"Only 18% of TV ad campaigns generate a positive ROI"
- It was good for branding
- It was a branding exercise
- People need to know what our brand stands for
- People will align with our brand
- At least people know about our brand now
- It was an integrated branding strategy
Heard any of these? Run for the hills! They usually come from the mouths of marketing consultants or someone whose campaign returned a zero or negative Return on Investment.
Here's the thing, branding doesn't bring people through the door, it doesn't make the till go ka-ching. If you want to waste money, do a branding campaign.
Did you know that only 18% of TV advertising produces a positive return on investment? How often do you see an ad without an offer, call to action, make you want something or simply just tells you how good they are or socially responsible? Why do these companies keep wasting money? Because they have marketers telling them they "need to build their brand" and "get it out there".
And remember what I have said previously about the Pareto Principle? Holds true here doesn't it?
I have probably spent about $2m on TV advertising in my time but I am happy to say, it returned a positive ROI. When I built a distribution through 1,500 pharmacies in three years, our advertising had two objectives;
- to get pharmacies to stock our product ("It's on TV" works wonders in a sales pitch)
- To drive customers to our pharmacies and ask for a free trial.
We didn't choose TV because it was TV, we chose TV because we were able to target our 55+ age group with targeted TV programs that we knew they watched and knew we could target them cheaper than any other medium. We didn't do any prime time big money spots because it wasn't where our best ROI was. We focused on getting our marketing dollar to stretch as far as the eye could see and ensure that every dollar brought people through the door. We were able to achieve about a 5-10times ROI. I must admit, it does take some trial and error but with correct monitoring, you can work out what works and cut out the other 80%.
We were always focused on what our objectives were and that is what your approach to any campaign should be. Does a coffee mug, pen or mouse pad with your logo on it sell more widgets? No. So why do it? Branding is merely an ego boost for marketers that builds there profile for their next job or gives them an excuse for why their last campaign tanked.
Job Interviewer: So where did you work last?
Job Interviewee: I worked at Widget Inc
Job Interviewer: Oh yeah, I know that brand, don't know what it does but I've heard of it. You guys did that really cool branding thing with the pink painted donkey. You do out of the box stuff. You're hired!
This is also one of the problems I have with many marketing consultants. At Uni they are taught so much about branding and building one that they forget the actual purpose of marketing; to get people to buy. They tell you they don't do sales, but it is exactly what you need them to do. Marketers need to be in the business of driving sales, otherwise, you will never win.