Advertising: How to maximise advertising spend

According to Nielson retailers spent £390 million on Christmas ads last year. This whopping level of expenditure looks set to be repeated in 2014. John Lewis alone is dedicating £7 million to Christmas advertising.

If you are a small to medium sized business you probably do not have access to a large advertising budget. So, if your advertising budget is limited how can you best use it for maximum return on investment?

Choose the right advertising mediums

With so many options available to you (print, outdoor, broadcast and digital) you need to decide where your target audience will be most likely to see your advert. You want to place your advert where it has the highest chance of being seen by those you want to attract. There are often niche advertising options available which can be lower cost and targeted to your potential customers.

Check out the other advertisers

Seeing who else is advertising in your chosen medium can give good insight and help your decision.

Plan your advertising campaigns

Avoid being reactive and responding to last minute advertising deals. Plan your campaigns in advance. This will ensure they are well thought through and give you the opportunity to negotiate better discounts.

Use a media buying agency

If you are planning a large advertising campaign across several different mediums you might want to consider using a media buying agency. They will have all the contacts and may be able to negotiate a better deal.


Never accept the rate card price. Advertising sales reps always have flexibility and will want to do a deal. You will get a better price if you are prepared to commit to future bookings. Late space can often be had for a bargain price!

Theme your advertising campaigns

This is particularly important if you are advertising across different platforms. An overall theme will help your campaign stand out and hang together. Bland, generic adverts are boring and easy to ignore.

Include a call to action

Give your potential customers a reason to get in touch. This could be a time-limited offer or a compelling reason to want to find our more.

Measure return on investment

This is vital to determine the success of your campaigns and inform future marketing spend. The following tools can be used to measure response rates: Coupons, specific codes or reference numbers, virtual phone numbers, dedicated website landing pages. Also remember to ask new customers how they heard of you.

You don’t necessarily need a large advertising budget to be successful. Just follow our tips.

If you need help planning an advertising campaign including media buying give us a call.

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