Why Most Advertising Doesn’t Work

If you think your family is giving you a hard time now about this business you decided to start, we have some sobering news for you. Not only are bad advertising investments a waste of your advertising money, left unchecked,  they will eventually waste your office lease money, your payroll money, and (you’re going to hate this) eventually waste your personal money. That’s right! … mortgage money, car note money, rainy-day money, child’s-education-fund money, etc.

So, rule number one is to accept the premise that most advertising doesn’t work, AND that if some advertising DOES work, which it does, you prefer it to be yours!

When you accept the premise that most advertising doesn’t work, you enter into a new world of reality.  It’s a world free of smoke and mirrors.  It’s a world where you can, with confidence, evaluate the merits of all advertising opportunities that are presented to you. 

It’s a world where you are not disabled by guilt because the money you just spent on an ad didn’t quite pay for itself.  It’s a world where you admit that you don’t have all the answers, but are willing to learn from the open exchange of thoughts, ideas and experiences of others.

There are many different types businesses operating around the globe.  There are even some types of businesses that haven’t even been invented yet.  With so many types of businesses around, how can we develop an advertising strategy that applies to all of them?  

First we must realize that advertising is not about what  type of business you have, it’s about people. The number of different business types is infinite.  In contrast, there are no new types of people being invented in the foreseeable future.  We may see different fads, styles, religions, beliefs and other human characteristics manifest themselves over time, but when it comes to the types of people you will deal with on a day-to-day basis, the number is finite.  Just about every type of person you will ever encounter, has already been born.  Not only that, they have been around long enough to be studied.  The more you know about the people who are likely to buy your products and services, the less likely you are to fall prey to bad advertising investments.

Common Advertising Mistakes
Listed below are some of the most common reasons ads don’t get the desired results

  • Companies are too in love with their name
  • Ads sell features and not benefits
  • Ads are too general and do not target a particular group
  • Ads don’t push the right emotional hot buttons 
  • Marketing strategy not consistent with industry’s stage of the life cycle
  • Left-brain ads going after right-brain targets
  • Companies make their product/service too hard to get
  • Marketing is not a part of the company’s total operation
  • All the emphasis is placed on “getting”, not enough on “keeping” Customers 
  • Sales staff does not know what to do with leads
  • Telephone staff does not ask for the sale or appointment
  • Service/product does not back up its promises
  • No follow-up after the sale

Before you spend another dime on advertising, you must first understand a concept called “marketing”.  The marketing concept holds that, the key to achieving organizational goals consists of being more effective than your competitors in determining, and then satisfying, the needs and wants of target markets.  By understanding what motivates your target markets, the more effective your ads will be, and the less likely you will be engaging in advertising that doesn’t work.