“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
— John Wanamaker

What elements make up a good ad? How can you tell if an ad will be effective or not? What will really get people to buy your product or service?

These are a few of the questions, we’ll be answering.

Most companies spend a tremendous percentage of their expenses on advertising. The problem is that it’s extremely difficult to tie most mass media advertising back to actual sales. While digital advertising formats allow for unprecedented levels of tracking capabilities to determine effectiveness and allow for continuous optimization, it may take numerous rounds of A/B testing to get it down.

How do we start off with an ad that is more likely to produce the results you’re looking for?

Effective ads typically come down to 4 main criteria.

Innovative
Is this something new or novel?

In today’s media saturated world, people get bored very easy. They are constantly looking for new ways to whet their appetite. Communication is a commodity and attention a rare resource. You need to find new ways to communicate your offering.

Distinctive
Is it unique? Does it stand out?

Again, going back to media saturation. People are inundated with advertising and marketing messages. You need to be able to distinguish yourself not only from your competitors, but from every other company vying for your customers’ attention.

Engaging
Will it capture’s people’s attention?

People buy from companies they like. They care about things they’re interested in. Seems pretty common sense. But how many ads have you seen that seem like the company is talking to themselves and talk about things that you don’t remotely care about? Your advertising needs to speak to your customers from a personal visceral level. It needs to get them to care about what you do because of the situation they’re faced with. It’s all about them.

Actionable
Will it compel people to do what you want them do?

If people see your ad and don’t do anything, was there a point to running it at all? Marketing budgets are too tight for simple lofty awareness goals. You need to get people to do something. Even if it’s just to follow you on Facebook or go to your website. You need to get them to do something. By getting them to do some sort of action, you get them to commit in their mind that you matter. Even if they don’t actually buy from you now, you’re at least in their consideration set for when they’re ready for a product like you. There are too many competitors and alternatives to just hope they remember you. You need to get them to act.

Download the below worksheet to rate how effective your advertising may be.
Ad Scoring Sheet