By using ads to sell products or services, companies often lose money on advertising that is actually good for them, said Jeff Weiner, the chief marketing officer of BrandX, a research and consulting firm that tracks online marketing and the digital landscape.
Companies need to know what their customers are buying, how they are buying it and where they are purchasing it to make smart decisions, Weiner said.
Brands need to be able to understand the context of their customers and the products and services that they are selling.
The ad world is littered with examples of companies that have tried to capitalize on that, but most have failed, Weiner added.
He said some advertisers, especially those that have long-established relationships with consumers, often get stuck on what they think their customers want to see.
Consumers may want to buy something, but the brands may not know what they want to do with it, he said.
“The consumer may have a specific question and want to know where the product comes from, and the brand may not be able or will not answer,” Weiner said in a telephone interview.
“You don’t want to be selling products you don’t understand.”
A good ad should be tailored to the customer, not just for the product or service, Weiner told Reuters.
For example, an ad that is more tailored to someone’s age group or location may be less relevant to younger people, Weiner noted.
Advertisers also need to pay attention to the context and the context may not necessarily be the same as the product, Weiner explained.
One way advertisers can get the most value out of an ad is by being creative, Weiner argued.
“What I think advertisers really want to avoid is just being stuck with what they have to sell, which is not the best way to be,” he said in the telephone interview with Reuters.
The best way for companies to profit is by making sure they have the right mix of brands, Weiner stressed.
He also noted that brands have a strong relationship with consumers.
“The brands have an ability to communicate with their consumers.
Brands can reach a certain segment of the population, or a certain demographic,” Weiner noted in the interview.
If consumers want to learn more about a brand, they can buy the brand’s books or DVDs, Weiner suggested.
“There’s a lot of opportunities out there for brands to get to know consumers,” Weiner added, noting that a new book or movie might give consumers a deeper understanding of a brand.
There are a number of strategies that brands can take to get more exposure, Weiner concluded.
He mentioned buying digital advertising, developing an online presence and even getting in front of more viewers with a live webinar.
As Weiner noted, “You need to go through the motions and not be overwhelmed by the complexity of it all.”
For example, some companies have tried buying a TV ad for a live event or a radio spot.
Others have tried using Facebook ads or YouTube to reach their audiences, Weiner pointed out.
Companies may be able use Facebook Live, for example, for a show that’s not on a TV channel.
But advertisers must also think carefully about the types of people who will be watching their ads, Weiner warned.