Most business owners have at some point thought, “Half of my marketing is not working. If only I knew which half.”
First of all, let’s clarify the difference between marketing and advertising. Advertising is utilizing various channels to deliver a message that promotes your business. Marketing is the process by which you build your brand, and includes your advertising, among many other things.
In order to make advertising work, you must do three things: 1) say something that matters to the consumer, (2) say it to the right consumer – one that is qualified to buy your product or service, and (3) say it often enough and well enough to make an impact and move them to action. Today I want to talk about the latter.
If you’ve heard this a million times and are sure that every ad your company delivers passes the test, than I apologize for the redundancy. Feel free to bail out now. (If you’re looking for other good marketing blogs, check out this list.) For most of us, this will be a good reminder
1. Effective ads are about the customer, not the business. I know this is painful for some business owners to hear, as you (rightfully so) have a lot of pride in what you have built and how. But the reality is that the customer really does not care how long you have been in business or what accreditations your associates hold. That is, unless you can tell them WHY these things are a benefit to them. If you can come up with a believable promise of benefit resulting from these things, then you are on to something. For example, “Our associates have been with us since the company started, which means they will be here to take care of you after the sale.”
2. Effective ads stay away from cliché phrases and generic adjectives. When you use words like “great”, “best” and “most” in your ads, your audience has no idea what you are comparing to, and therefore, the words are meaningless. When you say things like “customized to fit all your needs” your audience can only wonder “how exactly is that different from any other competitor?” If you want your message to be meaningful, find something unique to you that carries value to them.
3. Effective ads don’t cram half a dozen ideas into a :30 second commercial. Stop making our heads spin! When you try to cram everything into your ad, your consumer is likely to remember nothing. Instead, pick the most compelling thing – the thing that makes you different than anyone else, matters to them and promises some sort of benefit that will make their life better. Chose the thing that will make them take the next step, whether that is to visit your website, walk into your store, or call. And no, we don’t need to tell them your phone number because they won’t remember it – they’ll Google you.
Good messages are not the most obvious or easiest – they take time and insight. If you want to see more of your advertising dollars work to drive customers to your business, start with these tips about message. They can make a big impact.