Sales Rep, Copy Writer, Business Owner

Though few people have ever realized it, successful advertising requires a closely-knit trio.

(1) The Media Plan or *Share of Voice is in the hands of the advertising sales representative. It’s the sales rep’s job to deliver the greatest share of voice that the business owner’s budget will allow. Beyond this, the rep can do very little.

(2) *Impact Quotient is the responsibility of the ad writer, the member of the team who is most often overlooked and underpaid. Without persuasive ads, share of voice is of little benefit, yet you’ll often find the ad writer on the bottom of the food chain. How well do you know the person writing your ads? More important, how well does he know you?

A strong ad with a weak budget will beat a weak ad with a larger budget almost every time. So what makes more sense to you? To spend a fortune flooding the media with weak ads, or to spend a little more time raising the Impact Quotient?

(3) *Personal Experience is entirely the business owner’s turf.

Let me say this plainly: Advertising cannot repair a broken business. It will not make you better at what you do. It cannot turn failure into success. Advertising will only accelerate what was going to happen anyway. Good advertising cannot be expected to erase the customer’s memory of a disappointing experience or reverse the impact of a bad reputation. Conversely, the positive momentum generated by good advertising will be accelerated by a customer’s happy experience. Is your company careful to deliver all that your ads promise?

Legendary ad campaigns are born in that magical instant when each member of this unlikely trio realizes that success is impossible without the best efforts of the other two.

WizardSword Vocabulary

Share of Voice: Your business’s percentage of all the advertising done in your business category. If you advertise and your competitors do not, your share of voice is 100 percent. Share of voice can be calculated for the marketplace as a whole or for a single medium. You may have zero share of voice in one medium, but total voice in another. A greater share of voice is the result of a properly focused ad budget.

Impact Quotient: An ad’s power to convince. Saliency or the relevance of your message to the consumer is the single most overlooked factor in advertising today.  

Personal Experience: A customer’s experience with your company. Your PE is effectively your reputation. The growth or decline of a business will usually follow that of the business’s PE as it rises and falls. Your PE cannot be changed through advertising.

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