Why do so many people behave as if advertising is an exact science? What do I mean by that? When they don’t get results within a week, they conclude that the advertising doesn’t work. They seem to think its like a tap, you just turn it and the business will flow! How great would that be if we could just place advertising and know it’s going to work!

The attitude of expectation is so great with some, that they even ask for their money back when they claim to have not gained any business. Apparently, despite never being promised, some think that advertising comes with a money back guarantee! Some of the worst culprits for this attitude? Real Estate agents. You would think of all people they would know better, after all they deal with advertising all the time and certainly don’t guarantee the sale of homes; yet when it comes to spending their own money, quite a few expect a guarantee!


The question is some people’s expectations are so wrong is due to a lack of education or whether individuals just choose to have this expectation so that they can pressure the agency to do better.

Typically, bigger businesses have deeper pockets, which means they too will have expectations; however, they generally understand that ongoing experimentation is required to find the “sweet spot” where the advertising is most effective.

With small businesses, they generally have limited funds so that don’t have a lot of tolerance for testing, they just want results.

With Digital Marketing, it is possible to undertake trials very cheaply before committing the budget. The downside is that for some of the people I mentioned above, they accept that they don’t get a guarantee when they advertise in the newspaper, but they expect one with Digital Marketing! They clearly think Digital Marketing is amazing!

Aside from money, the other factor to be considered to get the best results with your advertising, is time. You need to dedicate some money to testing options and you need to allow time to see the results. If you don’t prepare for both, then you are just running the lottery. You might get lucky, or you may well miss out.

What is the job of ads?

There is another potential expectation issue when it comes to advertising and that is what to expect. What do I mean? What do they expect the ad will actually do? If you ask a lot of business owners what they expect advertising to do, chances are they will say sell! They think ads sell!

Ads don’t sell! If an ad is effective, it will evoke an action. That action could consist of calling you, visiting your store, or going to your website. Ads don’t take payments directly from you (not yet anyway), so they don’t actually sell. Why is this so important? Your ads could be performing brilliantly, yet the client gets little or no sales why? Because there is a problem somewhere between the ad getting people to call you, go to your website or visit your store; all of which is outside the control of the ads or the advertising agency.

Clients need to understand the role of advertising and that they cannot abdicate full responsibility for sales to the ads. If the advertising doesn’t work, it could be because of the campaign itself, or it could be because the business owner has failed with answering the calls, has a poor website or can’t convert visitors to their shop.

Is advertising an exact science?

If advertising was an exact science, everyone would be able to do it to perfection, which clearly hasn’t happened. Advertising also, does not complete the full sales process, it is part of the sales process, but the business owner still has work to do.

The more realistic and educated a business owner is about advertising and its role in the sales process, the greater the chances of success!

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