Jan 2, 2010

Ad Man's Message to Students: A Career in Marketing or Not?

My ambition is to get people who are NOT interested in advertising to make career in advertising. And to get those people who are thinking about a career in advertising to go to do something else. You may ask why?

The purpose of advertising

There is a fair chance that your decision to pursuit a career in advertising is misinformed. Most probably, it is not based on the understanding of the purpose of advertising. And what is the purpose of advertising? – To sell.

Advertising is not art or entertainment. Advertising is statistics, research, testing and problem solving – it is science, where thinking and analytical approach plays a big part just like in engineering, for example.

Wanted: Results

But facts and research can't solve everything. They can't write an ad for you. They can point you the right direction and help you create the ad, but eventually man makes it.

The current marketing people has turned that upside down. They hire artists who rely on their gut, rather than facts. Or how else can you explain all those ads in magazines of which you can't even tell what product is being advertised or where and how you can buy it?

What research shows

If the marketing industry used more testing and research, they would know that long copy texts sells more than short, or that people actually like to able to respond to ads. If more marketing executives demanded research, our industry would start to attract different kind of people. The people who actually want to know what works and what doesn't work – rather than just relying on their creative instincts.

It's not just pretty pictures without statistics, nor is it just statistics without understand how to use pictures. You need to know how to be persuasive using both: art and science.

How to succeed in advertising

Test to find more effective ways to do your job. Judge your success based on sales. Advertising is that simple.
Your job in advertising should be to find ways to sell whether in print, on TV, online or even in person. Anything else is just waste of time and money. The way I see, if you can't measure it, it doesn't exist.

Scientific advertising

Through testing we can point out things that work. We can quickly find out how pictures, headlines, copytext, colors, offers, call-to-actions, place of the ad on the medium, repetition, target audience and different combination of all of those work. In other words, that way we can understand and improve your advertising's selling power.

The secret behind every successful business...

...is sales. Scientific advertising means measurable results such as how many sales you get from a single ad and how much money is spend to get that sale. For those who argue that "I work in marketing, not in sales" I want to say this: Remember that nothing in the company happens until the sale is made. Trust me, I know, I busted two of my companies, because we didn't have enough sales. We are all responsible for sales, especially marketing people.

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