Last week, I shared with you The Advertising Poem: A man wakes up after sleeping under an advertised blanket, on an advertised mattress, pulls off advertised pajamas, bathes in an advertised shower, shaves with an advertised razor, brushes his teeth with advertised toothpaste, washes with advertised soap, puts on advertised clothes, drinks a cup of advertised coffee, drives to work in an advertised car, and then, refuses to advertise, believing it doesn’t pay. Later when business is poor, he advertises it for sale. Why is it?
In my opinion, most people are easily influenced yet hopelessly unaware that they are. The “man” is a perfect example of someone who is influenced by advertising, possibly without even being aware of it. And he is certainly not likely to admit it, since it would prove that advertising DOES work. But obviously a seed has been planted that influences the brand of mattress, toothpaste and coffee that he purchases. Stop and think about it for a moment – when was the last time that YOU purchased a product that you’ve never seen advertised before?
The “man” probably refuses to advertise his business because he doesn’t completely understand the true objective of advertising in general. Advertising does not exist to create a need. Anyone who advertises in hopes of suddenly helping people realize what they’ve been missing from their lives is setting themselves up for failure (unless they are promoting a brand new type of product that has no substitute and has never been seen before.)
Advertising exists to trigger an existing or future need and drive a consumer towards a particular brand. Apple spends hundreds of millions on advertising every year – not to convince you that you NEED a new computer, but to convince you that when that time comes you should buy a MacBook instead of a Windows-based machine. Coca-Cola isn’t trying to make you thirsty – they’re trying to convince you to buy a Coke instead of a Pepsi when your thirst hits.
People have certain needs at certain times, and (for the most part) it’s impossible for advertisers to position their ads to hit you with a product that satisfies your exact need at the exact time you have it. Successful advertisers use frequency to build TOMA (Top Of Mind Awareness) to build a bridge between their brand and your future need. The “man” – likely similar to your clients who claim that “advertising does not work” – expects to see instant results from his marketing, and when that does not happen he simply stops advertising.
As a newspaper advertising professional, it’s your responsibility to demonstrate to your clients that advertising is absolutely critical to their success. Advertising is not an expense, it’s an investment in their future. Creating TOMA today will ensure that consumers think of their brand when a need arises tomorrow. And the reason why the “man” advertises his failed business for sale? Desperation. Which is exactly what you’re trying to help your clients avoid. No advertising = no customers = no sales = no business.
Have a terrific week,
If there are specific topics you’d like to see discussed in a future issue of The Sales Cycle, please contact me at (612) 278-0223 or firstname.lastname@example.org