On the heels of "the big game," we all start to think about what makes for great advertising. (Or maybe that's just me?) Is it just one of those things where you know it when you see it, or can great advertising be created following a series of logical steps? I saw an ad recently that was so good I watched it several times on the DVR. This ad not only made me feel more positive about the brand, it made me want to use the brand more often. Don’t you hope all the ads you have a hand in crafting are this effective?
Great advertising often stops you in your tracks; it makes you take notice. In my experience, great advertising is both art and marketing know-how. When an ad is considered particularly good by those who view it, it’s usually highly entertaining, aesthetically arresting, or both; and, there is a strong likelihood people will respond positively to it, as well as the brand being advertised.
The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) did a study in the 90s called the ARF Copy Research Validity Project, and many of its findings are still considered industry guideposts. One key and lingering concept that came from this study was that the more likable an ad is, the more memorable it will be, and generally, the more effective it will be overall. I can still hear the advertising creatives cheering over that decree!
But we all know that great advertising needs to be more than just likable and memorable. It has to be relevant to your target audience, it has to differentiate your brand from the competition, and, ultimately, it has to build positive imagery for your brand and sell product. This calls for know-how.
Before an ad is created, advertisers often start with strategic research to gain insights about their markets and customers. They seek to understand the various needs of different customer segments and matchup key product benefits with each segment; they also explore how customers relate to their brand versus competition. Then they typically make great strides to ensure the right kind of research is conducted before an ad is launched, and that best practices are followed to ensure the most valid and reliable research methods and metrics are used. They test to ensure the ad communicates what it is intended to communicate to the target audience. They test to make sure the ad is likable, memorable and believable, and whether it generates a positive feeling about the brand. Many advertisers also test the ad’s ability to be persuasive and affect a sale.
But not all ads are launched with the same objectives. When a company wants to introduce a new product and generate awareness, the primary objective of the advertising is to first and foremost grab the target’s attention long enough for them to take notice and commit the product and brand to memory. But unless the ad is relevant (and likable) to the target audience, the target audience is not too likely to remember the product or brand being advertised, or even the ad itself.
If the main purpose of an ad is to affect sales, will the target audience not only remember it and the brand being advertised, but also recall the distinctive advantages your product has so that when it’s decision-time they choose yours over alternatives? Not necessarily. But fortunately, advertising research can help ensure that your ads effectively communicate the intended message to the target audience. Advertising research can also help ensure the target likes the advertising, and that the advertising creates some degree of emotional bond between the brand, the product, and the buyer, and ultimately has a positive impact on sales. I think we all know that’s usually a lot easier said than done!
Home Innovation Research Labs is uniquely postured to help brand managers and advertisers in the residential building space better understand and hone the effectiveness of their advertising. Not only do we have a deep and wide understanding of the industry itself, all its key players (your targets), and their needs, but we also have a marketing research team that can take that knowledge and apply it more effectively than anyone to your specific product marketing and advertising needs. All we do is research for the home building industry, so no need to build in a “learning curve” for us to get up to speed with the task at hand.
I’d love to discuss your business-to-business and consumer advertising objectives in more detail and determine how we might be able to help you meet your goals quickly and cost-effectively. No matter what level of finish or development your ad is in, we’re ready when you are. Give me a call (301.430.6304) or contact me online.***