Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A to Z of Marketing: F is for Flighting

Ready to double your exposure and your effective frequency, while not increasing your advertising campaign budget by even one extra dollar? The solution involves an easy, though not obvious, tactic called flighting.

Here's how flighting works. Let's say you have $48,000 to spend on advertising for one year. The average human would allocate the budget in even, equal increments. The monthly budget would be $4,000, right? That's just good common sense, no?

Yeah, well, that's one way to do it. But certainly not the smartest way.

The marketing genius knows to organize his campaign into strategic flights. Flighting is pretty simple, really. The basic concept is to concentrate your advertising around key periods. You keep the budget the same, but when you're on, you are on strong. When your are off the flight, you go completely dark. Your audience will perceive that you are advertising--even during the dark periods, since you have made a stronger impression with them during your intensive flights.

The savviest of national advertisers do this. McDonalds and Coke utilize flighted advertising. They do not advertise year-round; it just seems like they do. When is the last time you saw a Coke ad? Was it Super Bowl or holiday time? Was it during a championship sports season? Perhaps it was during an entertainment awards show? Point is: Coke doesn't advertise on any old mundane Monday in mid-summer. Neither does McDonalds. Nor does Nike.

Now. back to that $48,000 advertising budget. The marketing genius would find out the key seasons or opportunities for advertising and allocate the majority of his budget into flights that correspond to that time frame. Let's say that Fall and Spring are crucial times. Here's how a flighted campaign budget might look:

January - Dark
February - Dark
March - Dark
April - $8,000
May - $8,000
June - $8,000
July thru September - Dark
October - $8,000
November - $8,000
December - $8,000

Half the time--at the most important times--the advertiser will have the effect of twice the impact, or double the frequency. Who cares if no one sees you during weaker periods? They are probably not ready to buy anyway. Flighting is psychologically proven and cost productive. Flighting works. Try it on your next campaign, and watch your marketing results take flight!

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