What Do Your Ads Say?

Make a list of everything you think should be included at one time or another, in one of your ad, be it radio, newspaper or Little Jimmie’s class play program.
Everything. Experience, staff, facility, product. The list will be quite long. Take the time to do it now, before you read the rest of this article.
Next, take a hard look at your list, pencil in hand, and cross off all items that are about YOU (including YOUR staff, YOUR building, YOUR ranking, awards etc). Now, x-out all the FEATURES of your products or service.
The number one rule, the only rule, for great advertising is “Sell the Benefits”.
Take a poll, people don’t care if you have the largest selection in town. It means nothing that “New Stuff is arriving daily”. They want to know what you or your product can do for them. WIIFM or “What’s In It For Me?” Ease pain and you gain.
You see and hear ads everyday that miss the point entirely. Giant billboards with pictures of the medical clinic staff standing in front of a wall of awards. Picture of a guy with a wrench and the words “See me for all your plumbing needs.” Three little girls on TV yelling an unintelligible slogan about their daddy’s store. It’s all about them. It should be all about the customer.
Did you see the one on TV where a guy gets the water cooler dumped on him because he bought the good software? What picture does that tell? It would have been better if the guy told me (from a sunny beach location) the boss gave him another week of vacation because the new software saved the company 40 million bucks. Benefits.
How about the newspaper ad with the picture of the funeral home building and how they have been around for 85 years? Benefit?
Ads about “you you you” can look and sound really great, to you, you, you. We all love to talk about ourselves. Where are the benefits? What hook does your face on a billboard use to bring customers through the door? Your face is NOT a benefit.
We all grew up thinking “me me me”. Remember how excited you got when you first saw your name or picture in the newspaper? Even the school paper. It was a BIG deal. “Me me me.” Great for your ego, but take that thinking to your advertising and it flops.
The first time you make the list and cross out the me me mees and all the features, you may have only one or two points left to promote. Make a new list and think “them them them”. Think benefits.
The ads that stick in your head are the ones that promise to make your life easier. The appliance store promising to deliver at the appointed time. You don’t have to stay home all day waiting for the truck. A real benefit. It makes no difference if the TV is made by Acme or Zenith? They will deliver on time. Let’s go there. Benefits.
The company that says their plumber will show up clean, on time, and not smell. Another benefit!
Who cares what a financial advisor looks like, but tell people they can retire and not eat dog food and you get their attention. Benefit.
Funny thing, the ads about benefits are the ones we make the mental note to remember. Hmmm.
Sell the benefits and you don’t have to sell yourself.

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