Should you advertise a company level solution or individual products and services?

A healthy part of your company’s budget should be spent monthly on marketing. A big part of this marketing budget is your advertising spend. Since it may require a hefty monthly commitment, it is always important to know what to advertise. You could choose to advertise only the main solution that your company offers, such as construction, cleaning, clothing, financial management or advertise individual products or services. If you have the budget then you should advertise at both levels, but let’s see in which scenario either would be applicable.

Advertising the company’s core solution

 Often your brand or corporate identity carries more weight than your particular products or services. Think of it this way – Coca Cola as a brand sells friendship, fun and good times but at a product level they simply sell soda. Disney at a company level advertises magic and wonder all the while selling adventure rides, films and merchandise at a product level. This essence, or the emotional response associated with your brand, is what you will have to focus on and develop when marketing and advertising your business at a company level. This helps to keep the character of your brand strong and is also what sets you apart from your competitors.  If people trust the company then it is easier for them to build trust in the products or services.

Creating brand awareness and a strong brand identity is the top reason to advertise at the company level. By tying your advertising to your entire brand, you ensure that your business is remembered in the future and not solely for a particular product or service that may change or become obsolete.

Consumers are increasingly becoming conscious of the motivations behind their purchases and are considering the brand essence when deciding on that purchase. According to Euromonitor International’s top 10 global consumer trends of 2018, there is a new wave of consumers that are interested in and investigate the full production process, from material or ingredient sourcing to production and distribution, along with information on all parties involved when deciding what products to buy. If you are a local brand, this can be beneficial to your advertising strategy as another the consumer trend is a focus on sustainability and as such “local is lekker” and “proudly South African” products are favourable. Consumers want to buy into the lifestyle and the essence behind the products or services they are purchasing. This is also a beneficial strategy for your business as it creates an incredibly loyal customer base as consumers have bought into the project and processes behind your products. People tend to buy into things that aligns with who they are or strive to be.

Only advertising your company’s core solution might be driven by budget constraints. If you are utilising a display campaign on LinkedIn, AdWords, Facebook or any other social platform then advertising your brand can be an effective way to generate leads. You can do this by advertising what overarching pain-points your business solves and consumers will then explore which particular product or service addresses their specific pain-point. You can even go further than this and offer a free assessment and proposal. These are normally free anyway and is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Another reason to advertise at the company level is to influence your potential customers to choose you over your competitors. This is often done when retargeting potential leads that have visited your website or shown interest in your products before. This is done by reaching out to people who have visited your website but did not complete your call to action (i.e. purchasing a product, downloading your app or completing a registration form). By advertising the company level solution to your retargeted audience, you are able to combine separate services and products into one overall business solution, as well as demonstrate your brand essence to draw people in. A good example of this is the Remarketing campaign type from Google AdWords, which allows you to show image adverts across the internet to individuals that have shown interest in your products or services before.

Advertising specific products and services

When deciding what product or service to advertise, you need to take a hard look at what you offer and how distinct they are from one another. For example, if you offer both VOIP Telephone Systems and Printers, you may want to consider splitting them into separate campaigns. Although they all fall under Office Automation Solutions consumers may only be in the market for one of them. So, if your products and services can be used independently of each other then consumers may only be searching for the one specific solution that caters to their specific pain-point instead of an overarching business solution. Although your potential customer only requires one product or service, this can be used as an entry point into a bigger solution. Through advertising a popular product or service you will be able to cross sell or upsell prospects to a more comprehensive solution.

Another reasons to advertise a specific product or service is when you are launching something new and exciting that you want your customers to know about. This can be done when you are adding a new product or service within the larger solution that your business offers. By advertising the new product or service you will be able to show that you are expanding and growing, thus adding to your innovative brand image.

If your business solves smaller unrelated problems instead of a ‘big problem’ then specific product or service advertising is the avenue to take. Or if your business has a Loss Leader product or service, this is the path to take. This is because this type of advertising might open up the relationship to larger and longer term sales. For example, if you are selling a TV at a 70% discount but you only have 10 available then consumers will end up buying the 10 discounted TVs but will also be drawn in to buying other TVs and associated equipment while visiting your store. Creating a ‘hook’ offering may lead to improved sales.

Just as you can retarget on a company level with your advertising, you can do the same on the product or service level. If a person has visited your site and showed interest in a particular product or service but did not complete the call to action, then you can directly retarget them with the product or service they seemed interested in. Sometimes consumers just need a little nudge in the right direction and if they have already shown interest, you have fought half the battle already.

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