Updated: Feb 18
If you think the main outcome of advertising is to persuade folks to buy things they usually wouldn’t, then advertising will most surely disappoint you. Yes, advertising can encourage, occasionally, for some folks, in certain conditions, it just doesn’t do this often (and we don’t recommend it either).
You surely would have a hard time justifying advertising budgets on these rare instances where someone was persuaded by an ad campaign. But that is not the most common advantage a company gets from advertising.
For advertising to work and refresh brand memories and in turn help companies grow, a number of parts need to be in place. This mechanism can break down in a number of places and disappointment means advertising either doesn’t work or its properties on buyer recall do not interpret into sales.
Here are three nose-dives to fix to help your advertising to work more often.
When does advertising bomb?
The three parts where advertising is likely to bomb are:
Negligence of reach – for companies to grow they need to influence as many category buyers’ brains as imaginable. We must highlight the trials with digital advertising not delivering the reach it promised, and (lack of) viewability figures should give brands pause. But often reach failure ensues before that, at the planning phase, where brands don’t plan for reach, to begin with.
It also happens after that, at the creative phase where the strategy might be in place, but the creative just doesn’t get any response. For advertising to work, we need to repair these advertising delivery issues of planning, delivering, observing, failures in reach.
Negligence of brand awareness – the brand name anchors the coverage in the right part of memory, without the brand, any noticed ad is a creative attempt with little useful ROI. Much of the paid-for reach is wasted because it failed to brand. Whether via the brand name or unique assets, we need to get better at branding in every digital media environment so advertising can work for the business.
Negligence to be buyable – the best advertising campaigns in the world don’t convert into sales if physical convenience is lacking, and the brand is not simple to discover and buy. Existence in as many channels/retailers as possible is a start, but you need the reputation to be found in competitive chaos, and a portfolio item appropriate for that buying occasion.
The best news is the failures that smother advertising success are often own-goals, and as a result fixable. By addressing these capacities, we can set up more advertising campaigns to prosper. At Iconic Genius, we have research series in these and associated areas.
At the end of the day, our goal is to help advertising be more effective more frequently. That is until something comes along that is more effective in constructing brand memories cost-effectively, at the scale needed to grow companies.