Archived Story

Power of advertising on full display

Published 5:10am Sunday, November 25, 2012

Advertising, in all of its multitude of formats, can be a very powerful tool and the proof of that can be found in some unlikely places.

So, what am I using to back up this claim?

It’s not the track record of multimillion dollar companies that have had great success through diverse advertising campaigns. It’s not the extensive market surveys and research that offer cold, hard statistics to substantiate it. It’s not even the testimony of business owners themselves, many of whom will tell you firsthand that they can see direct correlation between traffic, sales and advertising.

No, I’m basing it on far less scientific data: the whims of my 5-year-old and 2-year-old daughters.

What do they know about marketing you might ask. Absolutely nothing, but they offer clear evidence of how well targeted advertising works, especially during the holiday season.

The cries of “I want that” and “Can I get that for Christmas?” have been ringing through my house for weeks now.

The holiday toy advertisements on television and the catalogs filled with products permeate into their heads and create mental images of the new items that they just have to have.

Do they really need those things? Of course not. We have a house full of toys, but smart marketing plants the seeds and creates that desire.

Adults are no different. We all see things that we want or get ideas planted in our subconscious about the latest gadget or gizmo that we cannot live without.

And that’s how marketing works.

You may not see a direct sale every single time but those messages get through and help influence decisions.

They key of any advertising — newspaper, television, direct mail, or any other type — is to create top of mind awareness. The goal is for customers to think of your product or service.

Businesses that want to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing based solely on coupons redeemed or the number of times that someone proudly proclaims they saw an advertisement somewhere are missing the big picture.

Effective advertising is often more subtle than that.

Everyone isn’t in the market for something every day, but consistent marketing can ensure that, when they are, it is your business that comes to mind first.

That is the real way that advertising makes a difference — on young and old alike — and has for decades.

Sometimes it takes wisdom “from the mouths of babes” to remind us of some very simple truths.


Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCaldwell_IT.

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