header Tips

Volume 2
Creating a Successful Advertisement For Your Association
by Cary Kanno

There is no magic bullet.  I know this doesn’t seem like much of a tip, but association marketers need to understand that there is not ONE thing that accounts for successful advertising.  It is estimated that the average American living in an urban environment is exposed to 1,518 advertisements per day.  Of these ads only a very few are comprehended on any sort of conscious level, and just a small percentage of those will elicit some kind of response.  Obviously a vast majority of advertisements go unnoticed by most consumers.  As it was once said, a good ad must rise above the ocean of stimuli by doing five things and doing them all well. It must make people see it, read it, understand it, believe it, and want it.  While there is no magic bullet to achieve all five of these elements, you can take certain steps to improve your chances.

Placement of the ad is the first step.  Whether you are selling a membership, a webinar, a conference, or a publication subscription you want to make sure it is viewed by the maximum number of people in your target market.  You also can’t expect the consumer to go out of their way to look at your ad, it needs to placed conveniently in front of their eyes.  Once the ad is seen you have an average of 1-2 seconds to peak their interest.  A compelling offer is one way to hold their attention.  A good offer will compel the consumer to read and comprehend the rest of the copy.  This is the reason an effective headline or image that pops out of an ad is so necessary.  The ever impatient consumer needs a clear first point of focus, an area of the ad that their eyes are drawn to or they will move on.  

The third goal of a marketer is to make sure the consumer understands the offer.  The copywriting needs to be clear, direct, and pithy - you don’t need to write a book and place every detail on your ad.  Remember that an ad is just a teaser to elicit another response, it could be to go to the store to buy the product, go to the internet to sign up for a membership, etc.  Place the non-essential information on the website or the packaging.  Once the offer is understood the consumer must believe it.  The design of the ad needs a professional and stylish look to legitimize the association and its offer.  Most people are extremely visual, and a poorly designed ad is usually associated with an inexperienced association.

Once your ad is seen, read, understood, and believed the final step is to make the consumer want the product.  The offer must be compelling enough and instill enough confidence to elicit a response.  This can happen by offering the product at a great price, appealing to a consumer's emotional needs (such as fear, acceptance, desires, sense of fun), or appealing to logic or rationality.  When all five of these advertising goals are realized, the consumer will take action and sign up for a membership, attend a conference, purchase a subscription, or attend a class.


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Imagine Creative Group, Inc.
is a full service marketing agency for more information on our services please call Cary at 312.397.1706


Here are some of the services offered by ICG:

Electronic Media:

  • html web and email design
  • email tracking
  • flash design
  • cd-roms (flash, pdf, html)
  • powerpoint
  • html web banners/ ads

Print design:
  • direct mail (catalogs, postcards, other mailers)
  • posters/ fliers
  • pocket folders
  • tradeshow graphics (vinyl banners, exhibit film, etc)
  • business cards/ stationary
  • point of purchase displays and signage
  • logos/ identity
  • collateral
  • packaging

Marketing, Printing, and other services:
  • branding
  • marketing plans
  • market research
  • copywriting
  • printing
  • print-on-demand (POD)
  • web to print
  • personalized url’s (purls)
  • variable data printing
  • mailing/ fulfillment
  • sweepstakes/ contest promotions
  • Radio advertisements


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