4 Major Reasons Why Your Advertising Dollars Don’t Go As Far Anymore

By John Nye | April 26, 2016


For centuries, advertising was one of the best ways to drum up new business and increase your revenue stream. Advertising was able to deliver for many companies because it was one of the only ways to reach new potential customers.

But then came the internet and the over abundance of choice.

As the business world became more “flat” with the creation of eCommerce and digital storefront-esque websites, customers were left desiring more from the companies they purchased from, such as:

  • More product details
  • More insight into the customer experience
  • Cost comparisons between businesses and their products

These are just a few things that have lead to the current state of marketing and how today's customer shops.

So how does today’s customer shop? They’re a research-heavy, instant gratification-seeking buyer. And with the limited time and space that advertising provides, it leaves an information-hungry customer with an empty stomach. Many may say that customers will be starved for more information when very little is shared. But, to be honest, customers now have so many more choices and can find a plethora of other competitors to share their money with.

There are plenty of reasons why advertising dollars do not go as far as they once did. But today, we present to you 4 major reasons why advertising is bringing in less and less customers for your business.

1. There’s a lot of noise

Picture Times Square in New York City. In the United States, it is the Mecca of advertising, especially in the biggest city in the country. As you can image, advertising space costs a pretty penny in a spot like this and does call the attention of many eyeballs.

But what will you remember seeing while you’re there?

In the picture below, you may see Extra Gum and Pepsi. However, there are so many ads that are bombarding your senses that they seem to cancel themselves out. I mean, even the cabs carry mini billboards on the roof of their cars!

Unfortunately for television commercials, the same bombardment of the senses takes place. Commercial after commercial become a chunk of time that is disregarded and even used as a time to walk away from the television. For advertising to be effective, you need to reach the customer where they want, when they want, and how they want, which brings us to reason #2.

new-york-742795_640_1.jpg2. Advertising doesn’t always reach your customers where and how they want to be reached

How well do you know your customer? Do you know when they may be the most receptible to an ad? Maybe what medium will reach them the best? These are the kinds of questions that you need to answer to truly make your marketing dollars go further for you.

For instance, if you’re targeting a young prospect that is usually on-the-go, it may make sense to advertise in a place that is suitable for this demographic, such as a podcast. In this particular scenario, via the podcast, would it make sense to direct your potential leads to a lengthy website url to punch into a computer later on (as they’re most likely listening to the podcast elsewhere) or a quick, 6-digit text (SMS) number that the lead can use to voluntarily add themselves instantly to an email list? The answer, the SMS number, as it is quick and allows for a more immediate opt-in.

Now, if your target market is primarily comprised of retirees that are looking to build a home, would it make sense to send them an email or a tech-savvy QR code? I’d put my money on the email as it may be the easiest medium for them to immediately consume the information.

When it comes to today’s marketing, it’s not just about getting your name out there. It’s all about reaching your demographics where they want to be reached, how they want to be reached.

guy-933318_640_1.jpg3. The message lacks value

I'm sure many of you have watched a television ad before and thought, “What did that ad have to do with this company’s product?” (the image below is also an example of this).

Unfortunately, those are the businesses that don’t market with a customer-centric mindset. Instead, buzzwords and imagery are used to allude to a greater amount of experience and quality, while leaving the customer with little to no information that is useful for their purchasing process.

So how do you combat that and challenge your competition? Provide value to your prospective leads!

To truly give what your customers want, you need to give them specific information around what they want to find out. For instance, if you are a home builder that prides itself in cost-effective home building, provide content on that topic that will show what allows you to pass down the savings to your customers. How? Provide price ranges, communicate where you can save the customer money (but also prove that the work is quality-driven). To be put simply, the more the prospective lead knows about your business, the more inclined they are to trust and interact with your brand.

hand-846092_640_1.jpg4. Very little trust accompanies the message

Growing up, and even today, you’ll see business marketing themselves as “the best.” One of the best examples of this was showcased in the movie, ‘Elf,’ where Will Ferrell’s character (Buddy the Elf) read a coffee shop’s claim to having the “World’s Best Cup of Coffee.” Feel free to watch that seen right here.

Now Buddy the Elf may have been convinced that this small, New York diner had the best cup of Joe in the Big Apple. However, many customers would not believe that statement without some form of support.

So what do you do to capitalize on this? Provide support for your claims!

For example, instead of featuring copy that simply states that your company,:

  • “(Your company name) was voted the #1 home builder in Minnesota.”

mention the group or publication that featured you, as well! Such as:

  • “(Your company name) was voted the #1 home builder in Minnesota by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities.”

This strategy bodes well for your credibility, as well as the quality of the product or service you sell. This kind of 3rd-party support is sometimes what a lead ultimately needs in order to become a customer.


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