Bad Seduction - Advertising Techniques That Dont Work

I just read some advertising suggestions on an Internet marketing site that are beyond annoying. They are flat-out bad advice. They illustrate a complete lack of understanding of the whole persuasion process.

First, small business owners are told that advertising often has a cumulative effect, so ad-driven sales may not be immediate. Then, they're told how to measure and track the immediate response of their advertising.

Reading past that little dichotomy, some of the suggestions included:

· Use magazine response cards. Remember to code the cards if you use multiple publications.

· Use a coupon in your newspaper ads. Code the coupons so that you can tell which publication generates the most sales.

· Put a line in your radio scripts to "Mention this ad and get a 10% discount."

· Ask all new customers how they heard about your business.

Make no mistake. These are all bad suggestions. Very bad. In addition to being very poor persuasion, each of these strategies assumes that your prospective customers are paying very close attention to your ads.

Trust me, customers don't.

Good advertising is seduction. Pretend with me for a minute that all advertising is an attempt to get a "date" with your prospect.

How do these recommendations hold up under that scenario?

Would you, for instance, send a response card to anyone you could possibly be interested in dating, which says "If you'd like to learn more about me, fill out your name, address, and your specific areas of interest in me, and apply your own postage to return it to me?"

No, I didn't think you would.

The advice contained in these recommendations also suffers from major misunderstandings in the motivations of customers.

Coupons assume that you have nothing to offer but a better price. Think about the implications of that for a moment. It implies that after you've spent the money to advertise your discounted (and minimally profitable) price, that the customer has no reason to ever come back to do business with you again. Or at least, until you drop your price again.

Mention this ad? In three decades of mass media experience, I've never heard of a single person saying "I heard your ad. Give me the discount." Smart radio stations will never allow this on their air. Does that mean people don't respond to advertising? No, it doesn't mean that at all. It means that they won't embarrass themselves by parroting your line. Not surprising, is it? Most people won't admit that advertising affects them in any way.

Ask new customers where they heard about you?

They don't know.

Oh, they'll try to give you an answer. Really though, your advertising isn't important enough for them to remember exactly what they learned about you, let alone the source of that information. But because they'll want to be helpful, they will guess. They'll usually guess wrong.

There are two major problems with any of these "track your response" strategies.

· They provide bad information. Bad information is worse than none at all. It gives you a distorted view of reality. Which leads to the second problem:

· You'll be tempted to make decisions based on this bad information. You will frequently make the wrong decisions.

Consider this, instead. Send the object of your affection an "I love you" message.

Does it matter whether your "I love you" comes in a telegram, an e-mail, a card, or over the phone? Or is the expression of love the most important consideration?

Does it matter whether your ad message is delivered in the newspaper, over the radio, on cable TV, or by direct mail? Or is the message the critical part?

Your advertising will improve by orders of magnitude when you spend less time attempting to find the most effective medium, and more time searching for the most effective message.

Chuck McKay is a marketing practitioner specializing in small retail and service businesses.
He is the author of Fishing For Customers And Reeling Them In.
Chuck's columns appear regularly at http://www.fishingforcustomers.com

Mr. McKay is available as a guest speaker or seminar presenter.
Call Wizard of Ads®
Headquarters:(800) 425-4769.

In The News:

Honest Ads Act Is False Advertising  The Wall Street Journal

How to Know if Direct Mail Will Work for Your Business

Here's a great lesson that applies to direct mail. Ready?... Read More

CD Business Cards- Why Use Them?

CD Business cards are the electronic version of the now... Read More

Not Another Calendar! - Choose Advertising Specialties That Sell

As I was searching through a kitchen drawer the other... Read More

Magnetic Business Cards: Make Your Marketing Message Stick

What is it about magnets that draw people to leave... Read More

What Happened? Troubleshooting Poor Response from Ad Campaigns

Too many small business owners today run ad campaigns that... Read More

Offline Advertising Tips

Since most of us are always online and our business... Read More

How to Breathe New Life into Your Advertising Campaign

If you haven't made many sales or perhaps none at... Read More

Reach vs. Frequency: Touch 100 Once or 25 Four Times?

Reach and frequency are terms generally used when planning advertising... Read More

Turn Your Ad Copy into a Goldmine!

Today, more than ever, it is crucial that your ad... Read More

How To Make Your Yellow Page Ads Work

I hear it often, "advertising in the Yellow Pages directory... Read More

Does Post Card Advertising Really Work?

You've decided to try advertising your business with post cards.... Read More

Placemat Ad Advertising

Starting a placemat ad business can create more business for... Read More

The SKINNY on Radio Advertising

From meager beginnings in 1920, radio has grown with us... Read More

HackeD

hey admin thIS website Is HaCKEd by Unkn0wn_hax0r... Read More

Dont Be a Secret Agent

This tactic of the game was hard for me to... Read More

Creativity and Getting Outside of the Box

Sitting in front of a blank piece of paper? Wondering... Read More

Offline Advertising Secrets: Using Offline Advertising to Get the Most from Your Name Squeeze Page

Many people online are not using one of the best... Read More

Hiring an Amateur Could Mean a Potential Lawsuit for Your Business

These days, everyone's looking to save a buck. But if... Read More

Yellow Pages Ads - Buying Secrets

Yellow Pages Ads - Buying SecretsOK- let's agree that many... Read More

Small Business Image

The single easiest way to increase sales is to look... Read More

Is there anything new under the sun? Heres how to find out if your bright idea is unique.

"There's nothing new under the sun" is probably the... Read More

Go Ahead Im Listening

In today's fast paced environment, interaction with family and friends... Read More

Is Your Advertising... Sexy?

Ever hear the term 'sexy' advertising? It's not necessarily what... Read More

Advertising - Does it Matter?

When advertising, you need to sell your opportunity, your products... Read More

LED Moving Message Displays

LED's are becoming more and more popular in all kinds... Read More