Making Ads Work:

Your marketing plan, on the other hand, tells you how you plan to attract customers. But businesses with a five-year business plan will often have only a 30-day marketing plan. This is probably because banks don’t ever ask to see your marketing plan. But a marketing plan is required if you want your business to become a household name.

The creation of a marketing plan begins with two pieces of information and one question. The first piece of information required is the annual ad budget. How much can we afford to invest in advertising, even if it doesn’t immediately seem to be working? The second piece if information required is your brand essence. “Why would anyone choose to do business with us? What unmet need do we fill? What is our message to the customer?” The remaining question to be answered, then, is this: “What is the highest and best use of our ad dollars?”

Tragically, most advertisers think, “I’ll just experiment until something starts working, and then I’ll just keep doing that until it quits working.” This is why most business owners wander the desert of frustration thinking, “Advertising is a rip-off.”

via Branding Blog.