Aaron VanderGalien is a Senior Partner at Deksia, he founded Deksia in 2004, and Deksia has been recognized for its work both regionally and nationally.View all articles written by this author
When I’m talking to businesses through Deksia, I do have to course-correct sometimes to get them on the right path regarding advertising. But when it comes to promoting your business, remember to consider both your big idea and target audiences. If you consider those two factors, you’ll be provided with the framework for where you should be spending your advertising dollars.
If your brand’s big idea is “simple” for example, you can’t have complicated ads or complex ad structures. You need ads that are clean and simple. Some very robust, extensive email with some high-level white papers would not be great advertising for you. Google is one of the great examples of simplicity in advertising. Google’s main proposition is keeping things basic and direct. That’s the main reason people are drawn to them, not necessarily because they’re the best. It’s part of the same reason people connect with Apple, too. In a world of chaos and disorder, simplicity feels great. Both of these companies deliver on that promise.
You need to determine how to convey your message, and then find the mediums that can help you do that. If your brand proposition is “affordability,” yet you have billboards all over town, it may lead to a backlash. People know how much billboards cost, so they might think, “Wow, this company spent a lot of money on these…I wonder how they’re going to pay for it.” This can create the impression in a consumer’s mind that it will ultimately be paid for by them, so they steer clear.
One of things we pride ourselves on at Deksia is giving clients the best advice to adhere to their brand. We’re brand translators. It’s not that our clients have bad advertising ideas; it may just be that they’re having trouble translating their brand to the medium. They may not realize that a fleet of billboards may have negative connotations for people, or quite understand how similar nuances drive things.
My business partner Joshua Conran was having terrible back problems, so he went to see a physical therapist. The therapist told him his back wasn’t the source of his pain; it was actually his calves tensing up, forcing his back to compensate. Once he knew the actual source of the problem he was able to work on it, and now his back feels great. He wasn’t wrong; his back did hurt. But what he originally viewed as the solution, like a back massage, wouldn’t have fixed the problem. He just needed someone to guide him to the real solution. It can be a similar thing with advertising. Until you understand all the factors and how they connect, you won’t be able to develop the advertising solutions that are right for you.