90% of Advertising Doesn’t Work

We battle daily as business/organization operators, yet we get caught up in details and can’t see the forest for the trees.  We pay hard earned money for advertising, hoping to earn the holy grail, the customer.  I’ve always heard that 90% of advertising does not work?  But how do we know what 10% does?

A small business called recently wanting a billboard right next to their establishment.  Huh?  Why I asked, is your business signage working?  “People just drive by and don’t come in, I get some people from other areas and I want a directional to tell them to stop in.”

We’ll talk about directionals (click)another time, and when to use them.  But this situation hits the 10% concept of advertising.  It’s marketing, not advertising.  We have to realize what’s going on in the target of the message.

When asked of them to tell mention the first thing that came to their mind when they heard the phrase “What’s the first fast-food restaurant that comes to your mind?” (one that tied in directly as a national competitor with their business.)  “McDonalds” blurted out.  You may have guessed that they run a small family restaurant.  They have a huge marketing problem.  People may drive by, see a “turn in here” message, but if they don’t think about it when they are hungry, they are not stopping.  Make them think about the restaurant when they “need” it, when they’re hungry.  Luckily they have great food and can gain some local market share, correctly targeted and marketed.  The big advantage is that they are nimble.

What’s going on here?  People get hungry three times a day or more.  MD has been able to spend horrid amounts of money over a very long period of time with their vast marketing efforts such that they are the first ones that come to mind (First Thought, Top-of-Mind (click) when “fast food” comes to mind.  People think fast food, and Tinker Bell waves the wand inside of heads and MD appears in their subconscious.  It’s a huge hurdle to overcome.  Literally 99 of 100 people asked this will say MD without fail.

So our goal in marketing is to get to be that position (First Thought, Top-of-Mind) within your product or service category.  You do it with another marketing tenet…. repetition, repetition, repetition (click).  Your marketing program can use any, all or some combination of “advertising”, but as savvy keepers of our coins, the goal would be to get the most repetitions for the least amount of coin.  Deliver a succinct , direct message over an over.  Given time, people will move you up their list.  All you have to do is deliver your message in a coordinated way (can you say marketing plan?) as many ways as you can as cost effectively per showing as your can.

What can you get for a nickel?  A billboard showing of your message to a local customer – hard to beat that?


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