Philadelphia retailer and US Postmaster General, John Wanamaker, once said, "Half money I spend on advertising is wasted; trouble is I don't know which half."
If you’re spending £10,000 a month on advertising £5,000 is going straight down tubes. That wastes £60,000 of your hard earned cash every year. Money you could spend on better, more focused marketing.
Imagine if you could work out which half works and spend only on that half. The good news is you can. All will become clear in a little while.
In meantime let me explain how advertising works.
Broadly there are two types of advertising. One is Branding and Positioning (BAP) and other is Direct Response (DR) advertising.
Branding and Position Advertising Branding and Position concentrates on getting company’s name, or service or product continually at forefront of its customer’s minds. As you can imagine this needs continual advertising activity and can cost megabucks. Companies doing this type of advertising include Coca-Cola, British Airways, Nike and MacDonald’s.
These are all major companies and everyone already knows their name and what they stand for.
Why do they do it?
The simple answer is that they’re in a highly competitive market. They want to retain their large market share by ensuring that most recent ad a prospect remembers is for their service or product. So when they’re thirsty it’s a Coke. If they’re hungry it’s a Big Mac if they want to fly they choose World’s favourite airline.
Picture mountains of money that go towards that aim. But picture too accountants horror – they don’t know which campaign makes a profit.
Profit is one thing that tells you if your campaign is working. If you know your ad makes more revenue than it costs to create, run and service you’d keep running it wouldn’t you?
Unfortunately Branding and Positioning (BAP) advertising can’t be evaluated. You just don’t know whether it’s worth doing or not. How do you know which advert finally persuaded your prospect to do business with you.
Interestingly Bill Bernbach one of founders of modern advertising said that, “Advertising doesn't create a product advantage. It can only convey it."
So why bother doing BAP advertising?
Probably because advertising agencies are happy to use BAP advertising for almost any company. Any slowdown in sales can’t be attributed to their adverts. Any increase is claimed to prove advert is working.
In reality you don’t have a clue.
Former Canadian policeman turned fabulously paid copywriter John E. Kennedy coined phrase, “advertising is salesmanship in print”.
Would you tell a salesman to go see a prospect and to strip customer oriented benefits from their presentation? Also would you tell them not to ask for order? You’d be laughed at and if you insisted you’d probably go out of business and certainly lose your salesmen.
BAP advertising does exactly that to your customer.