In this post, I am going to show you how to get massively better results from your advertising – starting right now!
Making advertising work!
If you tried advertising in the past and found that the only winner was the person who sold it to you, you’re not alone. Over the years, I have helped market the services of thousands of businesses, spanning just about every industry and profession. During my initial conversations with the people behind these businesses, I would often hear a version of the following statement:
“We tried advertising – it doesn’t work!”
Advertising actually DOES work (really well), but only if you use it correctly. I have personally sold many millions of pounds (and dollars) worth of products and services for my clients and myself, with the help of advertising. In this post, I am going to share one of the secrets of my advertising success with you.
If you have a small or medium sized business and are advertising with the intention of making sales, boosting your profits and transforming your income; I suggest the only form of advertising worth investing in is action advertising.
Why is ACTION advertising so effective for smaller businesses?
ACTION advertising is designed to make the reader take action. Big companies are usually seeking to get someone to switch from one brand of cola, razor blade or sports shoes etc to another. These adverts can be effective by simply associating good feelings or famous / beautiful people with their ‘brand.’
Small businesses typically advertise in order to generate sales. Their advertising needs to; get their phone ringing, fill their store with eager buyers or fill their inbox with sales requests and enquiries. This means their adverts need to inspire some form of direct response or action from the reader / listener. A good quality action advertisement includes the following:
- It tells the reader who the advertiser is.
- It tells the reader what the benefits of their product or service is.
- It gives them a motivating reason to ACT NOW – to call, visit or e-mail the advertiser.
- It tells them to contact the advertiser – usually with a time sensitive or limited availability element!
Here’s an example of a simple action advertisement I read (with the company’s details changed):
“ACME Widgets can save you a recession-busting 45% on your annual widget costs, that’s why we are inviting you to attend our wine and widget evening on 26th February at 7pm. You can reserve your place now by calling Rachael on 012345 123123. As places are limited, please call now to avoid disappointment! Acme Widgets, 22 East Street, London.”
In contrast, most small business advertising creates little motivation for the reader to take action. These ads are often based around the following:
- They tell the reader the name of the service or business.
- They show the reader the advertiser’s logo.
- They tell the reader a little about what the advertiser does or their benefits.
- They sometimes list a ‘special offer’.
- They usually give the reader some contact details.
These ineffective adverts provide information about who the advertiser is and what they do, BUT give no reason for the reader to take action and contact them. Guess what – generally, no one does! Here’s a real life example, (with the company name/details changed):
“Acme Widgets have over 20 years of experience and our customer service is second to none. Last year our widgets were voted ‘Best Value Widget’ by What Widget Magazine. Our best selling Orange Widget is just £250. Acme Widgets, 22 East Street, London”.
The majority of small business advertising I see in the press or in trade journals, is far less effective than it could or should be. There is nothing compelling about what they say – nothing to inspire the reader to do anything. When I started out in marketing, back in the 1980’s, we used to call these ineffective advertisements ‘flick-through ads’ – because people would literally see them and just carry on flicking through whichever publication they were in, without doing anything.
Remember, all motivation comes from motive
If you want your advertisement to generate masses of new business, you can! But you need to advertise where your ideal future clients/customers are and give them a BIG enough reason to inspire them to take the action you require. People are not stupid and will only contact you if there’s a compelling / motivating enough reason for them to do so. Just having your message “out there” is simply not enough!