Institutional vs. Promotional Advertising for New or Existing Products and Services

As an “Advertising XPERT” for over 40 years, the question most often asked is “How many times do I need to reach my prospect with my advertising message”? The short answer is “it depends”.

There are a number of variables to consider here including…
1. Which Advertising media will I be using?
2. What is the nature of my product or service?
3. Am I introducing a “New” product or concept or promoting an existing one?
4. Am I “Branding” or “Promoting” or both?
5. What are my Budget and/or spending restrictions?

In prior installments, we looked at the media and also at the nature of the product or service as variables in determining the frequency of the messages. In this installment we will consider the differences in promoting a new product or service versus an existing one and whether the direction is for “Branding” or “Promotion or both as it pertains to frequency.
The operative phrase for this segment is TOP OF MIND AWARENESS (TOMA). What does that mean? Simply put it refers to the recall that you have for a product or service. This is developed over time and will significantly impact the buying decision.
Obviously, if you are introducing a new product or service there is no TOMA because nobody knows who or what you are. To make an impact here the frequency of the message has got to be at the high end of the scale unless you have unlimited time to make an impact. Promotional emphasis should also be at a high level. Contrast this with an established product with high TOMA At this level the prospect already knows if he (she) has a favorable and desirable feeling about the product or service and the decision (if need and desire are present) is reduced to simply price and timing.

Perhaps a few examples will help demonstrate this principle. Ask yourself (or someone else) the following questions:
1. Name a brand of mattress.
2. Name a fast food quick service restaurant.
3. Name a soft drink beverage.
4. When you need to blow your nose you reach for a what?

In the first three TOMA kicks in. In the first question, most people will answer Sealy, Serta, Simmons, or Spring Air in that order! For question two the most popular answers you will get are McDonald's, Subway, Wendy’s, and Burger King. Number three is easy…. Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, and Dr. Pepper. In each case, with very small percentages, TOMA equals the market share for that product! In the fourth example, we find a very enviable place in the mind for a product or service. Kleenex (the most given answer) is a BRAND NAME that has become synonymous with the generic description of the product which in this case is “Facial Tissue”! In the South, the same goes for “Coke”. Everything is a “Coke” no matter what the brand!

Next time we will look at budgets and what it takes to achieve the results that you seek! Remember that the Direct Mail Xperts are here to give you the professional advice and help that you need to get the most effective return on your advertising investment. Have questions? Just give us a call 888.671.3115 or go to us today!

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