You’ve learned the importance of being brave, rebellious, and resourceful. These are all important components of an effective advertising campaign. However, they need to be combined with the most important element – strategy.
As long as the advertising industry has existed, the debate over whether advertising is an art or a business has existed. Frankly, this divisive argument is a waste of time and will only belittle the paltry respect the industry has earned over the years. Besides, the answer is simple. Advertising is the art of business.
It cannot be pure art, because pure art does not involve consumers of the brand. Art certainly grabs people’s attention, but it rarely drives them to action. Brands will not grow if consumers are not actively engaged. If the brand doesn’t grow, the company doesn’t benefit. And when the company stops being profitable, it dies and takes its brand with it.
Advertising, on the other hand, cannot be purely commercial, because capitalism itself is not beautiful. It doesn’t make people sit up and pay attention. Pure commerce involves the exchange of money for goods and services. How boring is this? Also, you don’t want to encourage easy trading. You want to promote branded trade. That’s why strategy is so important.
Let’s get to know each other. We are talking about advertising strategy. Advertising is not marketing. Marketing encompasses multiple disciplines including product, pricing, packaging, distribution, customer and promotion (including public relations, advertising, point of sale, direct marketing, e-marketing, etc.).
If your ad agency can’t differentiate between marketing and advertising strategy, you’re running like hell. You can waste a lot of money. Now, some agencies understand the balance between a broader marketing picture and a narrow, targeted ad space. If they are competent and comfortable in both, they will be a very valuable partner for you.
The importance of a strong advertising strategy cannot be overemphasized. Creating an ad without a strategy is like throwing ping pong balls at a speeding car in a storm. The chances of you hitting the target are slim.
However, with a solid advertising strategy, companies with limited budgets can compete with well-funded competitors. This is the power of a single idea that stays the same over time. That’s the essence of a long-term brand, my friends.
You must first know who to talk to and who to talk to. What is her hotkey? What do they focus on (art)? What makes them want your product or service (trade)? What kind of life do they live? What are some of their daily problems? Can your product or service help with this?
Of course, the key is to think about your customers and prospects. Focus on their needs rather than your own. By providing solutions for their needs, you can meet your own profit needs. The reverse doesn’t work either. Trust me.
Only after you know your audience should you start thinking about how to communicate with them. Only then will you know how and where to contact them. •
This article covers the fourth of the twelve steps. Challenge yourself, your employees and your advertising agency to revolutionize your advertising program. If you missed the previous step, please contact the author for a free copy. Remember, every revolution begins with a step.