Has there ever been, I wonder, a wider gulf between the advertising professional, their customers, and the services available in today's business climate?
Previously, the business owner knew what they wanted to accomplish and had an understanding as to the results their marketing efforts would produce. Most owners focused on two to three "platforms", choosing from newspapers, TV, radio and perhaps some direct mail or billboards. Different forms of media had differing expectations among the customer, and it was pretty well understood by all parties.
But I think a huge disconnect exists today between businesses and the results they expect from their efforts. And that gap, is the result of marketing professionals failing to educate their customers about marketplace changes.
Recently, an auto dealer I know of said their ad "didn't work." When asked how they measured success, they said it was because they didn't get any calls on the vehicles in the ad.
After reviewing their ad, my belief is they were using the wrong measurement of performance. Think about it. If you've shown me a photo, the information on the car, the price, and your financing options, as a consumer, I'm probably going to do one of two things: Go to your website to see if there's more photos not included in the ad, or come to the dealership and see the vehicle in person. The only reason I might call is to see if you still had the car, if it was a great deal. The ad really gave the consumer most of the information they needed, and really gave them NO reason to call, but that's how success was to be measured.
As an ad professional, I'm big on wanting to know the client's definition of success before we plan an ad campaign. Personally, I'd much rather know how many more people viewed that car online or walked in and asked to test drive it than counting phone calls.
"Inspect what you expect," the old saying goes. But that only works if you correctly determine what you want to achieve. That dealer didn't want phone calls. He wanted people on the lot, looking at his cars.
Written by David Stringer
Vice-President, Advertising at the Tyler Morning Telegraph