I recently had a run in with a potential client that was focusing all of his/her advertising on buying leads. I asked what the number one source of advertising was, and they responded that the leads they were buying are the #1 advertising source. I thought to myself for just a minute, why does this person think that buy leads is advertising. Then I asked what was the next biggest advertising source…after a minute of thinking….they said, probably our website.
This posed a big issue for me, one being that your website is not advertising, and two, buying leads should not be something you consider advertising from a budgetary stand point. It should be it's own line item. Forget for just a second that this person is in need help badly of agency, but let's examine what advertising planning is. In short, it is understanding the consumer and understanding the most efficient want to reach them. How do we do this? I can promise you it is not magic, but logic!
We do a great deal of research, and spend a lot of time understanding the market and how consumers choose particular channels to consume media. I have said in the past that now more than ever the consumer is in control of how they ingest media. Did you know that the most efficient way to reach a mass audience is broadcast television? But if you have a very limited budget you can hone in on your audience in a more cost effective way through cable television? Did you even know that broadcast and cable are completely different? Some do. Some don't. So don't laugh there.
The biggest problem I run in to is that companies do not want to spend the time and effort to go with an agency, or they are under the impression it is too expensive. Don't give in to that misconception of the advertising agency world. We are here to help you 100% of the time! You have to really understand the market and the consumer before you plan out your advertising. I will conclude this segment later this week with an “understanding the market and the consumer” in just a few days. Check back later this week for the nuts and bolts of advertising planning.