Do you know what the single biggest problem is with almost all the marketing that I review, critique, and come across?
It’s that marketers often think that their prospects will connect the dots, or fill in the gaps at the places where their advertisements are not 100% clear.
It’s when marketers create their ads without their prospects in mind.
Here’s what I mean.
It’s an extremely self centered and egotistical approach to think that ANYONE will take even an extra millisecond to try and figure out what you’re trying to say in your ads.
Nobody cares about what YOU’VE got to say unless it benefits THEM.
If every word doesn’t appeal to your prospect’s innermost desires, if your copy doesn’t flow smoothly into the conversation already going on in your prospect’s mind, then your advertisement is being discarded.
Either physically or mentally.
A good ad (when I say "ad" I mean anything from a website, sales letter, email, blog post… any form of communication between you and your prospects) puts your readers in an almost hypnotic state, where their interest level is so high, and your message is such a greased chute, that they can’t help but continue reading.
When your ad can accomplish this, you are on the right track.
In contrast, any part of your advertisement that forces your prospect to stop and think — or have to figure something out, BREAKS this trance, and interrupts their blissful reverie.
Doing this will almost certainly kill the sale.
Some marketers are at the level where they recognize how important this principle is, and so they work at eliminating any obscure points in their ads that don’t trigger the emotions of their prospects.
Other marketers and businesses are completely clueless when it comes to this concept.
Here’s an example of that:
Here in Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley to be exact, there is a chain of auto dealerships called Keyes Motors.
Keyes Motors has been around for 20-30 years, and is a well known company in this area. And Keyes has a jingle that goes, "Keyes-Keyes-Keyes… Keyes on Van Nuys!" — sung to the tune of the Beach Boys song "Barbara Ann".
It’s cute, it’s catchy, and it’s fun to sing (if you work there).
Everybody who’s ever heard the jingle — knows it. They know that Keyes is there on Van Nuys Boulevard.
It’s a typical image/brand building type of strategy that does absolutely nothing in terms of pre-selecting an already interested target market, grabbing their attention with a bold promise, tickling their emotions with strong copy, crafting an irresistible offer, then eliminating all risk with an ironclad guarantee.
Fine. Not everyone uses direct response.
But a couple of weeks ago, on a cloudy day in the San Fernando Valley, the people at Keyes outdid themselves.
On this day I looked up to see an airplane flying around the area with a banner that simply read:
"Keyes Keyes Keyes… Keyes on Van Nuys"
That’s it. Take a look:
It didn’t say, "Go buy a car at Keyes". It didn’t say, "Keyes has really good Toyotas," or "We’re having a sale," or "The old model year is out — let’s make a deal!"
It simply said, "Keyes Keyes Keyes… Keyes on Van Nuys".
Okay, let’s take a look at what Keyes is trying to accomplish with this airplane banner.
Most likely they’re tying to get new customers to come into the dealership, right?
So let’s break this down into two parts.
Those who have heard the jingle and those who haven’t.
People who’ve heard the Keyes jingle
Everyone who’s heard that jingle a few times knows what it is.
I suppose that anyone who knows the song and saw the banner that day would be reminded of Keyes.
But remember, the objective of the airplane banner was probably to get NEW customers.
This ad only makes sense to people who’ve HEARD the jingle.
And if they’ve heard it before, and are reminded of Keyes Motors, and they don’t already love Keyes, a huge, expensive airplane banner won’t change that.
Maybe there’s a fraction of a chance that — at that moment — you ARE in the market to buy a car. And you were desperately wracking your brain for that catchy jingle you heard on the radio about that car dealership, sung to the tune of that one Beach Boys song.
And glory halleluiah, suddenly here comes that plane with exactly what you were looking for…
Sure, this could happen. But it’s highly unlikely.
Bottom line: The airplane banner only makes sense to people who have HEARD the jingle, but at the same time, it won’t do anything to change how they feel about Keyes. A lose/lose situation, and therefore…
So what about those who have no idea who, or what Keyes is?
For someone who has no idea who Keyes is, or what Keyes is, this banner is simply confusing.
Imagine, hanging out at the park, or stepping outside to get the mail, and you see this huge airplane ad. "Keyes Keyes Keyes… Keyes on Van Nuys".
What’s going on in your mind?
It simply doesn’t make any sense.
What is Keyes? Is that a person? A place? Did they misspell "keys?" It STILL doesn’t make sense.
What you have here is an extremely common mistake from advertisers who are so full of themselves, that they believe that all they have to do is put their name on a banner, fly it around the area, and customers will fall over themselves to come to the store.
Nobody is the center of the universe, and all roads do NOT lead to you. It’s only by focusing on the desires, needs, and fears of your PROSPECTS that your advertising will work. You can’t focus on yourself.
So… Bad Advertising winner of the week is "Keyes Keyes Keyes… Keyes on Van Nuys."
So go take a look at your own marketing. Does any of it operate under the assumption that your target market will make some leap, or dig back into some ripe old memory? Are you expecting your customer to do the work that your ad didn’t?
What do you think of Keyes’ big banner ad? Agree with me? Disagree? Let us all know.
To Your Success