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10 reasons why your ads are failing

I’m sure there have been times you’ve written your radio ad again and again wondering if that’s why your ad failed.

Consider some of these other reasons and adjust accordingly:

  1. The desire for instant gratification. The ad which creates sufficient urgency to cause people to respond immediately is also the ad most likely to be forgotten once the instant gratification is fulfilled. Instead build your brand with clarity and repetition.
  2. Attempting to reach more people than the budget allows. For a “media mix” to be effective, each element in the mix must have sufficient repetition to establish “retention” in the mind of the prospect. Too often, the result of a media mix is too much reach, not enough frequency. Will you reach 100% of the people and convince them 10% of the way? Or will you reach 10% of the people and convince them 100% of the way? The cost is the same.
  3. Assuming the business owner knows best. Fresh perspective is something that a business owner needs to consider in order to ensure they are current, fresh and answering the right questions from the target audience. Getting a different perspective to ensure your business on trend will help you with your advertising.
  4. Unsubstantiated claims such as, “highest quality at the lowest price”. Advertisers will often have what the customer wants, but fail to offer any evidence. Have proof in every ad. Ask yourself: Do your ads supply new information? Do they provide a new perspective? Always back up your claims with proof.
  5. Improper use of passive media. Non-intrusive media, such as newspaper and yellow pages, require the use of a reticular activator (such as a photo or illustration) because passive media tends to reach only those buyers who are actively in the market for the product.
  6. Creating ads instead of campaigns. single ad can’t tell multiple stories. The most effective, persuasive and memorable ads are those that make a single point very powerfully. Create retention in the mind of your prospecting my focusing on a key message.
  7. Late week schedules. Advertisers justify their unreasonable focus on Thursday and Friday advertising with the statement, “We need to reach the customer just before he goes shopping.” Instead consider talking to your customer earlier in the week.
  8. Overconfidence in qualitative targeting. Saying The Wrong Thing has killed far more ad campaigns than Reaching The Wrong People. It is amazing how many people become “the right people,” when you are saying the right thing. Make sure your ad is targeting who it needs to.
  9. Quality production without great copy. Your ad needs to not only be creative it should be persuasive. “Slick, clever, funny, creative, and different”, are poor substitutes for, “informative, believable, memorable and persuasive.” If you need to get a freelance copywriter it’s worth every penny.
  10. Confusing “response” with “results.” The goal of advertising is to create a clear awareness of your company and its unique selling proposition (USP). The slickest, clearest, funniest, and most creative are the ones most likely to generate these comments. When we confuse “response” with “results” we create “attention getting ads” which don’t reach the right audiences.


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