Why Advertising Doesn’t Really Work


Ha! That’s hilarious. Advertising does work. In fact, it works so well that every single person in the entire world – minus the aborigines, the lost tribes and the Gods Must Be Crazy kind of families – has been influenced by some kind of advertising.

If during a moment of weakness while you were cleaning out your inbox, and you happened to read one of the mass emails you so often receive from your dear old granny, you recognize this short story:

A man wakes up in the morning after sleeping on an advertised bed, in advertised pajamas. He will bathe in an advertised tub, wash with advertised soap, shave with an advertised shaver and have advertised juice, cereal and toasted bagel (toasted in an advertised toaster) for breakfast. He’ll then put on advertised clothing and glance at his advertised watch.

He will ride to work in advertised car, call in to let his office know he’s running late from his advertised cell phone, and sit down in an advertised desk chair when he gets to the office. He’ll work at his advertised computer, and write with an advertised pen.

Yet this man hesitates to advertise (or market his business), saying that marketing and advertising don’t work. Finally, when his unadvertised business goes under, he will advertise it for sale.


It’s a funny little story, but it packs a lot of truth – and without further adieu, here are three huge reasons your small business needs to advertise:


Inform Consumers

In a way, advertising saves you money by eliminating sales lost simply because the consumer didn’t have enough knowledge of your product or service. You can use advertising to educate potential buyers so they can comparison shop early. If they come to you having been educated – you know they are there to buy.


Existence by Awareness

If people don’t know about you, then your company is just as profitable as it was when it was only a glimmer of an idea in your eye. Consumers are aware of the companies with the most aggressive advertising campaign. Sure, these companies might get a reputation of being annoying, but at least people will think of them if they ever have a need for car insurance.


Brand Recognition

Aside from Harley Davidson and Starbucks, none of these logos tell you what they represent – yet you already know. Why?

Advertising can seem expensive, especially if you’re in a very competitive market and are scrounging for ways to keep your prices down – however, without advertising, your consumer base will be limited to a few locals, faithful friends, and super supportive relatives. But the truth is that your return on your investment will make having an advertising campaign more than worth it. If you’re not sure where to start, maybe Granny can send out a few mass emails about your company for you? Heaven knows her reach is endless.

+Jessica Anderson