Advertising is Still a Viable Marketing Tool

Everything I learned about advertising I learned by watching Mad Men.  Not.

I’m reading a very interesting and informative book; Kellogg on Marketing.  It is both an enlightening and exciting read for any Modern Marketer.  The last chapter I read was about Advertising Strategy and I want to share a few tidbits of wisdom from that chapter:

  • It is easier and more effective to advertise based on current customer beliefs rather than trying to change beliefs of the people in the target market
    • In order to use this concept, you must know or prove the customer beliefs.  Market research is best for this.  Guessing or intuition is not as good as market research.
  • If you choose to advertise by telling a story,  it should be relatable by your target audience. In other words, the advertisement should show a situation or scene where the target audience may find itself in relation to the problem you solve or the value you offer.
  • Comparative advertising is good for brands that are not leaders in their segment.  The challenger brand, if you will, could benefit from comparative advertising.  If a leading brand chooses to compare itself to a lesser brand, the risk is in promoting the lesser brand as much or more than promotion of its own leading brand.  It may make sense for any brand to compare itself to a superior brand in a different category.  For example, compare a margarine to real butter to show it’s superior taste in the class of premium margarine.
  • It’s important to show an early and strong link between the benefit (or value proposition) and the brand.  You do not want the target audience to recall your message but not know that it links to your brand or worse, to link your message to a competitor’s brand.
  • Research has demonstrated that fear or threat advertising is not effective and may even be detrimental to your brand.
  • There is a real point where a frequently repeated message loses its effect. In order to maintain effectiveness, advertisements can be cycled. For example, on one quarter, off the next quarter.

These are just some highlights from one chapter.  I recommend this book for all Modern Marketers.  It is a great overview of the fundamentals of marketing.


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