Sync & Swimm

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Archive for the category “copywriting”

Words

  1. wordsmeanthingsWords build or break relationships.
  2. Words can easily be misunderstood—Choose them wisely.
  3. Words can start wars, or make people fall in love.
  4. Words should be transparent, authentic and without hidden agendas.
  5. Words can INCREASE or KILL energy.
  6. Words justify logic.
  7. Words can build value over price.
  8. Words invoke emotions. Emotions play a major role in most purchase decisions. Never lose sight of how potential customers want to feel: Safer, healthier, smarter, more attractive, in control and that they didn’t make the wrong choice.
  9. Words should be chosen based on the audience.
  10. The most important Word is “YOU”.

Creative Clutter

What does it take to be creative? A loose environment where people can walk aCluttered-Mindround barefoot thinking about the next big thing?  Maybe I guess. But I present to you a different way to look at the best creative minds.

They may not look like it on the surface, but creative people have to be the most organized in an organization. In the advertising world, they must deal with deadlines, angry clients, angry sales reps, angry bosses…Lots of things to juggle.

The right brain thinkers of the world must come up with the ideas, AND have their to-do list cleaned up and immaculate.  That’s where the magic happens.  Loose ends pull us in the wrong directions and take our mind off of, well, the next thing big thing.

Creativity doesn’t rise out of clutter. It comes from being so organized your mind can move onto the next great idea.

20 Random Advertising Thoughts

advertising

  1. People only show up to the party when you invite them.
  2. It takes a MINIMUM of 3 impressions (Closer to 6 in 2017) before someone acts on an offer.
  3. ….AND that’s only if they have a need.
  4. All advertising needs 4 Keys.  Reach, Frequency, Consistency and GREAT Creative.
  5. $500 campaigns don’t work.
  6. Crappy creative doesn’t work.
  7. People only care about one radio station…… WII-FM  “What’s in it for me”?
  8. Most people don’t listen……Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!
  9. People really have no idea how they heard about a product.
  10. Most people automatically say…..“I saw you on TV” when asked.
  11. Radio MULTIPLIES the effectiveness of all other media.
  12. Radio also stands on its own as a media.
  13. You really can’t brand with print or social media.
  14. Social media is a conversation vehicle—Not a branding method.
  15. All advertising can work if done correctly.
  16. Cold feet is the #1 reason for a campaign not to work. (Stopped before it caught on.)
  17. Not following the 4 Keys is the #2 reason.
  18. People don’t care about features—Only benefits.
  19. Programmatic digital campaigns will end up embedded in HORRIBLE articles/websites.
  20. All that really matters is if the advertising makes the cash register ring more often.

Welcome to the party! Who are you?

Who are you questionWhen someone decides to make a purchase how do you make sure your company is even thought about?  Do they know who you are? What you are about? Did you even get invited to the party?

Have you ever been to a party where everyone knows each other? Would you throw out your hand with a big….”Hi, I’m John..Wanna buy some insurance?” That’s what you do when you post an offer on digital or social before you create awareness.  Without awareness and reputation, you are just another idiot trying to sell something.

To create brand awareness you need Reach, Frequency, Consistency and a great message (Creative).  This doesn’t come from a few Facebook posts.  It comes from engagement. Connecting to the local community any way you can.  Going to a few of those parties where you don’t know anyone, and getting to know people…Slowly, over time. Over 80% of an audience won’t click on a digital/social ad they’ve never heard of.

Build awareness through branding. Tell great stories. Be known BEFORE you’re needed. Then, target those who have the need.  Do you want to be searched on Google, or found on Google?

Now go send out some thank you notes for getting all those party invitations

 

 

Digital Unintended Consequences

unintended-consequencesThe Law of Unintended Consequences usually happens when you only get one side of a story, or surround yourself with people who always agree.  This is especially true in advertising, or anything that requires walking that fine line between strong creative debate and strong leadership.

Here is a case in point. The new digital ad landscape is like the Wild West. We’ve all looked at a product on Amazon, and then had an ad stalk us across the digital world like some Tron bounty hunter.  Although this is semi creepy, it gets even creepier when you look at a ladder at Home Depot, decide not to buy, and start getting Home Depot ads hunting you down..Or a Groupon for the same product you were just looking at.

While all of this registers about a ten on the disturbing index, the real unchartered territory is when a digital ad is placed in the middle of an online news article or website.  This is where ad executives don’t realize the damage they are causing their brand.  In television or radio, there is banter and buffer when the news transitions to advertising.  Not so when a cube ad is smack in the middle of an article about a seven year old ISIS kid decapitating someone.

The above example had a beautiful “It’s the New Year Mattress Sale” ad right next to the picture of the child with the machete. This is a major bed retailer.  Do they want their brand associated with this? You know the answer.

My wife and I recently watched an HBO documentary about alcoholism and looked up a “Where are they now” website about the subjects.  Right in the middle of the website, ABOUT ALCOHOLISM, was an ad for……Wait for it….A whiskey company.  This is a digital algorithm gone awry.  Marketing shouldn’t make you think negative of the brand in the name of targeting.

Perception is Reality…Woody The Internet Pecker

ImageWow…..I haven’t posted anything on WordPress for a long time. So, to get myself back in the saddle, I’ll throw the word “pecker” in the title..that should work.  

Perception problems are marketing problems. Don’t believe this?  Pop quiz…Who developed one of the first touch screen computers?  Well, the perception is that Apple started it all………and if that was your guess, you couldn’t be more wrong…But before you Google the answer,  the original touch screen was the most bizarre marketing blunder of all time and actually involves Panasonic naming it after a penis.

In 1996 Panasonic thought the mouse was too hard to use, and the internet was going to be the biggest development of the 20th century…They were right, but it didn’t  matter…The name of their touch screen computer was the Woody…Pretty bad right?  But  it gets a lot worse……They decided Woody Wood Pecker would be a great mascot to bring in the youth market  (In 1996??!) So before you connect the dots, yes,  the computer was named….Touch Woody……And if  it couldn’t get any worse,  Panasonic introduced  a new internet support feature called….wait for it…The internet pecker.

A touch screen in 1996!  Steve Jobs was just coming back to Apple and the IPad was over ten years away.  A touch screen was WAY ahead of its time.  But alas, you can have the best product in the world, but if people don’t know about it, (or laugh like 12 year old boys when they say the name) you will fail—-Just ask A. Wang, the creator of Wang Computer 

How You Learn Something New

To learn something new you need to hear it, see it, and do it….Right?  What if you just heard it? Over and over again. People learn the most through the ear. It may take longer, but once the message has wrapped itself around your brain, it never leaves…EVER.

Don’t believe me? Take this little quiz and see how you score.  I guarantee you get more than 90% correct.

  • A Diamond is _________
  • A _______ is a terrible thing to waste
  • An ________ a day keeps the doctor away
  • It takes a __________ and keeps on ticking

So, you think these are advertisements that everyone knows and it’s much harder to brand yourself in the modern age? Well, keep going.

  • ______ ______ Yahoo?
  • Got _______?
  • So easy even a _____________ can do it
  • Every kiss begins with _______

So how did you do? I’m not even going to give you the answers because I know most of you scored a perfect 100%. The “Apple a day” slogan was a campaign from the early 1900’s, and here you are in 2012 reciting it without thinking. A catchy phrase, with repetition and little bit of alliteration, can stay with you for a lifetime. Does your business stand out? What are you known for?  Will people remember you in 50 years?

I suspect you could make a lasting imprint with just a bit of thought….You do want to be all that you can be…Right?

Selling A Better Mousetrap–(Or Butter Spray)

In the late 1800’s Ralph Waldo Emerson is given credit for the metaphor that has proceeded every great idea…”Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door”.    The first problem is Mr. Emerson didn’t actually say that quote.  The phrase is actually a misquotation of:

If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The second, and even more important problem with the mousetrap quote, is that it’s just not true.  It’s not enough to have a great idea.  That great idea has to be sold. There is no greater frustration than having a terrific idea shot down.

  In 1987 I had this idea for spray butter.  I was in the Air force at a base picnic and watched as Airman from every walk of life put butter on their ears of corn.  It was painful to watch. ..And kind of gross when they rolled an already bitten piece of corn back onto a stick of butter.  So pecking away at my 1965 Smith and Corona I fired off a bunch of letters to the leading  manufacturers of margarine and butter….My idea?  “Mista” Butter.  (Yes, a ridiculous play on “Mr. Butter”–but my original thought was the butter would spray in a cool mist–Hence, Mista Butter)  I received one letter back, and it politely  told me that they would  hand my letter off to their marketing department.  No grand rewards, no earth-shaking discovery. My little idea just shriveled up and died without the power of persuasion.

When I arrived back in the states several years later, every margarine company in the world had a spray butter.  Go check your refrigerator–I bet you have one in there right now–well, thank me! 

America  knows how to generate ideas.  What the average creative doesn’t know is how to sell them.  Everything has to be sold.  Apple computer’s first ideas came from Steve Wozniak, a brilliant programmer.  The name Apple would have never been a household name  if  the sales guy, Steve Jobs, didn’t pour in his marketing magic. 

Sales, advertising, and marketing are all skills that need to be honed like any other profession.  It takes years of mastery before a salesperson really knows how to motivate the person with the checkbook.  That is why just about every product or service has the sales side and the research/production side.  It takes both left and right brain thinking to get the public to embrace something new.  The number one thing for a company to realize is decision makers aren’t interested in you..They really aren’t.  All they are interested in is solving their own problems.

Even when you do find a way to solve their problems, they still have to be shown and told.  Trust needs to be established.  If your incredible new product scratches the itch and makes your prospects pain go away, you need to prove it.  Over and over again. 

The world doesn’t have an idea problems.  It has selling problems.  If everyone was put on some type of commission plan, the human race would advance 20 years overnight—-And  have plenty of “spray” options–maybe ketchup and mustard would work!?

 
 
 

Big Game Commercials–Fumble or #Touchdown?

As the Superbow—ooops, “the BIG game” inches closer, the Monday morning quarterbacks will talk of football, and….. commercials.  Will Volkswagen be able to top the young Darth Vader spot?  Maybe, but in the quest to be the most creative, some companies try so hard on the creative, they forget to sell.  The problem with Super bowl advertising is it only allows for two parts of the advertising puzzle–REACH and CREATIVITY.  Great advertising that sells needs all four keys–REACH, FREQUENCY, CONSISTENCY, and CREATIVE. 

Like a Dad who only sees his kids on the weekends, companies try to OVERCOMPENSATE with the Creative–Plenty or reach, plenty of creative.  Surely if you miss the other two elements, just make up for it with more creative, right?  Well, maybe.  If the creative actually sells product. 

Effective advertising does one thing; it motivates a consumer int0 action.   It should contain one or two key messages.  Not a list of things that the customer will forget in five minutes.

FIVE ADVERTISING TIPS:

(1)-If you do not engage the consumer, nothing else really matters.

(2)-The only way to connect is to make the commercial about the customer.

(3)-Failure to immediately appeal to the listener/viewer’s self-interest will leave your ad unheard.

(4)-Pierce the heart.  Logic doesn’t sell, emotions sell.

(5)-Leave behind a mental image that can be shared and talked about at the water cooler.

You would think for 3.5 million dollars for 30 seconds of airtime, the commercial should sell a few units, right?  So enjoy the game, watch the commercials, and try to remember the companies who advertised the next day….If you can…TOUCHDOWN!

 

Thou Shall Not Commit the 7 Deadly Advertising Sins In 2012

The New Year is here!  What are you going to do to make this a great year for your company?  At some point every business has to advertise  along the way just to stay even.  That could be Yellow Pages,  web listings or  just a free Facebook page.  If you want to grow and get your “unfair share” of the money being spent in your category, you really need to find creative and cost effective ways to make sure potential customers choose you over the competition.

Advertising is the way to separate your business from the pack.  As I have written about on several other blog posts, the four keys to advertising are: -Reach,  Frequency, Consistency, and Creative  (Copy).

Now we will take a second and talk about the 7 deadly sins of advertising.  Break them and you could be wasting money.  Money that could help  your business thrive in 2012.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Advertising

1. Failure to attract the customer’s attention: The world suffers from information overload–What are you doing to stand out? 

2. Failure to appeal to the listener’s self interest: Don’t kid yourself, most people don’t care about your product or service–They only car about what you can do for them.

3. Failure to use words that paint pictures: Tell stories, paint pictures, make what you have to sell connect with the potential customer on an emotional level.

4. Being so creative that you forget to sell: What do you remember about the most funny and creative commercials?  If it’s not the product being advertised, there is a major problem.

5. Failure to give someone a reason to act now: Allow someone to put off a decision, and chances are, they will!

6. Cliché ridden copy: Don’t say the same old crap we’ve all heard for the past 30 years..Be interesting, or don’t waste your money.

7. Too much copy: Stick to one or two points.  Laundry lists only work when you go to the laundry.  Stay on topic; don’t overwhelm the customer with too much information.

There you go,  easy right?  I will hit each of these topics in more depth in the upcoming weeks. Good luck and I hope your business has a great 2012!

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