Seven Steps For Creating Successful Marketing
1. Find the inherent drama within
After all, you plan to make money by selling a product or a service or both.
The reasons people will want to buy from you should give you a clue as to
the inherent drama in your product or service. Something about your offering
must be inherently interesting or you wouldn't be putting it up for sale.
In Mother Nature breakfast cereal, it is the high concentration of vitamins
2. Translate that inherent drama into a meaningful benefit.
Always remember that people buy benefits, not features. People do not buy
shampoo; people buy great-looking or clean or manageable hair. People do
not buy cars; people buy speed, status, style, economy, performance, and
power. Mothers of young kids do not buy cereal; they buy nutrition, though
many buy anything at all they can get their kids to eat -- anything. So find
the major benefit of your offering and write it down. It should come directly
from the inherently dramatic feature. And even though you have four or five
benefits, stick with one or two-three at most.
3. State your benefits as believably as possible.
There is a world of difference between honesty and believability. You can
be 100 percent honest (as you should be) and people still may not believe
you. You must go beyond honesty, beyond the barrier that advertising has
erected by its tendency toward exaggeration, and state your benefit in such
a way that it will be accepted beyond doubt. The company producing Mother
Nature breakfast cereal might say, "A bowl of Mother Nature breakfast cereal
provides your child with almost as many vitamins as a multi-vitamin pill."
This statement begins with the inherent drama, turns it into a benefit, and
is worded believably. The word almost lends believability.
4. Get people's attention.
People do not pay attention to advertising. They pay attention only to things
that interest them. And sometimes they find those things in advertising.
So you've just got to interest them. And while you're at it, be sure you
interest them in your product or service, not just your advertising. I'm
sure you're familiar with advertising that you remember for a product you
do not remember. Many advertisers are guilty of creating advertising that's
more interesting than whatever it is they are advertising. But you can prevent
yourself from falling into that trap by memorizing this line: Forget the
ad, is the product or service interesting? The Mother Nature company might
put their point across by showing a picture of two hands breaking open a
multivitamin capsule from which pour flakes that fall into an appetizing-looking
bowl of cereal.
5. Motivate your audience to do something.
Tell them to visit the store, as the Mother Nature company might do. Tell
them to make a phone call, fill in a coupon, write for more information,
ask for your product by name, take a test drive, or come in for a free
demonstration. Don't stop short. To make guerrilla marketing work, you must
tell people exactly what you want them to do.
6. Be sure you are communicating clearly.
You may know what you're talking about, but do your readers or listeners?
Recognize that people aren't really thinking about your business and that
they'll only give about half their attention to your ad- even when they are
paying attention. Knock yourself out to make sure you are putting your message
across. The Mother Nature company might show its ad to ten people and ask
them what the main point is. If one person misunderstands, that means 10
percent of the audience will misunderstand. And if the ad goes out to 500,000
people, 50,000 will miss the main point. That's unacceptable. One hundred
percent of the audience should get the main point. The company might accomplish
this by stating in a headline or subhead, "Giving your kids Mother Nature
breakfast cereal is like giving your kids vitamins-only tastier." Zero ambiguity
is your goal.
7. Measure your finished advertisement, commercial, letter, or brochure against
your creative strategy.
The strategy is your blueprint. If your ad fails to fulfill the strategy,
it's a lousy ad, no matter how much you love it. Scrap it and start again.
All along, you should be using your creative strategy to guide you, to give
you hints as to the content of your ad. If you don't, you may end up being
creative in a vacuum. And that's not being creative at all. If your ad is
in line with your strategy, you may then judge its other elements.
About the Author:
Jay Conrad Levinson is the creator of the Guerrilla Marketing series of books
- the best selling series of business books in history. He is also responsible
for some of the most successful ad campaigns in history, including *the*
most successful in history: The Marlboro Man. Jay is responsible for countless
small businesses becoming huge household names. Learn how he does this in
his latest book:
Marketing for the New Millennium"