Ads are made and put to the masses every day. Without doubt, those responsible for the ads are extremely proud of their creation—creation is, after all, a highly personal process. But pride will not impact the advertisements success. What will, however, is who is watching? Who is listening?

Advertising is one small wedge of the “marketing pie”. It’s the flashy wedge that everyone gets to know, to laugh along with—to love or hate. Because of this, many come to believe it is the be-all and end-all to communicating their message to the world.

It’s not.

Advertising without marketing can be likened to standing in a busy mall and talking loudly as people walk by. A few may hear a snippet, one or two may actually stop for a minute to see what you’re about, but the vast majority will simply ignore you.

At the very minimum, successful advertising is supported by market research determining a target audience and their motivators.

By determining your target audience succinctly (not generically… building an ad targeting “all fishermen” is still like “standing in the mall”) before you start developing your advertising is paramount to the success of your efforts.

Knowing what motivates your target audience will assist you in developing the “hook” that will ensure they sit up and listen. You will also then be able to communicate through your advertising in a language style and tone that will work for you in that arena.

So what happens when your market research shows you have several distinctly different target audiences and only one product or message to sell? You need to develop ads for each one. One size does not fit all… that’s just standing in the mall!

When challenging the value of advertising, cost must be weighed against effectiveness. An expensive campaign is worthless if the wrong people are listening. The wise research first, create last and worry about their own likes only if they are a member of the target audience.

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