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Advertising Checklist

Before you launch your ad campaign, consult this checklist to make sure that both your ad and your message are right on target.
December 20, 2005
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/81924

Before you launch your ad campaign, consult this checklist to make sure that both your ad and your message are right on target.

Overview
Have your defined your advertising objectives and written them down?
What exactly do you want to communicate to your potential customers?
How will you measure the effectiveness of your ad?
Are you communicating buyer benefits?
Have you strategized an advertising campaign?
Is the timing right?
Do you have a planned advertising budget?
Are you prepared for a successful response?
Have you asked suppliers about cooperative programs?
Have you made sure that employees (if any) are informed of your goals?
Have all appropriate employees reviewed your advertising and approved of it?
What is your lead time for ad placement? Some newspapers require only a few days; some magazines require two months or longer.

Specifics
Does your ad present a central idea or theme?
Does your message require a response?
Have you told customers where and how to reach you?
Is your ad clear and concise?
Is your ad consistent with your desired business image?

Files
Are you keeping files on all aspects of each ad?
Where did the ad run? What were the results? (Number of sales? Sales increases?)
Have you reflected/brainstormed/evaluated?
What variables (weather; competition, etc.) have your targeted for further study?

Competitors and Customers
Are you watching competitors? (If advertisers repeat ads, try to determine why.)
Are you listening to your customers? What do they want? What's important to them?
What media are most cost-effective to reach your customers?