Ad Sanitizer

Applying the 80/20 Rule works for just about everything in life. But in the marketing and advertising biz, it’s probably closer to 95/5. That is to say—95% of your results will come from just 5% of your activities.

To say it another way, most marketing and advertising today just plain sucks, is uneventful, and flat-out worthless.

American merchant and early pioneer in marketing, John Wanamaker, discovered this over 100 years ago and famously said…

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

It’s a multifaceted problem with many layers…

…it’s not just “where” you spend it…

…or “how” you spend it…

…or even “when” you spend it…

…it’s much more complicated than that.

For instance, what if a vast majority of marketing and advertising “inputs” (product assumptions, audience assumptions, targeting, media, and messaging to name a few,) are incorrect?

Well, surely your “outputs” (results) will be bad.

The trivia pundits like to say that “the average person is exposed to over 5000 messages a day (compared to about 500 per day in the 1970s,)” and if this is accurate then we’ve got one hell of a marketing and advertising problem folks, wouldn’t you say?

It doesn’t take a marketing/advertising “expert” to see just how bad it is either—all you must do is pay close attention (if you can pay for it) and you’ll see it clearly…

…see how most advertising talks about what their product IS and not what it DOES…

…see how today’s over-caffeinated creative committee clowns are more concerned about “creative IQ postering” and being “clever” than creating a “return” for the client…

…see how it’s all “me–me–me” centric and not “them-them-them” problem/solution focused.

And the ad messaging, wow.

Wow as in…

…What in the hell are they thinking!

…Oh no, they didn’t really pay someone to create that did they?…

…Well, as the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.”

Here is a nice little gem from a famous adman David Ogilvy on advertising…

…”When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”

Unfortunately, the advertising and marketing world has gone backward and is only getting worse, not better.

It’s become too easy…

…too easy to reach billions of people online with your own personal digital megaphone…

…too easy to interrupt and spam anyone/everyone 24 hours per day with your ads…

…too easy to get addicted to short-term shiny new objects and worthless vanity metrics that come with daily instant dopamine data highs…

…and, unfortunately, too easy to destroy consumer trust along the way.

It’s a tale of oversupply (ads) and limited demand (attention.)

So, before you continue wasting $95 for every $100 you spend on advertising and marketing today, you should ask yourself these simple questions…

…”whose it for?”…

…”what’s it do?”…

…”how will they benefit?”…

…”ask them if they want to join your movement?”

Coffee or Tea?

Yoda (Google) has a lot of information.

Just the other day I typed in the proverbial question…

…”Tea or Coffee?”

And Yoda coughed up 1,780,000,000 results.

So, I decided to play a trick on Yoda and ask the same question differently…

…”Coffee or Tea?”

This time, Yoda only came up with 1,630,000,000 results!

Humm.

Does this mean that there are 9.2% more tea drinkers out there than coffee drinkers, that 150,000,000 results favor tea or coffee, or that tea drinkers are more interested in the answer to the all-important question, “Tea or Coffee?”

I dunno.

I think this is all quite meaningless in the grand scheme of things, don’t you?

Much like today’s marketing and advertising world.

Much ado about nothing I’m afraid.

Importance is relative.

And so are the questions you ask.

Choose wisely.

Invest in the “knowing” not the “telling.”

Until next time.

To your everlasting unruliness ~

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