Why Your Advertising Is Lacking

A recent AdweekMedia poll on the social networking site LinkedIn asked the question: Of the ads you see in a typical day, how many engage your attention? The results were a little scary.

BusinessWeek reports that two-thirds of respondents said “a small minority of them,” while another quarter answered “none of them.” That combination made up 91 percent of the vote.

If this is a cause for concern, BusinessWeek reporter Steve McKee says it’s best to keep this business axiom in mind: Companies get the advertising they deserve. If your advertising isn’t working, it may be you that’s the problem.

Here are McKee’s seven reasons why your advertising might not be cutting it:

1. It’s Boring. “Ads that fail to offer at least two of these three benefits (information, entertainment and engagement) flop. … Creativity has always been the coin of the realm, but in our time-starved culture it’s truer than ever.”

2. It’s Boorish. “You should think of it as an extension of your brand. If it’s loud, annoying, insulting, offensive or self-centered, people will think the same of your products or services.”

3. It’s Safe. “While being different isn’t in and of itself a guarantee of success, what you do is a lot more likely to get noticed if it hasn’t been done before. And keep in mind that when you do something different, people may not like it, initially.”

4. It’s Trying To Do Too Much. “Just because you have a lot to say doesn’t mean your audience will sit still and pay attention. Do your best to make a simple, singular point.”

5. It Hasn’t Been Given Time. “If you expect too much too soon, you’re sure to be disappointed. Think about your own consumer behavior. How many times do you need to be exposed to a marketing message before you take action?”

6. You Like It. “This one may sting a bit, but you are not the best judge of your own advertising.”

7. It’s Not An Advertising Problem. “A common mistake many companies make is trying to use advertising to fix another problem (e.g., faulty or outdated product design, an uncompetitive cost structure, customer service letdowns, etc.).”
For McKee’s full explanation of these reasons and more, visit the entire BusinessWeek article.

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