You can try to fool yourself into thinking that your success is all because of the products you sell or the services you offer. Yes, of course, what you sell is important. You need to offer something to consumers that is needed or desired. That’s a given.
But in my humble opinion, the #1 reason for continued long-term success is your people. You need good people who know how to create, build, and service. And you, their leader, needs to instill in those people your passion and your mission. (Your passion stems from more than just making money, right?)
Now, let’s dig a little deeper. All employees need to be good… BUT… THE MOST INTEGRAL PARTS OF YOUR TEAM, THAT MOST DIRECTLY EFFECTS YOUR SUCCESS OR FAILURE, are the people who deal with your customers and your potential customers ONE-ON-ONE. They’re the ones who make the customer experience a great one. They provide a better customer experience than anyone could get from your competitors.
There are companies past and present who have great products and offer much needed services, but they’ve either gone away or are constantly struggling because the customer experience is… or was… horrible.
When a consumer is uncomfortable during an interaction, sales pitch, or service call – it will all fall apart. If not immediately, it will eventually.
Do not kid yourself. If you run a company that depends on multiple employees… one person does not make a successful company. You may be a great leader, but you also need to identify and mold good talent. And you need to know when someone does not fit the mold. Not everyone is trainable at this very moment in time or sometimes ever. And if you need help identifying “the right stuff” in people when you’re hiring them… then get some second and third opinions on your potential new hires. You have to uncover who people really are in your interviews. You have to get them talking. It’s more than just a sheet of questions asking about their skills and where they see themselves in 5 years. It’s about making them feel comfortable enough in an interview to open up and be honest with you.
But again… not everyone is trainable. You know what I’m talking about.
Think about a time you had a great customer experience when you purchased something. Usually, the big, fat, juicy main reason for that great experience was because of one person. Or a string of people who were on-point with how to interact with you.
It’s how they talked to you. They were pleasant, skilled, positive, and they were REAL.
But have you ever been in a buying situation where a person went into a canned sales pitch, and you just wanted to tell them to stop the bullshit and level with you? It’s like your lizard-brain is telling you to run away. Or have you ever got a grumpy service person, and you vowed right then and there never to hire that company again? Ever talk to a rude front office person who gave you a bad taste in your mouth? Yup. All of them. Me too.
Anyone within your company who deals with your customers (or prospective customers) one-on-one… in-person, on the phone, or even through email… are your main reasons for your success or your failure.
People have more choices than ever before to buy the goods and services they want or need. So, when that one employee gives a customer an easy interaction, and creates an environment of calmness and trust, that customer will stay with that person no matter what. Even if that person goes to work for a competitor of yours, that customer will most likely follow that person. Because we all like to do business with PEOPLE… not corporations.
This blog post was inspired by a buying experience I had recently with a salesperson. We’ve done a lot of business with this person, over many years. And this person always treats my wife and I like we’re human beings. They “get it”. This person is almost the complete opposite of what you usually find. They’re a gem that makes us feel COMFORTABLE. If this person ever changed companies, we’d follow.
The one-on-one human interactions are where your battles are won or lost.
It’s not your social media. It’s not whether you have great products or services. It’s not because you just “know” that you’re better.
Make sure you have a team of diamonds dealing with your customers. If they need more training on how to deal with people… give it to them. And then, continue with that training weekly… forever. If you need to hire more diamonds, go find them. They may be hiding in a rough… but they are out there. And if you have trouble KEEPING those gems, then, figure out what you can fix.
Don’t use these cliché words or phrases down below for the rest of your life… and then for exactly 6 months after that.
For all your ______ needs.
Make your dreams a reality.
Second to none.
Your __________ headquarters.
They’re called clichés because the words hold no voltage. They’re “empty words”. I know you have something better to say than that.
A good Facebook post is anything that snaps and jolts your prospect out of their current trance. People have thousands of things going on each day. Kids to school, cranky boss at work, dinner tonight, car needs an oil change, house payment is due, lawn needs to be mowed, traffic, road construction, dropped their phone in the toilet, etc., etc., etc. So, it should be no surprise to you that your “target” on Facebook is not excitingly waiting for the next post from your business. They’re scrolling… and scrolling… and sorting and sifting through their Facebook feed. It’s a break for them. It’s entertainment. It’s “socializing”. And their time is valuable. So, your business FB post needs to NOT WASTE THEIR TIME.
What do people love to see on Facebook? Pictures and videos.
If you’re including a picture… make it one of your own. Not some stock photo. Personalize it! If you post just words without a picture, the engagement of that post will be much lower than if you had included a relevant image of some sort.
If you’re including a video… make sure that video is helpful. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. At the end of the video, do you truly feel that anyone who has watched is going to be glad they did? Or is it just another “post” because you heard you should post on Facebook 6x per week? If you don’t have anything good to post, then, skip it. Don’t bother. And you better keep your videos short. 90 seconds or less. 30 seconds or less would be even better for anything on social media. I’m not saying longer videos aren’t ever effective. The only thing that really matters is how long you can keep people engaged.
And if you’re one of those who are TRYING to make something go viral… you’re wasting your time. And probably embarrassing yourself and your business in the process. 99.99infinity% of viral videos were not planned. Have you ever watched a clip on America’s Funniest Videos and you KNOW it was staged? Yeah… those don’t win. They’re not funny. Your inner BS detector flushed it out and said, “I don’t think so.”
And most viral videos aren’t selling something like you’re trying to do. Viral videos are spontaneous, entertaining, shocking, tear-jerking, super-funny, jaw-dropping, etc. Stop trying to create viral videos.
Who’s seeing most of your business Facebook posts? Your current customers. Your fans. Facebook isn’t a great place to find new customers for most businesses. Especially most local service businesses. We don’t care about your plumbing company right now. We only care about you when we have a plumbing problem. (Side Note: Service businesses benefit incredibly with a good branding campaign on the Radio. A campaign that helps people get to know you, trust you, and like you before we even meet you.)
Should you have a Facebook presence? Sure. But throw some smiling pics of your employees in action on there once in a while. Maybe stir the pot a bit, and share something like, “Here’s why you’re paying more than you should to most plumbers.” (or whatever category you’re in) Or give some helpful tips (being helpful and “non-self-serving” increases trust).
I have a radio client who advertises only on the Radio. They rarely post on Facebook. They’re very successful. They treat their customers and employees better than most or all of their competitors. They’ve been advertising on the radio with me for almost 10 years. They grow every year. They’re happy with their radio because it brings them new customers consistently without them having to come up with some social media gimmick to attract someone new. And just like a good Facebook post, our ads are attention-getting, engaging, and entertaining. Week-in and week-out, they’re getting new customers. If you’re not getting a consistent flow of new customers every week, every month… then, you’re probably hurting.
Back to the Facebook stuff. Now, if you’re a retail business… I want to know about your products. I want to see pictures of your products and why I might want your product. I want to see any specials you have. I DON’T want to hear you spout off about how “you’re the best” and you have “the best quality”. PROVE IT TO ME.
And what about Facebook Ads? I think you’ll have to try some out for yourself and see if it’s worth it. For some, it is… for others, it’s not. And make sure you’re looking at your Facebook ad results with a questioning eye. Facebook has gotten known for grossly over-inflating their views and clicks. And what if you do get a ton of views or clicks on your ad? The only thing that matters is if it gave you the results you wanted. Did your sales increase? And isn’t that the only thing that matters?
I know a few businesses who are paying someone a few hundred dollars every month to post on Facebook for them. And I don’t think they even know if it’s giving them a positive return on their investment. Are they getting more views? You bet. More sales from it? Questionable.
My wife is a Realtor. And there are a TON of Realtors in Sioux Falls. So, do you think it would work for her to post things like, “Looking for a good Realtor? Contact me for all of your residential real estate needs.” Yuck. No. That won’t work. The best Facebook posts and “boosts” for my wife are new listings she has and Open Houses. On most of those, there is always one or more people who tag someone they know who is looking for a new home. And when you get shares or “tags”… that’s when you get a ton more people seeing your posts. She has discovered which kind of posts are worth “boosting” (throwing a few dollars at to expand the reach).
Social media for any business is a good way to stay in front of current customers. It’s a good way to help stay “top of mind” with them. But relying on it for a good source of finding new customers is going to give you ulcers. Just remember when you’re going to post to Facebook… if it feels forced… skip it. Make sure it contains VALUE for people. Such as entertainment value or helpful information. If you’re doing video, keep it SHORT. If you’re posting pics, make sure it adds to the power of the message you’re trying to convey.
One last thing… if you do your other advertising properly (like Radio Advertising), it will greatly improve your social media impact.
Let me know if you’d like help.
Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls
When we figure out the right things to say in your radio ads, you’ll never have to wonder how to find new customers, and keep them coming. I’m an Account Executive, Ad Writer, and Marketing Strategist at Results Radio Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I’ve been with Results Radio since 1998. I’ve seen a lot of different trends in media and marketing over the years. But one thing has always held true – the things you SAY in your ads are what makes or breaks an advertising campaign. It doesn’t matter if you buy the cheapest ads in town… or negotiate for weeks to save a few bucks… if they don’t work, they’re all expensive. And this is worth repeating… When we figure out the right things to say in your radio ads, you’ll never have to wonder how to attract new customers, and keep them coming.
We spend a lot of time online. We also ignore the crap out of 99.9% of ads we see on the internet. Tell me I’m wrong.
I’m assuming you might be told that “You have to TARGET TARGET TARGET the right person. You need to figure out who your best customers are and then target those same demographics and behaviors with a laser-scoped rifle.”
I’m talking about “Display Advertising” online. The images with text on them. How many do you ignore in a day? How many do you EVER click on?
How about Pay Per Click advertising? Like Google Adwords? (which is changing to just “Google Ads” I guess). I actually think there is some value with Google PPC ads for the right type of product or service. It’s easy to test, too, without spending a fortune. Then, when you find something that works, you can increase your budget a bit or your territory. Sometimes they work, sometimes they bomb. But it’s all about the product or service you’re advertising and the wording you use in the ad. If you have questions about using Google Ads… give me a shout and we can discuss.
Ok, the same is probably true for display advertising… but there are local businesses spending thousands upon thousands each month on display advertising. Personally, I bet their ROI doesn’t even pay for the ads. Sure, they see that they’re getting ad impressions or clicks… but most aren’t measuring things correctly to know if it’s actually bringing them new business. Because that’s what matters, right?
Bottom line… you’re spending too much on display advertising.
Guess what? I actually SELL display advertising once in a while. Townsquare Media is really good at it. Like REALLY good. So, if I find the right client with the right product / service / offer… then I might recommend it… because I know that Townsquare will give them more bang for their buck than any other digital ad agency that I know about.
BUT BUT BUT… if I have the choice of adding $1500 to $2500 per month onto either 1) more radio stations or 2) display ads………………….. I’m picking the extra radio station(s) every time. EVERY. TIME.
WHY, you say? Because given the choice of playing an engaging and entertaining radio commercial to 100,000 people per week versus flashing an internet display ad to 100,000 people, which one do you think has more impact? Which one do you think is more memorable? And if you’re not thinking about the same kind of radio ads that I’m thinking about, then click HERE to play a few samples.
The HUGE NET you cast with a great radio marketing campaign will target 3 groups of people:
The teeny-tiny group that needs your product or service now (which is what most online, print, and “sale” advertising ONLY targets)
The considerably bigger group who doesn’t need you now, but will need your product or service within 1 to 12 months. And you can start telling them why you frickin’ rock, and how you’ll be the best damn choice for them when they DO need you (while most of your competitors are only advertising to the teeny-tiny group of low-hanging fruit).
The much much bigger group of people who have no intention or inkling of using your product or service within the next year or two or three. Your engaging and entertaining radio campaign will start forming a relationship with these people. They’ll feel like they know you before they even meet you! They’ll come to TRUST you before they even meet you (if the ads are done right)! And what happens then? When they actually NEED the product or service you sell… who do you think they THINK OF FIRST? Yup. You.
Recent Radio Advertising Client Story
I have a radio client that’s been on the radio for 1 year and about 4 months with me. The phase of RESULTS (or ROI) he’s knee-deep into right now from his Results Radio campaign… is impressive. He went from doing NO RADIO, to radio ads on 2 big radio stations, 4 weeks each month… and his business is kind of exploding. He went from ONE front desk / administrative professionals to THREE in this short time. And I don’t know how many other service employees he has hired. ANYWAY… here’s what happened…
He recently asked me to put his radio ads on hold… so they can CATCH UP!
He is also in a category that nobody had ever tried to lay claim as “the leader” in Sioux Falls. Meaning, the competitors in his category didn’t advertise much…. or very effectively anyway. That makes it prime pickins’ for snagging a huge share of market. But that only comes when you snag a huge share of the minds within that market. If you’re one of those categories where nobody is really “running away with it”… and you’d like to make your mark… give me a holler!
If you’re wondering who the client or the category is, just shoot me an email, and I will happily share some of the details of the campaign, and why I feel it’s working so well.
I did tell him, “I’ll pull the ads for a bit, but I don’t think you’ll slow down much because you’ve ‘duct-taped’ your brand onto the brains of a big chunk of the public.”
Oh, and guess what. He doesn’t do digital advertising. Or much social media at all. Or pay per click. Just a little bit of TV on ESPN I believe. And he’s killing it – with his long-term, 4 weeks per month, radio advertising. And that makes me really happy. : )
Results Radio Townsquare Media
Sioux Falls, SD
I decided to write a little bit about this topic because I’m giving a short talk to a small group of Home Builders Association of the Sioux Empire members. I think the best way for me to really get ultra-familiar with a topic is to write about it.
This topic is kind of vague. There’s not really a step-by-step guide. It’s about helping you improve your understanding of your customers. What makes them tick? What makes them buy from you? What do they wish you did, but you don’t? The answers to those questions can open a lot of new doors for you.
To me, Seeing Your Business Through Your Customers’ Eyes means you have to get to know your core group of customers really well. I don’t mean having beers with them every week, but maybe just TALK to them more often than you do. Ask some good questions about the problems they have, and about how well or poorly your product or service addresses those problems. Then listen to them. Really listen. Listen so hard that you have to stop them a few times for clarity and say, “tell me more about that” or “explain that a little more”. And make them feel comfortable enough, so they will also share any shortfalls your products or services may have… not just “the good stuff”. Remember, you’re trying to improve your business, so get out your “thick skin” and be willing and prepared to hear the bad stuff, too.
The True Benefits
What’s the benefit of understanding your customer better? Why does it matter? Why should YOU care? Quick answers: Growth comes easier, customer service is better, marketing is more effective, an overall more successful business.
When you know your customer in a deeper way, or know how they feel about your business or product or service… then, you’ll be able to please your future customers better. That also leads to having fewer negative word-of-mouth incidences and fewer negative online reviews.
That reminds me… Have you checked your Google reviews lately? Make sure someone is checking that from time to time. Tip: If you have your Google business page set up correctly, you’ll get notifications for when any new review comes in. Then, you’ll be able to reply to that person in a timely manner with a “thank you”… or you might be able to head off a bad review by seeing if there’s something you can do to fix the negative experience they had.
Who Is Your Customer?
You have to know who your real customer is. Not demographics. That’s the stuff that doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. Who are they INSIDE? What are they FEELING? What are their PROBLEMS? What do they CARE about?
Let’s try a few.
The flooring / carpet business…
“She’s a 56-year old female who is ready to stop settling. She wants soft, durable, and beautiful carpet that enhances her home and that her grand babies can crawl around on. She also likes to hear from us that if anything might go wrong along the way, she’ll be taken care of. She appreciates a solid, trusting relationship with the local businesses that she deals with.”
The financial services business…
“She’s 44 years old and she wants to know that her future is secure. She wants to make sure that if anything were to happen to her husband, her family wouldn’t have to sell the house and move. She wants to know that she won’t have to get a second job. She wants financial peace of mind for later in life.”
The home builder / remodeler…
“Our core customer is a married couple who knows they don’t want a ‘cookie-cutter’ home. They have a comfortable income and it’s ok if they have to pay a little more for uniqueness and higher quality. They’re usually pretty tidy and like things to be a particular way. They also want to know that they aren’t paying 20% more than the industry average for building and design services.”
The high-quality hotel…
“He’s a business traveler who needs a comfortable bed for a great rest. He needs a little extra work space in his room to prepare for the next day of sales calls or meetings. He’d rather not have to leave early to grab an unhealthy fast food breakfast, but rather have ample complementary choices for breakfast at the hotel. And since he’s from out of town, he occasionally asks for dining, shopping, or entertainment destinations in the area.”
The kitchen and bath showroom…
“She wants to really impress her guests with a gorgeous kitchen. But she also wants to know that it’s not going to cost an arm and a leg for extra design help. She has about a dozen different magazines or pictures with her when she walks through the door. She knows the general style she’s looking for, but often times gets excited when we show her a few design concepts and colors she hasn’t seen before. She usually loves our attention and knowing that we care.”
Take Off Your Blinders
You may think you know your customer, but many business owners or managers have BLINDERS on. You get too close to your business. You get tunnel-vision. But it’s not your fault. It happens automatically. All you have to do is break the cycle and the habits you’re in. Look at everything a little bit differently – as if YOU are the consumer who’s considering doing business with you.
There are a lot of different ways you can step into your customers’ shoes or see through their eyes to get a better glimpse of what you’re doing well and what you may need to improve. I’m going to try to give you a few ideas here…
Hire some secret shoppers – then get their honest feedback. You want to know what their experience was like throughout every touchpoint within your business. On the phone, in-person, level of confidence they had in the people they talked to within your business, how did the environment or surroundings make them feel, etc.
TALK to some of your core customers or past customers. To me, this is the most important one. Do a mini-interview with a few customers. Have a list of questions ready that you’ve really thought out. Ask them what they care about. Ask them how you could have helped them in the past even more. Ask them what they love or appreciate about what you do for them. And for helping you out, why not give them a gift card or something for their trouble?And if you’re tempted to just rely on sending out surveys instead of actually talking to your customers, you’re going to miss out on some really important feedback that is pretty much impossible to learn from a “Rate Us” type of survey, hoping they’ll actually fill out the comments area at the bottom.
One thing to ask your customers to do, that could be really valuable, is to ask them how they would describe your company (or what you do) to a friend. They’ll use verbiage that you wouldn’t think of because you’re too close to your business and haven’t looked at it from the outside-in for a long time. If you gather a bunch of those, what you find, can help you say things in your marketing to better connect with your ideal prospect. You may find out part of what you offer, that you thought was awesome, isn’t really that important to them, or vice-versa. It will also help you understand how to talk to your customers in their language – because maybe you or your employees are talking over your customers heads.
Know your competition. What kind of experience are your potential customers having with your competition? Is there something they do, that you don’t? What kind of messages to they put out to the public in their marketing? By knowing what your competitors are doing and saying, then you know what your customers or potential new customers are also hearing and seeing.
Talk to your employees one-on-one. Ask them what they see and hear from your customers. What are the most common questions your customers ask them? Is there anything that is commonly asked for that you can’t provide? If your employees really aren’t sure… then you should encourage them to ask your customers more questions, also. Let them know that your customers are your best resource for improving customer service, marketing, sales, etc.
Pretend you’re one of your customers who is looking for information on your website. You may think a website is just a website. But is it easy to find your phone number there? Your hours? The basics of what you do and do well? It should be easy for your customers (and non-customers) to easily find the information they’re looking for on your website. It’s one thing that is often overlooked.
Get down in the trenches for a few days, or every now and then, to make sure you stay in-touch with your customer’s problems, wants, and needs. You may think that you can run on auto-pilot (or manage from a distance)… and maybe you have some good systems in place to help ensure a good customer experience… BUT you need to check that system from the ground up, periodically.
Short snippets about “walking in your customers’ shoes” and why it’s important…
And here’s one more from Shep Hyken that’s quick and to the point…
You need to see your business through the eyes of your customers once in a while. They’re the reason you’re in business, right?
You’ve advertised for years and years, maybe decades… and you’re still not happy with your advertising and marketing results. Then, the “new guy” (in the form of online advertising), steps onto the playing field, and you’re like, “Finally! Advertising that I can track!” But lo and behold, you found out THAT was a crock of malarkey, too.
No matter WHERE you have advertised and no matter who has been in charge of it… it’s always failed, right?
The old way: advertising that looks, sounds, and wreaks like every other advertisement out there.
There are a few different kinds of “old way” advertising. One example is just cramming a bunch of bullet points about your business into a radio ad (or any kind of ad for that matter) and then “picking the right station” to be on. Doesn’t work, right?
Note to self: Stop doing it that way. Take that method of advertising to slaughter. Kill it. Be done with it. Aren’t you fed up?
Another example of “the old way” of advertising “CREATIVE”. That’s when it’s humor or special effects or any other kind of creativeness shoved down our throats in an ad… but there’s really no tie from that creativeness to your business. No relevance. And that means people might remember the “funny stuff”, but they don’t remember YOU. We’re flooded with “creative” ads that don’t work any better than the first example I gave.
Note to self: Stop doing this, too. Slaughter the “old way” of what you think advertising should look or sound like.
I built my wife a website a few years back. She’s a Realtor. I added a page on the website called “4th Dream Home Story”. She has received comments from a few new clients about that exact page of the website. They think it’s cool. My wife said, “When people read that, it’s like it allows them to trust me a little bit before they’ve even met me.” I said, EXACTLY!
That’s the power of telling a story. Of sharing a personal story. They won’t remember all the other “stuff” on the website, but they’ll remember that. Plus, it ties into real estate – even better.
So, try to remember how it is that you form really tight relationships with people. Is it by spewing a bunch of facts and boring figures to your friends? No. You tell stories. You’re emotional. And that’s how you win over new customers, too. You make friends with them by creating ads that show you’re human. You bond with them through your ads. You want them to relate to what you’re saying. Be vulnerable. Shit, tell them about a bad divorce, or a influential parent, or the time you were stuck in an elevator with the Beach Boys.
Entertain them. Don’t sell them. “Selling” is for short-term goals that are short-lived. Building relationships within an audience is how you’ll win over the vast majority of them. Tell them something in your ads that will make them think, “Hmm, seems like a nice person.”
You’re afraid to be the spokesperson for your company? You need to get over that. Be the passionate business person you are… and win over a bunch of people by being YOU. And if you can’t read a script to save your life, I understand. Then, let’s sit down and just talk. I’ll record your raw passion for the business, your stories, and more. And it will turn into a radio ad that will be better than anything that was ever scripted.
Take the ineffective old ways of advertising (what you “think” advertising should look and sound like) and leave them by the side of the road and hit the gas. You don’t owe them anything.
Duane Christensen – Local Marketing Guy
Results Radio Townsquare Media – Sioux Falls, South Dakota
I was trying to think of what you might Google if you wanted to learn how to improve your local marketing efforts.
“Where should I advertise?”
“Should I Advertise Online?”
“I really suck at marketing please help”
“Advertising salespeople are annoying can I do it myself?”
“I’m so much better than my competition why are people so stupid?”
But it’s kind of hard to know what your situation is. Maybe you already advertise on the radio. Maybe you’re already boosting a few Facebook posts here and there.
Let’s talk about advertising choices. There are too many of them. You can’t do everything. Don’t even try.
Here’s the truth about choosing an advertising medium or direction…
Most people (but not you, of course), are NOT fascinated by what actually WORKS… they’re fascinated by what is NEW. Right? Don’t you have this feeling that you’re missing out on something if you don’t give the new, shiny thing a shot?
I’ve said this before…
When you buy advertising, all you’re doing is renting an audience to “reach”. Different ways to reach people change all the time. But what HASN’T changed is PEOPLE. Making advertising WORK, is all about PEOPLE, not about the new ways to reach them.
In order to be successful, all advertising must do 3 things:
Impact (with people)
Communicate (with people)
Let’s tackle the “Impact” part of that. The great marketing dude, Bill Bernbach says, “90% of ads do not get noticed.” What?!!! Are you crazy?!!! How is that possible?!!!
Actually, I would agree with that estimate. That statistic comes from a LACK OF IMPACT. Do you want a “Plain Jane” ad that only talks about boring facts of what you sell or what you do?
It will be ignored. You’ll be part of that 90%. Just by standing out (yet still relevant), you’re far ahead of your competition.
Stop being afraid to stand out. You won’t get warts. Your house won’t get egged.
You won’t die.
What do you think happens when your ads get noticed and they’re part of that 10% group?
Hey, I get it. You’re afraid of offending people. There are certain things that I hold back from sharing on social media because I don’t want people to think I’m a flippin’ weirdo or something.
But hey… I’m weird sometimes. My wife loves it. My daughter loves it. If it’s not good enough for anyone else, maybe I shouldn’t care. I do and I don’t. It’s kind of sad that I’m 41 years old, and I don’t think I’ve totally come out of my shell.
I’m working on that though! And so should you!
Especially with your advertising. Stop insisting on blending in. It’s costing you a lot of money – and not making you any.
If you really suck at advertising and marketing your business, then we need to talk. The first thing to do is not make it so difficult and intimidating. All you’re trying to do is become friends with new potential customers. Get them to like and trust you. That starts with authenticity. There are people just like you who would love to buy your product or service. Let them know who you are, what you’re all about, and why you do the things you do. They’ll love you for it. And the best way to do that is through stories, humor, and transparency.
Don’t try to disguise bullshit in advertising with long words or extra words that aren’t needed. We have built-in bullshit detectors in our brains. All of us. So, don’t attempt to get us to love the smell of yours.
Be authentic and create ads with IMPACT! Remember… you won’t die.
Are you ready to advertise though? Is everything up to par within your business? How’s your customer service? How’s your product? Are your current customers happy with you? Here’s another quote from Bill Bernbach…
A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it’s bad.
So, just make sure you’re ready for a great advertising campaign. When you are… let’s get together and discuss the possibilities!
You’re thinking, “Damn right we’re special. People love us!”
That’s awesome if you have customers who love you. You should work really hard to keep it that way! But what about Non-Customers? Do they love you? Nope. They couldn’t care less. Especially, if they barely know you exist. Especially, if they know nothing about you. Especially, if they are content doing business with your competition right now.
So, what’s the main goal in your advertising investment?
It’s to get RESULTS, right? Sure. But HOW do you get results?
Throw a bunch of money at different advertising packages and “deals”… and see what sticks! Wha? Nooooooo! Don’t do that. I want to help you get a phenomenal return on your advertising. And that does NOT come by shooting from the hip…
Looney Toons legend: Yosemite Sam
BOOM! Die, Varmint!
You’ll be disappointed. And you’ll waste a lot of money.
Back to the question of the hour. HOW do you get advertising results?!!!!!
The answer is in the title.
You must prove to the public that you’re special. PROVE to them… that you’re SPECIAL. Easier said than done though, right?
You can’t just throw up all over people, saying that you’re special and that you’re the best, and you’re “quality”, and a bunch of other horseshit that YOU know is true… but that nobody else believes. They may believe you some day. But first you have to PROVE it to them that you’re special.
It’s in the pudding.
Meaning, you need to help your customers “taste” what you have to offer that’s better than what they’re chewing on now. What’s so great about your competition? What’s the big deal that they’re talking about? Probably nothing. They’re most likely just holding up a sign and yelling about who, what, and where they are. That gives YOU an opportunity to POUNCE!
This is where the “strategy” part of your advertising plan comes in. (Want help with strategy? It’s my specialty.)
Take that SPECIAL thing about you in which your competition can’t claim or not talking about. Then, you shine a light on that special thing, so that when the public thinks about your product or service, they INSIST on getting that special thing that you offer. And when they think of it, you want them to think of YOU.
Good advertising is not something as simple as “branding”. Good advertising is making friends with your prospective customers. FRIENDS are much more likely to do business with you that someone who doesn’t know you. So, start your advertising with the idea that you’re trying to make a new friend. Think about that. It’s not branding. It’s more like bonding. It’s being helpful, vulnerable, sincere, and human. That’s what it is.
Take that “special thing” about your awesome local business and weave it throughout a story that you tell the public. The special thing about you is the LOGIC side of your advertising. And the “friendly” part of your advertising is all of the rest. It’s the STORY. It’s the humble and caring part of you. It’s the reason why you love what you do. It’s the passion. OR… is all of that a great big PART of what makes you SPECIAL? Hmmmm. I’d say that you may be on to something! : )
Need help writing that advertisement? That’s what I love to do. I love to sift through the good, bad, and what your future customer truly cares about (because it’s about them, right?) And then, we come up with a strategy and radio advertising plan that has immense potential. A plan that will put you at the forefront of people’s minds. Not because you’re spending the most, but because you’re saying the right things in your ads. You’re proving to people how you will be their superstar.
Then, pretty soon… you have a bunch of new FRIENDS, who think you are SPECIAL, and are ready to be YOUR CUSTOMER.
And dang, that’s really cool when it all comes together. I have a healthy handful of clients in and around Sioux Falls who would love to tell you about their experience with me and Results Radio. I’d be happy to get you their contact info.
Let me know if you’d like to have a conversation about this sort of stuff.
When someone hears your radio ad… what do you think they do? Are they interested, entertained, or intrigued? Or are they annoyed, bored, or oblivious? There’s a great novelist and screenwriter, named Elmore Leonard, who has a quote that sums up how your radio ads need to be written. He said, “I try to leave out the parts that people skip.”
In 1972, Elmore read The Friends of Eddie Coyle by the late George V. Higgins. It inspired him to “loosen up” and not be as rigid, to get into scenes quicker; Fifty-Two Pickup, (1974) Swag, (1976) and Unknown Man No. 89 (1977) remain the essential trilogy of the Elmore Leonard sound, the setting no longer the old west, but urban Detroit. It’s never a bad idea to “loosen up” with your radio ads.
Dude. That’s all you have to do.
The WORDS are THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR ADVERTISING EFFORTS.
But unfortunately, most advertising you see or hear includes many “skippable” words within them. Don’t let it be yours.
How do you keep an ad from being skipped over? You have to put in the work up front. You have to do the research. You need to sit and think (yes, thinking is a lost art form – but if you get good at it, you can write your own paycheck). You have to get into the head of the people who want or need your product or service. What’s going through their mind? What do they care about? (Hint: It’s usually not how long you’ve been in business)
People want solutions to their problems
They want to buy from someone they can trust
They like to be entertained
And please, SKIP THE BORING AND IRRELEVANT STUFF.
So, remember those things when you’re putting your next radio ad together. If you think that radio ads are just the name of the business, a laundry list of what that business does, and the phone number 5 times, you’re going to be really upset with the lack of results you get.
“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” -Elmore Leonard
Radio advertising. It’s affordable… it’s versatile… and over 90% listen to broadcast radio every week. And overall… Americans, still spend more time with our radios than we do on Facebook. And radio doesn’t melt your brain like Facebook does. “Melt your brain” is my technical term for “makes you dumber, lonely, depressed, and narcissistic” (and it’s just my opinion – but look at the research).
Radio advertising has the potential to outperform most marketing mediums today. Part of that reason is because of the power of sound.
Sound vs. Visual. Which is better? Which should you choose? You’ve heard that, right? Or thought it? “I have a visual product. Therefore it makes absolutely perfect and logical sense to use a visual advertising medium.”
Geez, it would sure be nice if advertising worked that way. Simple. Straightforward. A step-by-step formula for advertising success. Sorry. Doesn’t exist.
Have you ever read a great article? You didn’t read the whole thing top to bottom because of a picture. A picture may have gotten your attention. But the words are what kept you engaged. The words that were being spoken by you silently in your head.
Has a song ever changed your mood or brought an old memory flooding back? All the time! Sound is powerful.
Has anyone’s words ever hurt you? Sadly, yes. And I’ve hurt plenty with my words. Words I wish I could have back.
Something to think about.
My clients are getting great results because of the words we’re using in the ads… the stories we tell… and the people used to deliver that message. It’s not about a picture. It’s about creating pictures in people’s minds… with words. Spoken words.