The best way to make sure you have the most leverage in your ad dollar is to understand the advertising opportunity. And this is why one of the first jobs of an account planner is to question the assumptions of the client. But sometimes, even with a thoughtful client, this can be tough.
After all, not everyone is a strategist, so not everyone has mapped out the big picture to be sure the goal is truly the correct one (it’s really the best opportunity). Because in order to know what the best opportunity is, you have to be able to map out all the opportunities and weigh them against each other.
Consider Microsoft’s strategy of doing advertising that, instead of growing market share, cannibalizes its other products. If Microsoft needs to grow market share, creating ads that get current customers to buy their products is solving the wrong problem.
How to get leverage
For some people, they won’t ever be able to slow down and think about their strategy (we’d rather “do” than think). And that’s just the way it is. But for others, we’ll go to the coffee shop where we don’t know anyone with a writing utensil and plenty of blank paper. Then we’ll plug in our headphones and tune out the world. We’ll create a model of our problem. Then we’ll go about our day.
In the next couple of days, we’ll do it again. Then again. As many times as it takes to get a solid feel for the problem.
This is called “leverage,” because it costs relatively little, but it focuses us on the biggest opportunities. And this saves all kinds of money, work and frustration. Get that insight you need before you start the work, and the process will be much more focused and your ad money will work much harder for you.