How taking a break from advertising can make you more effective

  • Date 9th December 2020
  • Author Will Nichols
How taking a break from advertising can make you more effective

As we get ready for a well-earned rest after a tumultuous year, I started thinking about the benefits of taking a break – not just for yourself and your family, but also for business and marketing. We all feel the relentless pressure of KPIs, but stopping, reviewing and rebooting your approach can have massive long-term benefits, that significantly outweigh any short-term pain.

So I thought I’d share how I’m going to be taking a break, along with some practical examples of how businesses can make the most of a pause and reset too.

Personal breaks

I’m not sure about you, but this year was challenging, especially the two months of home schooling, so I’m really looking forward to an extended Christmas break. Here are the 5 ways I’m going to ensure I have a chilled break and come back refreshed.

1. Reduce screen time

My break is going to start with me reducing my screen time, turning off notifications, and limiting the news amount I consume. While there are plenty of studies into the benefits of this, here’s one article in particular that provides a pretty good summary. Read it, then switch off for a bit. 

2. Read some books

With my screens off, I’m going to finish a fantastic book I’m halfway through, A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles. It’s a lovely story, about a Russian Count and what grabs me is how someone can find joy in isolation – quite relevant after COVID.

3. Spend time outside

Nature is great for the mind. (Here’s a cracking podcast on just that subject.) I regularly head up to the Central Coast, so I’ll be spending extended time at the beach, body surfing and getting amongst nature. I find exercise the best way to refresh the body and mind. A recent study found that just 11 minutes of walking a day can lessen the undesirable health effects of sitting for hours. One of my favourite short walks, is to a beautiful secluded little beach, aptly name Little Beach in Bouddi National Park.

4. Quality time with people – in the flesh!

With all borders finally open, I’m also looking forward to spending time with friends and family from interstate.

5. Sleep!

Lastly and most importantly, I’ll be trying to maximise my sleep-ins and afternoon naps! This article by Scientific American, neatly explains not only why your brain needs downtime, but how to achieve it. Some more great summer reading!

Business breaks

I’m sure everyone in marketing is aware of the old saying ‘I know half my marketing budget is wasted, but unfortunately I don’t know which half’. As part of The Outcomes AgencyTM, I’m always recommending our clients take a regular pause to review media and campaign performance, and identify any ineffective parts of your current spend.

Here are some ways AFFINITY helps clients review their activity: 

Conduct an ROI analysis to identify how profitable activity is

Many organisations judge performance based on cost metrics like cost per lead (CPL). However, we love looking at the profitability of an activity by calculating its true ROI. A big watch out is that many people don’t calculate ROI effectively, by using revenue, not profit. This means the activity may seem profitable, but it actually isn’t. The Australian Effies have a great explanation here.  We recently conducted this analysis for a client and discovered an entire acquisition channel was completely unprofitable. It needed to be stopped immediately and completely over-hauled. While another channel that was thought to deliver their best performing audience (based on CPL) was actually their worst. Without this knowledge the client would have invested more in this audience, but actually needed to stop.

Stop stale creative

Continually monitor campaign performance with dashboards and re-fresh content when results are stagnating. A refresh in a landing page for one of our clients recently delivered a 32% uplift in conversion. 

Look for key drop off points in the sales funnel – beyond communications

We recently ran a digital acquisition campaign launching a new premium product. However, the client’s conversion rate wasn’t as high as expected based on the digital leads received. We were about to stop the activity before a sales funnel review revealed the call centre team was using a generic script. Once we tailored this script for the product, we saw significant improvements in conversion.

These are just a few examples, but all stem from the same starting point: taking a moment to stop, think, reflect and even challenge, when everyone else is being busy, busy, busy can be remarkably rewarding. (And if that’s a sentiment you can connect with, you might also find this earlier post from our Chief Brand Officer, Angela Smith well worth a read.)

If nothing else this break, take moment to think about what you’d like to do more of (or less of) in 2021, and plan out a few simple ways you can achieve this. Despite the “unprecedented” nature of the year we’ve just had, it’s shown us all just how adaptable we can be, even if we’ve always been used to operating in a particular way. I hope everyone enjoys their well-earned time off, and we’ll all be back with more outstanding thinking in the new year.

Better input always leads to greater outcomes

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