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I’m a supporter of companies allocating funds towards advertising if the opportunity is right. While participating in such efforts may not directly result in new leads, it can provide great opportunities for companies to increase awareness that, when performed in conjunction with other promotion initiatives, increase sales.

Each year my company, TV Ears, makes it a priority to research various publications that reach our customer base and audiology dealers. After careful consideration, funds are allocated accordingly. There’s a time and place for everything and the same holds true with advertising. Here are three things to consider before signing an advertising contract:

1) Review Editorial Calendars

Editorial Calendars play a major factor in selecting the right opportunity to participate in advertising. For instance, TV Ears specializes in TV listening devices. It wouldn’t make sense for our company to advertise in an issue dedicated to hearing aids, but rather focus our dollars on an issue dedicated to our area of expertise. Ensure advertisements are placed in the most appropriate issue and section.

2) Bargain

Now more than ever, advertising executives are hurting for companies to fill ad space. Therefore, they are a little more flexible and more willing to work with companies to fit their business goals while also doing their job for the publication. Sometimes there’s room for negotiation. Don’t just accept the first offer on the table, but perhaps work to arrange a package or bargain.

3) Be creative
Many companies tend to create ads and then stick with what they’ve got and apply it to all opportunities. It’s important not to get stuck in this cycle as each publication targets different readers and companies want to tailor their messages and information accordingly. For example, during product launches, we incorporate information on new offerings in an effort to increase awareness.

In recent years, advertising has been frowned upon by many companies with the understanding that businesses are essentially throwing funds down the drain that could be allocated elsewhere. However, if companies are financially capable of participating in such opportunities, it can lead to increased awareness.  In addition, there are fewer media outlets that cover niche industries; ours is no exception. That means audiences are concentrated among the remaining few, and companies can spend advertising funds in a more focused manner as a result. Believe me – if conducted in lock step with a multi-pronged strategy, advertising can be an effective marketing initiative.