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Print Advertising – Horizon’s Top 10 Rules for Effectiveness

Home - Resource - Print Advertising – Horizon’s Top 10 Rules for Effectiveness

Get the Most from Your Print Advertising!

There are two parts to brilliant marketing – strategy and creativity. Media and creative agencies are built on these two principles and that is why their work is so successful.
1 – Research and know your audience

Just like setting off on a journey without knowing the route isn’t a smart move, not understanding the audience that you’re targeting will mean a large amount of wasted revenue. Marketers recommend finding the ultimate consumer profile for your product. For example Jack, 35, lives in Dublin City Centre, likes rugby, and works as a manager in a restaurant. It doesn’t matter that many consumers don’t fit this perfectly; the profile will give your campaign direction.
2 – Look for a personal angle

Try going a little deeper than knowing your audience and find out what the relationship between them and your brand or product is. When are they interacting with it, what are their feelings about it or the industry that you’re involved in? Kit Kats ‘Have a Break’ Bench wrap is a perfect example of understanding the relevant points of contact with their product.
3 – Make the biggest impact you can afford

Marketing is reliant on impact and repetition. If you’re going to go to the length of planning and implementing a print campaign then really go for it, don’t sit on the sidelines. That extra large billboard and full-page magazine placement might be the difference between success and failure: the latter with the loss of money, time, and team commitment.
4 – Be aware of your competitors and their current campaigns

Some of the best print advertising campaigns come off the back off a competitors roll out. Lidl’s ‘Every Lidl Helps’ play on Tesco’s tagline was very clever and immediately went viral. But apart from that direct targeting, it always pays to know what your competitors are doing in the space you’re going into, making sure you’re not clashing or missing a prime opportunity to disrupt the market.
5 – Be aware of the environment where the media is placed

Apart from the obvious use of different techniques for OOH, Point of Sale, and Print Media, it’s also important to be aware of where exactly the campaign will be placed and can you somehow integrate it? Think of the path to purchase and how you can encourage the consumer to move forward at the different touch-points. This Anti-graffiti ad cleverly uses its location to make a memorable point.
Having worked in the print advertising industry for over 30 years, we’ve learnt key rules that will make sure you have clear direction, and achieve good return on investment.
6 – Keep the message simple

Consumers see thousands of marketing messages a day so they don’t have time to work out what you’re saying. Going back to knowing your audience, make sure you’re clear to who you’re targeting, clear what your product is, and have a short, sharp message with a targeted call to action. Whitespace (areas without images or text) is your friend, not something waiting to be filled! If you’ve understood your audience and personal angle right this should be enough.
7 – Provide all the essential information

While it is key to not overload the consumer with mixed messages, it is also very important to make sure you’ve given enough information to obtain the required response. The who, what, where, why, and how checklist should always be run through. Often you can disregard aspects of these as not relevant but the last thing you want is an event ad without a date, or not to tell the audience a product is only listed in a select retailer. Here it’s also important to include any required regulatory information.
8 – Provide key contact information for the next move

You need a clear call to action, and unless you are one of the really well known brands doing an awareness campaign, you’ll need to include key contact information; Website, Phone number, Social Media handles or even Hashtags. Again it’s important not to overload this area. Pick one or two and walk away!
9 – Remember the effect typography has

The psychology of font design is a massive industry and many creatives believe that getting it right is the key to good artwork. Whether you want it to take lead in the design or be purely a message conveyer, the choice of font style will always affect the consumer’s response.
10 – Make sure the image reinforces the message

It’s important to pick an image that resonates with the audience. We’ve all heard how ‘an image can speak a thousand words’ and boy is that true in advertising. The image will often be the first thing that stimulates the consumer and if this is not in sync with the message it can cause great confusion (often referred to as cognitive dissonance).
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