While reading the latest AdAge magazine (December 4, 2017), I noted their listing of the worlds 25 largest advertisers. It is interesting to see this data. Understanding that the primary audience for this magazine is advertising agencies, I can understand why this listing is so juicy. It clearly outlines who is spending the most and money is being put on the table.
However, from a brand perspective, I see this list and wonder about the results of these expenditures (which happens to be missing from the AdAge report). I try to recognize that marketing and advertising should be closely linked to sales and revenue. With a spare half hour, I did a little comparison of revenue between 2015 and 2016 for the top 5 companies.
I was really hoping to see increased sales across each of theses companies. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Take a look at the results in the table below:
|2016 total worldwide advertising spending (in $Billions)||Net Sales 2015||Net Sales 2016||Difference||Percentage Difference|
|Proctor & Gamble Co.||$10.5||$43.9||$38.3||-$5.6||-12.8%|
|Samsung Electronics Co.||$9.9||$184.6||$185.7||$1.1||0.6%|
So we have 3 of the 5 seeing revenue losses. This is a bummer. If my company is spending a this much on advertising, I want to see positive impact on revenue. These results are a chink in the armor of the advertising budget.
I say all of this with full understanding that market forces are very mysterious and no matter how great the marketing and advertising, every company is at risk of having a poor year.
My overriding point is that as marketers and advertisers, we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We need to be willing to stake our professional reputation on impacting sales in a clear manner. We need to hold our supporting agencies accountable to these expectations too.
As marketers we need to be living under the mantra of $1 put into advertising should be resulting in $2 back. Let’s get better at making this happen!