Why is most advertising ineffective

According to Roy Williams, the Wizard of Ads, somewhere between 50-90% of advertising is not working. That’s a scary figure given the budgets that some companies allocate to advertising and marketing. There are several reasons why most advertising doesn’t work, but let’s review the three key challenges . . .

1. The average consumer is bombarded with almost 5,000 advertising messages daily. From the moment you wake up in the morning, turn on the radio or TV, read a newspaper – probably online, brush your teeth with Crest or Colgate to the moment you go to bed at night, advertising is assaulting you in a variety of forms.

2. You like to test different media – let’s try radio for several weeks and the run a Facebook campaign or buy a few Google ad words and see what happens. Advertising requires patience and a long term commitment. There is actually a chickening out phase described by Roy Williams at around the 8-13 week period of a campaign where advertisers consider bailing out. It takes years to build a brand and a long term plan to keep the brand top of mind. Everyone knows about McDonalds but do they stop advertising?

3. And the most important component which is the creative message. All forms of advertising work as long as the creative message is compelling and has an emotional appeal as well as a value proposition. There are too many restaurant ads that are on the radio with generic messages which do not illustrate what the business has to offer that the competition does not. There are too many automotive ads in the paper with price and item which ultimately leaves the consumer decision based on that criteria only. A good ad is about the consumer and a bad ad is about the business. What are the benefits of your product or service and how are you different from the rest.

For a review of your advertising plans, email me at tim@storefrontmedia.ca

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