Help Clients Design Ads for Maximum Positive Impact

Mon May 15, 2017

Kathy Crosett

Most consumers don’t actively seek out advertising. In this digital age, a significant percentage of people employ ad-blocking adstechnology, because they’re tired of encountering marketers’ messages everywhere they look. There are tactics your clients can use to make their ads more appealing.

Kent Grayson, an associate professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his colleague Mathew Isaac of Seattle University (a former Kellogg PhD student) surveyed 400 consumers about their responses to ad tactics. The researchers also hoped to show that not all advertising is seen as deceptive.

Consumers tend to believe marketers more when the messages contain phrases or promises designed to build trust.  For example, ads shouldn’t just tout that consumers love the product. Marketers who provide evidence of a third-party rating, either from a well-known product reviewer or consumer reviews, are seen as credible. Consumers also appreciate knowing they can return a product for a full refund if it doesn’t meet their needs. Marketers should also practice full disclosure about pricing in their ads. If an item is on sale, consumers want to know how much it originally cost so they can figure out for themselves whether they are really saving when they make a purchase decision.

Limited-time offers might seem like a great way to move products, but in this era of constant sales, consumers say this strategy isn’t credible. Consumers also aren’t convinced to purchase a product because an ad shows a favorite celebrity and paid spokesperson praising its virtues. Associating a product with another expensive item is another turnoff for consumers. These tactics scream desperation to most shoppers and they won’t sway consumers to make a purchase.

Work with your clients to design ads that emphasize unique product features, the value of the item – especially as seen through impartial third-party eyes, and the willingness to accept returns. Emphasizing those qualities in ads helps your clients build a reputation and grow sales.

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About Kathy Crosett

Kathy is the Research Director for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel.

View all posts by Kathy Crosett
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