Responsibility in Advertising

Information overload has reached a critical level. Recent research has shown that an average worker can lose 10 IQ points after one workday.

Marketing at its core, is really about creating and communicating a value proposition.  The aim is to have consumers respond to the story being told and take a corresponding action, purchasing a good or service.

Where things can get sticky is in the varying opinions and qualifications of those in charge of creating and communicating a memorable message.  Finding the right message for the right target audience is no easy task when marketing departments (often the most poorly trained area within a company) are commanded to “take the company to the next level”.

The average consumer sees over 3000 commercial messages in a day and knowledge workers are interrupted an average of 168 times per day. That’s more than 20 times and hour, or once every three minutes all day long.  Information overload has reached a critical level. Recent research has shown that an average worker can lose 10 IQ points after one workday.  That’s more than the 4 IQ points lost to smoking marijuana, who would have thought?!  Note: I am told that the effects are not always permanent.

What to Do About the Clutter?
Taking on the task of communicating a clear message and bringing responsibility into the process is nicely demonstrated with the two companies highlighted below:

European based Diana Derval created, “Wait Marketing”, which she defines with the following 6M’s:
Mission: What is the objective of your communication?
Means: What is the size of your budget?
Message: who are your customers? Which main message do you want to deliver?
Moment: What is the best moment for approaching your target customers?
Media: Which media are available and which ones are the most adapted to your offering?
Measurement: How to measure the return on investment of your communication?

Ms. Derval’s structured approach to creating Wait Marketing campaigns that communicate “the right message at the right moment” can have tremendous returns for companies.  In the case of TomTom, a GPS provider, COO Alexander Ribbink approved an investment of a quarter of their turnover into advertising. This bold investment paid off handsomely when the company’s turnover quintupled within the year.

“It is important that an aim never be defined in terms of activity or methods.  It must always relate directly to how life is better for everyone..” Dr. Edward Deming, 1900-1993, American Statistician

Outsource Marketing
Pioneer of the Responsible Marketing TM process, Patrick Byers and his team say it “combines the tactics our minds tel us we need to prioritize, with the principles our hearts tell us we need to embrace”, through application of:

Strategic Responsibility: without planning, projects are doomed.

Message Responsibility: Tell the truth and make it clear, avoid clutter, speak in a human voice and begin talking with your customers, not at them.  Seek permission and honor privacy.

Casting Responsibility: Have the right people in the right roles, both internally and externally.
Execution Responsibility: Require hat all plans flow from a strategic plan, follow or develop best practices, learn to love project management, follow timelines, stay within budgets, develop metrics for each initiative, apply lessons after every project,

understand that reactive marketing happens but make it the exception, not the rule.

Environmental responsibility: Address eco-initiatives; such as recycling through the establishment of empowered teams who ensure everyone understands what internal processes are to be followed.

Social Responsibility: Help reverse the disturbing lack of corporate trust to improve public opinion, enhance customer relations and attract and retain talent.

ROI Responsibility: Post-campaign assessment results are a must, a plan without metrics of some type is incomplete.

Why Bother? I’m Too Busy! Using proven techniques such as these, marketers can begin to bring accountability and trust into what at times is a shattered organization.

I’ve heard that in many European cities, dogs are so well trained, they are let off their leads and remain obedient with no mishaps.  It seems only fair that marketing departments be required to invest the same level of expectation and training into the employees who are so often called upon to produce miraculous results.  A poorly trained employee can inadvertently contribute to unnecessary revenue losses, something to be avoided in both cases.

Becoming responsible takes discipline but the payoff can be tremendous. Focus and perseverance allows us to earn the gratitude, appreciation and most importantly the long-term business opportunities from the many internal and external customers that we serve.

Link to original Profit Magazine article Responsibility in Advertising-1

Outsource Marketing’s Responsible Marketing TM,:
DervalReserach, Wait Marketing,:

Disclaimer: All insights and opinions are my own and have been formed over many years of practical business and personal experiences; as both an employee and a business owner. They do not represent the views of  my current employer. MM

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