3 Principles to Apply to Improve Your Advertising

Marketing has never been easy. Especially in an age where people’s lives are moving so fast, it’s never too easy to sell a product. This is why your advertisement should always be one step ahead of your competition. Follow three of the most important principles that you can apply to your business so that you can sell your products even more effectively than you’ve ever done before.

Stand out, and don’t blend in.

Over and over again, marketers tell you that your advertisement should always stand out and not blend in.

Since the buying public comes across all sorts of advertisements every day, you should think about what can make you stand out of the competition. The question is – what makes your potential customers buy your company’s product or service versus going with one of your competitors?

Show your potential customers why your business is their number one choice and why they shouldn’t even consider your competitors. When you do, there is a good chance that they won’t.

That’s what you have to figure out and focus on with your advertisement.

Each advertisement must make a proposition to the consumer – not just words, product puffery, or show-window advertising. It is more commonly coined as your “Unique Selling Proposition” or USP. Each advertisement must say to each reader: “Buy this product, for this specific benefit.”

A good example is Charles Revson, founder of Revlon. He has always said that he sold hope, not makeup. Similarly, some airlines sell friendly service, while others sell on-time service. Neiman Marcus sells luxury, while Wal-Mart sells bargains. Each of these is an example of a company that has found a USP “peg” on which to hang their marketing strategy.

One way you can do this is by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. Too often, entrepreneurs fall in love with their product or service, and forget that it is the customer’s needs, not their own, that they must satisfy. Step back from your daily operations and carefully scrutinize what your customers really want.

Other ways to do this is by knowing what motivates your customers’ behavior and buying decisions. Go beyond the traditional customer demographics, such as age, gender, race, income and geographic location that most businesses collect to analyze their sales trends.

Try to also uncover the real reasons customers buy your product instead of a competitor’s. As your business grows, you should be able to ask your best source of information: your customers. For example, a pizza entrepreneur could ask them why they like his pizza over others, plus ask them to rate the importance of the features he offers, such as taste, size, ingredients, atmosphere and service.

Be Like Don Corleone: Give them an offer they can’t refuse.

Consumers love a bargain. So offer them a good one so that they would come back to you time and time again. Whether you’re offering an unbeatable price, a free trial, free shipping or a bundled package, going out of your way to provide your customers with a good deal can help you be successful.

As mentioned above, you need to offer something your client wants, not just something you think they need or something that’s easy for you. Prospects must to be able to understand right away why they would want it.

Also, they need a good reason to take action now. Urgency causes people to act quickly. Many of the problems that affect conversions are issues of cognitive friction — people think too hard, wait too long, or simply don’t respond to your calls-to-action in a timely manner. Since people are always be busy, they’re likely to procrastinate then forget all about your offer if they don’t take action as soon as possible.

A good offer also has more value than risk. People most likely relate the value of any product or service mainly on the price tag, but this is also where bonuses, free reports, cost comparisons, free trials, and money-back guarantees come in. They all either add value or reduce the risk, and they should always be part of the offer.

If you’re selling tickets, for example, you can justify its price through good offers. The cost of a Lakers game could be too tall of an order for customers, but if you can give them free beer or a free shirt, they would love to take the offer right away. You can also sell in bulk, like a better season pass; in this way, you can advertise the convenience of not having to buy tickets every single game.

Instil a Sense of Urgency

Speaking of giving your customers the sense of urgency in terms of having to buy your product as soon as possible, it is important to make your customers buy your product as soon as they see your advertisement. As what marketers would say, “You don’t want to just plant the seed with your ads, you want people to move forward and do something about your offer NOW”.

When people come across an advertisement and think about giving a company a try later, they would most likely not. People most often move on with their lives and forget all about the ad and the product that they might have been interested in. Therefore, you have to encourage people to act now rather than later.

You can create this urgency in a great number of ways. You can make your irresistible offer time-limited. If people see that they only have a set amount of time, such as a few hours or days, to snag an unforgettable deal that they’re already pretty excited about, they would be more likely to make a move now than later. Many people assume that they can still get the same deal later on. However, if they know that they can’t, they would be more likely to take the deal now.

Another tactic that you can use is to exploit the idea of scarcity. Scarcity is one of the most powerful sources of urgent behavior – the scarcity bias states that when a person thinks that something is running out, they want it more.

This is the idea: when an item is perceived as being scarce, its subjective value increases. Whether it’s the latest iPhone, or a baseball card, or a flavor of a sundae, people want that item so much more, because there aren’t many left.

The truth is that scarcity can be created by the producer. If you create a product or service in the first place, you can intentionally limit the amount that you produce or deliver in order to raise demand. It’s as simple as that. If you say that you only have “four more left,” the desire for that resource increases due to the fact that it is running out.

 

Another one you can apply is the concept of loss aversion. Loss aversion is the human tendency to avoid losing things – anything, as a matter of fact. Psychologists even say that the desire not to lose something is greater than the desire to gain something.

If your marketing pitch makes it seem as if the user is going to lose something by not responding, then you are triggering the loss aversion response. If you can warn them of the “catastrophic” results of not acting now, then they are more likely to experience urgency and act promptly.