Over the last several years, I’ve seen a dramatic shift in the expectations of advertisers. And, for those of you who advertise a little or a lot, I don’t want you to repeat some common mistakes I’ve seen. Specifically, unrealistic beliefs that one ad placement will produce immediate sales. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Much of this paradigm shift is related to the internet.
As an advertiser you cannot apply one metric to all programs across the board. The most common is applying eMedia metrics to print programs. This is a one-way street to disappointment and failure. You’ll need two strategies that are tied together to achieve the desired result.
What are the right steps to follow?
DISCIPLINE AND FOCUS
Let’s start here because in the age of instant gratification, discipline and focus separate success from failure. Setting the focus on a specific goal or set of goals without deviation is essential for building your practice and your brand. Discipline is where most programs fall apart. Too many marketers simply want to jump in and hit a quick home run, and 99.9% of the time it doesn’t work. What does work is knocking out a lot of singles. That’s what really builds your practice and your brand and wins customers.
CONSISTENCY OF MESSAGE
If there’s one thing that distinguishes great, well-known brands, it’s consistency. It’s your message consistently delivered to potential customers over time. In the case of optical products, customers may not need the new glasses or contacts at the time you send the message out. They will respond to your brand when they are ready, and when it fits their needs and timing. That makes the consistency and continuity of your message essential. You want to be considered when the customer is ready to buy. The vision care industry has a secret weapon to help bridge this gap — the eye exam.
Without frequency, communication programs have no hope of success. Over the years, more research than I can count has been conducted on the importance of frequency to build brands. I won’t get into it here, but if you would like specifics, please email me or do an internet search on “advertising frequency.”
QUALITY OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE
This should be common sense but you would be surprised at how many companies don’t put an emphasis on the quality of the product or service they are capable of delivering. This is critical to offset the “I want it now” culture of speed and instant gratification.
One of the best advertisements ever created was for the business-to-business publishing house McGraw–Hill. (And yes, I did pick this ad specifically because it’s a call to action for advertising).
A rather serious studious gentleman is pictured.
The copy reads:
“I don’t know who you are.
I don’t know your company.
I don’t know your company’s product.
I don’t know what your company stands for.
I don’t know your company’s customers.
I don’t know your company’s record.
I don’t know your company’s reputation.
Now-what was it you wanted to sell me?
Moral: Sales start before your salesman calls — with business publication advertising.”
And, until your patients, customers and prospects can answer these simple questions you’ve got more work to do to build your brand.
Email me at TTanker@fvmg.com