Marketing mistake #5 | using institutional or image advertising

Business Coaching

Advertising is simply the process of letting others know about your product or service. Institutional or Image advertising is the type of advertising most companies, large and small use most often.

Marketing mistake #5 | using institutional or image advertising

While this type of advertising can alert the market to the fact that a product exists, it does very little to create a desire in the minds of the buying public to own the product, or at least inquire for more information concerning the product.

A better, more effective and more cost-efficient form of advertising, is called “Direct-response” advertising.

The idea behind this type of promotion is to get the reader or viewer to take some specific action. Either make a call, pay a visit to where the product or service can be seen or purchased, or perhaps, to send in a reply mechanism.

Institutional or image advertising is fine if all you want to do is promote the image of your company, your products, or the services you offer.

But when you consider the fact that your client or prospect couldn’t care less about your company or the fact that you want to sell them something, it adds up to a big waste of your money… money that could be better utilised elsewhere.

It’s true that institutional or image advertising can help build “brand-awareness.” And that’s okay for large corporations that have multi-million dollar advertising budgets. But most small or medium size businesses simply cannot afford to spend their advertising dollars that way.

Most institutional advertising is not customer-focused. Instead, it promotes how great the company paying for the ad is. And since there is no call to action, at best, the results this kind of advertising produces are deferred results.

For the most part, people don’t care about how great your company is. They really care more about what a particular product or service can do for them.


Lisa Ormenyessy

Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at

I help SME's gain leads easily without breaking the bank. Talk with me and discover how to spend your marketing dollar and achieve sales using simple, proven, low cost strategies. | SavvySME Members Only Offer - Request your Free Marketing Review Session (valued at $397) & identify the hidden opportunities in your business & put a stop to the expensive leaks in your marketing

Comments (2)
Phil Khor

Phil Khor, Founder at

Great tip Lisa, esp for us budget conscious business owners. Thanks for sharing! :)

Phil Joel

Phil Joel, Director at SavvySME

Good advice Lisa. I think this applies to other aspects as well e.g. copywriting.