I wish there were a simple formula for advertising success. I wish it was like a recipe – you find something you like a lot and you know exactly what went in to it so you can duplicate it over and over again.
But, sadly, advertising is not an exact science. A lot of different factors go in to whether or not an ad is successful.
The creative aspects of an ad often get the most attention: the look and feel, the copy, the headline, the call to action, the imagery, etc. But I would challenge you to question whether or not the creative is getting too much attention. Yes, it matters. But there are other factors that seem to matter a little bit more.
Those factors are Timing and Targeting.
Timing and Targeting are two of the most important parts of an ad, and are also two parts that are too often overlooked or underappreciated. When we start to think about an ad, we want to know what it will look like. And when we go to measure an ad’s success, we focus on what it looked like.
We don’t focus on WHO saw the ad and WHEN. But we should.
Especially in today’s world, with consumers who are 1) constantly bombarded with advertising, and 2) constantly connected to each other and the world around them through technology, advertisers who focus on Timing and Targeting will win on a much more consistent basis.
Timing answer the WHEN question. When should we show them our ad? When do we want them to see our ad? When will they be most ready to receive our ad?
Timing is all about triggers. What time of day would consumers most likely respond to an ad? What are they doing when they see the ad? What do we want them to do afterward?
When you get the timing right, you win attention.
Targeting answers the WHO question. Who do we want to see our ad? Who is most likely to respond to the ad? How old are they? Where do they live and work? What media do they interact with?
When you get the targeting right, you are showing your ad to the right people and not wasting money on everyone else.
It’s all about Timing and Targeting. Show the ad to the right person, at the right time. If you do that, the ad creative matters less than you might think.