Simply put, trade advertising targets a specific niche. People who are serious about their industry, read trade publications to get the latest information, to learn better ways to do things and to discover new products and services.
Unlike consumer or B2C advertising, trade advertising brings with it a separate strategy for success. So what should Challenger Brands do to get the greatest return on their investment?
Remember to whom you’re talking.
Readers of trade publications tend to be more receptive to new information that can help their businesses. Since they are already thinking “business,” advertising becomes less intrusive.
In fact, when done properly, trade advertising becomes a helpful resource for the reader. This typically does not happen when you place an ad in a non-trade publication. Talk directly to the reader and say what your product can do for him or her. As with all advertising, keep your ad focused on a single, powerful message that grabs attention. Design your ad to reflect the look and style of your corporate brand.
A recent study confirms that trade publications reach an overwhelming majority of decision-makers. This study also found that over 60% of these decision-makers subscribe only to specialized trade publications and do not subscribe to any general interest publications.
What may be most telling is that they rate trade publications as the most credible method for finding information about potential partners, vendors and suppliers. As a result, they are much more inclined to read the ads in trade publications.
Does size matter?
Yes. In trade advertising, the size of an ad directly reflects the image readers will have of your company. In most cases, larger ads reflect a company that is solid, industry leading and will be around for years. This image comes across best in a full-page or spread ad. And, yes, a larger ad means more money. But it will be money wisely invested.
How often should you run your trade ad?
One of the great advantages of trade advertising is that recall is significantly higher when compared to consumer advertising.
Typically, your non-trade ad will have to be read five to fifteen times before any action will be taken by the reader. In trade advertising, you could find success after just one insertion. However, we rarely recommend running only one ad, because good advertising is all about creating momentum and consistency.
Create a powerful ad.
So, how should Challenger Brands maximize results? Here are some of the basics:
- Attract attention – Focus on the most important benefit you offer prospects. And remember, this benefit must be based on what your prospects really want and not what you think they might want.
- Hold interest – Once you’ve captured interest, hold it with information on what you are selling and why it’s important. Use simple images to support your message and get it across faster. Short, simple sentences are best, as is copy that’s believable and presented in everyday language.
- Create desire – Help prospects imagine what it would be like to own your product. Build desire by focusing on benefits, not features. A feature tells prospects what the product has. Benefits tell how that feature improves lives. And when it comes down to it, every prospect wants to know one thing … “what’s in it for me?”
- Induce action – Don’t forget to articulate what you expect prospects to do and when. An effective call-to-action must be clear and direct, relevant to customer needs and consistent with your brand. Most importantly, provide a sense of urgency or benefit for those who respond now.
Trade advertising is not for everyone. But if it falls within your strategic plan, and if you follow the thoughts outlined above, you should see results increase dramatically.