Five Biggest Mistakes When Creating Ads for Vertical Markets

By: Joe Braue –

So we’ve been creating advertisements for vertical markets in B2B for a long time, but it is amazing how many of the simple lessons have not been learned over the years. To get our list of the five biggest mistakes, I sat down with Bob Griffin, whose Griffin Integrated Communications has been doing B2B vertical market creative for more than 25 years. Ignore Bob’s advice at your peril.

No. 1: Ads are created last minute with no thought to longer term strategy. “It’s amazing how many folks come to us at the last minute, with a purely tactical request to get an ad out on a specific product on deadline, without any sense of a larger strategy,” Griffin says.

No. 2: Focus on product advertising and forget about the brand. “To create a truly effective and longer lasting program, you need to focus on both branding and product advertising,” Griffin says.

No. 3: Too quick a trigger finger: “Many folks are too quick to pull the plug on a new program if it doesn’t produce results in real time, Griffin says.  “The mistake is being reactive instead of proactive,” he says. “This shouldn’t be a spigot that you turn on and off.”

No. 4. Failure to integrate: “You need to integrate messaging into all available platforms: print, digital, social media, and PR.” This requires planning (See Mistake No. 1), but he says, “you’d be surprised with the number of companies just happy to put up a quick print ad with headline and a product shot and not consider a more robust multiplatform approach,” Griffin says.

No. 5. Failure to mix branding into product ads. A corollary to Mistake No. 2, Griffin says that product ads should also do branding as well. “You need to create and establish a brand image, and then integrate that into specific product advertising,” he says.