avanti printing
7, 2009

shock marketing

Have you ever seen one of those “World’s Most Shocking Advertisements” shows? Plenty of companies have made a name for themselves by creating shocking, lewd, or bizarre commercials and marketing campaigns. Sometimes it works to boost sales and sometimes it does not. Before you embark on a shocking or “out-there” ad campaign, here are some things to consider.

  • Interest Doesn’t Always Convert – What is important to remember about marketing is the principle of “conversion.” Conversion means the ratio of individuals who are aware of your company to the individuals who actually make a purchase. As in, if ten thousand individuals visit your website but only five hundred people buy your product, you would have a fairly low rate of conversion. How does this relate to “shock” marketing tactics? Well, these shocking strategies can often result in high levels of interest, but poor conversion rates. This is because people will be made aware of your company, but not necessarily of your company’s product or overall quality.
  • …But Interest is Beneficial – Taking what you know about conversion into account, it is indeed important to take measures towards creating a well-known image for your brand. While it is indeed important to have a high rate of conversion, a business cannot achieve this if they don’t have a high amount of interest to begin with. Thus, if you choose to use “shock” marketing techniques, it’s important to ensure that plenty of information about your company is included within the ad.
  • People Are Easily Offended – This may sound like an unfair understatement, but it is quite true. While you and your friends may value your open-minded senses of humor, most people are offended fairly easily. Hypersexual or incredibly crude ads rarely play well amongst religious or conservative types. While pushing the boundaries a bit can be a good thing, going overboard can backfire.

Don’t shy away from having fun with your ads. However, remember that any marketing efforts should always ultimately be about increasing sales and profits. Any ad idea that you feel may jeopardize sales should not be pursued.

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