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Advertising - is there a better Way?

By: Roger La Salle (view speaker details)

Roger La Salle
Advertising is reaching saturation proportions and there is no reason to expect anything but perhaps even more of the same in the future. Indeed the frequency of television advertisements is driving many people away with some simply refusing to watch commercial television at all because of the level of advertising.

Further, even the less commercial stations such as SBS and the ABC are now devoting more and more time to promotions and advertising. In the case of the ABC the ads are subtly disguised as program promotions or for ABC shop products, but none the less they are still advertisements.

It is difficult to actually pinpoint the charge for peak time free to air advertising as it varies tremendously depending on forward selling and seasonality. However, in real dollar terms the average cost of peak hour advertising over the years on free to air TV seems to have been falling.

Too many Options

Like the vast array of sporting opportunities afforded to children these days, there are now so many mediums for advertising that the finite bucket of advertising spend is being spread ever more thinly.

There is free to air TV, cable TV, the print media, internet, bill boards of ever increasing size and complexity, SMS, fax. mobile phones and overseas call centres all being financed by the finite advertising spend of companies vying for your attention, and all this with less and less effect. In fact we are "turning off" to many of the promotions.

How effective is advertising and who really cares?

Some years I presented a product to advertisers and some advertisement monitoring organisations. This product could not only subliminally detect if you were actually watching the television screen during the advertisement, but even determine your level of interest.

There was absolutely no interest from the industry.

One may ask why?

Was it because nobody wants to know, or because nobody wants to "rock the boat" of this lucrative industry. Maybe just leave well enough alone!

Some recent statistics to hand indicate that advertising accounts for just 8% of new customers. Let's repeat that, just 8%. Yet companies like QANTAS, Virgin, JetStar Telstra, Optus, McDonalds, KFC and the supermarkets spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year on advertising, all to churn maybe just 8% of customers from competitors.

Yet the advertising juggernaut rolls on.

There is a better way

Although advertising may account for a small percentage of customer churn, what accounts for almost 100% of churn?

Word of Mouth (WOM)

How many companies actively develop WOM promotional programs, some of which can cost nothing and one of which I was involved in developing that actually created revenue whilst being promoted. Believe it or not!

What's the Message?

At the foot of all of my Matrix Thinking diagrams there is a thinking stimuli known as Consequential Change. That is to say, do something that will create a market consequence that will be noticed. Not a publicity stunt, but a real promotional initiative that will cause a strong WOM message to be promulgated.

I treat this a bit like dropping a stone into a pond to cause a ripple. Do this for the market place in which you operate. Further, if it is you that is dropping the stone, you can anticipant the ripple effect and position yourself to take advantage of it, long before your competitors have even noticed this ripple.

I have been speaking on this for some years at conferences and within businesses, finally somebody is listening. My local supermarket has now taken the initiative and diverted some of their vast advertising spend into a strong positive WoM message, and it's working. People are actually talking about it, and the promotion is virtually free of charge

Create a word of mouth campaign, now there's an innovation!
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