Advertising Doesn't Sell Anything
The late Neil H. Borden, Professor of advertising at Harvard Business School said, “In our economy, advertising is the chief means by which businesses communicate with the customers about their products or services to bring about an exchange.” The key word that leads to effective advertising is… communicate. Below you will find the stages in the advertising communication process.
Communication experts generally agree on the stages of the communication process: unawareness, awareness, comprehension, conviction, and finally action.
Creating awareness is advertising’s easiest job and may be quickly accomplished. Your advertising can easily move prospects from unawareness to an awareness of your business, product, or service.
Developing understanding (Comprehension) requires more advertising effort and more time. Advertising must now be asked to move the prospective customer to an understanding of who you are, what you stand for, the quality of your products or services and your promise of customer satisfactions.
Creating preference or trust takes even longer. When trust is achieved you will attract customers and establish a consumer franchise for your business. When trust is achieved you will own your segment of the market.
Your advertising and marketing efforts should motivate the consumer to the buying action.
Advertising is supplemented by internal selling, referrals, and positive word-of-mouth from satisfied customers.
At the same time there are counteracting forces at work. Your competition keeps a constant pressure on the battlefield of the customer’s mind. Memory lapse, perhaps one of your greatest enemies, puts you out of the consumer’s mind. And as the old saying goes, out of mind is out of business. Death and/or Transfer out of town or to another neighborhood account for the loss of many regular customers. Product priority can alter consumers’ purchase plan---tonight’s carpet shopping is deferred when the car conks out on the way home from work.
Another counteracting force is negative word-of-mouth. This can neutralize or destroy a trust that you’ve been building for years.
How troublesome are these counteracting forces? Every year, they can rob you or 20 percent of your customers, who must be replaced for you to just stay even.
Advertising has only one goal: to communicate. What it communicates wins or loses the battle for the consumer’s mind.
Advertising does not build floor traffic, sell merchandise, or increase sales. Advertising only communicates. This concept, when understood and practiced, is the beginning of effective advertising.
To demonstrate the concept, consider the case of two grocery stores in the same community, each with an excellent Marketing Bridge. One grocery store advertises large Grade-A eggs, farm-fresh, at 10 cents a dozen, using 50 ads on television, a full-page in the newspaper, and 100 ads on the radio. The police are called out to handle the traffic. The other advertises large, Grade-A eggs, farm-fresh, at $2 a dozen, using exactly the same media plan on the same media. No response.
What created customer traffic in one store and no response in the other? The same media were used for both. The only difference was the price. It was the price---the offer---the message---that generated the floor traffic. Not the media advertising.
The conclusion? Advertising itself does not build floor traffic, sell merchandise, or increase sales. Advertising only communicates. What it communicates determines the success of an ad campaign.
Price was used to demonstrate this concept because it is easy to understand the drawing power or attraction of a low, almost ridiculous price. It is more difficult to identify and communicate your non-price consumer benefits.
Job #1 is to prepare a message that will create a consumer preference or trust that leads to the buying action.
Job #2 is to effectively communicate this message to your most desirable, most likely and most profitable customer.
The advertising communication process illustrates the need for consistent advertising pressure on the battlefield of the consumer’s mind. To capture more market share, to achieve your personal and business goals…the force of your advertising and other internal selling functions must exceed the counteracting forces. This does not mean outspending your competition. It means you must choose a weapon, an ad medium that will allow you to win with any size budget. You must identify your strengths and differences and communicate more consistently and effectively.
The Advertising Communication Process and other advertising principals are covered in more detail in the how-to-advertise system Marketing Firepower. Marketing Firepower is a DVD based system that can be supplemented with personal coaching. The system is designed specifically for small business to show them how to attract and keep customers. You learn the benefits of advertising your business as well as how to do it. Learn more about Marketing Firepower at www.MarketingFirepower.net.