Mindscape Communications New Answers for New Times™

"Let's do an ad!" Really? Really???

From time to time over the years, I've heard prospective clients say they want to "do an ad." Today, it's just as likely to be "Let's do a website," or "Let's get on Facebook." OK. Admirable. They want to at least do some kind of marketing communications with their target audience. Or, at least, that's my view as a marketing and advertising consultant. But I know from a great deal of experience that often that's not the same understanding that they may have. Usually, they really mean "Let's do an ad, a website, etc." No more, no less.

This is when I generally make an attempt to gently suggest that they'd be better off saving their money, as a one-time only ad, especially -- without any strategy, plan or understanding of their target market -- is often not worth doing. Some might argue that something is better than nothing. And that's valid, of course. But to think that a single ad -- unless it's running during the Super Bowl, perhaps -- is going to make much of an impact, is wishful thinking. Same goes for a website or social media. They require attention. Regularly.

Good marketing and advertising begins with questions rather than answers: What are your goals and objectives? What does your target market know about your company or business? What do you want them to know? Who
is your target market? Describe them. Why do they want or need your product or service? Why should they purchase from you rather than a competitor? And so on. Questions...questions.

Prospective clients often turn to an outside consultant or agency when they recognize that they don't have the answers or capabilities to communicate effectively about their products or services. An outside view can often be helpful in this regard. But it has to be understood that advertising is both art
and science. Some of the science comes about through marketing research and planning. The art comes about in taking that information as background and constructing a communications campaign that is geared to achieve the goals set forth. That means transforming the data and input into a communications concept (words, pictures, perhaps music and customer interaction, as well) that can be tested. Tested against what? Another version of the message. Find out which works best and then create another test. Always test, measure, and refine.

That's hard to do with a "Let's do an ad, website, etc." view of marketing and advertising. It's also hard to have any long-term business success with such a view.

Are you ready to take a broad view of your marketing and advertising efforts? Then give us a call. We can assist you. Really.

-- GSM