Advertising is a costly business and it’s likely to be one of the first areas to get cut during hard times. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the right one to cut... But as long as marketing professionals don’t measure advertising effect in a way that can be understood and accepted it sure is a very easy one to cut for senior management. Why spend money on something that cannot be seriously argued to have a profound effect on business performance?
So, what should you do if you believe in advertising and the idea that it can actually help rather than hinder your company during hard times?
Well, I would encourage the following steps:
1.Set up a very well thought through quantitative measuring system with simple and effective advertising benchmarks
2.Communicate the system internally, so that the people in charge of budgets understand and accept it
3.Get internal buy in for your system
4.Communicate the system to your agencies – ensure that your agencies understand the benchmarks that their creative ideas and execution will be measured against
5.Start using the system for all the campaigns that you’ve got planned
What you get in the end is a tool to track campaign performance. And by learning from each campaign the effect of your advertising will improve over time. The challenge is that you know have a system of also measuring the marketing team. Whilst this is very good for the company the marketing tem and marketing director might find it slightly threatening. After all, if confidence is lacking you may be better off claiming that all the amazing things you do cannot be measured.