Fooled By Advertising

Advertising is largely ignored and not trusted as a medium for building a brand.  Existing powerful brands benefit from advertising because there is already trust.  There is a brand connection imprinted on the psyche of millions of customers of Ford, Coke and IBM.  These powerful brands have to advertise to continually keep attention and remind their constituency of their relevance.

If you are an unknown brand or a startup, then the strategy of advertising can be alluring.  It is attractive as one of the go to market strategies because of:

  • Notoriety. We see the glitzy images and pictures.  The vanity of seeing ourselves in print or media gives us a high.
  • Safety. If you are caught up in a corporate mindset, then it feels safe to go with traditional marketing approaches, regardless of whether they are obsolete and do not connect.  If everyone around you buys in, then the decision becomes easy to do what does not work.
  • Emotion. With advertising, it is typically difficult to measure.  Often times, it is desirable to be vague rather than specific in metrics, conversions and analytics.  It is better for some to rely on emotion and disengage from reality.
  • Ignorance. Advertising is a default marketing method.  You might think this is marketing as it has always been.  It takes little thought, creativity and strategy.  Just put something out there and see what happens.

The cash cow of advertising is big business.  The reasons above play into why many marketing departments and unassuming small businesses buy advertising.  The problem is that it fails to build a brand.  It is selling and none of us like to be sold by strangers.

Content Marketing

For building a brand, there is an antidote.  While established brands are spending time and money on expensive advertising, build something more lasting, strategic and effective.  Content marketing is what helps to tell your story and create fans.

With relevant content that brings value and builds trust over time, your credibility and connection to the marketplace builds a pipeline of opportunities in today’s day and age.  The focus should be on helping, not selling.

What you offer solves a problem.  Articulate that problem and tell your story through solving the problem.  Your buyers are looking for specific solutions, but they want to know you understand them and bring ideas, strategies and solutions for helping them win.

Advertising is a pretty picture which comes, goes and has to be refreshed continually.  It is the old game.

Content endures and builds momentum for your brand. The systems for attracting a customer are readily available today to position you and connect directly with potential buyers.

How are you building your brand?  Feel free to comment.


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Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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