Company Culture: The Key to Great Advertising

Great advertising

Great advertising can be easy.

Believe it or not, there are companies that advertise and spend lots of money doing it, and they are perfectly happy with the results. It doesn’t seem hard for them. But for others it seems so difficult to create an advertising campaign that meets their hopes and expectations.

When I see advertising that seems to shift around a lot- trying different media, frequently changing messages, on again and off again- it’s usually a sign that something isn’t right internally. I sometimes hear them say, “advertising doesn’t really work for us, but it’s a necessary evil.”

If that’s true, then I’m the devil.

I’ve been in advertising for 30 years, and here’s an axiom that I teach, preach, and work very hard to live by. If you know me, have heard me speak, or have participated in even one coaching session with me, you’ve probably heard this before: “Be great first, then advertise.” Rich Hershaw taught me that.

Remember this:  Your advertising problems may have more to do with your company’s internal culture than with your advertising plan. Your identity as a company, the way you operate, the way you communicate with each other, the decisions you make, and the way you make them—that’s your culture.

Your company culture is on display even when no one else is looking. That’s your real company brand. What you say in your ads is just ad copy. What you really do day in and day out is the true you. And when it’s not great, your advertising suffers, because you’re not telling the truth.

If that stings, join the club. Great advertising starts with being a great company. If you are a great company, offering a great product or service that is of real value, then advertising it should be fairly easy. All you have to do is tell the truth. Of course you will want to do it in a creative and compelling way, but your message will be powerful and effective.

Advertising is easy when you integrate your external message with your internal culture. That’s operating with integrity.  If your culture is sound, honest, and real, your advertising will be too.

How would you define your company’s culture? How can you evaluate it? What can you do to change it? I can help you to evaluate and reshape your company’s culture. I work with companies to help unify, brand, and act with passion towards a common goal. Then, we advertise it and get great ROI.

The devil is in the details.

David Day is a marketing coach, brand architect, consultant, and ad agency owner. He helps clients make good decisions about marketing, advertising, and company culture. Connect with David at dday@thedaygroup.com

2 Comments on “Company Culture: The Key to Great Advertising”

  1. Neal Gladner

    Could not agree more. As the cliche’ goes — “Good advertising will kill a bad product”, because bad companies can’t/won’t live up to the pledge made in thier advertising.

    I know another Ad Agency principal who reminded clients thier “Branding message was the Company Promise”, and good companies don’t break their promises.

    Thanks, David.

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