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Mick Torbay: I’m Mick Torbay from Wizard of Ads Toronto and I’m discussing the mistakes your competitors are making and how you can benefit. They mess up, you profit.
Today’s talk is directly related to the last one. I was ranting about how clients spend too much time and energy worrying about media and not enough time worrying about the message, or to put it another way, they spend more time thinking about how to say compared to how much they concern themselves with what they’re saying.
But this time, I want to talk about the media because it’s easy to mess that up as well, especially today. I generally love now. Now is awesome, but there are some downsides now that we didn’t have before.
Back in the ’50s, there were a very limited number of ways to get your message into the brains of the consumer. For businesses, this was a good thing, frankly, because it meant that if you were in the newspaper or on the radio or on TV or on a billboard, you had a decent shot of connecting with a huge percentage of your target. We didn’t have pay per click back then.
Today, we live in the era of new media and the downside of new media is that people believe anything new is automatically better or more effective than anything old. And while this isn’t the case, it’s more exciting to do the new stuff and people will make fun of you for sticking with the tried and tested, but it’s easy to assume that everything new will replace everything old. Consider this quote, “The time may be near at hand when we shall not need to fuss with roads nor railway tracks, bridges, etc. We can bid ado to all these things. The automobile can now be dispensed with.”
This was published back in January of 1905. Journalist Amos Root was reporting on the Wright Brothers daily flights over Huffman Prairie near Dayton, Ohio. We have planes now. That’s a real thing, not just a dream. Now that we can fly, all previous transportation methods are obsolete. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.
Here’s what he screwed up. Just because we have planes doesn’t mean we don’t drive anymore. Human’s are simply not that way. Just because we have the internet doesn’t mean we don’t read or listen to the radio anymore. Might look different, but the way we act doesn’t actually change much. Statistically, we listen to the radio roughly the same amount we did 20 years ago. It’s actually slightly higher now, but that’s only because people listen to their favorite station on their computers at work, but that’s not really enough to change the data. That just replaced one radio that everybody used to listen to in the office. Now you get your own. A new method, same medium.
But you’d never believe that if you talked to an advertiser. Really? Radio? That’s old school. Okay. Why does every new car still have a radio in it, dumb ass? Is it because the car companies enjoy throwing away money on stuff we don’t want? Your competitor is like everyone. The new and shiny thing is exciting. Let’s do that, let’s be on the cutting edge. Good. Let them try out the latest thing. Might work, might not. Let him be the guinea pig. You would be wiser to stick with what’s working now, right now. How you reach the most people, the most often, for the least amount of money. It might the latest thing, but it might not. How can we tell you what is working?
Nobody knows what might work in the future. Want to gamble your money on something untested? I don’t. Our clients pay us on growth, not by the amount of work we do. That means every decision we make is designed to improve our client’s top line revenue. Keeps everyone honest. So if I recommend a media plan it’s because it’s the one that makes me the most money and I get a little more when my client gets a lot more. See how that works? So what do I recommend? I recommend what’s working now, right now.
I’m Mick Torbay from Wizard of Ads Toronto, making the world a better place one commercial at a time.
Ten Common Marketing Mistakes (Lesson 6)
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