29 Sep

How to Make your Advertising Dollars Work for You

By Libby Esterle, Senior Account Executive


Back in the day when I started in this industry, paid marketing (advertising) and non-paid marketing (PR, editorial/media relations/etc.) were separate animals and, as a result, advertising wasn’t typically something a traditional PR agency was involved with.  In fact, when I moved to Cincinnati in 1999, I worked at a PR-only agency for five years—the biggest one in Southwest Ohio at the time—proof positive that a PR focused agency model was successful for many years.

But times change and these days, marketing and communications are much more integrated and, as a result, advertising is now one of the many services we offer to our clients at Rasor. Developing an ad campaign is a collaborative creative process that is not only rewarding but fun! From creating ads designed for TV, billboards, transit buses, print, and digital, here are some tips that will help you maximize an advertising budget:

  • Establish a clear budget with your agency and include some wiggle room to cover things that can, and likely will, come up unexpectedly such as the need to buy additional space or update the creative to meet your changing needs.
  • As much as possible, use consistent visuals and messaging throughout the campaign. One our healthcare clients is currently focusing on promoting its medical, dental, and mental health care so the campaign features three different visuals and copy. However, the call to action, colors, fonts, and overall look and feel are very similar across all three campaign components and, most importantly, that consistency follows their brand standards and reinforces awareness.
  • Create a dashboard reporting tool to monitor the success by tracking metrics like click through rates, patient volumes, and analytics.
  • Speaking of metrics- don’t be afraid to adjust the campaign as needed and when possible, based on the results you are tracking. This is especially easy to do with digital advertising but can be applied to other ads as well. For instance, our healthcare client they determined that transit ads on TANK buses did not yield a strong return so, the next year, transit was dropped from their campaign, allowing more dollars to be put toward other advertising outreach instead.

Finally, make sure you’re working with an agency you trust. By being upfront and honest about your budget and identifying potential obstacles that could impact getting your advertising dollars approved, you’ll help your agency work efficiently for you and will keep your budget from taking any unnecessary hits.