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Sunday, September 24, 2017

The End of Advertising As We Know It
By Sergio Zyman with Armin Brott. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002.

(page 1)
"But 30-second ads are only a tiny part of this book, and, more important, they're only a tiny part of what advertising today is all about. Unfortunately, not enough people understand that advertising encompasses communication of all kinds, which is the whole reason why advertising, as you know it, is dead."

"It doesn't work, it's a colossal waste of money, and if you don't wise up, it could end up destroying your company (or your client's companies) and your brand."

(page 3)
"Marketing isn't about trinkets and trash; it's about selling. It's not an art; it's a science. And if you're not getting a return on the money you spend on marketing, you're going to have trouble."

(page 13)
"Traditional advertising that only entertains doesn't work, and companies that don't get wise to this are going to fall. I tell people that awareness - which is what most ads are designed to increase - doesn't get you sales, and I am baffled by how many people still don't believe me. Sometimes all I can do is shake my head and laugh. How are Kmart's and Enron's awareness levels now that they're in Chapter 11? Awareness doesn't sell. All it does is get you into the consideration set. And then you still have to sell."

(page 14)
"Simply put, the goal of advertising is to sell more stuff to more people more often for more money. Get used to that sentence because you're going to see it a lot in this book."

"Now, as much as I'd like to claim that idea as my own, it's not really all that original. When companies first started advertising, the whole purpose was to help them sell more of their products or services. And back in the beginning it did exactly that. Somewhere along the line, though, something went terribly wrong. Instead of focusing on their client's consumers, ad agencies and advertising executives at companies fell in love with themselves. And instead of trying to help their clients increase sales, they hid behind their creativity, shrouding themselves in mystery and concentrating on coming up with award-winning (or simply spectacular) ads that end up more as works of art than works of communication."

(page 16)
"No matter what anyone else says, the truth is that advertising is not an art. It may involve some artistry, but in the final analysis it's a science whose results are 100 percent measurable."

"If anyone in your purchasing department bought a million-dollar machine that looked beautiful but didn't work, you'd boot him and his machine out the door in a heartbeat. Businesses can't afford to have assets sitting around not generating any return."

(page 29)
"To do business effectively you need to gather only data that are relevant to what you're doing, data that help you understand what consumer want. And since this is a book on advertising, let's narrow that even further. Gather only data that allow you to accurately - and quickly - measure how effective your advertising initiatives are. Anything else is a total waste of time."

(page 75)
"Chapter 3 - Fish Where the Fish Are"

"Fish where the fish are and you'll be a lot more successful than if you fish where they aren't."

(page 79)
"We know that different customers require different media approaches. (After all you can't use a bass lure to catch trout.) But traditionally advertisers and their agencies took the shotgun approach - hitting as many people as possible regardless of whether they were potential customers. Or, if you want to keep going with this fish thing, we could say that this traditional approach is kind of like dropping dynamite into a lake and blasting as many fish out of the water as possible regardless of whether they're edible."

"Of course, the shotgun (or dynamite) approach sounded too crass, so advertising people switched to terms such as reach and frequency, which are basically the same as dynamite, anyway. Advertising goals were set as reaching x percent of the population y number of times each month (or week or day or whatever) - still pretty indiscriminate."

"That approach obviously wasn't going to work for everyone. So the next trend was continuity, which was basically a variation on the reach-and-frequency method. Continuity was based on the idea that if you want people to buy something, you have to reach them every day. So the metric became how often you could reach people."

"Continuity didn't work, either. Finally, someone spent a little time analyzing customers and their behavior, eventually figuring out that content and placement were really the most important factors of all - that what you say and where you say it are more important that how many people you say it to."

(page 87)
"The Importance of Having Research-Based Data"

"To get where you want to go tomorrow, you need to know where you are today with your consumers. How do they think, feel, and act toward your brand? The only way you're ever going to be able to answer these questions is by doing research. (I can't emphasize enough the importance of doing research before you start plunking down your hard-earned dollars buying media.) If you don't know who your consumers are, you won't be able to reach them. It's that simple."

(page 93)
"This gets me back to the point I've made before and that I'll keep making over the course of this book: Making people aware of your brand won't work anymore (that's assuming it ever did)."

(page 175)
"People are generally pretty cynical and they often attribute the worst to everyone. They know that companies pay for advertising and they know that companies sponsor events for no other reason than to get their name in the paper. That, of course, makes people a little suspicious of both. But when a piece of information is put out there by a supposedly neutral third party, people are a lot more likely to believe it. What the media says about you often has a much more significant impact on your business than almost anything else."

(page 186)
"Consumers are getting more and more cynical - and less loyal - by the day. Advances in manufacturing and communications technology have nearly eliminated any substantive physical differences between competing products. As a result, consumers are frustrated: They want everything cheap, they want it yesterday, and, in a lot of ways, they really don't care who gives it to them."

"Why is this happening? Lack of relevance and the absence of any other worthwhile benefits. And where those things are missing, price quickly becomes a substitute (whether that's a good or bad thing depends)."

"It's pretty hard to retain customers in an environment where they don't perceive any difference between your product and anyone else's. But hard or not, that's exactly what you have to do. The big question, though, is how. And the big answer goes all the way back to the basics: You do it by differentiating yourself, by giving consumers something they can't get anywhere else. In this case, that means satisfying their emotional wants and needs, their desire to feel unique, special, and valued."

(page 188)
"American companies in every line of business have been going on nonstop about customers for years: 'Customers are our most important assed,' 'Customer service is critical,' 'Our customer service is better than anyone else's,' blah, blah, blah. The truth is that most of this is just talk. Of course, there are a few companies that have finally realized the key to business success isn't increasing awareness or opening more stores; it's keeping their customers happy. But those are much more the exception than the rule. Don't believe me? Well, here's what Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter said: 'Despite the recent media coronation of King Customer, many customers will remain commoners. Most businesses today say that they serve customers. In reality, they serve themselves.'"