The last thing you do & the first thing they see.
It's true. Before you can place any ad, you have to decide what your're going to advertise, what the price will be, how long the special will last, & more.
In order to get the maximum bang for your buck, you might want to go back to the beginning of your promotional thinking to find the answer to the first question you should be asking yourself when you put together any ad..."Who am I trying to reach?" followed by "What do I want to say?" and a lot more.
The Bigger Picture
If you expand that thinking to your entire business on an ongoing basis, you will be entering the world of "promotional strategy
." The short explanation of that one is: How you would like to portray your business to the market on an everyday basis? This goes well beyond "stirring up a little excitement" with an ad or two just because business is a little on the slow side at any given moment.
Taking a bigger, more thoughtful approach to the subject of advertising is sure to lead you into more intelligent decisions on how you will spend money. Advertising is one item to which it is virtually impossible to attach a firm & definitive "ROI" (return on investment) number. You can get all kinds of indications as to how your advertising is working, but it is essentially an "educated judgement call" that you have to make.
Creating the best advertising effort involves revisiting your marketing plan
, because it will provide you with the best information for your decisions.