Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice ... Or ...

I’ve been in the advertising, sales and marketing game a LONG time … and I’ve learned a few things along the way. Maybe even a few that could help you grow your business.

Over the years, I have found this to be true …

Many business owners claim they want advertising that works – but when push comes to shove, they back off and quickly say … “Can’t we just do a ‘nice’ advertisement? You know, like everyone else does.”

It seems they want Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice … and then they can’t figure out why their advertising isn’t working. When their cash registers aren’t ringing, they just can’t figure it out. Instead of scrapping the bland, mindless ads similar to what the other businesses are running – they decide to run more of the same. (Doh! I’m slapping my forehead here!)

What I’ve seen frequently is that a spouse, girlfriend, partner, next-door neighbor, or some other "friend of the business" complains about a word or phrase that they don’t like – and often what they object to are the words that lead to sales. They encourage the business owner to remove the words that were the most powerful. And then the owner can’t figure out why he isn't getting positive results.

The ad agencies often like it this way too. "Let’s create a cute, funny ad that will win us awards," they say – but they don't really care much if the ads sell products, goods, or services. After all -- they worry quietly behind the scenes -- if business owners start measuring our ads for efficiency, we could be in trouble. Better to have bland, don’t rock the boat ads that people like – even if they don’t buy. More Sugar please!

Yet, my success as a marketing consultant has happened when a business owner hears the negative bombs tossed by well-meaning but misguided friends – and decides, even with the sounds of warfare blasting all around them, to say: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

Unfortunately, there is no ad campaign so brilliant that it cannot be made utterly ineffective through compromise. I remember one local business that brought in a high-priced consultant who wanted to use committees to determine which words should be in the ads – even though the people on the committee had no background, training, education or experience in writing copy that sells. It was a disaster. The high-priced consultant got to stick around and make money tryting to clean up the mess -- until finally the business owner realised the real problem and fired the consultant. Unfortunately, he crippled the business while he was there.

So the question for today is this: What do you stand for? Do you want to increase business and your profitability … or do you want Sugar and Spice? Are you willing to stand firm when the action starts?

Your answers to these questions may very well determine your success in battle.

Good Selling!


Mr. Dana Kehr
Pro Marketing Northwest
PO Box 731413
Puyallup, WA

253-579-4040 unlimited text and direct

P.S. If you’d like an ad campaign with words that sell, call me. It’s what I do!

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