We are bombarded with advertisements each and every day, so it can be tricky to decipher what makes a good marketing campaign from a bad one.
On top of this, small to medium-sized businesses can often lack the resources necessary to hire a marketing firm or advertising agency. But that doesn’t mean getting your message across to consumers is any less important.
SmartCompany spoke to several advertising and brand experts to get their thoughts on some of their favourite marketing campaigns and what SMEs can learn from them.
The RTA “Pinky” Campaign
The Roads and Traffic Authority NSW recognised a few years ago that male drivers are over-represented in the road toll, and decided to do something about it.
Lyn Clarke, freelance copywriter and advertising lecturer at RMIT University, says its “Pinky” campaign is the first one that comes to mind when she thinks about an ad businesses can learn from.
“Controversial? Yes but, as it turns out, also very effective in reducing road fatalities,” she said. “This much-awarded and often complained about campaign covered broadcast, print, outdoor and digital media. It also included, from memory, pub coasters and pinky-sized condoms.”
Clarke said while the marketing campaign had a budget most SMEs could never hope to match, it nonetheless showed what makes a campaign work.
“Be honest about what really matters to your target market,” she said. “Be prepared to stand out. After all, if a government body can run the ‘Pinky’ campaign, then an SME can be just as brave, if not more so.”
Clarke said the power of the campaign revolved around a repeated action – the waving of a pinky finger – and businesses shouldn’t discount the power of this technique as it helps people remember the advertisement long after they see it.
Oz Mattress’s website and banner ads
Clarke says for small businesses with a much tighter budget, Oz Mattress’s website is a good case study.
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While selling mattresses isn’t something that is widely considered “sexy”, Clarke says Oz Mattress’s website suggests otherwise. The entire site is smartphone friendly and communicates all the right messages – from savings and warranty to a comfort guarantee.
“At the very least your site must cover product range, value for money and customer service,” Clarke said. “For many SMEs, a website is more than a marketing tool – it’s a store replacement as well. If shoppers cannot check out products first hand, generous warranties and a trouble-free returns policy are crucial.”
Clarke said while she was introduced to the business when it was nominated for an Online Retail Industry Award, she revisited it after clicking on a Facebook banner ad that caught her eye.
“If you invest in banner ads make sure these stand out among the clutter, with messages that are just too intriguing or benefit-driven for potential clickers to ignore,” she said.
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