Why a great ad isn’t enough for a campaign to succeed


Imagine you’ve spent the whole day working on a perfect ad.

You planned it out on index cards and arranged the ideas in order.

You wrote out the copy and set out all the points you need – the features, advantages and benefits.

Then you put it in a drawer and left it for the night.

The next day, you took it out and worked on it again. It had somehow gotten worse overnight, so you redid the whole thing.

Finally you had a piece that was good to go, and you sent it off to the magazine.

At the end of the year, how much business do you think that ad pulled in?

That’s right. Nothing.

The ad isn’t enough to get money in the bank.

The test to see whether a marketing campaign has worked is to see how much money it brought in.

And that can get derailed for any number of reasons.

Michael J. Baker’s The Marketing Book says that you can’t force new ideas into a system. It’s like injecting a virus.

The body will reject it, sending anti-bodies to “protect the status-quo from the germs of innovation”

Or, like Pac-Man, devour the innovation ghosts Binky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde.

Operational managers, in particular, hate change. They have a job to do and new rules get in the way of getting things done now.

Especially because no one gives them time off from the current job to learn the new one. So, they are hostile from the get go.

The next problem is that most organisations don’t invest in training their people. Few people understand how marketing works.

The skills aren’t there. People know how to do their jobs – but they get confused and fearful when asked to help in a marketing campaign.

Then there is information – or the lack of it. That situation is getting better – there are databases we can look at to figure out who our customers are. But – it takes time to understand all this, and it can be expensive.

Now, we may do some things well, like create an ad. But when there are no resources, the follow up falls apart.

For example, the phone line on the ad doesn’t get answered. The promised information isn’t sent. No one follows up to see what prospects think.

And the reason there are no resources is because structure is poor. The people needed to do the jobs aren’t there or are too busy to put in the time because they have other jobs.

The thing about a marketing campaign is that it’s easy to think of it as something only sent out to customers.

We need to spend as much time thinking about how it works inside the company – or it’s going to fail.

A marketing campaign needs a marketing system to get the most out of your ad.

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