Do you advertise your business or your industry?

Are you advertising for your business or your industry? This is a really weird pitfall that rarely gets looked at. Good advertisements should give you a good reason to use that specific businesses service. Unfortunately, when you make such an argument, you often end up advertising for your competitors as well. Here’s an example I ran into last week.

We had an Autobody shop looking for a new campaign. The idea we decided on was to maximize their business by educating people on insurance claims. Basically, the message said that you don’t need to use the place that your insurance company suggests. It’s not a widely known fact, and it could bring in a lot more business. So, the campaign sounds good. Where’s the problem?

The problem the writer must solve is making sure that listeners relate the ad to the client’s autobody shop. Convincing people not to use their insurance companies suggested shop is a good message. But, if it’s written poorly, it may just convince people to go to a body shop and not Jeff’s Body Shop. For the campaign to be a success, the company paying the bills has to be the benefactor. So, how do you make sure to filter people to the right place?

  • Sticky Thoughts– You need to get the clients name stuck in the listeners head. Creative wordplay based on the businesses name can help to do that. Something like, “When the insurance company gives you their choice, tell them you’re going to First Choice Autobody.” It’s like when you invented tricks to remember formulas for exams. We’re just supplying listeners with a sticky thought to paste into their brains.
  • Redirect Websites – I’m a big fan of redirect websites. Basically, you buy a new URL based on your campaign and redirect it back to your own website. So, for the autobody campaign, you’d buy “tell your insurance” and forward it to your website. The new URL links into the message in your ad, and leaves behind an easy to remember contact. Converted listeners may not remember your business name, but they’re far more likely to remember your redirect website name. Also, this allows you to track your campaigns effectiveness through analytics.
  • Sing it or Rhyme it – Ughhh... It pains me to write this, but it’s true. Jingles & rhymes can stick in your head. Keep in mind that they almost always suck. But, it would be effective to sing a line to make people remember your business name. A simple, effective rhyme would be (When “here’s our dealer” is your insurance companies motto, tell them “no way, I’m going to Shecky’s Auto.”) See what I mean? It’s lame as hell. But, it would probably work too. Use my first two examples before you try this one though, and don’t tell anybody that I suggested it! J

In conclusion, just make sure the ads you’re paying for are benefiting you, and not your industry. They’re very expensive. It’s important that you use your advertising budget to rise above your competitors, not buoy everyone up like ships on a rising sea. If you can’t find a way to make your message memorable to your business, you may need a new campaign strategy. Or, you can give me a call and I’ll figure it out for you!