I recently opened my local town flyer / paper and saw THIS:

This has to be the ultimate in self-centered marketing.

I mean, OK . . . every business wants ‘new customers’ . . . but Geez . . . couldn’t you give me, as a prospective client, a more personally compelling reason to work with you?  Like maybe something that would appeal to me?

Marketing 101:  WIIFM?
Obviously, this company is NOT a marketing company.  So maybe they should get a little latitude when it comes to crafting a compelling message that will attract the attention — and response — of prospects for the services and benefits it offers.  But then again . . . this is a glaring gaffe.

What They Might Have Done
Unfortunately, these local papers are often not known for having marketing talent on staff.  So I don’t think there was anyone involved from the business or the publication who knew much better.  But what would have been ‘better’?  Couple of thoughts:

AIDA
This is a ‘formula’ for successfully creating a compelling marketing message.

A = Attention . . . you have to ‘grab’ it or you’ll lose it before you have it — this is what the headline does (or, should do for you!)

I = Interest . . . you must keep your reader involved.  How?  Talk about what matters to them (and that’s rarely about you / your company!!)

D = Desire . . . you want to engage the emotions of your reader.  How?  Talk about what isn’t ‘right’ and what ‘much better’ looks like — as they define it.

A = Action . . . you want to invite a response from your reader.  How?  Make them an offer (they can’t refuse!) to take some ‘next step’ with you

OK . . . that’s rudimentary.  But what would that mean in the same space in this paper?  Let’s see . . . how about this:

Granted, it’s not bad for about 2 minutes of ‘creative’ time . . . but here’s why it’s different than the other ad and how it’s better:

A . . . Attention    This headline WILL make you stop and investigate –– “Will you make you neighbors CRY?”  is an attention grabber, for sure!

I . . . Interest    By talking about the reader’s lawn . . . and whether it’s going to make people cry with envy or laugh with disjoin. . . is reader-centric (for a change!)

D . . . Desire     Talking about what the reader really wants . . . and  desires (a great lawn!) . . . is certainly emotionally engaging!

A . . . ACTION   By offering both a ‘package’ (The “Make Your Neighbors Cry” package and an urgent (call by Oct 15) CALL-TO-ACTION (offer) this meets the test

OK, is this the BEST ad you could do?  Probably not.  But, compared to what the other competitors are offering, it’s does stand out and often, that’s enough to generate a winning ad and make some money as a result.

KEY POINT:
When creating promotional copy of any kind — an ad, a brochure, etc. ALWAYS think about what you’re saying from the point-of-view of your prospect.

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