The Road AheadSpend less, get more from your Advertising”Smart Advertising” [Archives:2003/647/Business & Economy]

July 3 2003

Raidan Al-Saqqaf
In advertising, it is very hard to measure the outcome or the benefit of an ad, unless it was a discount sale because the percentage growth in sale in an after-ad duration might not be an accurate basis for measuring the effectiveness of an ad, as there are many other factors that affect it.
So the assumption is that half of the advertising expenses are wasted but the problem is that nobody knows which half was formulated, and so, companies spend huge sums on advertising, knowing that half of it is wasted (even if this was only in theory). But from my point of view, a huge ad spent is merely a proof of laziness in product development.
A product should sell itself, and no marketing mix or advertising strategy can sell a bad product, because after all advertising is communication, however you make up or innovate means of communication with the customers they will still not be a bad product, assuming they are not idiots.
Talking about innovativeness, I've always been a fan of new advertising ideas, balloons, hoardings and other innovative means of advertising, but yet, I don't think it is important to be innovative in your advertising as much as it is important that the advertising should work. You can always launch a rocket with your logo and advertising slogan painted on it, waste your whole year's advertising budget and yet have only tens of people see it, this is why I feel that innovativeness is not the point, the point is to make advertising work.
Advertising has an old, strange history in the world; starting with newspapers selling space for announcements to gorilla advertising and weird messages. Of that, Yemen's share is one of the least. We do not have talents in our advertising business, we are lacking of the resources needed to make a great advertising business, and our public are not that easy to reach. This is attributed to illiteracy levels and the few numbers who read newspapers and magazines, and others who watch TV, but even so, how many advertising agencies can produce TV ads in Yemen?
But this is not the point; the point is how to minimize the advertising expenses yet ensure best reach in our environment. Doing this is possible through what I'd like to call “Smart Advertising”. Advertising that studies our market enough to formulate strategies to ensure that advertising will work. How can it be done? There are many means left unexplored in Yemen, like personal mailers, relationship management, and many others that can add the missing ingredients into the “Smart Advertising mix”, Need more information? Next Monday.