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Does Advertising Work?

Posted by Jeff Davis on Tue, May 05, 2015 @ 02:20 PM

"People ask me all the time, "Does advertising work?" These are smart people, people who would never dream of asking an engineer, "Does engineering work?" or asking a doctor, "Does medicine work?" Josh Weltman - Seducing Strangers - How to Get People to Buy What You're Selling 

A great book.  I highly recommend it.  

The point is, of course advertising does work.  

 Advertising Options

"OK, you say it works, but which advertising medium works best?"

That is a lot like asking which of your children is your favorite.  Depending on the time and day you ask...

"The very best marketing comes from observing consumer behavior and inserting your message into their behavior."

When selecting an advertising medium there are several factors you must take into consideration. Consumer behavior (how your target audience consumes media) is a factor.  Budget is a factor. A commercial in the Super Bowl is a great way to reach millions of consumers, but it also will cost millions of dollars.  Even at the local market level it can cost tens of thousands of dollars for 30 seconds of airtime.

Another consideration in advertising is frequency versus reach.  The Super Bowl spot may reach millions, but if you can only afford a single commercial, you are not going to be happy with the results. It takes three, four, five, six, seven... exposures to a single message for the average consumer to even notice your message.

That is why I believe that the frequency of your message is more important than the size of the reach.  This is The Law of Familiarity.  The more familiar your brand is to the consumer, the more likely they will take a chance and do business with you.  Buy more frequency and sacrifice reach.

Then there is the message contained in the ad.  What are you trying to tell your sales prospect?

Great advertising taps into the emotional connection between the consumer and the product or service you are selling. Find the urge and fulfill the urge.  

So back to "where do I advertise?"  I am partial to digital advertising and not simply because I am a Digital Marketing Specialist.  The reason I became an expert in the field of digital marketing is because of a lesson I learned years ago.  

 "The very best marketing comes from observing consumer behavior and inserting your message into thier behavior."

Follow consumer behavior.  Consumers today spend more time with digital media than any other media type.  Last year consumers spent more time daily on digital media than they did watching TV.  "Combining online and mobile devices, however, eMarketer expects US adults to spend 5 hours 46 minutes with digital media daily this year, increasing digital’s lead over television to well over 1 hour per day.

There are a lot of digital advertising choices, so let's look at the "class of the field" in Push and Pull marketing.  Push marketing is when you push your message in front of consumers. Few websites give you better tools to target your consumers than Facebook.  For a typical YMCA, it allows you to target families.  It also allows you to target families with children.  Families with children between the ages of X and Y.  Or perhaps you only want to target moms with children between the ages of X and Y.  You can also target by interests - females between 25 and 50 interested in yoga and men between 18 and 35 interested in weightlifting.  

Facebook also gives you the ability to target by behavior.  Behaviors like supporting charitable causes, special events and small business owners.  

Pull marketing involves marketing at people you know are interested in your products and services.  They are further in the purchase funnel.  They know they want to buy, they just haven't decided who to buy from.  Google Pay Per Click is the perfect vehicle to get in front of these consumers.  They type "swimming lessons" into the search engine and your advertisment pops up at the top of the list.  And the beauty of this type of advertising is that you do not get charged unless someone clicks on your ad and is taken to your website page - the one that explains how your swimming lessons work...

You say you never click on these ads?  Someone is.  Last year Google was sitting on $59 billion in cash.

If you are interested in hearing more about great advertising, here are a couple of books that investigate how advertising works.  Selling the Invisible: A Field Marketing Guide to Modern Marketing by Harry Beckwith is a marketing classic and quite likely my favorite business book of all time.  

From a clinical point of view, Daniel H. Pink's To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others is a great read.  One of his points - everyone is in sales today.  We are all selling something to someone.

Want to know how digital advertising can help you?  Give us a call at 419-776-7000 or email me at  We would love to hear from you.

Topics: digital advertising, mobile, Facebook, display ads, digital marketing, Google campaigns, Mobile Marketing, email


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