When Marketing is a Waste of Money

christian advertising agency tampa fl

It happens.  With the best of intentions, you sign off on some advertising.  (Because that’s the right thing to do, because that’s one way businesses grow.)  And it runs.  And you listen as it lands with a dull thud, and you watch as it vanishes without a trace… again.  You wonder if you just wasted your money.

You’d probably be right.

Consider, as a metaphor, your quest for financial independence. “Passbook Savings Accounts” – remember those? – can’t get you where you need to go anymore because they lack horsepower. Very little risk, very little return.   If this was the sum total of your financial-advisor’s advice, you’d fire him.  Because your retirement requires a smarter strategy.

There’s a business parallel.  Successful, investment-savvy entrepreneurs live by ROI.  And because exact returns on investment with marketing are non-specific metrics, those owners may decide to limit their exposure.  “Keep it cheap, lose less.” The non-strategic result is often unplanned, unconnected and under-performing. That’s “passbook” advertising… and it’s largely a waste of money.

Some justification and motivation for navigation allocation.

advertising agency creative strategyFifty years ago, we picked gas-station maps to plot our course because they were plentiful and cheap.  Sadly, they also gave us questionable routes, detours for road work, and chronic frustration. On the other hand, when you click on the GPS in your Smartphone — you have a real navigator.  A confident disembodied voice that’s strategically-informed.  By analyzing all of the possible routes, by looking at the big picture, by factoring in a variety of changing conditions, this smarter solution delivers happier endings.   Because every turn has been calculated.

To achieve a clear understanding of ROI with your advertising campaigns, you should start by finding True North: aka “brand clarity”, the kind that comes from a Creative Strategy.  It requires down-to-earth research, practical analysis and predictive outcomes.   But of course, you don’t have to do this by yourself.  You just need to invest in a voice you can trust.

Cumulative impact is seldom an accident.

Ideally, all business owners want all advertising investments to be connected.  They seek the synergy that comes when this week’s marketing is tied to next month’s and next year’s.  How does this happen?

When every turn is calculated.

For the last several years, almost all of our clients have trusted us to start smart, with a Creative Strategy and Positioning Statement project.  Finding a winning strategy may be a process we engineer independently as an advertising agency based in Tampa, FL, but we also do it collaboratively with the client.

The improved perspective that results in such strategic brand development is the difference between “cost” and “investment”.

The former is a waste of money.

The latter never is.

About the Author: John Shirley