Finding Your Point of View

When the Toyota recalls occurred in 2010, the company stood to be devastated. What did they do?

Among their actions, they took out full page ads in the Wall Street Journal that said, “An Open Letter to Toyota Customers” and printed a letter signed by the President and COO on their commitment to solving the problem. They didn’t run one ad. They ran many ads – repeatedly.

And therein lies one of the most important aspects – and overlooked benefits – of advertising: it represents YOUR point of view.

Regardless of size, a company advertises to tell customers and prospects about its point of view about its products and services. Unlike publicity, advertising is “paid.” That’s part of the reason people shy away from admitting that they “like advertising.” No one likes to be sold, and yet, we are being sold each and every day in ways we don’t even know. Think about advertising as nothing more than a marketing tactic – like Facebook or direct mail. It is a channel, a vehicle, a way to get a point of view across. Only you pay to do it!

So, when someone posts their photo on Facebook (let’s say of a recent event, like a trip to the zoo with their family), where is the advertising in that? The fact that there is a need to post it is advertising in itself: They are advertising “we had a good time.” To whom? To “their friends.” But guess what, everyone else can see it if you turn the privacy settings off. But, let’s say they leave them on. They are STILL advertising to their friends they had a good time!

Point of view is not just you, but your audience. It always was. When you wrote essays in college, did you write them to the instructor or to the world? Chances are, you wrote them to get the instructor’s approval! And, if you post the picture of the zoo trip, you could link it back to the zoo page, which is 100% advertising.