I haven’t posted in a little bit due to ‘end of the year chaos’ but I thought I would share a few tips & quips for your next advertising campaign. There are a bunch of things I’ve learned on my own and a bunch of people I’ve taken advice from. Here’s some of those thoughts / rants.
Separate Yourself From The Pack
One of the big great pieces of marketing advice that people seem to forget. One of the main keys to any advertising campaign is to separate yourself from the pack. That can come in two forms; what you’re talking about and how you’re saying it.
What You’re Talking About
The first way is how you’re positioning your product or brand. This essentially means that when competing companies and talking about price, you talk about service. Just because you’re in competition with someone doesn’t mean you have to compete with their advertising. You can even ‘push’ a product or feature that no one else has or something you excel at. So, if you’re a mechanic and you’re really good at fixing Volkswagen’s, then you can position your advertising to show that you excel at fixing Volkswagens. The key is to just talk about that for a whole ad, but we’ll get to that a little later…
How You’re Saying It
This one is a weird one and often takes people off-guard. Say what your competition is saying, but do it in a different way. The first and best example I can think of is Geico. It took one year of Geico’s famous Gecko (and then onto Cavemen, etc.) that made every insurance company stop what they were doing and re-evaluate their advertising / marketing strategy. Most insurance agencies nowadays are thinking totally outside the box on how to sell to their potential clients. Saying what you want to say in a different way is a great way to get your creative juices flowing and think outside of the box. I mean, think about those Geico ads, they barely even mention insurance anymore, but you know damn well what the ad is for.
The important factor that Geico (and other ‘like’ ads) did was drive home one message to make you remember the business. “You could save 15%….” That’s the key. If you have a diluted message that doesn’t have a point, then everyone will remember the commercial but no one will remember what it was for.
Many small business just want a ‘laundry list’ of services their business offers. Those commercials, traditionally, don’t do very well. Why? Because there’s too much information in a small amount of time and most people don’t care or can’t retain that kind of information. I’m always trying to think of that ‘other angle,’ whether it be by offering a (substantial) discount or by honing in on one service or product at a time. Creating a ‘laundry list’ commercial will end up sounding like a Crazy Eddie Commercial. I know that sounds kind of hypocritical, because those commercials were relatively successful, but it’s the ‘character’ in those commercials that makes them memorable, not what he’s saying.
Hit One Thing At A Time!
If you’re a business and you realize the benefit of advertising, then chances are you aren’t advertising for one month out of the year. That means you can talk about all of your services over the course of a year (or even two) instead of in one commercial. Don’t think that you have to do a ‘laundry list‘ in order to get everything in there. If you’re talking about one thing, and that thing is interesting then your potential clients will find out more. More so, you’ll have time to expand on one product or service and that will set you apart from the pack.
Last year I ran a series of ad’s about a social media package I have; in which I mention ‘the website guys at I Heart Blank.’ You can listen to it here. Now, do you think anyone that hears that commercial doesn’t think I do websites? Of course they do!!! Over the course of last year, I spread four different messages over the airwaves for people to hear. They included an Online Resume package, the social media package, an intro-commercial about who I am and what I do and finally a commercial about website design. No one commercial (technically) talked about all the services I offer.
The ‘Harder’ Business To Sell
There’s certain business-types that are harder (but not impossible) to sell. This is often times why you hear the same types of commercials for certain business types. Every once in a while a business will be adventurous and change the game. We talked about before, but again Geico car insurance is a great example of this. How interesting or fun is car insurance? Exactly. Geico made it fun!
I also had a mortgage company on the air and we decided to take a ‘different’ approach to advertising. I didn’t want to do a traditional ‘we care about you’ commercial, so we decided to do a series of over twenty ‘interview commercials’ with realtors, real estate attorneys, title people, etc to talk about how much they loved the mortgage company. It worked out great for several reasons. First, it was a non-traditional commercial for a mortgage company. Secondly, the mortgage company got to help some of the people they work with by getting them on the air. It was a win-win for everybody!
Think about your advertising and don’t fall in the hole of many businesses. Hope this helps. Stand by for Part II. I’ll try to get it done soon!!!