If you knew the pilot flying your plane hadn’t studied physics, you might be a little worried. Even if he or she wasn’t an expert in the field, you’d hope they had a basic understanding of “lift.” At the very least, you’d want them to think the concept was important, right?
When you choose your advertising agency — the people you will trust to make money for your business — do you make sure they understand the basic concepts of marketing?
An agency that hasn't studied the last 100 years of advertising is as lazy as a pilot that doesn’t care about physics.
People have always bought things for extremely simple reasons: It makes them feel good. It fulfills a basic need or desire, and gives them emotional stimulation. Whether it’s insurance or a luxury vacation, people put their credit card down because it will take a weight off their shoulders.
60 or so years ago, the advertising world was at a crucial point, when research and study were mixing more and more with emotion, art, and creativity. Direct marketing and general advertising were stealing from each other, and each got better as a result.
Today, social media marketing and traditional advertising have the same potential — to learn from each other. Instead, both seem to be ignoring the other. Social media being the worst offender. You have agencies and people with no knowledge of history advising businesses on what customers want and need. Which gives you fluff campaigns that generate “awareness” but no sales.
And you have print campaigns going out into the world presented as if the internet doesn’t exist, and people won’t talk about them, for better or worse.
Advertising works. If your advertising has failed, look to whom you have put in charge. Are they students of history, or are they pretending that they’re inventing the future? When they talk about a social media campaign, can they put it in terms of past marketing successes, or is it presented as if this type of advertising is fundamentally new?
100 years is a long time for a business, but it’s no time at all for human psychology. What worked then will work now — you just need to pay attention.