Tag Archives: advertising effectiveness

Advertising: Purpose is Pivotal

When a business owner tells me they need a brochure for their business, my first question is:  Why?  The answer usually goes something like:  Well, everyone has one, we should too.

Again, why?

I take it a step further by asking:  What is the purpose of the brochure?  This puts a big stump in the middle of the road.  When you take the time to think things through, the purpose of a brochure is, first of all, to get the viewer to pick it up.  That means it either has to have a strong attention getting device or that the viewer is interested in the subject of the brochure.  That could be a resort, a restaurant, tourist attraction, business information, or whatever else is being advertised, if done right.

Thinking it through a bit more, the second step in the process of an effective brochure is to get the viewer or person who picked it up to open it up and spend some time reviewing the contents.  Typically, once they’ve digested the information, they look for a call to action or a reason to save the brochure.  Without a call to action or reason to save it, the odds are that little brochure winds up in the recycling or trash bin.

The plus is that a brochure that is picked up and looked at has made at least one impression on one human being’s brain.  Whether anything is done about it is another matter, and that is what has prompted this blog.

The purpose of the brochure or other advertising is pivotal.  The call to action is essential, especially if it is intended to drive sales.

Regarding a brochure, here are a couple more questions:

Who do you want to see or receive the brochure?

What do you want them to do once they’ve received it?

The answers provide you with basic information about your target audience, how many brochures to print, the delivery vehicle (a brochure rack, direct mail, etc.), and how the reader should contact you.  Have you ever received a brochure in the mail that was without any contact information?  That’s a big “Oops!” and a costly one, too.

Whether it’s a brochure or some other form of advertising for your business, here’s the basic question you need to ask yourself:  What’s the purpose?

You should know what you want your advertising to do.  Do you want viewers, readers, and/or users to call you?  Stop by your store?  Go online?  Check out your website?  E-mail you?  You must first give them a compelling reason to take action, and then call them to action so they do what you want them to do.

Even if you merely want to share information to educate potential consumers, you need to stir action to get them involved.  If you’ve paid attention to the fine print in TV commercials for ED products, you’ll notice they generally direct people to a magazine ad for more information.  Pick up that magazine and you’ll see a three-page ad; one for the product and two pages of disclaimers.

Think about who you want to receive your advertising message.  Male, female, or both?  What age group?  What income level?  Where do the majority of them live?

Next, consider what is the best way to reach them with your message.  Are they most likely to listen to radio or view a brief video online?  Choosing the right delivery vehicle and crafting a message relevant to your target audience are additional steps to gain success and a return on your investment in advertising.

Advertising seems simple, but it’s a complicated process that requires you take the time to think it through.  Save yourself some money and engage a qualified consultant to help.


AGD’s – Attention Getting Devices

How long does it take you to check your smart phone when you hear the familiar “ding” that you’ve received a text message?  If the phone is in your hand already, only a few seconds.  If you have to find the phone, perhaps 30 seconds.  And who knows how long if you have it on vibrate or can’t remember where you put it?

The point is that little “ding” is a very poignant and effective attention getting device, or an AGD for those of you into types of acronyms, like F2F for meeting someone face-to-face.  That “ding-y” AGD is part of the reason text messaging is growing in popularity for business owners, and why texting has such a phenomenal response rate.  Unless a text correspondence has ended, the sender or receiver is likely to continue responding until it does.  And the end result is likely to stir one of the parties to action.  Hence the effectiveness of flash mob.

Jamie's Baby

This banner from www.greenbayfloorrestore.com’s website is an example of an Internet attention getter; the client wanted more carpet cleaning business.

In more traditional methods of advertising, AGDs are as important, if not more so, than a strong call to action.  Think of a direct mail piece that blends in.  It looks like all the other direct mail correspondence in your mailbox and, most likely, gets recycled before it hits the countertop.  We could spend an entire blog on direct mail, but as it relates to getting someone’s attention, that piece must stand out from everything else, be delivered at the right time, and pique the receiver’s curiosity enough to get them to open it and see what it’s all about.  The odds are still in favor of it getting recycled, but if the offer is strong enough, it may survive.

Watch some television commercials, if only to see what grabs your attention.  This can be important to you as a marketer and business owner if your target demographic matches your profile to some extent.  Is the AGD a recognizable celebrity?  A cute pet?  Someone doing something silly or scary?  Does the AGD tug at your heart strings, make you cry, or cause you to salivate for some reason?  Most TV commercials, while they may seem longer, are only 30 seconds.  That’s a short time to get a viewer’s attention, pitch the product, and call the observer to do something about it.

Music and humor can be attention getting devices for advertising your product or service.  Beautiful images and sexual innuendo can also work, but the key to your success is using AGDs that reflect your image and convey your unique selling proposition to the targeted audience as clearly and succinctly as possible to GRAB THEIR ATTENTION … like yelling in an E-mail.

The fun part is that you’ll know yours when you discover it.


Sex Sells – Part One

Yes, it’s true!  Sexual attraction can sell your products or services.

Think about it for a few minutes (a few seconds for men) and you realize the attraction factor is more than male-female and female-male.  What do I mean?

I have often thought that department store ads for underwear were unfair to women.  The ads depict female models wearing the products in full color, which one might think were designed to appeal to the male audience.  You rarely see male models sporting the masculine products; it’s usually a picture of the product in its package.  That probably makes it easier for the guys to find it in the store.

The female models, I have learned, are what attract other women to the product.  The ads are not oriented toward men!  Women want to see what the product looks like, and the kind of body they would like to or do have.  So, in the case of women’s under garment advertising, the “sex” factor is female-female.

Companies that market sporting goods or sports-related products also find success with the “sex sells” approach.  Humor works well, too, such as some of the beer commercials where horses work out to improve their position or play football for example.  Yet beer marketing companies also use male bonding approaches to selling their products since research has shown that men are the most likely high quantity buyers of their products.

We have become so familiar with the “sex sells” approach of print, TV, radio, and even Internet advertising that we rarely give it a second thought.  For it to be effective for your business, therefore, it must be different, tasteful, and outstanding to get your product or service noticed.

How do you do that?

First, know your customers.  Understand who makes the buying decision when it comes to purchasing your products or services.

Second, know your products or services.  What are your customers or prospective customers buying?  Are they buying wicker baskets, or are they purchasing decorative storage containers?

Third, decide if a sexy advertising approach is appropriate for your business, products, and services.  There may be a more effective way to get the results you desire.

Fourth, if sexual attraction will move your merchandise, find creative and tasteful ways to advertise your goods and services.  You may find that a subliminal, nuanced message has far greater impact on results than a raunchy, over-the-top and objectionable reference to bedroom behavior.

Allow me to share a couple of examples:

1) Think about the operation of a bar, tavern, or restaurant that serves alcohol.  Think about the patrons.  They could easily purchase alcohol and drink it at home.  Why do they come to the drinking establishment?  They come to be with friends, to enjoy the atmosphere, have fun, and to be entertained. 

Ignoring the age of the patrons, they are more likely to drink more product if the bartender or server is younger, more attractive, and more out-going.  Yes, even flirty!  A female bartender with a great personality and an attractive figure will build a loyal, repeat male customer base more than a grumpy older woman.  The same holds true for a muscular, handsome male bartender in building a repeat loyalty among female patrons.

2) Think about trade shows and exhibits for a minute.  As you walk the floors of a convention center to check out the various products and services offered by vendors in your industry, what draws you into the exhibit?  One, obviously, is that you are interested in learning more about the product or service being displayed.  How do you react if there’s a “pushy” sales rep approaching you to “step in” or “take this brochure” as you get close?  You either get sucked in or side-step to the other side of the aisle to avoid them.

Now think about the booth where there’s an attractive male or female staffing the display.  They’re smiling at you (and everyone) and being a bit flirtatious as you approach.  The display is also attractive, but the way the staffer is dressed and groomed reels you in.  If they answer your serious questions professionally and appeal to your attraction to them, you are more likely to also be attracted to their products and services.

The point is to take the time to think things through when it involves using a sexual approach to marketing your business.