Direct Messaging: Are you missing the opportunity to communicate with your customers? If your focus is on being creative and out of the box at the expense of common sense connecting then you may be suffering from Adsy-Creative syndrome.
When we think of great advertising we often think of very clever ads that run on TV. There is a popular notion that great advertising is always something extremely creative, or even over-the-top. This misconception is reinforced through the commercials we see regularly on television, produced by business moguls like Coke™, Nike™, and Nestle™. While huge agencies cleverly representing enormous companies are real, this top fractional segment represents only the smallest percentage of businesses and the smallest percentage of advertising.
When it comes to marketing and advertising for mid-sized to small companies, the same strategies that work for the largest brands do not trickle
Leave image awareness to the shoes, cars and jeans.
Once a brand becomes commonly known, a tried and true strategy to continue to promote and differentiate the company and brand is through image building. Nike™, McDonald’s™, Lexus™, Ford™, Gap™, and others are already a known quantity. We are all very aware that they sell shoes, fast food, cars, etc. So, how do they differentiate themselves? They depict social settings, footraces, luxury, youth, cool, sexy, and other environments, and sometimes only tag their brand in the end of the commercial — sometimes with nothing more than a logo. If you did not already recognize the brand, then you wouldn’t even know what was being promoted. As it is, you may be guessing the brand or product more than half way through the advertisement.
For brands that are relatively unknown, image building does not work.
If you are a local company, or one of the vast majority of the businesses that needs its products and services introduced, then you need to communicate real content about your product(s) and service(s) to your potential customers. Trying to be over-the-top creative is almost always a waste of time because it does not actually communicate the what, how, who, and benefits that your service(s) and product(s) brings to the table.
The solution is much simpler than you think. This is where your “ah hah” moments of common sense are a great indicator that you are on the right track.
Be direct in your communication with your customers. Tell them what you are selling and why it is different than your competition. And, when you tell them why it is different, don’t simply tell them it is better. Tell them something specific that helps you stand out, and let them decide you are better. Just saying you are better really does not tell your customers anything. If you are too generic, you are forgettable.
Educate your customers
If you are educating your customers, then you are on your way to becoming their go to expert. The more you are responsible for filling their head with knowledge and understanding, the more you are on the path to gaining their trust and loyalty. There is no greater prize. There is no greater goal in marketing your company than having earned loyalty.
In marketing, as in all other major endeavors, there is no substitute for being smarter than your competition and out thinking them rather than trying to outspend them. You will be able to produce more per dollar spent than they will, and any extra muscle (dollars) you apply will be felt. That is a distinct competitive advantage.
Bryan Carter is the Managing Partner at thinkWEBSTORE.com, a marketing and technology company located on Lake Harbour Drive in Ridgeland, Mississippi that helps businesses with branding, websites, graphic design, search engine optimization and social marketing.