The fallacy of saving money by advertising less

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops the clock to save time.”

– Henry Ford

Advertising gets a bad rep from everyone, right from the frustrated consumers who are constantly inundated with them, to the brands themselves, who see it as nothing more than frivolous spending. Advertising is looked upon with mild disdain and sometimes fervent contempt when it doesn’t yield immediate results for the brands or when the consumer is fed up with it due to poor targeting and messaging. The age old question has always remained that if a brand is actually worth its salt, then why would it need advertising? Or why divert so much of precious resources into advertising and marketing when a brand could just invest that much in R&D and improve the product and let the word of mouth take over from there? But what most people don’t realize is that there must be a reason for it to survive and exist and endure all this while, despite the criticisms and censure. If it’s still being put to use by corporations, medium-to-small businesses till this day, it must have an iota of value, surely? The truth is when it’s done with the right planning, budgeting and creative it works in ways that border the fantastical. Some of the “forever” brands like Amul, Fevicol, Dabur, Bajaj are etched into the cultural consciousness just because of effective advertising. Every warm feeling, prized or nostalgic memory you relate to a product experience is because of advertising. Advertising makes inert, inanimate objects come to life and have a personality of their own and they talk to customers on a personal level and enhance their buying experience. Whether it’s real or illusory, one cannot deny its effectiveness.

When times are tough and the chips are down or when the economy is fledgling, brands get tempted to cut back on their advertising spending. And as prudent and practical as that sounds, it ends up damaging short term gains and squandering away long term opportunities. A large majority of consumers perceive healthy advertising by brands as a sign of success. It’s like a job searcher arriving to a job interview in a Porsche in an Armani suit; it makes a strong and indelible impression. When brands advertise they not only make immediate sales but they also end up boosting consumer confidence in the long-term. That ends up carving a bigger market share and inadvertently, leading to profit. Those who spend on marketing and advertising during lean times, end up gaining an edge over their competitors so that when, things do get better, they are in a favorable and opportune position to seize the throne and become a market leader. At Kairos, we constantly endeavor to scout for that “opportune moment” and leverage it to make your brand thrive. More than the money, it’s the belief and vision that sails you through.

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