Scrolling through LinkedIn last week, I saw an AdWeek article that piqued my interest.
It highlighted a recent winner of an award called “Brand Genius” given by one of the major advertising publications.
One of the finalists was responsible for branding and marketing for one of the major fast-food chains.
The article talks about his unique ad ideas and creative strategies to drive brand awareness. And I’ll be the first to admit that he had some very creative ideas.
But I’m a believer that marketing dollars spent should lead to revenue dollars in the door.
So I Googled the stock price of the holding company which owns this restaurant. Now stock price isn’t a perfect indicator, but it’s useful.
And Y/Y the stock price for this company is down 15%+.
And earnings are down too.
So industry experts are giving each other awards while the stock price tanks and earnings drop.
Is that good marketing? Is that the result you want out of your advertising?
In marketing, we tend to look at what big companies are doing and think: “I need to do that!”
But the truth is, most big companies are quite bad at creating advertising that actually sells.
They have investors, boards, executives, and about a million other people they need to please. Their advertising often gets hijacked to talk about the latest political or social issue to improve brand presence.
And everyone (many of whom have little to no marketing background) has an idea of how the advertising should look.
If you want advertising that sells, we must look at advertising that has sold over and over and over.
We must learn what it takes to make great copy. We must learn the emotional and psychological triggers that get people to buy. We must understand the buying process for our product or service.
We shouldn’t be looking at how “creative” a campaign is.
I have nothing against creativity, but if you want to be “creative” you should become an artist. Paint something. Write a song.
The world of small business is competitive. We must hold our advertising to a higher standard than “creative”. If it’s creative, that’s a nice by-product. But sales is always the goal.
The truth is: the quickest way to blow your marketing budget is to be “creative”.
Your advertising needs to sell.
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