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Why Advertising Doesn’t Work

Over the decades there probably isn’t an advertising medium I haven’t heard clients tell me at some point – “it doesn’t work”. From radio to television commercials, billboards, newspaper, social media and on to new media. Everything doesn’t work for some clients.

Over the decades, It didn’t matter if I was selling these media commercials or trying to help a client buy the media spots. At some point, most clients have a preconceived notion that something in the media plan doesn’t work.

Today we live in an immediate results society. We run a commercial and immediately our clients expect us to determine if it worked and the exact ROI. The one thing that has held true from 20 years ago to today, is that results of advertising can’t be fully attributed impression by impression to each corresponding dollar generated for the client. What does this really mean?

99% of every advertising impression made upon a potential customer goes unused in that moment. You run a television commercial in the 10PM news, 99% of the entire audience has no desire to buy your company’s product or service TODAY.

The key word being today. On average 1% of the market you attempt to penetrate with advertising is actually in the market for your product or service at the exact time you run your advertisement. Add in this new digital age world we live in and the lack of conversions taking place immediately and it begins to make for nervous clients who think that advertising doesn’t work for them.

This sends clients headed for the hills thinking they are wasting advertising dollars and running toward reactive or referral type marketing like; Pay Per Click (ppc) on Google or Bing. Others will run toward referral marketing like Angie’s List or aggregate selling services such as Amazon, Trader Online or Ebay. Are those places really the best form of advertising? On the surface most final conversions can be tracked and often do indeed take place in these types of advertising programs. But this isn’t necessarily the motivating factor because brand influence did not take place on these channels. These platforms are often the final touch point in the consumer buying journey, but not the best branding influencer. They often come at a stiff cost. A cost of not building your brand but rather winning the business as a price commodity only.

When clients start to speak about the power of their PPC campaign, this is the time us ad agencies start to pull out our old-fashioned customer funnel diagrams. Or maybe you work with a “modern new age firm” and they will show you the “consumer behavior journey circle”. Whatever you want to call it, advertising is meant to help your business stand out so when a customer needs your product or service, your business is top of mind and customers are more likely to choose your business because you seem more familiar and desired through advertising.

Advertising works. It just might not work the day and at the exact moment you planned for it to bring in all your customers. Your business can add direct response tactics to incentivize customers to do business with you today. Or you can advertise branding messages, so customers will remember you tomorrow or whatever day they need your products or services.

A solid advertising plan that works to grow your business market share should include tactics to drive customers today and tomorrow. This plan should include tactics like search engine marketing – PPC – to drive the customers who are immediately searching for solutions related to your product or service.

The best way to measure the success of your campaign is over time and evaluating your overall sales compared to the same period of the prior year. Branding channels and direct response channels work together, and both offer impressions to the consumer that impacts your overall sales volume.

An old, almost scientific declaration by a scientist in the late 1960’s determined the average consumer must see your advertisement about 3x’s to retain and respond to your offer. While the number of advertising messages have more than doubled since this period in time, this 3x frequency is often still used as a metric.

However, many marketers have learned that it’s cross platform advertising that truly grows sales. Branded advertising to keep your company top of mind, coupled with effective direct response advertising like PPC, keeps your message in front of the consumer throughout their buying journey.

Multiple advertising touchpoints combined truly is the secret sauce to growing market share for your business. Branding builds your business and mass media options provide the lowest cost per thousand way to tell customers why they are better off to do business with your organization.

Direct response ads are NOT cost effective, but they prevent the customer from being switch pitched and moving over to a competitor as you work to finish the conversion. Re-targeting ads are some of the most cost-effective means of direct response marketing to prospective customers who have entered the consideration phase of their journey.

The right mix of branded messaging, re-marketing and direct response call to action will help build your brand to endure time and to drive sales volume in a positive direction. Then your business will know the true value of advertising and what it takes to grow market share for your industry.

Krush Digital is a full-service advertising agency in Oklahoma City. We specialize in brand developmentgraphic designmedia planningperformance trackingprint servicesSEOsocial mediavideo services, as well as website design and development. Our focus is to grow your brand and your bottom line–we are your strategic marketing partner! Check out our portfolio of work and contact Krush today!