Tag marketing

The right words

How you word your ad makes all the difference, as this video eloquently demonstrates.

This video reminds me of something Bill Bernbach once said.

Put your best foot forward

You might remember this billboard that featured a very unappetizing burger as the main focal point. To show how it should be done, here is a video from McDonald’s that shows how they make their food look so appetizing. A small business probably won’t go to such measures, but the same care should be taken for your marketing’s product shots, even if it is on a much smaller scale. It might take more time and add a bit more cost than simply slapping it on a table and taking a snapshot, but your product will be shown in its best light. And that will result in a far more effective advertisement.

How do you set your prices?

Seth Godin has a recent blog post on pricing power. Here’s a quote that stood out to me:

We often find ourselve stuck, matching the other guy’s price, or worse, racing to the bottom to be cheaper. Cheaper is the last refuge of the marketer unable to invent a better product and tell a better story.

There’s a school of marketing that says you have to have the lowest price. That’s basically Walmart’s marketing position.

I don’t buy it, no pun intended. If people only buy the least expensive cars, then how does Mercedes Benz stay in business?

Just some food for thought.

 

In all your seeking, get wisdom

Ship sailing on oceanYou might remember the time I told you about the small business that ruined its advertising. I recently found out that the company is closing the doors on the store in question.

It could be the economy, because the economy is tough right now. But if that small business had followed through on its advertising strategy, they would have been in a stronger position to weather this economic environment. They could not be dissuaded from the naive assumption that they didn’t need to communicate with their potential customers.

Treat your advertising as an investment. Start out conservatively and branch out slowly as you build your advertising presence. And don’t be afraid to consult with an advertising professional to get sound advice.

I bet you have an accountant and some sort of financial advisor. Treat your advertising and marketing investment the same way.

Copy-cat advertising

I often have small businesses tell me, “I’d like to have an ad like So-and-so’s.” That’s almost always a mistake. You want to stand out and be different in the minds of potential customers. You certainly don’t want to bring to mind your competition, unless you can do so in a way that shows off your product’s or service’s superiority.

That’s why I was surprised to see this Super Bowl ad from Motorola:

The ad introduces a new tablet computer from Motorola, the Xoom. The biggest problem with the ad? Everything about it reminds you of Apple.

The ad itself is a knock-off of arguably the most famous Super Bowl ad in history, the Apple Macintosh “1984” ad.

The Motorola ad has similar imagery, with identically dressed workers lined up in massive hallways catatonically walking to their destinations, and one lead character who doesn’t fit. That lead character is seen reading George Orwell’s 1984 on his tablet computer.

Even if you haven’t seen Apple’s original ad, when the lead character turns the page of the 1984 e-book, I bet you thought of the iPad. That’s not a great way to launch your new tablet. Everything about this ad reminds you of Apple and does nothing to differentiate the Xoom from the iPad.

It leaves you with the impression that this is just a knock-off, sort of like those watches people sell on street corners. Anyone want a “Roleks?” How about a “Guchi?”

I’ve shared this quote before, but it’s good advice from one the the greatest advertising minds ever:

“In advertising, not to be different is virtual suicide.”

– William Bernbach

You want to differentiate yourself from your competitors? Then don’t copy them. Be original.

Another lesson from Apple

Everyone knows by now that the iPhone is coming to Verizon. Let’s take a look at how Apple advertises this new offering.

Notice that their message is not that their iPhone is now available on Verizon. Their message is that you now have a choice of service providers. Their focus is your experience. They could have just told you what they offer, but it’s not about them, it’s about you.

Remember that when you create your advertising.

You want to be seen

A-B-C, simple as 1-2-3AllBusiness.com has a good article on the ABCs of advertising your small business. Not a whole lot of meat, but it does have some good advice.

My favorite quote:

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.”

– Stuart Henderson Britt

The author also mentions advertising as an investment that earns a return. But if you’ve been reading this blog, you already know about that.

A little help for the upcoming year

Rising ProfitsAs a small business owner, you know that you need to sit down at some point and think long term about your business and its advertising. While I can’t help you set goals for your business, I can offer a little guidance on your advertising and marketing. Here are six past articles from this blog that might help you as you think through and strategize your marketing and advertising for the upcoming year. Click on the title heading and the article will open in a new window.

What do you really sell?

All good strategy’s start by getting down to the basics. You might think you sell furniture, but your customer may be looking for a lot more than that.

How do your customers identify you?

Does your logo, business cards and other advertising and marketing truly reflect the work that you do?

Are you living up to your advertising?

You can say all the good things you want, but if those things aren’t true then you’re going to lose customers instead of gain them.

Make your message strike a chord.

What makes an ad stand out? Its message sticks with you long after you’ve moved on to other things.

The Secret Formula for Successful Advertising.

This was the first post ever published on this blog. It gives a simple explanation of how advertising works.

What are you saying?

Here’s two simple rules to making an effective advertisement.

There’s a lot of food for thought there. I hope this will help you and your small business get off to a good start this upcoming year.

Fonts matter

All fonts have a personality & a purposeI’ve mentioned before how everything in your advertising and marketing materials must support your message, even the font you use must support this message. Two of the most over-used fonts are Comic Sans and Papyrus, and they are often used in a glaringly inappropriate manner.

A graphic design student has put together a website that does a great job of illustrating why some fonts are more appropriate for certain messages than others. The website is Comic Sans Criminal. It only takes a couple of minutes to go through the site, so go take a look.

Choosing the right font is a vital part of saying your message well. So, dear small business owner / reader, are you a comic sans criminal?

Via Web Designer Depot.

What’s out of place in your advertising?

Seth Godin has a great article on hiring an architect. Only he’s not talking about architects for buildings, he’s talking about an architect for your business. Here’s my favorite quote:

I’m talking about intentionally building a structure and a strategy and a position, not focusing your energy on the mechanics, because mechanics alone are insufficient. Just as you can’t build a class A office building with nothing but a skilled carpenter, you can’t build a business for the ages that merely puts widgets into boxes.

My friend Jerry calls these people corporate chiropractors. They don’t do surgery, they realign and recognize what’s out of place.

It’s an excellent read. Go take a look and ask yourself, “does my advertising or marketing need an architect?”

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