Business & Finance Advertising & sales & Marketing

Marketing For the 21st Century, Or Why Your Marketing Doesn"t Work Like it Used To

Who is your competition?Is it just the guy down the street offering the same products and services as you do? Think again.
Your message of "Do business with me" is competing for the attention and the mind of the consumer with Coca Cola, Apple, GM and the biggest advertisers out there.
How many advertising messages have you been exposed to this week? The average American is subjected to over 3,000 - a day! Radio, TV, spam, Google, magazines, newspapers, fliers, billboards, signs lining both sides of the streets, and soon your cell phone will be offering you deals from the businesses you walk by.
That's 21,000 messages a week, 90,000 a month, over a million advertising messages a year.
How can you get your message through all that noise? That's the subject of this article.
There are three barriers you must overcome to reach your customers and potential customers.
Overcome those three, and you will find your marketing taking off.
Since you're also a consumer, let's look at it from that viewpoint to start.
How do you handle all the ads clamoring for your attention? You put up spam blockers.
You use TiVo or stop watching as soon as the TV ads come on.
You flick through websites.
You change radio stations when the ads start.
You go through your mail standing over the round file - trying to make sure you don't toss any checks by accident.
So how long does a marketer have to get a message through the defensive barriers erected by almost all consumers? You have a quarter of a second to attract their attention, or your ad, flier, web site, brochure - that you spent all that time and money on - will be physically or mentally trashed.
Probably the trash can by your desk fills up every week with marketing materials, the combined cost of which is hundreds or even thousands of dollars which companies spent to produce and deliver to your address.
Barrier #1.
Your marketing must grab attention.
This is usually done with graphics, photos, colors, "eye candy.
" A picture is worth a thousand words, but it can be grasped a lot faster than you can read all those words, so it's useful here.
GM and beer ads have been using sexy women to attract attention to Corvettes and foamy brew for decades.
Take a moment to do a drill that I've done with hundreds of professionals and business owners.
Grab a large yellow pages book and look in a section that has lots of ads, like dentists or auto repair (you can view the listings where you appear later).
How many of those ads ATTRACT your eye as you flip through the pages? How many don't get a second glance? How many repulse you? Based on your answers, you are looking at ads that have either conquered or failed to conquer barrier #1.
Barrier #2.
: Let's say that you've overcome barrier #1 - you've gotten someone's attention.
How long do you keep it? About 2 seconds.
What must you do in those 2 seconds? You've got to interest them.
If you don't get their interest in that brief instant, all the effort and money put into your promotion gets wasted because they'll discard it and move on.
Let's look at those yellow pages ads again, just the ones that attracted your attention (because most people won't look at the ones that don't catch their eye).
Which ones of those ads that grabbed your attention actually INTEREST you? Now look at just those ads a little closer.
What is it about them that interested you? In most cases there is a headline or bulleted item that piques your interest.
On the other hand, there are probably many headlines that don't do anything for you at all, like "Joe's Garage" or "Joesph Langenfoder, DDS.
" How do you know what will interest prospective clients? You ask them.
That's what surveys and market research are for.
These get the "buttons" which you can "push" and get a response from potential clients.
Ideally you want to use BIG buttons in your headlines, words that will interest 30 to 70% of the people reading the ad.
Those who don't do their homework and use buttons that interest 10% or 2% of their readers have to spend much more on their marketing for a lot lower return, and there go your profits.
Barrier #3.
: OK, now you're all set.
You know how to catch the eye so people will at least give you a couple of seconds to interest them.
And you've successfully gotten their interest.
Now what are you supposed to do? This is where many ads die.
How do you figure out what message you want to deliver? Here's a simple way - what do you tell people you meet or who call in that gets them to want to become your clients? Tell them that in your ad! Don't forget to have your web address and phone number easy to find and tell them to call.
There are not many ads that pass the test this far because they don't know that their job is to make you STAND OUT.
The 3 tips above will help your marketing stand out from the competition.
Some ads and marketing actions are head and shoulders above the crowd and get heard through all the noise.
Yours can be among them.
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All Rights Reserved.

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