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Advertising vs Rocket Science

As the world evolves with new forms of media and ways to reach consumers, I’m still amazed at how difficult advertising is for some people. While most clients say “winning isn’t everything – its the only thing,” some get in the way of building and maintaining effective advertising and marketing plans. Likewise, many a great advertising company lead their clients down the path of confusion and uncertainty with statements like, “I think this will work” and “Why don’t we try this?”

Fresh ideas and innovation drive the industry, but equal credit should be given to consistency and image building. Running a consistent campaign won’t garner advertising awards or industry trade publication, however, it will increase traffic and profitability.

It shocks me when business owners and operators make advertising decisions that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars based on their intuition or what they think “feels right.” My experience has also shown that people tend to focus too heavily on program cost or duration, rather than revenue lost or missed sales if the idea doesn’t work.

For example: a dealer decides to invest $20,000 a month in a new promotion.  This is one he hasn’t done before, but heard through the grapevine from fellow associates is successful. Lets say the promotion DOESN’T work – chalk it up to dumb luck, bad timing, a bad market or anything else you want to. Bottom line – it failed. Now in order for the dealer to afford this promotion, he took $20,000 away from his normal and consistent advertising budget.  What just happened?  Let me explain: the money was taken from something that has proven to be effective, and dedicated to a promotion that has no track record at the dealership. Furthermore, it’s not that $20,000 was wasted – it’s the incalculable amount of money LOST from lack of sales due to lack of TRAFFIC! Again, there’s no accounting for the revenue lost. It could $25,000, $50,000 or even $100,000.

The point is to dedicate time/energy/effort to devising an advertising plan that is based on facts, statistics and proven methods. Don’t deviate! It may be tempting at times, but resist the urge. You’ll see more traffic if you stick to the basics of a very well formed plan.

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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