There are a few basic ways to waste money on advertising: 

·      Spending too much. [In reality, this almost never happens, despite the CFO's suspicions.]

·      Spending too little. This actually happens a lot. Several polls have shown that at least one-third of marketing managers believe their resources are insufficient to meet their agreed-upon goals. Fifty GRPs is the minimum level to reach the target once a week. 

·      Spending too quickly. This is easy if the budget's too small. The best media planners understand the purchase cycle and accordingly "drip" the dollars over time. And a new brand needs time to become known; a "big splash" with no follow-up will be forgotten. 

·      Spending at the wrong time. "You can't sell snow tires in July," as the old saying goes. You have to advertise when people are buying; only huge resources can change an established spending pattern. We know an ad agency that improved a retailer's sales simply by changing the media timing, without changing the budget by so much as a penny.

·      Spending off-target. This happens a lot, too. A media plan designed for efficiency [rather than effectiveness] will save money but can miss the primary target's eyes and ears. A poorly positioned brand or a misunderstood target audience will yield waste, no matter how good the media plan is.

·      If your creative sucks, anything you spend is wasted.

·      Forgetting the PR. History shows that the strongest brands have combined advertising [paid media] with PR [earned media] in a virtuous cycle that builds credibility with awareness.

·      Forgetting the POP. You spend money on advertising, channel bribes and packaging, so make sure to connect the dots inside the store. Most consumers shop without lists; most lists are not brand-specific [e.g., they'll say "mayo", not "Hellmann's"]. The best POP will win the sale.

Comments are closed.