Why Advertising Models need to Change

The more things change, the more they stay the same, and stay that way far too long. If there was ever a needed caveat to the old mantra, I believe I just said it. In today’s world of niche marketing, niche markets. micro-markets, and on and on, one thing seems constant, businesses of all types will try to attract clients based on models that either worked once before, or they’ll try and apply it to their business regardless of the absurdity. What seems obvious to me is just because some form of advertising seems inexpensive, (or should I say cheap) they think it’s better than no advertising at all. I firmly, and thoroughly disagree. Sometimes none is the better choice.

Television, radio, and print advertising is all in a state of flux. No longer can your prized commercial or ad be placed in full view of potential customers and quantify the ROI. (return on investment) Google proved the real value of mass advertising over the last few years. It worked at first, but as the internet is growing in age, so too are the ROI’s of buying banner ads and most other ways of drawing attention. They just aren’t worth it. (and they are really, really, really cheap now!) However most think theirs will be different so they spend anyways. In the end they find out they weren’t. But they feel like they did something, and you have to do something. Right? Besides you can always say to someone, “Did you see our ads?” You have that for a consolation prize.  Makes you feel like you did something useful I guess.

Here’s an example of what I think brings this point home. I received a mailer the other day. It came from a direct marketing campaign done by no other business than my local funeral home. Here’s an excerpt from the mailing:

“Win a Free iPad! Come visit us at ___________Funeral Home for a buffet style luncheon, and cocktails. We will have live entertainment featuring the ___________ String Quartet. Just register, and view our facilities for your chance to enter and win a free iPad the week of………”

If for some strange reason you think this was money well spent, and the message was helping the underlying business because you are saying to yourself, “I bet someone went!”, my guess would be you’re in the direct mail business. But wait, that’s a dying business so I guess they really are a good match. Right?



© 2011 Mark St.Cyr  All Rights Reserved