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Is it necessary to ‘play it safe’ with marketing campaigns?

Published September 11, 2013 at 11:38 pm

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Nope, it’s not Christmas, but for many businesses it is a type of holiday.

Back-to-school shopping season is often a perfect opportunity for companies across varied industries to offer sales and discounts to attract customers. Even if your organization doesn’t sell the stereotypical school supplies or clothes that kids “have to have,” parents and students alike generally flock to stores—online and in-person—to find the best deals possible.

However, a recent AdAge article suggests that the back-to-school theme was not as common this year for many companies. Specifically, research from AceMetrix showed that businesses aired 11 percent fewer ads this season—55 back-to-school ads aired this year versus 62 a year ago.

Gloria Consola, VP-corporate marketing at AceMetrix, explained to AdAge that she was surprised that the back-to-school advertising campaigns decreased in volume this year. While 2012 was also an Olympic year, she said that the amount of those marketing approaches were still quite high.

“Retailers may be playing it safe,” she said, noting that the same trend is being observed across categories. “There aren’t as many standout performances as we saw last year, so absolutely it’s safer creative. …I hope it means advertisers are saving their most creative work for the holidays.”

It’s important for companies to create marketing campaigns that successfully reach customers, regardless of the medium. Web-based marketing, direct mail solutions and even television commercials are all ways that consumers can learn about what an organization has to offer.

But, it is also key to understand when to send these ads. While companies don’t necessarily have to “play it safe,” being able to “play it smart” could yield much better results.

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