By Paul Ashby
Sin No. 1: And in many ways this is the biggest sin of them all! The total lack of genuine accountability and effectiveness. More and more evidence is emerging that there is ample justification for questioning a major advertising pretension that it does, indeed, work at all!The repetitious cry and certain belief that “creativity” is the answer to all marketing problems – it isn’t and frankly never really has been.It’s a given that all human knowledge is provisional but it is also incremental, the sum of what we know to day is far greater than thirty years ago – with, possibly, the sole exception of marketing/advertising.
Nothing new has been added to the armoury of advertising…no debate is taking place as to where to go next! Perhaps that is because there is no place else to go! However to day it is still an article of faith among advertising people that advertising will not change because "it works"!Facing the painful truth is the first essential step in devising a sensible strategy for the perpetuation of advertising. And the painful truth is “Advertising no longer works”!
Sin No 2: Is it because that, for financial reasons, you do not want to address the problem of clutter…because it is a huge and growing problem which contributes to the declining effectiveness of all advertising.
The poor old customer, or in advertising speak, Consumer, does not want to take delivery of even more messages, after all they do not appear to be taking much notice of the messages that exist already!The advertising world has dehumanised and depersonalised the process of communication and very little evidence of consideration of the consumer exists.
Sin No.3: You just don’t listen, whenever some well meaning person dares to question the “Advertising Works” article of faith, down comes a torrent of abuse, and the fact is it can only be a torrent of abuse because you do not have a solid fact to support your spurious claims.
Listen to your Clients:As one large Client recently explained: "In to day's marketing landscape, building a brand is about a whole lot more than advertising. An advertising agency alone cannot deliver everything we need – even though agencies may claim to deliver this, it's a myth".Or even listen to people closer to home:Derek Morris, Chairman and chief executive of ZenithOptimedia attended "Media 360 Conference" in Wales.
In a long letter in MediaWeek, he said, among other things, "But what are the lessons to bring home from South Wales? What should we actually do? And there, in the final session, reality caught up when the Client told us to "Change before you are dead".
Sin No.4: If you don’t want to listen then for Heavens sake forget the glorious past.Your current model of advertising was developed in the Sixties when product choice was much more limited and people were easier to stereotype into categories like income, sex and class. It was much easier for advertisers to target people and bombard them with sales messages.
Today’s marketplace is different and all the old certainties are gone. To be effective in your communications it is sound advice to start with the premise that you know nothing about the people that you believe your product is aimed at. You all have become too parochial, too introspective, too convinced by your on hyperbole.
Sin No.5: Stop this insane rush onto Web 2.0 it is not a medium intended for mass advertising, and, as has been recently established, “Users became more or less desensitised to the Advertising”That was recently said of advertising on social networking sites.
Clients are experiencing fast diminishing returns on their social networking ad investments.Clients are expressing disillusionment.Web marketers, ranging from Google at the apex of the ad triangle to the mass of small companies are showering social-networking sites with ad dollars without getting their hoped-for returns.The question is not "Has the advertising model broken"?
The question now is "What are we going to replace it with"?The complacency of the IPA is overwhelming, they appear not to be doing anything to answer the increasingly strident complaints.Complaints such as, clutter, and here the irony is that advertising agencies appear to think that placing more advertisements is the way to solve clutter!Complaints such as lack of accountability, to day, and after fifty years of extensive advertising, there are no reliable figures available on audience measurements.
And most certainly there are no effective studies as to the effectiveness of advertising…on sales…. As a return on ROI…and much more.To day it is more important that a close investigation as to the suitability of advertising on Web 2.0 be undertaken instead of rushing onto the Net and ignoring all the signs. These are that it is a highly unsuitable medium for advertising.After all it is "The Wild West" where anything goes!
Sin No.6: Your inability to move very rapidly into the post-advertising mindset is caused by you being unable to recognise Sins 1 through 5 above.Astonishingly, a sizeable percentage of marketers and marketing-service leaders seem mired in the advertising mind-set.The Cannes Lions Festival still celebrates ads-a position, one suspects, roughly equivalent to the Cannes Film Festival honouring silents. The One Show held two concurrent programmes this year-one for conventional ads, another for online. (One wonders who in this mix felt like a second-class citizen). In a transparent world, the power of an “ad campaign” to change minds is strictly limited, and getting more so every day. It’s way past time for the industry’s leaders to get naked and reinvent advertising…it they can!
Sin No.7: Your complete and utter lack of understanding of the word “communication” together with a lack of appreciation as to what can, and does, stifle effective communication. All advertising is a form of learning whereby the advertiser is asking people to change their behaviour after learning the benefits of the products or services on offer. However, we all tend to filter out information, which we do not want to hear.
This clearly alters the effectiveness of conventional advertising in quite a dramatic way.The final purchase decision is invariably a compromise and this leads to a certain amount of anxiety; the worry that perhaps the decision was not the best or the right one. In order to minimise this anxiety the purchaser seeks to reinforce their choice and begins to take more notice of their chosen product’s marketing communications.
So what are you going to do about this?Due to a lack of understanding of the communication process we have created a media society during the past 40 or 50 years, where the whole process has been de-humanised. There is now an extraordinary reduction in interaction because conventional advertising and marketing have become a one-way practice whereby information is disseminated in a passive form.
culled from www.brandrepublic.com