10 Myths About Advertising
Advertising (and marketing for that matter) has likely been around almost as long as humanity itself. From the moment our species first discovered the concept of comparative advantage and began to barter amongst ourselves, the shrewdest negotiators of the bunch began to develop the psychological tactics and techniques that would eventually develop into the fields of modern advertising and marketing.
However, there are plenty of popular myths and misconceptions that surround the field of advertising even to this day. Let’s take a look at 10 of the most popular of these advertising myths, and see whether or not they hold any water:
- “We can’t afford it” – In reality, it is far more likely that your business can’t afford not to advertise. As advertising networks find increasingly cost-effective ways to bring businesses traffic, the costs continue to drop.
- “Advertising is the same thing as PR” – While there is some overlap between the two career paths in terms of skillset, their respective focuses are significantly different; a company good at one function will not automatically be good at the other.
- “Using advertising is somehow immoral or unethical; it’s like manipulation” – While there are those who hold the opinion that relying on advertising to sell products is in some manner unethical, they could not be further from the truth. Advertisers must abide by a fairly strict set of regulations so as to not be accused of producing false or misleading advertising.
- “Our firm has enough business” – Enough business for what? To maintain the status quo, or to aggressively grow and expand? When the market can change at a moment’s notice “enough business” should never be your goal.
- “People ignore paid ads” – Mainly applicable to the world of internet advertising, some feel that paid ads get ignored. This fails to explain how Google has been able to consistently generate $30b/yr. in online ad revenue through this exact medium.
- “Online advertising is complicated” – This is more of a cop-out than a true myth, but one that is often believed nonetheless. In reality, online advertising has never been simpler to break into – there is more software and information out there on the subject than ever before.
- “You can’t effectively target a local market” – While this used to be true, geo-targeting and other technological advances now exist which make the task significantly easier to accomplish.
- “E-Commerce is too much of a technical hassle to worry about” – “It is easier and more cost-effective than ever before for businesses to outsource the technical skills they may lack in-house,” according to Seth Baily, CEO of iTOK.net. “Any technical hurdles a company faces can be solved quickly and easily through outsourced third-party IT support.”
- “Humor trivializes our message” – In the era of ADHD and a 24-hour news cycle, humor is often just the thing for getting your message to stick in the minds of customers. Even in industries where humor is not normally employed.
- “Our industry reputation is advertising enough” – The problem with this line of thinking is that your customers are not the industry expert you are; if people never hear about your company or product, your industry reputation among experts won’t be enough to save you.
If you have noticed a common theme among many of these advertising myths, it seems to be that certain people do not feel that advertising provides good value for the money spent. People who hold this opinion are often unfamiliar with some of the more modern forms of advertising, which are fundamentally built around providing crystal-clear calculation of ROI.