How to Get More From Your Advertising

John Lombardo, former Global Head of Research at LinkedIn b2b Institute reports: “One of the primary things people misunderstand is how advertising works. People think they put an ad in front of you and you immediately buy, that’s not how it works. Generally, you don’t generate any sale from an ad, what you do is generate a memory and then at some point later, they consult their memory.”

The Ehrenberg Bass Institute of Marketing Science agrees that a very small amount of people are in the market for a certain product or service at any time.

Let’s look at the 95/5 rule. Only 5% of people may be interested in buying what you’re selling at any given time. And the rest, the 95%, may be interested eventually, if they remember you.

No matter your choice for advertising media, whether it’s traditional TV or cable, radio, online music, podcasts, pay per click, social media, or billboards, there are two approaches to advertising: Immediate or Enduring (sometimes referred to as branding).

Immediate advertising

With Immediate advertising, the focus is on the 5% interested in your product now. The goal is to move as many people as possible to your business to act on your message. Perhaps you have too much inventory and need to make room, or you’re having a sale that will coincide with a holiday. 

Enduring advertising (aka Branding)

With enduring advertising, the focus is on the 95% who aren’t ready to buy. The goal is to remain top of mind with the consumer, so when they are ready to buy, you and your brand are the choice that comes into their mind.

Different Creative Approaches are Required

Getting business with ads means you need to choose whether your goal is Immediate or Enduring. Will it be a huge immediate sale, or a long term campaign to build trust in your brand?

Many people think an ad is about getting new customers. Sales are the end goal, for sure. But in both Immediate and Enduring advertising, the advertising’s job is to get you noticed.

Always Using Immediate Advertising is not Recommended

As I mentioned, the Immediate short term advertising is best for an inventory reduction or holiday sale. But a word of warning, if this is your only form of advertising, you’ll eventually need to cut so deep in your profit margin that you may have to cease business. Remember Montgomery Ward and Sears?

According to a study from Adobe, seven out of ten customers choose to buy more from brands that they trust.

For any business to succeed, it is important for that business to be trusted and top of mind. Enduring advertising is intended to do just that.

Think about UPS, FedEx, or the US Postal Service as an example. You may not have the need to ship right now, but all their advertising is designed to remind you they’re ready to move your package when you are.

They’re branding their service into your brain.

They realize a consistent, positive emotional and indelible image will help their customers remember their service and seek it out.

Why Audio Advertising is Best for Enduring Advertising

Research studies from Dentsu, one of the world’s largest media agencies, show that in attention and brand recall, audio messages out perform online and broadcast video by 128%.

That’s because when you utilize the power of theater of the mind, people will make the image in the message their own.

Combining Immediate and Enduring Advertising

Are their hybrid ads? Of course. Think fast food (quick service) and insurance. With fast food, the companies know people need to eat every day, so there is immediate need. To keep advertising fresh, fast food companies are continually creating a new food product and offering it “for a limited time”. That allows them to try to keep the advertising positive and new, and stay top of mind.

Insurance, one of the number one categories of advertisers, often follows a similar model. They feature products or services used by multiple companies by branding similar features with their own unique product name in an effort to demonstrate how much you’ll save by switching to them. And they’re continually advertising.


Media Marketing Mix, modeling game theory, published a major study about the profitability and long-term benefits for advertising. They report that 24% of advertising pays itself back in the same week and 18% will return between weeks two and three. But the vast majority of advertising, 58%, occurs from ads that run for four months or more. It’s known as the 24-18-58 rule. In summary: Advertising for more than four months gives you the best Return on Investment (ROI).

To sum up, it is possible to have short-term success with “sale” type ads, but to keep your business growing, use audio advertising to create theater of the mind ads that keep your name top of mind by building emotional trust and a unique, personal image in the mind of each individual that listens to your message.