Click on the PDF link for the complete article.
Great advertising captures and engages—often in ways we cannot exactly explain. On the wings of great campaigns, companies create whole new categories of products or services. They make us conscious of “needs” we would never even contemplated. There is something almost magic about great advertising. And yet, all too often (by some estimate, more than 90 percent of the time), the results are far from magic. They are dismal. New products fail and existing brands drift aimlessly—unmoved by the millions of dollars lavished to support them.
Why is this? Why is it that some advertising proves powerfully effective, while the mass of campaigns wither on the media plans that bore them? Is advertising inherently a roll of the dice—a hit-or-miss gamble with few guiding principles or established truths? Or is there a better model of effective advertising waiting to be discovered? If so, where might we find the data trail to lead us there?
These are the profound, urgent questions at the core of Learning from Winners (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2007), a powerfully useful collection of essays by Dr. Raymond Pettit, Senior Vice President of Research and Standards for the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF).
Tapping into the archive of more than decade of ARF Ogilvy Award winners, Dr. Pettit tells stories and shares lessons that demonstrate how imaginatively applied research can lead to new brand insights, redefine problems or markets, and support intelligent risk taking. In his quest for marketing truths, Dr. Pettit had an edge with the discovery, in a dusty storeroom, a decade's worth of submissions to ARF's David Ogilvy Research Excellence Awards.
In this second installment of a series of excerpts from Learning from Winners, Dr. Pettit explores the power of marketing research to drive measurably successful advertising and marketing campaigns that are a critical engine of business growth. The focus is IBM. The time is just a decade ago. And the lesson is how research can turn an uncertain business situation into an opportunity that drives new lines of business as it reinforces a company's traditional strengths.
- © Copyright 2009 The ARF. All rights reserved.