"Half of all the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is, I don’t know which half!” - John Wanamaker
"When I write an advertisement, I don’t want you to tell me that you find it ‘creative.’ I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product.” - David Ogilvy
This week we’ll explore one of the Effective Advertising Principles: Know Your Market
How long have you been in business? Five, 10 or 20 years? I’m sure you know your product pretty well, right? You know what makes it sell - or do you? I’m sure you’ll agree, you're pretty close to your business, perhaps too close when it comes to creating effective campaigns or strategies.
In the business of marketing (which we discussed last week, that’s what your business really is), you must be spot on with the exact reasons people buy your products or services, not why YOU think they buy. In my experience, the best way to find out is simply this - Ask Them! The answers they give you will point you straight at the main selling points you highlight in your advertisements. By the way, it doesn’t hurt to ask your competitors’ customers why they chose that product over yours, either.
When a businesses ask their customers, they often get surprising answers: In fact you may find, people might chose you over your competitors’ for reasons other than quality or its price. They might be impressed with your after-sales service, your extraordinary guarantee, (your risk reversal on steroids we’ve talked about before)... a bunch of reasons other than what you might consider to be the obvious.
Enough of your customers agree and… Bingo! You’ve got a compelling reason why people should buy your product/ service - because that’s the reason your existing customers told you they’d bought it.
Hang your advertisement on that compelling reason. Even
If you already knew that from your own gut feel, now you can be confident that you’re right. You might also discover that if you make some changes, adjustments, variations, and or improvements, people will be even more inclined to buy your product or service.
Now that you know what your customers really want, you have to go and find out who the prime prospects for your product or service really are. You need a PPP - a Prime Prospect Profile.
Again, don’t immediately assume that you already know. The people who buy a particular product aren’t necessarily the people who use it. Take men’s aftershave as an example; predominantly it’s bought by women for men. So, what sort of women buy men’s aftershave?
Who are they? These are the sorts of things you have to know. Heck you could be appealing to the wrong people, the wrong sector or the wrong age group!
Here’s the minimum you need to know to establish a PPP:
- Their age range
- Their sex
- Where they live
- What they do for a living
- If they’re in a relationship or single
- If they have kids
- Anything else that makes them stand out… that makes them unique.
To Your Business Success