Thursday, January 4, 2007

Roll out your marketing plan

Have you ever noticed how suddenly, when it was only April, it's September? Time vanishes without clear goals and time lines. The same is true in advertising.

Once you have developed your marketing vehicles, whether brochures, press releases, radio ads or brochures, a time line for release is critical. Moving too slowly means your message is stale and wastes money. Moving too quickly means you aren't prepared to handle incoming inquiries.

Working with your copywriter, determine her time frame for completion of your project. Then, develop your time line for distribution. Set realistic goals, but strive to hit them to keep the momentum going.

For example, you've decided to develop a brochure. Your copywriter, after factoring in work with graphics and printing, estimates six weeks to completion. Determine the date when the brochure, finished, will hit your desk. Because you've already identified your target markets, you're ready to schedule the dates for organizing the mailing, sending, then following up where necessary.

Display ads, of course, must be timed to allow inclusion in upcoming editions. For example, perhaps you are a managing general agent placing a display ad in Rough Notes. Rough Notes requires about 30 days' lead time for its next monthly edition. Developing an ad, especially one with color, should be started at least 60 days before the magazine's deadline to ensure placement.

Most copywriters charge extra for "rush" jobs. I thrive on a deadline, so me, not so much.

In advertising as in life, timing is critical. Before rolling out your new advertising campaign, determine timing to ensure success.

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