Multiply Your Advertising Investment

Some advertising options have a greater return on investment then others. They have the ability to multiply your advertising investment by a greater factor. Is the risk of these options scaled to the possible reward? If not, select  tactics could be undervalued investment options.

Stock traders and M&A brokers spend their whole career looking for undervalued investments. Could this be a new lens for making marketing decisions?

What are the risks to a particular tactic or campaign?

  • It doesn’t work – Nothing happens, no feet move, no mice click. You’re advertising dollars go to waste. Opportunity lost = Opportunity cost.
  • It works too well – Too many responses (out of stock, poor customer service). Think Oprah and KFC grilled chicken
  • You piss off valued customers with the message or execution. It’s not congruent with who they think you are. Loss of brand equity and future value.

What are the rewards?

  • New customers consider your product or service. They try it. They like. They come back.
  • Existing customers come more often or spend more.

So what multipliers are potentially undervalued?

  • Creative executions built on your product’s singe universal truth.
  • Selecting a highly targeted (and highly profitable) audience and crafting a relevant message to them (and perhaps only them).  
  • Customer service that exceeds expectations or is consistently good.
  • Digital – And I don’t mean viral or social. I mean highly targeted pay per click ads that bring customers through the sales funnel more directly than any other advertising medium.
  • Removing the barriers to trial and making it as close to risk free as possible for someone to try your product which is completely unknown to them. How much is a lifetime customer worth?
  • Distracted by new media we’ve forgotten how to reach out and touch someone – Installations, intercepts, other guerrilla, even…sandwich boards.
  • Enduring sponsorship of a group aligned with your target group.
  • When it comes to awareness and changing perceptions there is no better ROI then a PR plan developed and executed by public relations professionals.
  • Actual news – A new product, a real product improvement, a genuine commitment to anything, standing for something.
  • Saying thank you. Don’t forget the customers that built your business while you’re out chasing new ones. Retaining and growing your existing customer base is perhaps the best strategy in tough economic times.

But individuals are the fundamental multiplier. The people that have tried everything on this list and create new tactics all the time. More importantly they know a unique brand drives everything from business strategy all the way down to advertising messaging and tactics. These people question the precedent and the way it’s always been done. They make you think about your business before they think about your marketing and your advertising. Whether they’re inside or outside your organization these people are invaluable to your business.

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* To any lost macroeconomic scholars that might stubble upon this: The use of the term multiplier in this context has little to do with Keynes, but it is where the idea came from.

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