Advertising Doesn't Work

April 26, 2023

Advertising Doesn't Work

Advertising doesn't work. Advertising helps. Many business leaders approach their campaigns one-dimensionally, focusing on individual aspects such as running ads, executing outreach programs, offering valuable content, or hosting events. However, they often neglect to consider the interplay between these various touchpoints, which is crucial for a successful marketing strategy.

Marketing strategists constantly grapple with this issue. As my expertise lies in tactical work, this is relatively new territory for me. However, despite discussions about diminishing effectiveness on media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, achieving reach has become easier than ever. Additionally, demand is at an all-time high. With customers having access to entertainment, food, and travel at their fingertips, they have developed an expectation to discover new and amazing things on demand.

Indeed, this is one of the reasons why streaming services like Prime Video and Netflix have achieved tremendous success - by promoting the most popular media each week. The constant demand for fresh and engaging content has led consumers to seek external validation or stimulation to guide their decisions in exploring new options. With an overwhelming amount of choices available, such promotional strategies help users navigate and discover exciting content more efficiently.

What does this mean for businesses leaders and marketers? How can we penetrate the clutter while simultaneously building trust? How can we effectively utilize advertising as a tool without treating it as the ultimate solution for our business? The answer lies in understanding its role and evaluating its impact within the appropriate context. By constantly considering the context, businesses can create targeted and genuine connections with their audience, fostering trust and efficiently promoting their products or services.

There isn't a single media touchpoint, whether online or offline, capable of guiding a customer from being completely unaware of a product to making a purchase. Even at farmers' markets, customers arrive with a general idea of their intended purchases and typically opt for familiar items. When they do buy something entirely new, it's often due to an existing interest or a connection to a product they already own.

To clarify: Utilize all your media channels and touchpoints to establish familiarity with your brand before offering transaction opportunities. Although media is more efficient and reaches more people than ever, the purchasing rate has decreased. This is due to the overwhelming amount of information, making decision-making difficult for consumers. Additionally, competitors contribute to the confusion by bombarding customers with shallow, urgent sales messages. These tactics are ineffective, but they add to the noise, making it challenging for your brand to stand out.  This is why you feel like advertising doesn’t work.

Deliver value, prove that you understand the subject matter, and that you can solve problems for your customers. Establish trust the long way before you ask for a purchase. Then you'll find yourself in a really good position to get people to convert far better than they ever have before.

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