How to evaluate an advertising opportunity

I’m sure at one time or another you’ve received a call from an excitable advertising sales representative offering you an amazing last minute opportunity that is just too good to turn down. When this happens, what do you do? How do you evaluate an advertising opportunity to determine whether it’s worth the money or not?

I’m always sceptical when it comes to last minute advertising offers. I wonder why, if it’s such a good opportunity, they are having to discount to fill the space? That said, sometimes a late deal can be worth taking up.

How to evaluate an advertising opportunity

When deciding whether to advertise, in whatever format (online, print, outdoor etc.), last minute or not, consider the following six key questions:

  1. Target audience – who will see the advert and are these relevant to the people you want to attract?
  2. Circulation – what are the circulation/viewing figures? Potentially how many people will see your advert?
  3. Platform – does the advertising platform sit well with your brand? Do you want your name to be associated with it? Look at the editorial content and see who else is advertising there.
  4. Strategy – how does the opportunity fit with your overall strategy? Will it help you reach your goals or just cause a diversion? This is a key question to consider when assessing a late opportunity.
  5. Budget – can you afford to advertise? Could your budget be spent more effectively on something else?
  6. Message – what will you advertise? This question is pertinent to late offers. Have you got an advert ready to go that can easily be provided to the advertiser?

Advertising sales representatives can be pushy and convincing. At the end of the day, they want to make a sale and their best way of achieving that is to sell a good story.

If ever in doubt, my advice would be to decline the offer. Don’t be swayed while under pressure and make a decision that you might not otherwise have made if you’d had time to consider. However, if you’ve answered all of the above and the offer stacks up, snap their hand off!

In my experience, the rate offered to sell a last minute space can often be secured later down the line for a planned advertising slot.

It’s easy to use advertising as an easy way to tick your advertising box. Unfortunately, this can be an expensive waste of your marketing budget so always critically evaluate an advertising opportunity before committing.