It doesn’t matter if you specialize in marketing, SEO consulting, or IT, you should only advertise with purpose and a strategic plan. Generally, one-dimensional advertising is ineffective and lacks foresight by the cost-conscious consultant. One-dimensional advertising is like one roll at the crap table. Basically the advertiser is throwing a message out and hoping is takes off.
Advertising that works should be multi-dimensional and must engage your viewer in such a way that they are compelled to respond to your consultancy’s offer. Once the prospect responds, you should already have prepared a professional response and follow-up plan dedicated to providing excellent service and developing leads for your consulting practice. This is a nice way of saying that you should not advertise unless you are prepared to follow-through! Your follow-up needs the same attention as your initial advertising message. If you need help putting this kind of advertising plan together – hire a consultant that is experienced in this area.
Any advertising consultant with a proven track-record knows that strategically coordinated advertising campaigns boost prospect’s awareness of your practice. Like all aspects of your marketing plan, the goal remains increasing the leads for your consulting firm.
Advertising is expensive. To justify an advertising campaign, consultants need to maximize the return on their investment by using advertising programs that provide the opportunity to directly interact with prospective clients. As successful advertising campaigns are measured by the number of direct leads resulting from the campaign, your advertising must include a way to track the results and the leads that are generated by the program.
Avoid the Advertising Trap
One of the traps of advertising is that clients spend time working on their campaigns and become involved in the staging process. Like all components of your marketing plan, it is critical that you remain committed to connecting with prospects and generating new leads. Too many advertisers get carried away with developing their brand and its awareness – an not enough time on ensuring they can track and test their ad programs for continuous improvement.
While developing a consultancy’s recognition has merit, it should not be the purpose of an effective advertising campaign. As your consulting firm grows, there may be a time for brand development. Initially an advertising program should be used solely to build your client base and grow your practice.
Many consulting practices see advertising as a means to create a quick impression with immediate short-term impact on the marketplace. This strategy rarely works and will cost more money than the firm is likely to gain. Effective advertising must be factored into your consulting company’s budget and should be a long-term commitment. Before launching an advertising campaign, make sure you perform all the due diligence related to a multi-faceted strategic advertising program. Do not spend a dime until the this foundation has been laid.