Effective Advertising: What it means to invest in your brand’s growth.

It can seem that in today’s world, advertising is not driving the growth it used to. Massive amounts of money is spent on advertising, but more and more, that advertising is not being noticed and not leaving an impact on the intended audience. A few telling stats:

  • A study by the Advertising Research Foundation found that 69% of all US TV commercials receive no visual attention (putting up to $40 billion of investment at risk in the US alone); 27% air in an empty room.
  • Only 12% of supposedly ‘viewable’ ads are actually noticed by consumers, according to Lumen Research.
  • More than 600 million devices now have ad blocking, in what US journalist Doc Searls called the biggest boycott in history.

WARC outlines 5 constituent parts of effective advertising: 1. Invest in growth, 2. Balance your spend, 3. Be creative, be emotional, be distinctive, 4. Plan for reach, and 5. Plan for recognition

This blog will consider the first constituent: Invest in growth. This does not just mean investing money (although important), but investing time for strategy, research, and internal communication and goal setting.  

Investing in internal communication

Internal communication is crucial to successful marketing. It should be incorporated into a marketing plan at the beginning and throughout the campaign. It is important for your team to feel that their voices are heard, and they are contributing (if possible) or kept up to date with upcoming changes and plans. They must understand what the goals are and what is begin done to reach them. By being involved, they will be more like to be on-board with the general marketing direction and be advocates for your brand. They may also have some insider insight or ideas that would have otherwise gone unreported.

Investing time for research

The price-tag for market research can be hefty, but before beginning a strategic plan, it is important to know, not guess, how your brand is currently seen, who your competitors are, test market variables, understand your audience, and pinpoint opportunities better. Without market research, your dollars and time may be spent on the wrong focus.

Investing time for strategy

Take the time to plan. A strategic plan will define objectives, audience, messaging, challenges, opportunities, geographies, strategy, tactics, media, budget and timelines. Most importantly, a strategic plan will tell you what you should expect at various steps of the plan, which may be used to determine how effective your marketing is. Without taking time for a strategic plan, there will be no guide to determine best tactics, and it will be more difficult to measure success.

Investing money

To grow, you must ensure that your brand’s share of voice exceeds its share of market. To do this will require a budget. Keep in mind your brand size and the market. Does your brand have the space to grow, is it able to? Consider what media channels make the most sense for your brand to best connect with consumers. 

Lastly, focus on long term goals and revaluate your definition of ROI. Do not focus solely on the ROI ratio. Cutting your advertising budget may help the short-term ROI ratio, but it will damage the brand. Evidence from the landmark studies of Les Binet and Peter Field, on behalf of the UK trade body Institute for Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), suggests that an ideal split of marketing investment is 60% for long-term brand building and 40% designated for short-term activation. Advertising should be a long-term investment, and must involve strategic planning, research, milestone goals and timelines.



Melanie Gross