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Advertising: It’s a Catalytic Process, Not an Overnight Bang!
Too many times, I have heard people jokingly say, “I know half of my advertising works, I just don’t know which half...
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Dec 30 2006 12:00AM
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Too many times, I have heard people jokingly say, “I know half of my advertising works, I just don’t know which half.” While that is funny, it also raises some serious questions.

Let’s first put to bed any debate about- Does advertising work? Of course, it works! That is why billions are spent each year on advertising. People who ask whether it will work are simply looking for excuse not to spend the money necessary for it to work. Most of the companies spending billions on advertising were once small companies. However, they never wavered from the clear understanding that they had to spend money to make sure people knew about them. Once they made that commitment, they focused on what to say, who to say it to and where to say it.

Global Giants Still Advertising:
Now, many of these companies are huge global corporations. McDonald’s began with one hamburger stand. WalMart was a small town variety store. Coca-Cola and Pepsi were interesting ideas for people looking for something different to drink. While I won’t give advertising 100% of the credit for their growth, it certainly played and still plays a significant role. Most importantly, with all of the success of these examples and the thousands of others, they haven’t stopped advertising.

Going back to the issue of- does advertising work?, just look at the history of business and you’ll see the great global corporations that have come into existence because of advertising. From publishers, to broadcasters and now, the internet, we live in a world dominated by advertising. Your favorite sports team cannot exist without advertising. Look at one of the largest events in the world, The Super Bowl. The day-after conversation is dominated by a discussion of the ads.

Advertising Works for All:
Advertising works for small companies, as well as large. It works in business to business situations, as well as, direct to the consumer. The question should no longer be, do I advertise but how and where do I advertise. Not being able to advertise will inhibit your long term viability as a business entity. So, a strategic issue in determining to be a business, is the ability/capital to advertise. A huge percentage of new businesses fail during the first five years and it is because they are undercapitalized and thus lack the ability to communicate.

Well, there is the good news! Advertising works. Though that may be a blinding glimpse of the obvious, I must now give you the bad news. Advertising is like staying healthy. It takes consistent levels of the proper food and the appropriate levels of exercise for the rest of your life. To be healthy, you must have a healthy lifestyle. Thus, a healthy business can be measured by the consistency of its communication style.

Advertising is also like turning on a light. Flip the right switch and everyone can see. However, the reverse is true. Flip that switch to off and everyone is in the dark. The power that makes advertising truly effective is consistency. Just like electricity, your advertising supplies the power to illuminate your prospects when they need your products or services.

Points for Your Communications:
Now, the more “creative” you are at doing this, the more powerful the results. Creativity should be translated to mean attention getting, easy to understand and producing the desired result. That starts with a clear understanding of who you are, what you do and what makes you unique and what do you want to happen. These points should always be the focus of your communications material.

The results speak for themselves. Studies have shown that through consistent exercise and a balanced diet, people will be healthy or become healthier. Yo Yo diets, never work! The same is true in business. Watch companies that have an inconsistent message or that are in and out of advertising and I’ll show you an unhealthy business.

Here are two ways to sum up what I have said:
It doesn’t matter where you start, it just matters where you finish.

Remember, the turtle won the race!

I wish there was a “sales drink” or a “profit pill” but there is none. The same applies to your marketing communications program. Diligence will always be rewarded. However, it all starts with a commitment. Are you ready to do what it takes?

The author of this interesting insight into the dynamics of successful, fruitful advertising, Jerry Moore is Director of Client Services at Duvenjian in Los Angeles. Duvenjian is the leading marketing communications agency focused exclusively on the jewellery industry. He can be reached at jerry@duvenjian.com or 323-850-3449.

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