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Advertising is a lot like running a restaurant



Bob Hoffman never loses an opportunity to remind the world that while there are thousands of brands that have been built solely through TV advertising, there isn't a single brand that has been built solely through advertising online. But, he seems to forget that advertising is a lot like running a restaurant.

While the likes of Tide, Coke and Pepsi were being built (the brands, not the products) on TV, the only real media that the target audience was exposed to was TV and print (and Radio to a certain extent). So, the brands that were built during this time had to be built through these media only. The picture is a lot different today.

Today, the target audience is exposed to PCs, Tablets and smartphones in equal amount (if not more) as compared to print and TV. There are very few people (almost negligible in India) who are exposed only to PCs, Tablets and smartphones. So, naturally, it is impossible to build a brand solely through advertising on traditionally digital platforms (I say traditionally because even TVs come equipped with a browser and net access these days).

To run a restaurant successfully, you need to have a consistent service and dish quality across a variety of dishes and across time. It is impossible to have a successful restaurant with just one good dish. Yes, you might get an audience that comes to you for that dish, but you will not rank among the top restaurants when there are others that provide a variety of quality dishes.

Similarly, you cannot focus on just one platform for your advertising. You need to embrace all platforms, and you need to follow different campaign strategies for each platform (just like each dish has different ingredients). The platforms that you do not make use of must be the ones that you consciously avoid due to lack of scale in terms of your target audience (like a restaurant that serves only Indian or Italian cuisine).

Stop thinking that you can pool your advertising budget on one platform that has been delivering for you until now. You need to embrace more platforms to mimic your target audience.

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