Short-term advertising: it sounds like an excellent way to spread information about a seasonal promotion or an upcoming sale. The problem, however, is that advertising is much more than a seasonal or short-term commitment. Consider McDonald's: a huge company that has a great deal of reach and familiarity in the fast-food industry. While the company does certainly engage in seasonal advertising, it also uses those short-term ads as part of a greater advertising strategy and, as a result, attains much better reach and customer familiarity. If you're setting up your advertising plan, consider these reasons why you should advertise for considerably longer than a month, even if you're currently focusing on short-term goals.
Consistency is Key
In order for your advertisement to resonate with your target audience, you have to put your brand in front of them more than once. On average, it takes around 8 touches for a prospect to decide that they want to make a purchase from your brand. A one-time television ad isn't going to be able to provide the touches your potential customers need to make a decision.
The sales funnel takes time. Potential customers must start by realizing and acknowledging that they have a problem or pain point, then become interested in finding a solution. Only then can they make a decision about a purchase. Your advertising strategy needs to be set up to move customers smoothly through that funnel, rather than simply providing them with a single advertisement and expecting them to take action.
Consistency breeds familiarity. The more consistently you run your ads and target your potential customers, the more familiar they will become with your brand. Then, when it comes time for them to make a purchase, they're ready to choose your brand. Think about realtors: they never know when a member of their target audience will be ready to sell and/or purchase a home, which means they need consistency to ensure that their message is airing at the right time.
ROI Takes Time
While an ad might produce some immediate results, to see a true return on your investment, you need around 6 months of consistent TV advertising. In fact, a good media partner often wouldn't take your money if they knew you only wanted to run your ads for a month because they know you won't see true results--and that decision could impact your future marketing goals and decisions.
Over the course of a few months, ads will pick up traction. You'll see steady results as the advertisements continue to run. It's not just about a single advertisement or chance to reach your target audience. Rather, it's about continuing to connect with your target audience. This may mean multiple advertisements spread across the course of months on different platforms, including television, online and social media channels.
Consistency and time matter. Think about it like working out: you don't go to the gym and expect to see results after only a handful of sessions, especially the kinds of results that will last. When you go consistently, however, you'll start to see real change--and the same goes for your advertising efforts. If you advertise briefly, even if you send out a great deal of advertising content in a short period of time, you'll find that it may have a brief, immediate shift in your customer base, but it won't create the kind of long-term change that can help build your business and maintain those results over time.
You Won't See an Effect On Your Long-Term Goals
Even though immediate results at the moment can provide some benefit to a business, you want to set your business up for longevity. When you only advertise for one month, there's a strong chance that your campaign won't reach all of the right people at the right time. Working with a media partner that has your goals in mind, on the other hand, will substantially increase your chances of reaching not just your immediate goals, but your long-term ones, as well. Your media partner will help you:
- Budget for a longer advertising period
- Expand your reach
- Improve your frequency
Even though most major brands may pick up their advertising around certain seasons, they still advertise consistently over the course of the year. You don't want to try to compact too much into one month of air time. Instead, you want to work with your media partner to create a long-term strategy. This breeds brand familiarity and consistency. Using a long-term strategy in your advertising, rather than a sprint campaign, will also help you grow closer to your goals. By working with the right media partner, you can maximize your advertising results, develop ways to reach those goals and see a return on your investment.