The Only Bad Advertising Is No Advertising - Or Is It?

Depending on whom you ask, you will get told many "truths" about advertising. The question I have for you today is this ? "Is the only bad advertising, no advertising?"

Before we begin, it might help us to agree on what advertising is, so here's one definition:

"Advertising is the non-personal communication of an individual's paid persuasive information regarding products, and or services via various media."

In other words, someone is trying to "sell" us on something ? be it a product, or a service, or just picking up the phone. Advertising is all about getting people to do something ? well, for the majority of us, it should be.

So, if advertising is about selling stuff, then perhaps we can answer our question now: "Is the only bad advertising, no advertising?" Of course not! You could create a really bad advert that did a terrible job of selling? and that would easily be a bad advert.

"Repetition, repetition, repetition!"

Is the battle cry of the ardent advertiser. "You must have repetition to have an impact." Do you believe this? A healthy dose of scepticism is always handy at a time like this. But before you start patting yourself on the back thinking that you're right I think you might want to hear this.

Repeating an advert works. Studies have shown conclusively that a 'sale' regularly occurs between the fifth and eighth exposure to a sales message (sure it can happen sooner, the point is that one-hit-wonders are rare). So repeating an advert works ? BUT? and this is quite an important "but"? the advert must be having an effect (or working) for the repetition to be meaningful.

Flogging a Dead Horse

Permit me to explain. If your advert tanked on the first run you may have a bad advert on your hands. You will need to think carefully about what you do next. Experience tells us that this might be a fluke or a freak of circumstances so it warrants at least another run ? may be two.

However, if the advert is not performing at all well after a couple of exposures to your market place, exposing that advert continuously will NOT (I repeat NOT) improve it. In this instance, repetition is quite simply a waste of time and money.

However, if your advert worked well then keep running the advert. For how long you might ask? The answer to that is actually very easy. Keep running performing adverts until the numbers tell you to stop. That's right, let the sales numbers tell you when that advert needs a rest.

Great Adverts Need A Vacation Too

Adverts are like people, they get tired and need a break. Just because an advert eventually loses some steam doesn't mean that after a suitable 'rest' it cannot go right back to work ? performing flawlessly. So how do the numbers tell you when to pull the advert or give it a rest? When all the costs of running the advert outweigh the sales the advert is bringing in. Remember to take a more pragmatic view and consider the long term sales value of a new client. In a previous article I explained that a client you acquire has a 'lifetime value' not just a 'now-time value'. Include the future sales this client will bring you when deciding if the advert is no longer effective.

Size Does Matter!

So how big should your advert be? That's easy, it should be 'dominant'. After all, your advert is trying to do its first job ? CATCH ATTENTION! This is easier to achieve with a larger advert. All things being equal on the page, the bigger ads get more 'eye time' than the smaller adverts. As with all things though, there are exceptions to the rules and a small advert developed properly will outperform a big advert that is poorly designed.

There are other advertising 'secrets' we copywriters have learned that help us gain the edge when writing adverts. For instance we know whether colour makes a difference and when to use it, we know which single colour out performs all other colours and why, and we know which fonts (yes fonts) make a difference to an advert? but sadly I'm out of space again so we'll have to save those tidbits for another time.

JAMES C. BURCHILL is a 20-year veteran entrepreneur and information technology executive who now provides strategic marketing consulting services to a select group of clients. He is a published author, a passionate advocate of technology and the Internet, as well as an avid study of classical advertising and marketing strategies (which he uses during 'Internet alchemy' experiments.) James is an expert in information and data management, Internet marketing and online networking. A self confessed 'information and technology enthusiast', James brings a wide range of valuable skills to any venture. Of singular note is James' ability to assimilate complex subject matter and produce clean clear 'easy-to-understand' messages. James has been interviewed many times and caused quite the media buzz when a client 'double-dog-dared' him to prove you can get front page coverage for $0. The details and that 'dumb stunt' are now part of EBay legend. Currently James lives in Ontario, Canada with his wife and family, their Siamese cat and one very nervous fish. Visit http://www.JamesBurchill.com for details.

In The News:

The one about disruptive advertising  The Times of India Blog
What Digital Advertising Gets Wrong  Harvard Business Review

Double Your Sales Potential With Double-sided Business Cards

Swapping business cards is one of the most basic and... Read More

The SKINNY on Newspaper Advertising

The SKINNY on NewspapersUsing the paper is considered gospel by... Read More

Become a Storyteller Not an Advertiser and Watch Your Traffic Increase

When you read the newspaper, do you read advertisements as... Read More

Secrets to Profitable Mail Order Products

The most profitable mail order products are simple... Read More

LED video Displays

LED video displays give you the power to communicate, to... Read More

Advertising - Does it Matter?

When advertising, you need to sell your opportunity, your products... Read More

The Principle Of Advertising Online

Advertising online is very similar to advertising in any environment.... Read More

Yellow Pages Ads - Buying Secrets

Yellow Pages Ads - Buying SecretsOK- let's agree that many... Read More

Indoor LED Displays

To promote the audience, staff, customers and other people the... Read More

Outdoor Sign

Many business organizations that needs to disseminate late-breaking information to... Read More

Creating a Winning Logo

Creating a logo to get you noticed.When you're branding a... Read More

Customer-Involving Signage and Selling

Here's some easy ways to create signage that will attract,... Read More

How to Know if Direct Mail Will Work for Your Business

Here's a great lesson that applies to direct mail. Ready?... Read More

The Inside Secrets Of Free Publicity For Your Business

Product publicity is the "secret pathway" to business success... Read More

Brand Young and You Brand for Life; Why Cinema Advertising is an Effective Tools for Marketers

In the world of advertising there are many forms of... Read More

Five Characteristics of Highly Successful Advertising

Have you ever spent a small fortune on advertising that... Read More

Super Secret Tip For Using PPC Search Engine Advertising Successfully

It's not about traffic; it's about generating leads. That's right.... Read More

Do Your Radio Ads Work?

Most small businesses don't have a high powered advertising agency... Read More

Do I Need Raised Letter or Full Color Business Cards?

If you've been searching around for business cards that will... Read More

Information Gathering & Delivery May Never Be The Same!

Give Us The Bottom Line!If you are like most people,... Read More

Nine Power Words To Punch Up Your Ads

As every professional politician and public relations man knows words... Read More

How to Write B2B Ads That Catch Customers

Are your business-to-business ads working for you? If they are... Read More

Improve Your Promotional Flyers And Improve Sales

Admittedly, I have not seen your advertising flyer. Then again,... Read More

What Does the Back of Your Business Card Say?

Business cards with nothing on the back are wasted opportunities... Read More

3 Inside Secrets To Making You Richer Using Direct Mail!

Making money using direct mail isn't easy. And anyone who... Read More