Think Differently!

October 27, 2011

That’s what Steve Jobs did. Even though he revolutionized the digital era, he did not think much of the internet as a branding medium. While everyone was jumping on the digital bandwagon, Jobs effectively remained “old school.”

In 2010, Apple spent an estimated $420 million on advertising. Over 90% of that budget was allocated to network television, newspapers, magazines and billboards. Less than 10% went toward digital initiatives.

And when Apple did spend online, it was usually an extension of a TV campaign like the iconic Mac vs. PC ads.

Jobs also believed in controlling the message which files in the face of the current wisdom that consumers should tell the brand story via Facebook and Twitter. Upon his death, Apple barely had a presence on either platform.

Throughout his brilliant career, Jobs created products for the masses. And he wisely chose mediums that targeted the masses. In advertising, as in product development, he relied heavily on his convictions and intuition. He did not rely on “likes” or “tweets.” He took a much more pragmatic approach: tell the story of how an amazing product can change a consumer’s life in the best environment possible. And then he was smart enough to understand that the best environment – then and now – is still traditional media.

All that glitters isn’t gold!

October 19, 2011

A new survey of marketers conducted by the Association of National Advertisers has discovered something interesting, but not terribly surprising about the new media rage.  According to the survey, more national companies are dedicating larger portions of their ad budgets to new media.  But it also finds more companies questioning the effectiveness of their new media investments.

78% of companies surveyed said that they planned to spend more on new media like online ads, social networks, search engine marketing, mobile and viral video in 2012 than they did this year.  On average, this represents 14% of their total media spending – up from 10% in 2011.

So, with more spending come better results, right?  Not necessarily.  Compared to a similar study in 2009, marketers in general, are complaining that bigger investments in new media are not always producing the desired results.

“While marketers have substantially increased their use of new media platforms over the past few years, they are beginning to question the effectiveness of some of these vehicles,” Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA said.  “The ANA survey indicates a strong willingness by marketers to integrate innovative new approaches into their marketing mix; however, this enthusiasm is tempered by concerns regarding the ROI of these emerging options.”

Or in other words, anyone who thought that new media was going to quickly transcend old media (i.e. television) was perhaps blinded by all the glitter.

Retail Chains Benefit from “The Recency Theory”

August 12, 2009

retail“Spend your media dollars as efficiently as possible … only advertise when you have the greatest chance for success.”

If you’re responsible for the television advertising budget for a small to medium size retail chain and you’re not employing The Recency Theory into your media strategy – then keep reading.

Don’t worry; I won’t bore you to death with some technical dissertation. Although this concept may be different from what you’re doing now, it’s really more about common sense than anything else.

The Recency Theory states: Ads work best when people are ready to buy. Pretty simple, huh? It also favors reach over frequency, which is especially beneficial for those chains struggling with limited ad budgets.

Under The Recency Theory, commercials are bought to target consumers as close to the time of decision as possible. The closer your message gets to the time of decision – the greater the impact. On the other hand, the influence of the ad exposure diminishes the further away from the time of decision.

For example, an Olive Garden commercial is more effective right before dinner time than in the early morning. Logic dictates that Joe is going to be more receptive to an All-You-Can-Eat Pasta offer when he’s hungry for dinner than right before his morning coffee.

Under The Recency Theory, consumers have a role in making the advertising work.

  • The advertising itself did not get Joe to perk-up to the offer. The hunger in the pit of his stomach did.
  •  The TV advertising simply reminded Joe how hungry he was and at the same time presented him with a timely offer.
  • In fact, Joe may have been exposed to multiple Olive Garden commercials throughout other time periods, but hardly noticed them because he was not thinking about food at the time.

With The Recency Theory you only advertise when you have the greatest chance for success. You choose reach over frequency. In the case above, one strategically placed commercial at dinner time trumps two or three commercials placed in the morning hours.

It’s all about influencing the purchasing decision while spending your media dollars as efficiently as possible. The recency theory requires retail chains (and their agencies) to look beyond traditional measuring metrics and to rely on something that is hard to quantify on a flowchart: Common Sense!