Why Advertising Alone is So Ineffective

Advertising success is about more than just how many people you reach and how many times you reach them. Bear with me as I present a formula that measures success. I will explain why it is important, and why small business marketing plans need to include more than just advertising.


Caution: Mathematics ahead. But don’t worry, I’ll explain. Just stick with me.

First the formula:
(message x credibility) x (reach x demand) x (willingness to part with money) = campaign success

So let’s say your credibility is very high, 50 percent of the people believe you can do what you say you can do. Your message, being very effective is also communicated well to 50% of the people who hear your message. About 10% of the population could really use your product right now, and your advertising schedule reaches about 10% of the population in an average week. Willingness to part with money is a little difficult to determine because it is a function of the economy, the consumer’s disposable income and other impending financial needs, but let’s be generous and say it’s 25%.

So here are your values: (stay with me, you’re going to be surprised)

(C) Credibility = 50%
(M) Message = 50%
(D) Demand = 10%
(R) Reach = 10%
(W) Willingness = 25%

So let’s plug the number in the formula and it looks like this:

In this scenario, the success of the campaign is only 6/100’s of one percent: meaning that 99.94% of this advertising campaign is ineffective. People often wonder how much of their advertising budget is being wasted. In many cases almost all of it.

There are a lot of factors that go into the success of an advertising campaign and each factor you consider reduces the effectiveness of the campaign. Most businesses often overestimate what an advertising campaign will accomplish.

So it looks pretty glum, huh? Should you not advertise? Probably not, unless you are using some multipliers to increase the effectiveness.

Over the next several days, I will explain the multipliers that can increase your marketing effectiveness.<

Read the complete series related to this post: Marketing Multipliers.

For more about The Marketing Spot, please see our website: http://themarketingspot.com


  1. […] Back in September, we introduced our advertising ineffectiveness formula and told you that advertising alone is fundamentally ineffective marketing. Here is our […]

  2. […] Tuesday I presented the formula for advertising ineffectiveness and suggested that advertising as a marketing tool by itself was virtually useless. That does not […]

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