See the difference a professional shot makes. Top photo: We called in a pro. Bottom photo: They should have called in a pro.
Advertising has to work on every level. For many, it will be the only impression of your company or service that the consumer gets—or at least their first impression. So make the effort and investment you put into your message commensurate with the investment you’ve put into your product or service. Often times, companies will hire architects and designers for a new facility, for example, but fail to represent it accurately by saving money on the marketing. They’ll hire and train great people to deliver a good experience, but never connect them with the public due to low quality advertising.
So don’t do it. Avoid these 5 deadly money-saving ways to kill an ad campaign:
- “We saw a campaign we liked somewhere else that we’d like to copy.” Even if it were ethical to “borrow” creative, for the campaign to work everything about their market and your market would need to be the same—demographics, your own organization’s reputation, your ability to deliver on the promise, attitudes and culture.
- “We’ll take the pictures ourselves.” Unless you have a professional photographer on staff, this can be a costly mistake. We called in one of our pros to shoot the photo above to move the needle on the “Wow” factor using a myriad of technical and other tricks that could never be reproduced by an amateur. That photo projects a level of excellence for the urgent care center that can’t be put into words. You want to go there even before you read the copy.
- “We can’t afford a professional designer.” Companies will spend thousands of dollars on the media buy but cheat the very message by lackluster, unprofessional or simply ineffective design. Before making this decision, ask how much you’ve already invested in the product or service, and whether this relatively small investment in good design will reflect the image you’re looking for.
- “We can’t afford a professional writer.” There are all kinds of writers, and they differ in the same way there are all kinds of balls—footballs, golf balls, ball bearings—you name it. They are not interchangeable any more than a copywriter or a technical writer is. Good copy writers know how to get and keep the reader’s attention, and most importantly, how to sell.
- “We can’t afford research.” Unless you’re sure you understand the mind of your target audience, this is like buying a plane ticket to a destination without specifying the destination. Underlying any kind of creative are assumptions that, if wrong, will decimate your campaign.
If budgets are too tight, we’d recommend doing less, but doing it better. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.