10 Fundamentals To Successful Advertising

May 4th, 2010 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

The Business Marketing Association published a White Paper years ago about 10 Fundamentals to Successful Advertising.  Those 10 points are still valid today.

1. Communicate basic information
Don’t try to provide too much or too advanced information.  Communicate the core information necessary

2. Create an emotional response in the reader/viewer

The reader/viewer needs to connect to your message in order to engage with the product or service.  That connection is an emotional reaction to the advertisement.

3. Aim at achieving at least one measurable objective

Advertising for the sake of advertising is a waste of money.  Establish what you are seeking to accomplish.  Then, measure it to see if you achieved the goal(s).

4. Talk to members of a clearly defined audience

Broad bush advertising reaches many people.  However, is it reaching your intended target audience?  Ready, aim, fire not ready, fire, aim.

5. Address the individual readers’ or viewers’ self-interest

Make it about the reader or viewer.  They must believe it is in their interest to pay attention.

6. Be attention-getting, interesting, desire-provoking, and action-getting

Is your ad blending in or standing out from all the “noise” out there?  Do you have a call to action?

7. Be simple, succinct, single in purpose, and specific

Focus your message to one or two main points, at most.  Dividing attention distorts or splits your message.

8. Offer substance versus platitudes and puffery

Flowery prose has its place as a style of writing.  Advertising is not that place.  Use words that provide depth.

9. Be perfectly truthful and absolutely believable

All your claims need to be provable and realistic.  If they are true, but not believable the message will not resonate with the audience.

10. Identify the advertiser

Stealth advertising to build excitement for a new product or service works well if used sparingly.  Having the audience asking, “Who is the advertiser?” can cut both ways.  A level of frustration can be built since the viewer or reader cannot take the next step.

The Takeaway

There are fundamentals in advertising that are time honored.  Companies need to avoid reinventing the wheel that is built and already works.

Those are my thoughts.  Over to you.  Please comment below.

  1. What other fundamentals would you add to the list?
  2. How is your advertising working?
  3. Have you increased, decreased or kept the same level of advertising?
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  1. Hi Rob i found this very helpful and do plan on implementing it when i design advertisements in the future

  2. Hi Rob,

    I’m not an advertising expert, so I don’t think I could add anything to what you’ve listed. As a small business owner, the challenge comes from trying to put these principles into action. Especially “clear and succinct!” It can be difficult to distill one’s ideas and expertise into small, meaningful “chunks” that are easily read/understood by your audience.


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