Basics of effective advertising


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Basics of effective advertising

  1. 1. SPECIAL Basics Of ACTION REPORT Effective Advertising “Half of all the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is, I don’t know which half!”A complimentary report - John Wanamaker provided by an “When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it independent BBG… ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.”Business Development - David Ogilvy Specialist Most people running small medium enterprises (SMEs) will instantly relate to Our purpose: the first quotation, but it’s the second quotation, from the legendary advertising agency heavyweight, that deserves most of your attention. ByTo provide practical emphasising the words interesting and buy, Ogilvy is underlining this vitalbusiness information that works… understanding about all advertising: It is the sole purpose of advertising (in Guaranteed! any of the myriad forms it can be employed) to be interesting so that it sells Business products or services at such a level as to justify its expense. PublicationsIn particular how Ltd Australia Pty to: You‘re a SME, not a BHP or a McDonald’s. They can spend their millions on Increase Sales Reduce Costs institutional advertising that owes more to public relations than it does to Improve Productivity selling. We’re here to talk about spending money on advertising that will make you money, not advertising aimed at creating images, or countering bad Better Business Group Ltd publicity.Serving Australian and Creativity is a bonus in effective advertising, not an objective. ProfitableNew Zealand Business. selling is the objective. BBG Australia We’re not going into detail here about the pros and cons of the media you Suite 7, Royal ArcadeCnr Barolin & Bourbong might choose to use - print advertising, television, radio, direct mail,St, Bundaberg, Qld 4670 billboards, or whatever. The purpose of this special action report is to Phone+61 412 667 559 concentrate on the message - your message, and how to make that message Fax +617 3036 6174 most effective for you. Please note this well: Do not spend any money on ANY advertising or BBG New Zealand marketing strategies unless you can establish a viciously accurate, highly- 1329 Akatarawa Road acceptable return on investment. Period. No exceptions, no excuses. Upper Hutt 5372. New Zealand Phone: +64 4 5266880 Here are four important principles about advertising that you need to Fax: +64 4 5264024 understand, and to keep firmly in mind when you’re creating your own Email: advertising campaigns, or evaluating a campaign prepared for you professional advertising people: Presented By: (1) Know your market: While it’s important that you know everything there is to know about your product or service, your business, and your industry, it is of paramount importance to your advertising effectiveness that you know your market - and what it wants - at least equally as well. Page 1 of 7 Copyright © Fred Steensma
  2. 2. Basics Of Effective Advertising(2) Know your objectives: To “increase sales” is not an objective, and it’s not a strategy.(3) Write it the way you’d say it: You must consider all of your advertisements to be a salesperson in another form. Make your advertisements “talk” to potential customers who are reading it, watching it, or listening to it, the way you’d have your best salesperson talk to a customer face-to-face, one-on-one.(4) Ask for the order: Every piece of your advertising must contain a call to action - a compelling reason why people should go out and buy your product or service now. Don’t advertise unless you’re after immediate results.Effective Advertising Principle #1: Know Your MarketYou’ve been in business for... what? Five years? 10 years? 20 years? You know your productpretty well, right? You know what makes it sell, right?Are you sure? Remember, you’re very close to your business... perhaps too close when it comesto creating an effective advertising campaign or strategy.You have to know the exact reasons why people buy your product, not why YOU think they buyit. So, ask them. The answers they give you will point you straight at the main selling points youhighlight in your advertisements. It doesn’t hurt to ask your competitors’ customers why theyfavoured that product over yours, either.When businesses ask their customers, they often get surprising answers:* People might favour your product over you competitors’ for reasons other than its quality or its price. They might be impressed with your after-sales service, your extraordinary guarantee, your home delivery service... any of a thousand reasons other than what you might consider to be the obvious. Enough of your customers agree and… Bingo! You’ve got a compelling reason why people should buy your product - because that’s the reason your existing customers told you they’d bought it. Hang your advertisement on that compelling reason. Even if you already knew that from your own instinct, now you can be confident that you’re right.* You might learn that if you make some changes, some adjustments, some variations, some improvements, people will be even more inclined to buy your product. Domino’s Pizza didn’t know people wanted home delivery until a customer told them so. Now that you know what your customers really want, you have to go and find out who the prime prospects for your product really are. You need a PPP - a Prime Prospect Profile. Again, don’t immediately assume that you already know. The people who buy a particular product aren’t necessarily the people who use it. Take men’s aftershave as an example; predominantly it’s bought by women for men. So, what sort of women buy men’s aftershave? Who are they? These are the sorts of things you have to know. You might be trying to appeal to the wrong people, the wrong sector, the wrong age group.Page 2 of 7 Better Business Group Ltd Copyright © Fred Steensma Australia- 2 Suite 7, Royal Arcade Cnr Barolin & Bourbong St, Bundaberg, Qld 4670 - +61 412-667 559– Email: New Zealand- 1329 Akatarawa Rd, Upper Hutt 5372, NZ - +64 4 5266 880 - Email:
  3. 3. Basics Of Effective AdvertisingHere’s the minimum you need to know to establish a PPP:* Their age range* Their sex* Where they live* How much money they make* What they do for a living* If they’re married or single* If they have kids* Anything else that makes them stand out… that makes them unique.Effective Advertising Principle #2: Know Your ObjectivesWithout an objective, you’ll come up with no strategy, a confusing, vague ad, and a lukewarmresponse, at best. The “Shop With Us Because We’re The Best And Cheapest” type ofadvertisement won’t work these days unless you’ve got some very compelling reasons under thatheadline. But the banality of the headline itself will stop 99% of people reading the compellingreasons, anyway.Do you want people to buy over the phone or come into your shop? Do you want them to respondso you can increase your database for back-end selling? Are you trying to move a specific line?Advertising has to be specific to be effective. Be sure about what you’re trying to achieve beforeyou start.Effective Advertising Principle #3: Write It The Way You’d Say ItKnowing who to target, what medium will best reach those people, and what to use as your mostcompelling offer are the foremost factors involved in effective advertising.But, unless your advertisement gets read (or seen, or listened to), you’ve still done your money.Apply the AIDA test to all your advertisements before approving them:Attention - Does it grab attention?Interest - Does it stimulate interest?Desire - Does it create desire for your product?Action - Does it demand that the reader takes action?When you’re writing headlines and copy, keep these principles in mind:* Don’t be pretentious, or use big words, complicated messages, or flowery phrasing. Keep it simple.* Don’t be patronising and don’t boast. Who cares if you’re the “biggest”? “What can you do for me? How can you fulfil my needs and desires?” This is what people want to know from you.Page 3 of 7 Better Business Group Ltd Copyright © Fred Steensma Australia- 2 Suite 7, Royal Arcade Cnr Barolin & Bourbong St, Bundaberg, Qld 4670 - +61 412-667 559– Email: New Zealand- 1329 Akatarawa Rd, Upper Hutt 5372, NZ - +64 4 5266 880 - Email:
  4. 4. Basics Of Effective Advertising* Write the way you speak - and speak clearly.* Be enthusiastic when you’re writing. You love your product, so let it show through. So long as you’re genuine, people will respond to positive, enthusiastic writing.* Be specific.* Be honest and believable.* Don’t be afraid of using too many words. If you’ve got a good story to tell, tell it. If people are interested in buying something, they can’t get enough information about it. But, make sure you have your compelling reasons in the headline and the first sentence or two to give people a reason for reading on. Think about it: If you’ve set your mind on buying such-and-such a new car next month, you’ll read everything you can about that car - even stuff you might not ordinarily be interested in, like the intricate mechanical details - to fulfil the need to convince yourself you’re making the right decision. Compliance professionals, like advertising agency people, call this our need for “social proof” - proving to ourselves that we’re not going to make a mistake, or be conned, or be made to look foolish.* When you’re writing your copy, imagine you’re a salesperson sitting face-to-face with a prospect. Write as if you’re just addressing one person, honestly and enthusiastically.* Try not to be too “arty.”Now, let’s go back to the AIDA principles to see how to create an effective advertisement.(We’re using a newspaper or magazine advertisement as our example, but you can apply the sameprinciples to script writing, too):ATTENTION - This is what the headlines for… to grab the reader’s attention.Think of how you go about reading a newspaper or magazine. You scan the headlines (andadvertisements) for subjects that interest you, right? And they’re the articles (or advertisements)you’ll start reading, and keep reading until you’ve finished, or they begin to bore you.So, either make your headline so different, newsworthy, outlandish, scandalous, curious, orunusual that it “forces” people to read on. Or, aim it to appeal directly to your market - the peoplewho are interested in what you have to sell. Remember, your headline represents at least 75% ofthe pulling power of your advertisement.And here’s the main point: The headline needs to express a promise of something - a benefit - forthe scanners... the biggest benefit you can hit them with. Done properly, in one go it will answerwhat’s in it for the reader and earn you the time to explain, justify, and excite enough interest forwho has now become a prospect to keep reading. Here are a few more things to consider whenyou’re writing headlines:* You can increase recall by more than 25% by putting your headlines in quotes.Page 4 of 7 Better Business Group Ltd Copyright © Fred Steensma Australia- 2 Suite 7, Royal Arcade Cnr Barolin & Bourbong St, Bundaberg, Qld 4670 - +61 412-667 559– Email: New Zealand- 1329 Akatarawa Rd, Upper Hutt 5372, NZ - +64 4 5266 880 - Email:
  5. 5. Basics Of Effective Advertising* Longer headlines out-pull shorter ones.* Here’s a short list of “winning” words: Free... Proven... Now... You... Discovery... Amazing... Suddenly.... Introducing... Health.* Use sub-headings throughout the copy, if it’s long enough, to lead your readers, and to make it easier for them to follow your logic.INTEREST - Now that you have their attention, how do you keep them interested? By “talking”to them, that’s how. And by using tried and proven, face-to-face sales techniques.* Explain the features of your product.* Outline the advantages of those features.* Explain the benefits they’ll receive if they buy your product.DESIRE - OK, they’re interested. So, now you have to make them desire your product. Simple!Tell them how it will make them happier, more attractive, healthier, popular, richer, envied,loved, better educated, and on and on.ACTION - You’ve got them. They’re desperate to buy from you.* Have you told them exactly how to do that, and made it imperative that they do it right away?* Have you made it super-easy for them to do it? It doesn’t matter if it’s “Grab your credit card, pick up the telephone and dial 1800 0000 now!” or “Call in for a free sample” or “Mail the reply-paid card today and we’ll send you our brochure.”* Have you given them a reason to respond immediately? “This is a limited edition piece, so order now to avoid disappointment,” or offer them a free gift if they buy before March 15.* Have you arranged to get their names and addresses, if possible? This will make it easier for you to sell them something else later.Effective Advertising Principle #4: Ask for the orderIn a sense, we‘ve just covered this issue in the foregoing. Yes, “ask for the order” is the one thingwhich 63% of salespeople dont do. Don’t you make this mistake in your advertising.The very purpose of your advertising is to get a you MUST ASK!The Six Powerful Principles Of InfluenceNo discussion of effective advertising would be complete without considering the main principlesof what causes people to do what they do. In other words, what buttons you have to push to getpeople to do what you want them to do - like buying what you’re offering in your advertisements.Page 5 of 7 Better Business Group Ltd Copyright © Fred Steensma Australia- 2 Suite 7, Royal Arcade Cnr Barolin & Bourbong St, Bundaberg, Qld 4670 - +61 412-667 559– Email: New Zealand- 1329 Akatarawa Rd, Upper Hutt 5372, NZ - +64 4 5266 880 - Email:
  6. 6. Basics Of Effective AdvertisingWe all respond without thinking to certain triggers - these sorts of things: “If it’s expensive, itmust be better quality.”... “If they do something for us, we should do something for them.”So, let’s take a brief look at these six triggers:1) Reciprocation. Most cultures agree - if someone does something for you, you’re expected to repay in kind. We don’t like being indebted to anyone, and usually feel uncomfortable until we’ve returned the favour. Giving something before asking for something in return - no matter how small the “gift” - dramatically increases the chances of compliance.2) Commitment And Consistency When someone has taken a definite decision, or position, on an issue, it’s hard for them to back down. People don’t like to lose face, and they don’t like to be seen as being inconsistent. Even a small commitment by the target - like agreeing to being interviewed, or purchasing an inexpensive bauble - can lead to major favours later. The smart salesperson (or advertiser) knows the profit on a small sale is not necessarily the issue. The important thing is getting the target to commit.3) Social Proof We all search for proof that we’re doing the right thing before we take action. We look around to see what other people are doing: “If everyone else is buying it, it must be good”; “If other people are taking action, maybe I should, too.” Social proof is most effective under two conditions. The first is uncertainty. If people are unsure how to behave, they’ll use the actions of others as “proof” that what they’re doing is the right thing. The second is similarity. We are more likely to emulate people who are similar to us.4) Liking People are much more likely to comply with a request from people they know, like, and trust. That’s why it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to a prospective customer. Repeated contact with people (even through advertising) will increase familiarity, and make it easier for them to comply with your requests. Related to this is the tactic of using association with successful, well-known people - like sporting personalities or movie stars - to get people to like you. You bask in their reflected glory and familiarity with the public if you don’t possess these things yourself.Page 6 of 7 Better Business Group Ltd Copyright © Fred Steensma Australia- 2 Suite 7, Royal Arcade Cnr Barolin & Bourbong St, Bundaberg, Qld 4670 - +61 412-667 559– Email: New Zealand- 1329 Akatarawa Rd, Upper Hutt 5372, NZ - +64 4 5266 880 - Email:
  7. 7. Basics Of Effective Advertising5) Authority Most people have an ingrained respect for authority: “Doctor knows best.”; “Do what the teacher says.”; “The policeman will protect you.” Your conditioned patterns of behaviour prompt you to treat these people with respect. It’s hard to say no to them. Smart advertisers know that people will react in a similar fashion to the symbols of authority - notably cars, titles, and clothes.6) Scarcity If we think there’s limited availability of a product, or that we can’t have it after a certain deadline, it immediately grows in its attractiveness. We worry that, if we don’t take action straight away, we’re going to miss out. If it’s in scarce supply, it must be of better quality. As well, as something becomes scarce, we lose the freedom to buy it. And loss of freedom is a powerful motivator.Review the six principles of influence every time you consider one of your advertisements, andapply as many of them as you can to what you say in that advertisement.Page 7 of 7 Better Business Group Ltd Copyright © Fred Steensma Australia- 2 Suite 7, Royal Arcade Cnr Barolin & Bourbong St, Bundaberg, Qld 4670 - +61 412-667 559– Email: New Zealand- 1329 Akatarawa Rd, Upper Hutt 5372, NZ - +64 4 5266 880 - Email: