Billboards & Bumper Stickers

Take a Test Run

"Many new entrepreneurs overlook testing an ad before spending too much money on something that may not get the desired results," Harrison warns. "For a direct-mail piece, you should test with a small sample (5,000) and act based on the results. To gauge the response of newspaper, TV and radio advertising, use coding or special offers."

"Advertising is nothing more than an experiment," Gerson says. "That's why testing is important. Ask yourself questions. Did the ad pay for itself? Did it achieve your purpose or objective, such as generating sales or leads?"

Wesman lists several reasons an ad may not get results: the ad is running in the wrong medium; it does not offer the right product, service or benefit; or the ad itself is wrong in design, text or appearance. Wesman advises checking weekly and monthly to track the increase in profits generated by each advertising effort.

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This article was originally published in the December 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Billboards & Bumper Stickers.

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