The goal of all advertising is simply to penetrate the human brain*, the seat of all our thoughts, emotions, and choices.
My goal as an advertising professional – and yours as a business owner – is to make your company the first one in your category that prospects think of and feel the best about supporting with their dollars.
It’s honestly that simple.
And the process of getting there is simple, too.
Just say something that matters to your prospective customers. And keep on saying it.
But here’s the thing: how do you know what matters to them? Think it’s the fact you’ve been in business for 50 years? That you “service what you sell?” Or that you’re “conveniently located?”
Sorry, but you’re probably the only person who cares about these things.
Here’s a hint: good advertising isn’t about you or your business. It’s about your future customer. How much do you know about her world? What does she care about?
It seems so obvious: what matters to consumers is themselves. They’re preoccupied with their needs. Their wants. Their dreams. Their aspirations. Their spouses. Their kids. Their entertainment. Their adventures. Their trials and tribulations. Their heartbreaks. Their jobs. Their health. And so on.
Don’t get me wrong. Good advertising doesn’t leave you out of the picture; it just puts you in the proper place: alongside your customer as a helper, a resource, even a friend.
“An ad should ideally be like one end of an interesting conversation.” – Howard Luck Gossage
Here’s a good example of this.
We’re hearing only one side of the conversation here, but there’s no doubt that this advertiser is all about helping the customer.
Here’s another – from a Realtor® who isn’t even identified until the end of the spot. Why? Because the message is really all about what matters to the prospect, in this case a homeowner.
So, who are your ads all about?
Speak to your future customers about things that matter to them, in language they can relate to, with enough emotion to show that you care about them, and they’ll come dancing into your store or business.
A mentor once told me, “Advertising is a simple business made complicated by difficult people.” Life is difficult enough. Let’s keep your advertising simple.
And make it simply effective.
*Penetrating the brain with advertising means your message must go through the eye gate, the ear gate, or both. Consumers tend to prefer the ear gate, whereas advertisers tend to prefer the eye gate. Why is that?
Rod Schwartz backed into a lifelong career in radio advertising in 1973 in Springfield, Illinois. He became sales manager for the Pullman Radio Group in 1979 and served in that position until 2006. He continues to serve clients in the region as the stations’ senior account executive. Since 1991, Rod and his family have operated Grace Broadcast Sales, providing short-form syndicated radio features to radio and TV stations across the U.S. and Canada. An avid photographer, Rod shares some of his favorite images of the Palouse at PalousePics.com.