Why Advertising in the Short Term Doesn't Bring Long Term Results

Derek Eige

Derek Eige About The Author

July 13, 2020 at 12:30 PM

Why Advertising in the Short Term Doesn't Bring Long Term Results

Many businesses fall into the trap of thinking that a quick advertising blitz can bring long term results. Imagine a pet supply company that has a big sale in July focusing on pet care products. The pet supply company has a big ad campaign running, and they see exceptional results, but what happens after the sale is over? 

In reality, that pet supply company may see short-term results from the sales blitz, but they're unlikely to see the long-term results they want. New customers enticed by the promotion, may never visit the store again, once it is over. Here’s why.

Advertising in the Short Term

Short-term advertising can be incredibly tempting, especially if you have a major holiday or promotion coming up. Advertising, however, is a long-term play. Think of a train ramping up to gain momentum; this is your advertising campaign. It can take time to build, but once you have momentum going, it's easier to keep it there. Remember, it takes people multiple times seeing your message before they take action. If you only invest in short-term advertising efforts, you may quickly find yourself back at square one and struggling to reach your goals. 

Some businesses look at ad results in terms of their immediate ROI. Marketers know they can earn an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 spent on Google Ads and that advertising results vary by industry and by the medium they use. It can be an arduous task to trust the process and give your campaign time to develop, particularly in a world where we all want immediate results.

Short-term advertising should have different goals and purposes than long-term advertising. With short-term advertising, the campaign must have a strong call-to-action; a unique, time-sensitive incentive that will help drive customers to take immediate action. Long-term advertising, on the other hand, is designed to help sustain top-of-mind awareness for branding over time. Eighty-two percent of online searchers will make their first click to a familiar brand, one they already recognize from past advertising efforts. Without that awareness, your brand may become just one more in a sea of competitors, which can prevent you from getting the traffic and, ultimately, the customers your business needs.

Why You Need to Advertise for the Long Run

Continually advertising over the course of years can help establish a business's place in the industry and provide customers with a constant, ongoing awareness of that brand.

Think about McDonald's. The fast-food company never stops advertising, whether it's putting out content about seasonal favorites or encouraging customers to come in to check out their classics. McDonald's is on the screen, on billboards, and on social media, spreading the word about its products and everything the company has to offer.

Likewise, Coca-Cola keeps its advertising efforts consistent with familiar themes and faces. Each Christmas, the polar bears show up in ads. However, Coca-Cola's ads do not stop there. The company continues advertising throughout the year to help maintain a high degree of brand awareness. 

Many times, businesses make the mistake of not giving campaigns enough time to be truly successful. Consumers often need multiple touches -- many times seeing the brand -- to take action related to a specific product. They may need time to build interest or to make their own plans. If you stop advertising, those touches fall away, and customers lose top-of-mind awareness to check out your products and your brand. 

Advertisers must also consider the specific product the brand has to offer. Not everyone is in the market for your product right this moment. Not everyone needs a real estate agent or an attorney right now. Over time, many of them will --and when they do, you want your brand to be the one they think of first. For many customers, it's a continual building of awareness over time. Think about a vehicle purchase. Customers often think about buying a vehicle for months before ever  taking a test-drive. When ready to make that purchase, they are more likely to turn to the brand they are familiar with the most and trust. 

Consistency is Key

Ultimately, it takes repetition  with your advertising to bring long-term results. For example, Apple is always advertising. Even if they don’t have a new product set to launch, they are always running ads to maintain  brand awareness.. Consistent branding and advertising, especially across all channels, can help to increase revenue by around 23%

While short-term ads may cause an immediate bump, they might not drive customers to take action over time, especially in the case of brands that consumers do not need all the time. With consistent advertising, many businesses will find it easier to retain customers and draw in new business, ultimately increasing the return on their overall investment. 

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