800response Blog

7 Ideas to Score Higher Marks for Your Advertising Campaigns – Career College Central

CareerCollege Central, January/February 2010

This year you may have a stronger focus on improving your school’s return on marketing and advertising investments.

As many businesses are facing the prospect of leaner budgets, often one of the first areas to be reduced is advertising. Unfortunately, reducing the ad budget is an unavoidable reality for many, making it all the more important to ensure that those remaining ad dollars are going as far as possible. Whether you face reduced budgets or not, ensuring your marketing dollars are working hard for you is essential.

Seven Ideas:

   1. Commit to an advertising campaign that integrates several media formats but maintains the same call-to-action throughout all pieces of the campaign.

    2. Clearly state a call-to-action. What is it that you want people to do? For instance, “Visit our web site to learn more about our accelerated culinary programs.” “Log onto (SPECIFIC URL)
and find the program that is right for you.” “We can offer you specialized programs based on your desired career path and offer you a free consultation to find the best program for your culinary passions.” “Acquire new skills to set you on the path to success: visit (specific URL) today.”

    3. Use a direct-response tool in all pieces of the campaign that is easy for buyers to remember and easy to track, like a toll-free vanity 800 number with call tracking services.

    4. Analyze the response rates to your overall advertising efforts by monitoring your campaigns and accessing call tracking to measure how many calls come into your admissions department as a
result of your ad buys.

    5. Track the cost-per-lead of your campaigns based on the cost of the overall campaign versus the number of leads the campaign generates. This will show which marketing efforts were most effective and where you can make adjustments in your spending. You can better determine what mediums your leads are responding to and perhaps tweak your creative
approach to reach them.

   6. Build a strong lead database, learn more about your prospects and market directly to these contacts. Research tells us that people are using more than the Internet to research continuing education programs. A toll-free service with a call-tracking system will capture each incoming caller’s name, address, and demographic profile, including average home value and household income, based on the caller’s location.

   7. Stay top-of-mind. Instead of a one-time splash, develop campaigns that keep your name in the marketplace and in front of people on a regular basis. If you have to cut back somewhere, buy smaller newspaper ads, mail postcards instead of letters, or run shorter radio and television spots during non-peak hours. Smaller ads and shorter spots allow you to stretch budgets and maintain a presence in the media for a longer period of time. And repetition is the key to retention!

 Finally, as Leo Burnett (of advertising fame) said, “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.”