyes these days? They’re in their phones. They’re in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. It’s hard to get their eyes out of that. So if you’re going to be in print media, it’s got to be very, very visually appealing.


7. Does you Ad contain a guarantee:


Number seven: is there some sort of guarantee or it doesn’t have to be a guarantee. But is there a clearly defined benefit in responding to your marketing? Because if someone can feel that there’s a benefit, that’s it not a risk of them wasting their time, then they’re more likely to respond.


8. You need a great call to action:


And the final one, number eight, and I’ve seen way too many people screw this one up... And this one is not having call to action. It's no good running marketing if you don’t have a clear call to action. If it’s an online ad, have a landing page. Don’t send people to your homepage. Have a landing page with a clear offer that makes it very difficult for them to wander away and get distracted by anything else. Have a big yellow ‘buy now’ button, make it easy for people to buy. If it’s an ad in a magazine, ‘Call now.’ Have a big phone number with an offer.


This stuff works.


Don't be afraid to use it, hopefully that’s helped. If you’re running any sort of marking, 8 point critique. Make sure you’re checking out whether or not your advertising is working.


About the Author


Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.

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