Four Steps to Effective Advertising

4th December 2015

Guest blog by Ros Conkie

Ros Conkie is a Marketing Consultant based in Portishead, North Somerset. Although she started her career as a Design Engineer, she has been working in marketing since 2004. She works with small businesses that are just not getting the sales results they deserve.


Ros is Accredited with Watertight Marketing which means she is licensed to use the award-winning Watertight Marketing methodology with her clients.


Ros has been collaborating with Brand51 for a number of years; on client branding, on her own business’s branding, and on Brand51’s marketing.



It breaks my heart when I see small businesses wasting money on ineffective marketing. And for some reason advertising seems to be especially prone to this.

So here are my four steps to make sure your advertising is successful.


1.    Why are you advertising?


Before you do anything else, make sure you know exactly what you want to achieve with your advertising.


Be as specific as you can: “increase sales” is too vague. Are you looking to increase awareness of your product or service, or to encourage people who are already aware closer to a sale?


Use the “sales funnel” model as a cue – where in the funnel are you aiming at?


Every piece of your marketing should be clearly aimed at moving prospects one step down the funnel, e.g. to get people from Awareness to Interest. Watertight Marketing, which builds on the sales funnel model, is a brilliant methodology for mapping out your business so that your budget is not wasted on ineffective marketing.


Once you’ve determined your objective, make sure your messages and call to action are geared towards achieving it.


2.    What does your target audience look like?


Who exactly are you aiming your advert at? Again, be specific.


What is important to your audience? What do they want and need? What is the “pain” your product or service will remove?


Whoever you are aiming at, make sure you are specific and your messages are appropriate and relevant to that audience.


3.    What is the next step?


If your advert is aiming to get people from Awareness to Interest that’s great, but you won’t make any money from interested prospects. Make sure you have mapped out the entire path to purchase so that your advertising spend is not wasted on channelling prospects into a leaky funnel.


To give you an example, Brand51’s path to purchase looks like this:



Prospects hear about Brand 51



Prospects find out more by going to the website, reading a blog post or downloading an infographic



Prospects weigh up if Brand51 are the right graphic design agency for them by reading their case studies or look at their portfolio



Prospects “dip their toe in the water” by coming along to a workshop



Prospects make a small first purchase, such as a logo or business card design



Prospects come back for more and recommend Brand51 to their friends and colleagues


So if Brand51 decides to put out an advert to people at the awareness stage, their call to action should direct prospects to a specific landing page or a relevant blog post or infographic. Each of these things will then have their own call to action, for example encouraging the prospect to submit their email address in exchange for a valuable piece of content. They then might receive an email inviting them to an upcoming workshop, and so on.


Make sure your prospect is lead step-by-step through the funnel if you want to avoid your advertising spend being wasted.


4.    How will you know if your advert is working?


If you don’t have any measures in place to track the success of your advert, it will be impossible to know what is working and what isn’t. I’m always reminded of the quote attributed to John Wanamaker:


  “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.”


Well if you don’t know, how can you stop?


Digital advertising makes measurement much easier with statistics for impressions and clicks, and even offline advertising can be measured by ensuring the call to action is measurable (e.g. directs prospects to one specific landing page), but remember these are only indicators. Lots of hits does not necessarily mean the advert is successful if those hits do not translate into sales.


Be sure to measure across the whole sales process so that you can see what is working well and what needs to be improved.


Four steps to effective … Marketing


Although I’ve described these four steps from a view of optimising your advertising, the same process can be used to optimise almost any piece of marketing: a brochure, a website, an event…


If you know why you are doing it, who it is aimed at, what the next step is, and how you will measure its success, you will find all your marketing will become much more effective at driving sales.


Plug Your Marketing Leaks Workshop


If you are looking to step up your marketing in 2016, come along to our workshop on 27 January 2016 at 10am. I will take you step by step through the Watertight Marketing methodology, helping you identify where your customers are “leaking” out of your sales funnel and generating ideas on how you can plug all those leaks to generate long-term sales results.


Book your place on this valuable workshop here


You might also be interested in reading this case study about how Brand51 used Watertight Marketing to step up their own sales.





About our blog

Welcome to Brand51 Insights where we share our thoughts and useful tips to help you improve your company branding...













This site uses cookies, please click here to find out how

Copyright 2021 Brand51, all rights reserved

Privacy | Terms | Cookies