How to Avoid Advertising and Marketing Failures
Ad-blockers. Why do people use them? I do. So I had to ask myself that question.
Answer: I don’t like being interrupted by nonsense. Ads are unwanted – unless you’re shopping for that exact thing.
Every day, I set goals for myself, jobs to do, things to get done. But when I get a telemarketer calling, or pop-up ad on my screen, they interrupt my work-process.
So I block them.
If someone calls me that’s not on my contact list, then they get blocked. (And my phone is on vibrate only and not nearby. If the call is important, I’ll return it – when I’m not working.)
You and I don’t need distractions. Life is short enough already.
On the other hand, when does marketing and advertising work? When you are already looking for something like they’re presenting.
Is it that simple?
Schwartz says that good advertising is based on Mass Desires. He defines those as the “mass spread of a private want”. Meaning – there is something I want out there and someone has produced a product that will help me become or attain that want I need filled.
The problem with most advertising is that it’s really schlock. (You can fill in any other word you want there.)
Why don’t I visit Facebook or Amazon or even the Google search engine to get my work done? They are rife with useless ads that don’t give me products I need or want. They are ad-sponsored. So they plug ads in everywhere they can. And the vast majority of those ads are crud. (Sure I use search engines – just not those with ads, or who steal my personal usage data.)
Most advertising is “schlock” because copywriters, advertising managers, and even CEO’s won’t look up and study the classic books on copywriting and advertising.
One of these ignored classics is “Breakthrough Advertising”. (And there is a list in the back of this to help you find the most recommended other classics.)
These core data have been known since ads were first invented (some were even found posted on newly-excavated walls of Pompeii…)
A department store tycoon at the turn of the last century, John Wanamaker, is also famous for his complaint about advertising: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”.
By the quality of advertising today, anyone can estimate that it’s far more than half-wasted these days. The vast bulk of ads out there are wasted marketing dollars.
You need only go to the massive ad buys for the Super Bowl to see the gargantuan waste of advertising money that can’t accurately be measured for any actual return on investment (ROI).
Instead, you’ll see excuses being offered as “brand awareness” and “corporate goodwill”. Advertising awards are now based on how entertaining any ad is, without regard to how effective they were in sales.
Ads should be designed as “salesmanship in print” (or video, or audio) – and so an ad is only as effective as it sells. That’s the only viable metric – did sales increase?
And that’s the reason I made this review and field guide. Because the most-effective advertising how-to books have already been out there for decades and, in some cases, over a century. They are commonly ignored as “old-fashioned” now – yet humanity hasn’t really changed in our 10,000-year history and before. The core tenets of salesmanship haven’t changed because people haven’t changed. The best marketers of the ages deserve your study.
Schwartz’ classic has been available over half a century now by itself. But no one else has come close to understanding his breadth of proved knowledge about this subject.
And, like the other classic books, you can find these principles scattered through various other marketing books. The classic books are repeatedly recommended by other marketers because they worked for them. Reinventing the wheel when you have several perfectly good ones sitting in your library, is a waste of your life-time.