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Thursday, 24 May 2012

This will get you better results - but don't throw the baby out ...

Years ago I did a banner ad to promote racehorse ownership which had a horse galloping across the screen pulling a message. Worked like a charm.

Anyone who knows anything about online advertising is aware that ads with things happening tend to work better than ads where nothing happens.

Large corporate clients tend to hate this sort of thing. Too vulgar. But I recall simply making the prices flash for a posh wine merchant boosted sales over 10%

Here is some more detailed research about the subject.


However, one bit of that article got my goat a little.

"The days of solely measuring online campaign success on a cost per click or lead-generation basis are fading, with these measures indicating engagement with the ad itself rather than its success in improving brand metrics."

All attempts to stamp out phrases like "brand metrics" are to be vigorously encouraged, because they usually indicate an attempt by an agency to avoid being measured on anything more concrete.

At the start of that magnificent all-purpose door-stop, "Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing" I quoted David Ogilvy's mentor (yes, he had one).

"The only purpose of advertising is to sell. It has no other function worth mentioning" - Raymond Rubicam.

I once did a talk to the Marketing Society called, "The research said it would sell. So how come we went broke?"

So I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. Whilst measuring on pay per click is a waste of time, measuring on cost of leads, whilst not as good as measuring on cost per sale is better than things like "engagement with the ad". This nauseating expression should be swept into outer darkness, along with brand metrics, core values, mission, vision and almost any phrase including the word strategic - especially if it is a job title. If that title also incorporates the word officer, sudden death should occur.

P.S. If you want to know why ads don't work and how to create ones that do, I still have space at my copy seminar in Bristol a week from today.

I will start with an analysis of 21 ads and posters I saw yesterday. Only one was any good. The rest varied between vaguely OK, useless and pathetic. Many were incomprehensible, most were wasteful, in many the layout actively discouraged readership.

I cannot think of any industry in which so few people are utterly clueless about what they should be doing.

What an opportunity for anyone who does!

And judging by what's happening in Europe, this is a wise time to start doing better. A lot better.

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