So You Never get a Response from your Advert?

I must have heard these words a gazillion times and, unfortunately, while advertising is not an exact science, there are rules. And, like hunting, in the world of marketing if you ignore the rules, there are consequences.

But before we go through the rules, here are some questions that you need to consider. When you get an enquiry (be it on e-mail, website or a phone call) do you know for certain where it originated? No? There’s your first problem.

Find out EVERYTHING about that enquiry. How did he hear about you? Was he referred to you; were you ‘Googled? ’ Did a friend pass on your details after a hunt? Did he see an old advert? There is always a source to every enquiry. You need to find it. The quicker and more thoroughly you do this, the quicker you will pick up a pattern. The challenge is that there are sometimes various sources that are not clearly apparent.

Let’s explain. We all agree that word of mouth is the best form of business. But here is a scenario to consider.

Bob is a member of SCI, and while he reads through the magazine, it is really the big shows he loves going to in Vegas. Looking for a deal, he goes to their auctions and hears of a great hunt with Africa’s Thorniest Safaris – but misses out on the deal. His buddy gets it. Such a distinct name he never forgets, and recalls seeing it somewhere before… but can’t remember where. Was it one of the advertisers in one of those magazines, or meeting the chaps on the expo floor, or hearing the auctioneer talk about it? He’s not sure. He did remember seeing the image… which was – you guessed it – a Thorn Tree in the logo!

Then his buddy comes back from a hunt in Africa a year or so later and, would you believe it – it was with Africa’s Thorniest Safaris because he had bought that damn auction item. Then Bob picks up a copy of a magazine in his local Cabella’s and once again sees the specials advertised – yes, you guessed it – in Africa’s Thorniest Safaris, because Cabella’s represents them.

At some point he decides to look for that dream safari, goes to Google, and the name jumps out at him!

SO: Where did he hear about the name first?

What was important in this process?


Grab attention: Your advert must stand out. Whether it is colourful, in a specific place in the magazine, with a strong logo, has striking imagery, is uncluttered – whatever, it must get the attention. Keep attention: There must be something to offer the reader: A range of species; a specific experience; great pricing; value for money – but something. And, preferably, something unique.

Be consistent: Advertising once with a big advert is never going to as effective as taking more, smaller adverts. When browsing through websites, magazines or newspapers, people become familiar with certain areas and will, consequently, notice more. Not everyone sees every page, or everything they are reading. But, over time, the likelihood of being seen by the majority increases disproportionately and consequently so does the chance of response. Repetition works.

Be seen to be consistent: The psychology of an advert is something nobody has quantified, but it goes like this. When you have purchased an item (and the higher the price the greater the effect) and then you see your product advertised, there is a greater post-purchase feeling.

Adverts tend to be noticed more after a purchase than before. This is when your client, now more aware of your adverts, can be your best word-of-mouth agent. Ask your clients to pass on the message, spread the word and, if they have the newspaper, website, newsletter or magazine that has your advert in it – ask them to pass it on.

David Ogilvy talks about only half the advertising spend working – he just never knew which half! So make it count.