The Evolution of Advertising

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An 1890s advertisement showing model Hilda Cla...

An 1890s advertisement showing model Hilda Clark in formal 19th century attire. The ad is titled Drink Coca-Cola 5¢. (US) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After reading an article with the same title as this page I decided as a former advertising sales person for a local TV station and current advertising business entrepreneur I should post on the changes I’ve seen the past 30+ years.

As the last post I did pointed out most advertising sales reps who call on local business owners do so for the purpose of selling only one type of advertising or another. They are mostly trained by managers who believe in what they sell, but often have little experience in both buying and selling their media, so therefore on some level they may have some bias, which is inevitable.

I’m not saying the average sales person, who’s just out trying to make a living can’t be objective. However my experience has taught me there’s a difference in say a newspaper, radio or TV account exec who are under pressure to perform and a person focused more on the customer than they are on selling enough to pay their bills.

Traditional medias have seen the shift in dollars once allocated to them now being spent on digital media, like the Internet and more recently Mobile advertising. This shift has caused most media companies to scramble trying to add digital media to their method of selling “packages” of advertising. This bundling offers the perception of using the Internet to advertisers but often falls short of providing real results for the local business owner because it isn’t specifically designed for their business but rather offers a “one size fits all” approach.

Traditional medias have for the most part adapted by offering advertising on their websites or social media sold as “impressions” or “page views” and the method of measuring being only the CPM (cost per thousand) way of hopefully exposing an advertising message to its intended audience.

However digital advertising can go far beyond just exposing your business’s message to an audience and can “target” a specific audience when they are in the moment of “searching for more information”. This new way of creating advertising campaigns is far more cost effective as well as much more accurate when it attracts the people looking for solutions your business has to offer.

The most significant change in buying advertising for small business owners is understanding how to buy the right channels of advertising for their business and how much to spend to be effective. Most companies find advertising budgets can be reduced when campaigns become more cost effective because they are reaching specifically the right people with the right message at the right time.

In a nearly half a trillion dollar industry I could estimate billions of dollars a year are mostly wasted on advertising that provides little or no benefit to the business paying the bill.

How can I know that is true?

Because I talk with business owners everyday about their advertising and I often walk away in silence, not wanting to offend, but wishing I could just say “your wasting your money on advertising that isn’t going to give the results you expect”!

Because advertising results are intangible (or rather that’s how it used to be) most business owners still buy media they like thinking that’s what their customers must like too. That assumption is why so much advertising is ineffective, costly and frustrates me as one watching, wanting to provide the information to prove how digital advertising can be measured and traceable to prove its effectiveness.

So if you become a regular reader of my blog you will hear from my experience about what being effective with every advertising dollar really means, plus lots of links to others who prove what I say is true, so  you won’t just hear it from me!

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