How to Create Print Ads that Get Results

Last week, FEI marketing whiz Marka concluded her discussion on SEO best practices. This week, Marka gives Zoot and Numo some tips on creating effective print ads. Remember, fire = print.

Zoot sat at his desk, ready to dive into a foot-long feta gyro. He grabbed the latest issue of Fire Buyer’s Weekly to read while eating. After flipping a few pages, a full-page ad stopped him cold. The ad featured a scowling…Fred Flintstone. Flintstone’s self-named company was one of FEI’s main competitors.

“Good Zeus,” Zoot muttered. “Marka!”

Marka happened to be passing by Zoot’s desk with her own lunch, an olive salad. “What’s up? You look annoyed.”

“I am,” Zoot said. “Look at this. Why does Flintstone have an ad in the fire industry’s most widely-read publication, and we don’t? Let’s get an ad out—now!”

“Hold on, Zoot,” Marka replied. “A targeted print ad can be an effective way to generate leads. But let’s think more about what we want to accomplish here—and no, ‘one-upping Flintstone’ is not an acceptable answer.”

Zoot rolled his eyes. “Well, let’s hear what you have to say.”

Marka started scribbling on the whiteboard next to Zoot’s desk.

Tip #1 for Excellent Print Ads – Set a clear, specific goal for the ad.

“Are we looking to promote a new service?” Marka asked. “Drive new users to an existing one? Increase general market awareness of FEI?”

“We’ve been around awhile, so I doubt we need help generating awareness of our company in Fire Buyer’s Weekly,” Zoot said.

“But we might need help generating awareness of a new product—our matches,” Marka suggested. “We’ve been the torches company for 40 years, and this is how the marketplace perceives us. Shaking this view, and showing prospects we’re more than just ‘the torch people’ takes an aggressive marketing approach. A print ad could be one component of this strategy.”

“Then, our ad’s goal should be ‘to generate more in profits from new match sales than the cost of the ad,’” Zoot remarked.

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
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  • Linda

    Good ideas – thanks to Zoot, Marka and Numo for making it so clear!