I know this grumpy dissertation is unwelcome by most. You just want advertising that pulls better.
Here are three ways to make your advertising pull better – if you define “better” as more appropriate, valuable customers or clients that will add to the sustainability of your business. Here goes.
1.) Sharpen Its Focus. Aim it at a certain person or persons while excluding others. Make its top three promises meaningfully specific, not vague, and meaningful to the selected prospect.
2.) Be Sure You Aim It At Prospects With ABILITY And WILLINGNESS To Buy. I often catch people trying to sell to people who can’t, or who won’t, or worse, can’t and won’t.
3.) Clearly Separate And Differentiate Yourself. Once upon a time, different businesses in the same general category carved out different spots to stand on, routinely. “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza” belonged to Papa Johns; “Fresh And Hot…In 30 Minutes…Guaranteed” belonged to Dominos. Good OR Fast. Two different flags. More often now, everybody’s mucking around in everybody else’s sandbox, making each other interchangeable options, thus, often, leaving the consumer to default to cheapest or most convenient. Look around: The redundant businesses are dying or greatly suffering. Great advertising needs something worth announcing, proclaiming, waving; some stand-out proposition worth advocating for. You have to find your way to meaningful specifics and differences.
Here are a handful of such differentiating statements I’ve crafted for different clients over the years:
- Sell Your Business For Twice What You Think You Can, In Half The Time You Imagine
- If We Don’t Sell Your Home In 62 Days, We’ll Buy It For A Pre-Agreed Price, CASH, On The 63rd Day
- The Only Insurance Salesman On Earth Who Absolutely Refuses To Sell You Insurance What The Devil IS He Up To? Could He Actually Be Representing YOU?
- ….from Giorgio, Romance Director of Giorgio’s Italian Grotto
- One of the greatest ever, from Gary Halbert: If your friends don’t actually accuse you of having had a facelift – return the empty jar for a full refund…
So, here’s a big-idea gift: Stop trying to be one of your tribe but in some small way, a little better. Start trying to stand apart from and above the entire tribe by being entirely different AND incredibly, amazingly better. Find a truly BIG IDEA as Ogilvy urged and leverage it to the hilt.
With Giorgio, I didn’t position him as having (just) a better restaurant. I positioned him as being in an entirely different business; the romance business. That’s a BIG IDEA.
On ‘Forbes On Fox,’ the Saturday that I was writing this, Jonathan Koenig made this point: America is not supposed to be a country like Iraq or Afghanistan, made up of warring tribes. We are not supposed to be organized into, talked to as, and pitted against each other as tribes by race, gender or age. We are a nation of individuals. Lumping all blacks together as a voting bloc or ‘movement’ is racist. Lumping all women together as a voting bloc or ‘movement’ is sexist.
This is applicable to your customers – there’s hazard in thinking of them as a group, rather than as individuals. And, for you and your business, the best thing is to be an individual – not one of the best of a group. Unique! I hope, hope, hope that I encourage that, for you, here, for as long as I’m here. Do NOT be a ‘shrinking violet’ in any way, at any time, with anyone. FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD! CLARITY AND STRENGTH ARE MAGNETIC TO MONEY. BIG IDEAS RULE THE DAY.