What Advertising Can & Cannot Do

Advertising’s biggest strength is talking to existing customers and creating repeat purchases.

1. Advertising Brings in New Customers

If your message is relevant, memorable and delivered frequently customers will come. And the better your message and media strategy, the more and more customers will come. 

On the other hand, if your message is blah blah blah like most ads and if your media plan is diluted and on and off again, don't expect much return at all.

2. Advertising Reminds Existing Customers to Return

Once you are consciously aware of something, you notice it more.

My daughter taught me an annoying and frustrating game called "Spoto." It's a simple game. Players get points for spotting a yellow car. But only if they are the first to call, "Spoto!"

You never notice yellow cars. But once you play the game, you see them everywhere. You are now consciously aware of yellow cars. This is thanks to an incredible piece of biological engineering called the Reticular Activator.

I mentioned the game is annoying because when driving alone, the sight of a yellow car triggers the little voice in my head to say, "Spoto." Sorry, I have passed the Spoto curse on to you. Prepare to see yellow cars :-)

Once a customer deals with your business thanks to their Reticular Activator, your ads will now jump out at them. It will remind them of the experience they had with your business. So, you had better make sure that experience was a good one.

Many business owners only count new customers when they do their customer acquisition costing. They fail to realise advertising's biggest strength is talking to existing customers and creating repeat purchases.

3. Advertising Creates Word of Mouth (When Done Correctly.)

It's a myth that advertising only works if it reaches the decision maker. Seldom are decisions made in a vacuum.

Look at your Facebook account. How many friends do you have? The average is over 200. These are the people you are willing to share your life events. On your feed, apart from photos of cute cats, dogs, videos of United Airlines passengers treated roughly and stuff about Donald Trump, you'll see questions and recommendations about products, services and businesses.

"I need a plumber; anyone used a good one?"
"Who can recommend a dentist?"
"Just saw Beauty and the Beast loved it. You should see it." (I did, and it was brilliant)

If your message is relevant, memorable and delivered frequently, people will share that message with their friends, even if they have not experienced your business.

But, if you give a poor customer experience, social media will drive the villagers with torches and hoes and picks to pound on your door. Just like United Airlines.

4. Advertising Creates an Expectation

Your advertising message creates an image in the customer's mind. They see how their lives will be better. They see the experience in your shop. Your advertising sets the height of the bar. Can you jump that height every time? Because if you don't, you're setting yourself up for failure. So, make sure you consistently deliver the expectation you promise in your ads.

*Interesting Insight: When asked the question, "Where did you find out about us?", radio (if used) always gets less than 12%, even if radio is the only media used! Why? Because customers have seen themselves using your product or visiting your store in their mind. So credit always goes to visual media delivery vehicles like TV and magazines.

The question, "Where did you find out about us?" will always give you flawed data. 

5. Advertising Helps Get More Clicks for Your Adwords & Organic Listings

As we said, good advertising creates an expectation and an awareness of your business name. Potential customers Google their problem or product or service need and a list of ads and organic search links appear. Good advertising will make your business name familiar amongst the list of sameness. Remember "Spoto." You'll get more clicks.

Now, what advertising cannot do.

6. Advertising Cannot Make The Sale

If advertising entices a potential customer to call you and you fail to answer their questions and give them confidence in your business, you have wasted your advertising.

If advertising drives potential customers to your website and it fails to answer their questions and give them confidence in your business, you have wasted your advertising.

If advertising persuades a potential customer to walk into your shop and you fail to answer their questions and give them confidence in your business, you have wasted your advertising dollars.

Advertising cannot make the sale. You must make the sale.

If your conversion rate is low, you have a sales training problem or a website conversion problem, not an advertising problem.

7. Advertising Does Not Make You Better At What You Do

The best advertising in the world will send a bad business broke faster. Why? Because good advertising can only speed up what was going to happen anyway.

So, if the world inside your door delivers a poor customer experience, fix it before you start advertising.

Until next week
Work hard. Have fun.

Craig Arthur
Wizard of Ads Australia
We help owner-operated businesses attract profitable customers. Their businesses grow bigger, faster. They make more money. Do you need help?

*When your firm worldwide has invested and tracked over one Billion dollars of client's advertising dollars, you discover many interesting trends that go against conventional wisdom.