If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”, I’d be a very rich man.
The problem with any advertising (yes even the digital stuff that you can completely track) is that so much of what influences a buying decision simply can’t be measured. So while I can see my Google Analytics tells me that someone came from my Facebook post and purchased a ‘thingy-me-bob’ from my online store, how did they become a fan of my Facebook page in the first place?
You see, basic ‘advertising’ is really only one part of the mix. Like all aspects of marketing, it’s an integration of a collection of ingredients that drive results. That’s why I’m less of a fan of just ‘advertising’ and more of a fan of building ‘campaigns’.
Now I can hear some people asking “what’s the difference?” In simple terms, advertising is a single medium, single message piece of communication. Such as a lone TV Commercial or a single SALE press advertisement. It could even be your latest Social Media post.
A campaign however, is an integrated and long term approach to influencing people to engage with your brand. This is so much more powerful than ‘just an advert’. The key though, is that it takes planning and more ‘upfront’ work which also takes time and costs money. At the end of the day, it’s much more effective in the long term and assists in building a really solid, strong brand.
Big corporates do campaigns really well. Yes they have the cash, but they also use all the mechanisms at their disposal. Take McDonalds for instance. They’ll push out a new campaign for a new burger. You’ll see it on TV, digital advertising, magazines, in store posters, counter displays and featured on menus.
Now I accept that we don’t all have the luxury of all of these mediums but we do have the ability to find effective ways of using cross mediums with campaign thinking to communicate a strong, clear message to the audience. And by the way, you have a lot less people to attract to your business than McDonald’s (in most cases).
With access to so many new and cost effective mediums today, campaigns have never been more cost effective. But you have to be prepared to invest, plan and follow through. There’s no point in pushing out a campaign through various mass mediums and/or online mediums and then not backing it up with simple executions such as in-store merchandising or email signatures etc (trust me…there are so many options).
Campaigns also require a commitment to a budget. Stretching dollars too thin across too many mediums reduces the potency and you’re no better off. It’s a fine balance.
I’m not saying that ‘advertising’ is ineffective. What I am saying, is that a campaigned approach to the marketing and promotion of your business can provide you with a much stronger ROI.
Campaigns also tend to gain higher levels of engagement because more often than not, they’re based on a story…and everyone loves a good story.