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Issue Date: August 2004

Why 80% of advertising fails

August 2004
Dean Herrick

The purpose of advertising, as with any form of communication, is to: create an awareness (on a new brand); increase an awareness (on an existing brand); and achieve responses.

In the beginning, each and every brief given to an agency should contain quantified objectives such as:
* To achieve a % weight of awareness to a specific target audience.

* The point of brand loyalty to be achieved (or the standard of performance).

* To achieve quantified responses.
The reasons that advertising fails are many:
1. Inadequate briefs from advertisers to their agency.
2. Agencies seldom quantify their own objectives - the perceptions they wish to create.
Problem: creative - he or she is seldom part of the target audience.
3. Sending the wrong message that does not address the perceived deficiencies.
4. The poor selection of media (budget limitations are generally used as the 'excuse' for poor performance - so, advertise less to the correct audiences).
5. Not allowing the campaign to run long enough to achieve the objectives.
6. Too much spent on production.
7. Pre and post-testing.
8. Research.
9. Unqualified personnel: it is critical to have both parties 'qualified' in advertising and marketing and, leave this job to the appointed personnel.
10. Advertising must move away from a 'spend' to an 'INVESTMENT'.
As Lord Leverhulme said: "He knew half of his advertising was wasted, but never knew which half."
*Dean Herrick is MD of Herrick Communication


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