“Advertising is what you do when you cannot get there in person”

This has been a pretty regularly heard quote over my 40 years in this business, attributed to Fairfax Cone, one of the founders of Foote Cone & Belding advertising. It  remains one of the foundations of good (i.e. effective) communication weather it be paid-for  media space,  or one of the newer forms of “content marketing” on the web.

How come most of the advertisers I have heard/seen over the Christmas period never heard it?

I make that assertion based on the crap that passes as advertising over this period, almost all of it based on price and a transparent “1/2 yearly”, or “Clearance sale” type claim. Also, the businesses owner is  often used as the mouthpiece,  usually not a media friendly person. Nothing to attract me apart from a cheap price, certainly nothing to persuade me that the product will do anything to solve my problems, just price.

Problem with price being the only reason to buy, is that it just becomes a race to the bottom, and as Seth Godin has pointed out, the risk here is that you just might win. 

If you could talk one  on one to all the potential customers, would you still say the same thing as you are saying in your advertising?

If the answer is “No” better rethink your approach for the good of your long term pocket.