Characteristics of Effective Advertising

Effective advertising meets the right marketing objectives. These can be short or long-term objectives, so it is important to measure the relevant factors. Decision Analyst Inc., a marketing research firm, differentiates short-term objectives, such as conveying new information, building awareness or enhancing credibility, from the more strategic long-term goals of conveying brand image or building a positive reputation.

Produces Results

Measurable results are clear proof of advertising effectiveness. The U.K.’s Institute of Practitioners in Advertising publishes a series of case studies that demonstrate how money spent on advertising can significantly increase return on marketing investment. Advertisers must decide what they want to measure -- impact on branding, direct response, or both -- according to research firm Dynamic Logic. This is particularly important for online media where simply measuring click rates may give a misleading impression of a campaign’s effectiveness.

Addresses Priorities

Marketing teams have different priorities for their campaigns and advertising must deliver according to those priorities. The publisher Reed Business quoted research that asked marketing directors how they would spend a substantial increase in their marketing budgets. Their priorities were increasing awareness, improving customer data, generating more leads and developing customer insight. The advertising campaign should reflect those priorities and use appropriate research to measure effectiveness.

Offers Value

Consumers respond to advertisements that offer them value. Use market research to align the product offer with consumers’ most important concerns and needs. The copy should present the offer in terms of consumer benefits rather than product features.

Encourages Action

Effective advertising causes consumers to take action. The actions could range from becoming aware of a product to making the decision to buy. A 2011 project by the Advertising Research Foundation aims to develop standards for neuromarketing research. The aim of the project is to help advertising researchers understand how consumers react to advertising from a scientific perspective. However, preliminary findings indicate that measuring factors such as attention or awareness is much simpler than measuring the relationship between specific emotions and intent to purchase.

Is Cost-Effective

Advertising must also be cost-effective -- that means delivering marketing messages to the target audience at a lower cost than other media and achieving the communication objectives. Budget restrictions mean that advertising planners must justify every dollar spent on media. Advertising that forms part of an integrated marketing program can improve cost-effectiveness by reducing duplication in campaign administration, use of creative resources and campaign response levels.