I've always admired this ad. It originally ran in 1958 for McGraw-Hill Magazines. And even though it's more than a half century old, I love how timeless the message is...
Advertising warms the prospect up.
It softens the sales pitch.
It helps tell prospects how your brand is different than the others.
In the end, advertising builds familiarity, trust and preference between brands.
In fact, according to the Morrill Study (one I've cited before), the cost of selling to prospects who've been exposed to your advertising can be reduced by up to 30%. This is no insignificant amount if you've ever had to sell products or services.
However, the greatest challenge for the marketer today is not deciding IF they should advertise, but rather WHERE they should advertise. After all, the opportunities for reaching prospective customers today have changed more dramatically in just the past decade than they have in centuries.
Think about Google for a moment.
They didn't even exist 17 years ago, yet this year more than 2.2 TRILLION searches will be made on Google. More important, tens if not hundreds of millions of people will click on relevant advertising messages. It is truly mind-boggling. And it's certainly why the fastest growing offerings in our business are digital marketing services like SEO, PPC, landing pages, social media, mobile, online videos, digital magazines and content development. These are all services that didn't even exist when I started this business in 1989!
But keep in mind while the Internet is proving to be the most powerful medium yet, it is still just one more way to reach people. Any McDonald's near the interstate won't really need a sophisticated pay-per-click advertsising campaign with A/B testing, negative keywords and optimized CPCs. They just need a behemoth sign and maybe a billboard a few miles up the road. It's all about the right medium for the right type of business.
Take the types of clients we cater to manufacturers and their distribution channels. Every one of those digital marketing functions mentioned earlier (as well as a host of others) should be front and center priorities to stay competitive.
So how do you determine which media are best for your brand? You might start by answering these questions: