Today I want to get down to the basics. I see way too many people that I talk to on a regular basis that they want the results of marketing (and in particular that Facebook ads can provide) – but they aren’t willing to put in the actual work (the proverbial easy button). So let’s dive in….
In the 1920s copywriter John Caples completely revolutionized the marketing world when he took an engineer’s eye, analytical approach using split-test principles and applied them to the mushy subjective realm of marketing, advertising and copywriting.
According to Caples, the only real metric of an advertisement’s “goodness” was its sales results. Nothing else matters…
He argued that advertising is not exactly a science, because you can never predict public opinion with guaranteed results. BUT you can use a scientific approach to your ads, and by testing, further testing, and then again further testing them with first one headline and then another, first one offer and then another, you can arrive at an ad that is probably going to be super successful.
Advertising can never become completely accurate, however because of the human element involved – in advertising you are dealing with the minds and the emotions of human beings, and these will always be, to a certain extent, unstable and unmeasurable.
That is why it is necessary to test, test, test – to test market, copy, offers, media, position in publications, seasonal variations, and even time of day in broadcast advertising.
What is the purpose of Advertising and what makes Advertising Effective?
An Ad is a bridge between your company and your prospect which leads him to buy your products and services.
Advertising is not supposed to be an entertainment! You may be entertained by it, but that’s not its purpose. It’s not a creativity contest. It’s not meant to grace the walls of Louvre in Paris. It’s also not poetry, comedy, or a riddle to be figured out.
And to add further Advertising is not about winning awards for being tricky, off-the-wall, or ingenious.
Advertising – plain and simple – is about selling products and services. It’s a communication with the goal to increase sales by interesting people enough in a product or service that they ultimately trade their money for it. Therefore the only purpose of Advertising is to make sales. It is profitable or unprofitable according to its actual sales. Because Advertising is nothing but an expense (not an investment) unless it gets the kind of ACTION desired by Advertiser.
So the question is:
Are Your Advertisements effective enough to bring you immediate Sales and New Customers?
The sad thing is today’s marketers has seem to forgot about the fact that advertising = sales. So many ads (just look around) have no clear message and aren’t being held accountable for sales.
Did you watch the SuperBowl ads the other day? Was there a single one that was a direct offer to sell anything? A lot of the commercials were great (and entertaining) – but they weren’t selling…
Being able to sell something is the life and death of any company. No company can survive without Sales.
And Selling is all about dealing with people. It involves basic human interaction. After all we are selling to people and not to machines.
Yet, most professionals in advertising and related fields understand very little about what actually drives people to buy.
There are few key factors that can mean the difference between a good, effective ad that moves product and a bad ad which proves to be a waste of money or worse.
One of the the most frequent reasons for and unsuccessful ad campaign is we forget what the objective is – we tend to puff out our chest and let everybody know how awesome we are and don’t tell people to actually buy!
Direct Response Advertising breaks down WHY people respond to certain ads and reject other ads. Once you understand why people buy, Direct Response Advertising offers ideas and techniques on how you can make those people your customers. It’s a basic study of psychology and studying people. One of the most interesting things to do is to sit at a mall and just watch people.
Direct Response Advertising clearly explains exactly how you can tap into the desires that all humans are naturally born with. These aren’t theories or assumptions, these techniques are backed up with concrete Psychological studies and practical measured results.
All Ads can be tested and the results can be compared
In Direct Response Advertising we accept nothing as true about what works best in advertising until “scientifically” – tested.
We treat every ad as an ongoing test of what has been learned before. When something new works better – or something old stops working – we are ready to admit that we were wrong about what we thought we “knew”. But we don’t just accept it.
We find out why and apply it the next time.
We test everything.
We doubt everything. We are interested in theories, but don’t spend a large sum of money on a theory without spending a little money to test it first.
So many marketers today have ‘forgotten’ the fundamental testing techniques which build the Direct Response industry.
How to persuade Customers and win Sales through Direct Response Advertising?
One of the big Advertising myths among most of us is that Advertising is used to create Publicity. Its as much false as bringing stars from sky for our girlfriends.
Direct Response Advertising puts Salesmanship into perspective and gives you a clear cut out line for selling absolutely anything efficiently. This marketing model is now must have for anybody selling products from books to softwares to luxury automobiles.
In Direct Response four factors are very important to consider.
1. Defining Target Market, people who will buy your products & services immediately. This is based on demographic, psychographic & geographic profile of your customers.
2. Content of Campaigns which will attract your target market and immediately sell products to them and then repeated sales.
3. Special offers helping to close the sales immediately.
4. Type of media which can bring best results at lowest costs.
Once you identity all these 4 factors are right for your products & services and then start hitting your market with this perfect combination, it can be a jackpot for you in terms of Sales.
Defining Your Target Market
David Ogilvy “The Father of Advertising” has been quoted as saying “Put people first, the rest will follow”.
People and technology are getting better at filtering data. We know our inbox, RSS reader, Twitter stream and search results contain lots of important information, but some things get filtered out. Connecting with your precise target audience will help prevent you from being filtered.
What exactly is a USP? There are many ways to define it – but essentially it is defining what you do (justifying why you are in business and why your business exists).
According to Wikipedia a USP is:
‘A unique selling proposition (USP) refers to the unique benefit exhibited by a company, service, product or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors. The unique selling proposition must be a feature that highlights product benefits that are meaningful to consumers.’
One of the greats’ in the marketing world Dan Kennedy defines the USP this way:
When you set out to attract a new, prospective customer to your business for the first time, there is one, paramount question you must answer:
“Why should I choose your business/product/service versus any/every other competitive option available to me?”
You must know the facts, features, benefits, and promises that your business makes — inside-out, upside-down, backwards, forwards, and sideways. Because if you can’t clearly articulate what makes your business unique, how can you expect anyone else to care?
The right USP coupled with the right offer, especially at the right time and place, is important for any business. For a business fighting for attention with millions of other blogs all over the world, it’s essential
Here’s something many of us forget from time to time: Marketing is always about your prospects – not you.
What you say in your advertisements. This includes the appeal used and the method of expressing that appeal. It covers:
1) How to capture the prospect’s attention: Nothing happens unless something in your mailing or your commercial makes the prospect stop long enough to pay attention to what you say next.
2) How to maintain the prospect’s interest: Keep the ad, mailing or commercial focused on the prospect, on what he or she will get out of using your product or service.
3) How to move the prospect to favorable action. Unless enough “prospects” are transformed into “customers”, your ad has failed, no matter how creative. That’s why you don’t stop with A/I/A (Attention/Interest/Action), but continue right on with testing.
The magic ingredient of any successful ad to get people to buy now. The offer has to be so irresistible that they take action immediately. Your offer must be clear. People must be able to understand it instantly. Confused people do not respond.
For example, half off is better than 50% off and a lot better than 35% or even 60% off. People have difficulty understanding percentages. Two for one is usually better than half off.
The offer must be a good value. It has to be understood as a good value. That’s why percentage off coupons doesn’t usually work well. People get suspicious. They think as soon as they see I have coupons they’ll just raise the price to recover the discount. Percentage off coupons work well where there are known published prices.
The offer should involve either a discount or a premium or preferably both.
There you have it – some very important keys to direct response marketing. Post your comments below.