Stir The Emotions That Reside Within Your Customer’s Heart

Transcription:

What will persuade your customer to buy from you? That’s the gazillion dollar question, right?

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Stay tuned, and I’ll share the number one way to electrify your ad copy. It’s a technique that is sure to drive a stampede of customers through your door.

The forefathers of modern advertising, Albert Lasker and John E. Kennedy, forever changed the way we advertise with the concept of “salesmanship in print,” which is all about presenting your prospective customer with logical reasons why your product or service should be purchased.

Make no mistake, “reason-why” advertising still works wonders. Leverage this tried-and-true concept and your ads will rise head and shoulders above the majority of limp and lame advertisements being created today.

But to create great advertising … to create wonderfully persuasive advertising, you’re gonna have to do more … you’re gonna have to stir the emotions that lie within your prospective customer’s heart.

Why appeal directly to your customer’s emotions?

As direct-response copywriter, Clayton Makepeace, once put it: “Because we human beings are NOT merely rational creatures, seeking only to get what we need for physical survival. We are also highly emotional beings. And our emotional needs are every bit as valid to us—and every bit as crucial to fulfill—as our physical needs. In fact … The minute we’re sure we have plenty of air, water, food, and a roof over our heads, our emotional needs become far more compelling to us than anything else. And, unlike our cravings for food and shelter, which cease once these needs are met, our emotional needs are never fully satisfied!”

Are you triggering strong emotions and feelings that drive your customer’s desire—one that your customer is willing to pay for?

Anger and fear… joy and sadness… trust and disgust… anticipation and
surprise.

Ad copy that speaks to a dominant emotion is much more powerful and persuasive than copy that merely presents features and facts.

Remember, contented people don’t buy things—discontented people do. And these are people who desperately want to improve their situation. Something’s missing from their lives. Something’s causing them pain … pain they want relief from.

Your job as a Marketing Wizard is to identify the source of this discontent or pain. Then present your product or service as the hero that will provide much needed relief.

So, what does your customer feel right now about the problem confronting her? What does she want to feel?

Speak to these emotions. Win the heart and the mind will follow. You must never forget that the mind will always justify what the heart has already decided.

The bottom line: Amp up the emotional voltage of your ad copy and you’ll persuade more customers to choose you. This is crucial since no amount of advertising hocus-pocus or copywriting pyrotechnics can match the intensity and impact of triggering an emotion.

But that reminds me of one last thing before I go … I need to warn you about something: Please understand, triggering an emotion is not about hype. Hype is dead.

Clayton Makepeace goes on to say “Dominant-emotion copy is not merely ramping up the emotional tone of your promotions to hysterical levels or putting slammers (“!”) all over the place. And it is certainly not about making false, misleading, or unbelievable advertising claims. Falling into these traps is the undoing of many otherwise savvy marketers. If any component of your sales message is less than believable, more prospects will be turned off than will buy. And if your product doesn’t live up to your sales message, those who do become customers will be one-time customers only. In fact, when done well, dominant-emotion copy is more credible and, therefore, more effective because it attaches the appropriate emotions to the real and credible benefits your product offers.”

So there you have it, relevancy and credibility backed by emotion. Doesn’t it make a whole lotta sense to harness the power of a dominant, driving emotion to electrify your ad copy?

Sure—identifying and speaking to an emotional benefit is a bit trickier than simply stating reasons why your product or service should be purchased. But you’ll instantly snap up more sales when you trigger the emotions of your customer.

Alright Marketing Wizards, please do me a favor. It only takes a second. Subscribe below and share this video with your peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And give me a shout, will ya? Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

As always, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

Emotional Desire or Faux Benefit?

Transcription:

Saying the right thing is far more important than how you say it.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Watch today’s episode and learn how to be positively certain you’re speaking to an emotional desire. One that your customer is willing to pay for.

One of the biggest mistakes beginning ad writers make is answering a question no one was asking. When this happens your copy will most assuredly lack relevancy.

Which means you are not speaking to a felt need of your customer. And if you are not speaking to a benefit that lies within your customer’s heart, how do you ever hope to persuade her to buy from you?

Now, you may be thinking, “Hey, buddy. I’m a grizzled ad writer, and I’ve got the arrows in my back to prove it.

I always speak to my customer’s felt need. Besides, highlighting benefits over features is one of the most basic tenets of writing persuasive copy. Everyone knows that’s ad writing 101.”

Now hold your horses there, Hoss. Let’s not get cocky confident. Even the most experienced among us commit this cardinal sin of copywriting from time to time. No one’s infallible.

But, hey … don’t feel bad. It happens to the best of us. Clayton Makepeace, the great direct response copywriter, calls this writing to a “faux benefit.”

A faux benefit is something that your prospective customer would never actually dream of at night. It’s a product feature masquerading as a benefit.

See, no one ever rolls out of a warm bed on a cold, rainy morning, slaps their forehead and hollers “Whoo boy, I need a funeral advantage! After all, my neighbor Jack already drives a nicer car. And his lawn is pristine.

Mine? We’ll it’s looks like the Amazon. But I’ll be damned if he goes out in a blaze of glory too. I’ve gotta get me a funeral advantage!”

What’s so funny? Think I made that whole “Gain a funeral advantage” idea up? Think again. I recently saw an advertisement with this exact headline.

See, faux benefits creep into your ad copy like a sickness when you fail to drill down deep during your uncovery phase. In other words, you didn’t do your homework. You came up just a bit short and didn’t tap into the emotional benefit that fuels your customer’s desire to buy from you.

See, no one would list “gain a funeral advantage” as a top priority. But anyone with a heart wants to spare their loved ones from the emotional burden of having to make funeral arrangements at a time of great grief and despair.

Some may even want to ensure their final wishes are carried out “to a T”—but again, no one—I repeat no one—would think of it as gaining a funeral advantage.

So let’s discuss how to make sure you’re not presenting your customer with a list of faux benefits … let’s make sure you’re speaking to your customer’s felt need.

Here are 3 Simple and Straightforward Steps that’ll amp up the emotional voltage of your copy:

Step Number One: Review your ad copy using Makepeace’s patented forehead slap test. Snuff out all those faux benefits. Are you writing about a benefit people actually dream of at night?

Step Number Two: Change your perspective. Move beyond an inward, product-focused perspective to an outward customer-focused one.

Features are about the product or service—not the customer. But that’s a problem, since good ads are about the customer NOT the product or service.

As Makepeace says, most features exist for a reason, but people don’t buy features. They buy thing’s that change their lives for the better … things that provide hope and promise a brighter tomorrow.

So if we want to write good ads—and who here doesn’t—then we’ve gotta shift our perspective to the benefits that each feature provides and ask, “Why does this feature exist? What does this feature do for my customer?”

Now, don’t stop there. Be sure to complete Step Three: Drill to the core of what’s in it for your customer at a deep-rooted emotional level. How will this benefit make my customer feel? How will it enrich her life and change things for the better?

Always remember, the mind finds logic to justify what the heart has already decided. Once you win the heart of your customer, their mind–and money—will surly follow.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a HUGE favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And give me a shout. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

As always, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

How To Sell A Dream

Transcription:

Persuasion is the goal of marketing, as any brand builder worth a lick will tell you. Knowing this helps, but how do you persuade the greatest number of people to buy from you?

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Today’s message is one of the most important I can share. It’s a message that’ll become the North Star for everything you do. Keep watching.

What makes people do the things they do, especially when it comes to marketing your business? And how do you build brand attraction?

Well, let’s first talk about what doesn’t move the needle on the “Who gives a crap” meter: Advertising what you do and how you do it.

Greeting customers warmly, serving fresh coffee or hot coco, knowing your product or service inside and out, exceptional service … these things do not communicate why you do what you do. While important, they are the byproduct or process—and they come only after you clearly define and declare “why” you are in business.

Sorry if that hurts a little, but as, Lee Clow observes, “You do not sell a dream by discussing the process of falling asleep.”

Let me say that again—You do not sell a dream by discussing the process of falling asleep.

You’ve gotta humanize your brand and communicate WHY you do the things you do … you’ve gotta communicate WHY you crawl out of a comfy bed on a cold, rainy day to serve your customers with a warm, wide smile.

The brilliant Simon Sinek says that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. I agree. And I strongly encourage you to watch his TEDX talk. You’ll find a link to the video below.

Now, Sinek also goes on to suggest that you’ve gotta get people to believe what you believe. Weeeelll, not to nitpick Simon Sinek—he really is brilliant—but changing a person’s belief system is not the job of advertising. It’s too darn inefficient … too expensive.

But don’t worry. Because once you define and declare WHY you do what you do, you will naturally attract people who believe what you believe. I see it all the time with my clients.

One in particular is known throughout his trade area as the “Good Natured” heating and cooling company. This client recently observed that his advertising attracts customers who also have a good natured disposition.

Coincidence?

Doubtful. This connection is due to the natural attraction of shared values. It’s what Aristotle called persuasion by one’s ethos or—in other words—one’s character. See, brand attraction happens when the customer looks at your company and sees a reflection of themselves.

So today I want you look in the mirror. Define and declare what you believe and why you are in business the customer. Tell me, what is the dream that you stand for?

Once this is clear, go share it with the world.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a HUGE favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And give me a shout, will ya? Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

As always, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

Leverage A Cheap Trick To Accelerate Growth

Transcription:

Most advertising campaigns fail due to irrelevant, uninteresting messages. But some fail because the lack of staying power.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Today I’m going to pull back the curtain and let you in on a little secret … I’m going to share my “ace in the hole” to get faster results. It’s a simple secret that I use every time I take on a new client. Stay tuned, and I’ll see you on the other side.

Most of business owners I encounter are somewhat new at this business of branding. Up until now, their marketing has been nothing more than a frustrating game advertising roulette. And not surprisingly, not much has worked.

So they’re overwhelmed, nervous and more than unsure. Trust me. I get it. And I wanna help.

Trouble is, branding takes time. This is true, even if you have a powerful and persuasive message.

Unlike direct response marketing, brand builders do not ask for an immediate sale. What’s more, as brand builders, we cannot accurately predict the moment of need of our customer.

Because our goal is to convince our customer before they have a need for what we sell—then sit back and wait for that moment to arrive—it can often take several months for a branding campaign to kick into high gear. Longer if you don’t have the luxury of affording mass media to accelerate growth.

See the challenge? Seedtime to harvest takes time and money and a whole lot of patience … a whole lot of staying power.

So what’s the secret to enduring this period of transition?

Momentum. Yes, my friends, momentum in marketing—momentum in life—is unbelievably underrated.

And what’s the best way to harness momentum and accelerate results?

Ah, I’m glad you asked. Exploit a cheap trick. Let me explain.

A cheap trick is window of opportunity usually in the form of an asset that has not been previously positioned for maximum impact. And here’s the kicker: A cheap trick will often reveal itself during a moment of peripeteia … a moment of discovery leading to a sudden realization … in other words, an “ah-ha” moment.

The French call this coup d’oeil, or the “strike of an eye.”

The great Prussian general, Clausewitz, said, “When all is said and done, it really is the commander’s coup d’œil, his ability to see things simply, to identify the whole business of war completely with himself, that is the essence of good generalship. Only if the mind works in this comprehensive fashion can it achieve the freedom it needs to dominate events and not be dominated by them.”

What does a cheap trick in marketing look like?

Could be anything … and it differs for each business.

Some have a jaw-dropping guarantee or warranty they can leverage. One that their competition simply is unwilling to match.

Perhaps it’s a product demonstration or free trial.

For others, a cheap trick could be a specialized skill-set or product offering that’s been sitting idly on the shelf collecting dust.

Often, it’s something more simple like shining a spotlight on the magnetic personality of the business owner, improving the company’s broken-down website, or closing just one more sale out of ten.

An overlooked cheap trick is to amp up the emotional voltage of your advertising campaign by conjuring pleasant mental images of your brand.

Another is to splinter your product or service into smaller offerings to get your foot in the door—which is a good idea if you operate a business with a long product purchase cycle.

Are you starting to see the light? Look for the cheap trick you can leverage … an unleveraged asset that’ll give you momentum and deliver the biggest results in the shortest amount of time.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a HUGE favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And give me a shout, will ya? Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

As always, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

What’s The Big Idea?

Transcription:

Hey, Mister! What’s The BIG Idea?

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Last episode we talked about opening your ads with fire … opening your ads with a First Mental Image that has a mega-ton of impact. Well, in today’s episode I wanna expand on that concept and talk about your BIG idea. I’ll see you on the inside.

What’s the one the thing that’ll add richness and dimension to your advertising … the one thing that’ll pierce the clutter of our noisy, over-communicated society and grab the attention of your customer?

If you guessed “impact” — then you guessed right!

Impact takes your advertising from mono to stereo sound. And the best way to elevate the impact of your message is through the creation of a big idea.

David Ogilvy, warned us, “Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”

Well, if David Ogilvy says you and I need a big idea to kick our advertising into high gear … then, we had better listen.

But how do you go about identifying a big idea?

Again, let’s turn to the wisdom of David Ogilvy, who defined the characteristics of every big idea. Here’s his checklist of five questions that’ll help you when you have discovered yours:

1.) Did it make me gasp when I first saw it?
2.) Do I wish I had thought of it myself?
3.) Is it unique?
4.) Does it fit the strategy to perfection?
5.) Could it be used for 30 years?

Now, I’m going to add a sixth characteristic to David Ogilvy’s list: Is your big idea shockingly simple?

Complexity is a killer. If your big idea takes a lot of effort to communicate, then it’s not a big idea at all … it’s a rat’s nest.

So what does a big idea look like in advertising? You might recall:

Avisʼ “Weʼre Number 2 … Thatʼs Why We Try Harder.” Admitting that you’re NOT the number one brand in your industry?

Unthinkable. Are you crazy? Yeah, crazy like a fox. This startling admission lent credibility to Avis’ claim of trying harder and, as a result, the company’s profits soared.

How about Old Spiceʼs “A Man Your Man Could Smell Like?” Shocking, right? A man should smell like a man. So don’t lather up with all that foo foo stuff.

And everybody loves Dos Equisʼ “The Most Interesting Man In The World.” This character—who admits that he doesn’t always drink beer—used the power of mystique to build Dos Equis import brand of beer.

Now, in case you’re wondering how master the art of the big idea, Ogilvy went on to advise, “Big ideas come from the unconscious. This is true in art, in science, and in advertising. But your unconscious has to be well informed, or your idea will be irrelevant. Stuff your conscious mind with information, then unhook your rational thought process.”

Big ideas are memorable. Big ideas attract and hold the attention of your audience and get them to buy from you.

Doesn’t it make sense to harness the power of a big idea into your advertising?

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a BIG favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

As always, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

Open With Fire

Transcription:

So many times, business owners want to know the right combination of words or phrases that will generate a buying response and cause people to choose your business instead of one of your competitors.

Oh, if only advertising worked that way.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

I can’t give you that sequence of words and phrases you’re searching for, my friend—a magic formula like this simply doesn’t exist. But I can tell you how to structure your ad with an impactful First Mental Image. Stay tuned.

Let’s kick things off in a big way today by talking about a major “no, no” when writing ad copy. It’s a common mistake that even seasoned copywriters make.

Never, ever begin your ad by naming your company. When you begin your ad by saying, “Fred Conner from Conner’s Plumbing,” you immediately telegraph to your audience that they’re about to hear an ad.

This is the weakest possible first mental image you can conjure in the audience’s mind.

Why?

Well, for one thing, your First Mental Image is equivalent to the headline of your ad. And the goal of your First Mental Image is to introduce a thought more interesting than what your listener had previously been thinking.

You want to keep your audience engaged, right?

That’s no small task. Your prospects jump from website to website … article to article … and channel to channel … all without a moment’s hesitation.

On top of that, no one likes being sold to. And when you begin your ad by naming your company … well, your relationship with your audience starts off with something unpleasant … something that produces resistance.

So, what do you do instead?

My man, David Ogilvy, once said, “When selling fire extinguishers, open with fire.”

In other words, open BIG! Open with a captivating thought—a First Mental Image—that speaks to the hopes, dreams and desires that fuel you customer’s decision to buy from you.

Trust me, your company name isn’t all that interesting. Sorry if that hurts a little.

Now, how bout an example of a captivating First Mental Image?

Take a look at this famous ad, written by my partner, Roy H. Williams: “You are standing in the snow, five and one half miles above sea level, gazing at a horizon hundreds of miles away. It occurs to you that life here is very simple: You live, or you die. No compromises, no whining, no second chances. This is a place constantly ravaged by wind and storm, where every ragged breath is an accomplishment. You stand on the uppermost pinnacle of the earth. This is the mountain they call Everest. Yesterday it was considered unbeatable. But that was yesterday. Rolex believed Sir Edmund Hillary would conquer Mount Everest, so for him they created the Rolex Explorer. In every life there is a Mount Everest to be conquered. When you have conquered yours, you’ll find your Rolex waiting patiently for you to come and pick it up at Justice Jewelers. I’m Woody Justice, and I’ve got a Rolex for you.”

Now that’s how you open big! Notice, too, how the ad puts the listener smack-dab in the middle of the action. Can you see—and more importantly—feel the difference?

So, if you wanna write electrifying ads that resonate with your audience and causes them to choose your business … then you’ve gotta open with a big First Mental Image.

Can you do that for me?

I know you can.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a BIG favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

As always, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

Is Business Booming? Here’s The Monster That Should Keep You Up At Night

Transcription:

Marketing challenges come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. That’s what I love about marketing. Cookie cutter solutions just don’t exist.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Stay tuned, and I’ll explain what should keep you up at night when business is going well. I’ll see you on the inside.

It’s Q and A time here at Wizard Marketing TV, and viewer Joyce has a question for us.

Joyce manages a medical weight loss practice and says, “Our business is pretty much running at full capacity. We’ve got all the patients we can handle right now. What do you do when you’re doing well? What areas of marketing should we focus on?

First off, WOOHOO! You go, Joyce. Congratulations. You’re obviously doing something right … a lot of things right.

Once you’ve got it crankin’, keep it crankin’. Now’s not the time to get complacent with your marketing and advertising efforts.

If you’re running a mass media branding campaign, keep it up. Don’t lose momentum here. Momentum takes too long to build.

But without a doubt, when things are going swimmingly well, the biggest challenge for your business will come from the inside. When customers stampede through your doors, systems become stretched beyond their limits, and begin to break down. Bad habits develop. Opportunities slip away.

The bottom line: You may find that you’re unable to provide the same spectacular customer experience that got you to this point.

At first, these shortcomings in customer service are usually small and seemingly insignificant. Ah, but don’t be fooled.

Remember, you get what you tolerate. And when you tolerate anything less than a stellar and spectacular customer experience … well, that’s what you’re gonna get in return.

So you’re first order of business? Zero tolerance for anything but providing customers with an experience so delightful … so magnificent that it causes people to tell all their family and friends about you. Hell, be be the champion for delighting the hell out of the customer.

Seems simple, I know. But, you and I both know that’s easier said than done.

In fact, just recently, I was looking to get a logo designed on the cheap, so I went to Fiverr and found one particular designer that did wonderful work. His logos leapt off the page with originality and pizzaz.

Not surprisingly, this guy was more popular than left turns on a Nascar racetrack. He had more than 150 jobs in cue. He was backlogged to infinity and beyond.

Which means his capacity was pushed beyond its limits. That’s when my concern grew and I noticed his most recent reviews, which were less than glorious. Well, we’re talkin’ one-star flameouts. Many reviewers mentioned how the designer resorted to using clip art. Some even claimed that he reused parts of logos from his past designs.

Ultimately, I decided to go another route.

So, Joyce. Don’t be like logo guy. The last thing you want is to provide customers with an experience that disappoints … the last thing you want is negative word of mouth to spread. See, no amount of good advertising will overcome a bad product or service.

Stay on top of this, Joyce. Fear complacency. Let it be the monster that keeps you up at night.

I know that sounds a bit rough. And I don’t want to be Negative Ned here—especially when things are going so well for you—but success is fragile. So when it comes to marketing, always look for ways to elevate the value you provide.

Oh, and please be super appreciative of your staff. You don’t want morale to suffer when hours and demands increase.

Now one more thing … because it sounds like you’re maxed out and have got no room to grow, you’re now at a crossroads. If you want to continue to grow your company, you’e got two options:

Your first option is to expand your product offering? Are there products and / or services that you don’t currently offer that would benefit your customers?

If so, offer them.

Now, your second option is to add more capacity. This will require either moving to a larger location, or opening a new location in a new market. And it will definitely require hiring additional staff.

But if you want to grow, you need to swim in a bigger fish bowl.

Joyce, all the best to you, and thanks a bunch for sending in your question.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a HUMONGOUS favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And give me a shout. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

As always, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

Four Words That’ll Forever Change Your Marketing

Transcription:

Not getting the results from your marketing efforts that you’d like to see? Perhaps you’re suffering from “riddle me this” advertising.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Keep watching, and I’ll give you four words that’ll forever change how you view your marketing. I’ll see YOU on the inside.

Many people consider Steve Krug’s book, Don’t Make Me Think, to be the bible of web usability. I agree. I read it back in 2001, and loved it.

Funny thing is, you almost don’t even need to read the book. The title says it all.

Now, although Krug’s book is about web usability, its mantra is something every marketer should engrave on their heart: Don’t make me think.

See, one of the most common mistakes in advertising is crafting vague and obscure messages. Some marketers treat their advertising like it’s some kind of enchanting treasure hunt. The ability to purchase from the advertiser is the customer’s reward for solving the riddle.

Can you imagine that? I can’t. That’s what you call wishful thinking.

Just ask J.C. Penney.

In January of 2012, J.C.Penney unveiled its plan to replace the company’s high-low pricing structure with a confusing three-tier pricing strategy, which urged customers to “do the math.”

But J.C. Penney learned that customers don’t want to do math. So six months later, the company abandoned its new pricing strategy for a more simplified one.

Around the same time of J.C. Penney’s pricing debacle … Yuengling’s new advertising campaign urged beer drinkers to “rethink your light beer.”

But you would never know this by looking at the company’s billboards.

Although these billboards nicely contrasted Yuengling’s dark amber-colored light beer with three other light-colored, watered-down suds, there was no clear message or identity linking the advertisement to the brand. The company’s message contained only a single word, “Think.”

Think what?

Again, customer’s don’t wanna think about your advertising.

It’s not that your customer is unintelligent or incapable of thinking for themselves. They simply don’t have the bandwidth or desire to figure out your message or offer. That’s the advertiser’s job … that’s your job.

Frankly, the whole vague and lackadaisical “let the customer interpret the meaning of our marketing message” approach leaves me feeling queasy.

Hell. That’s just bad marketing. Not to mention, a complete waste of money.
Maybe J.C. Penney, Yuengling and the other corporate “big boys” can play games by sending vague and obscure messages, but you don’t have time for such shenanigans. In fact, I’ve never met a Main Street business owner who does.

Sure, good advertising should surprise a little … it should be new, exciting and different. Heck—no one says your marketing has to be boring. In fact, to be successful, your audience must find your advertising to be interesting.

But clarity is the new creativity. And you can NOT sacrifice the clarity of your message just to be cute and clever.

Advertising is a fragile business. Success is elusive. Moving the needle is damn hard work. Expensive too.

Remember, your primary job is to persuade. And the way I see it, no customer wants to agonize over ANY buying decision.

Think about that for a moment.

Your customer is confronted by more than 5,000 selling messages each day, does she really want to guess about the meaning of your message? And do you really want to take the chance that your message will be misinterpreted?

Help your customer to buy from you with a marketing message that’s clear and compelling. Don’t take any chances. Clobber ‘em over the head with it.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a solid … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And give me a shout. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

And remember, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

The One Simple Marketing Maneuver That Separates You From Your Competition

Transcription:

The Contrast Principle in psychology states that decisions are not made in isolation. Rather, we look for the differences among our available choices. So how does this impact your marketing?

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Stay tuned, and I’ll give you a technique to quickly position your brand in the mind of you customer. It’s a technique that will bring a stampede of customers through your doors.

Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen says, “We are all wired to notice differences. We are not conscious of it, but we are scanning and looking for similarities and differences all the time. Contrast is what we notice, and it’s what gives a design its energy. So you should make elements that are not the same clearly different, not just slightly different. Designs with strong contrast attract interest, and help the viewer make sense of the visual. Weak contrast is not only boring, but it can be confusing.”

Contrasting in marketing is the degree to which your message strikes a clear and unmistakable difference between you and your competition. And, it’s your job as a marketer to frame the buying conversation for the consumer.

Let me say that again, because it’s that darn important. It’s your job to frame the buying conversation. Don’t leave this up to chance. Don’t leave it up to your customer to figure out on her own. And certainly don’t allow your competition to control and steer the conversation in their favor.

Your objective is to clearly demonstrate how your product or service differs. Make an apples-to-oranges comparison—rising above the competition to become the obvious choice.

Never assume that your customer is aware of the sameness within your category. Tell them how everybody else does it … then, tell them how you’re better. Demonstrate this for your customer, if you can.

Think of this act of contrasting as driving an immovable wedge between the position you hold in the mind of your customer, and the inferior position held by your competition.

But allow me to warn you: Contrasting is only effective when you demonstrate these differences using specifics not generalities. And, the first company—competing in a given market—to successfully define their position and that of the competition typically wins the game.

Want an example or two of contrasting in advertising?

Ask and ye shall receive. Here’s one of my favorite examples from 5-Hour Energy:

“A typical energy drink comes with a lot of extra baggage 12 teaspoons of sugar, 200 calories, herbal stimulants and 16 ounces of fluid. This combination can make you feel wired up then let you down with a crash. So don’t drink energy drinks. Drink a 5-Hour Energy shot. It has zero sugar, zero herbal stimulants and as much caffeine as a cup of the leading premium coffee. And best of all only four little calories.”

Using 77 words—the approximate length of a 30-second ad—5-Hour Energy clearly contrasts the difference between their energy shot and those “canned” energy drinks swimming in calories and sugar. And notice the impressive amount of details provided:

• 12 teaspoons of sugar
• 200 calories
• Herbal stimulants and 16 ounces of fluid
• Zero sugar
• Zero herbal stimulants
• As much caffeine as a cup of the leading premium coffee

It gets even better. The added bonus is the natural language and conversational tone, and how 5-Hour Energy just comes out and says the thing. Words like, “extra baggage” and “wired up” are full of verbal richness and provides a clean break from the ho-hum clichés one typically finds in marketing and advertising.

Now here’s another example that I cherry-picked from an ad I wrote for a client of mine:

“Sure, most heating and cooling companies hire certified techs. But that’s not good enough. See, I want to hold my head up high and know deep in my heart that the job we do for our customers—the job we do for YOU—is picture perfect in every way.

That’s why we built our very own training facility in the back of our warehouse.

Just like a pilot learns on a flight simulator, we run each of our techs through the ringer … relentlessly training them to be ready for anything— from tiny little bugs to the downright ugly. So when my Home Comfort Champions visit your home, they’ll help you get the most life out of your system.

Why do we go to these seemingly ridiculous lengths? Cause, it’s your family’s home, comfort and safety—so the job’s gotta be done right.”

Notice how both examples first explain the category sameness. Notice how both brilliantly compare and contrast.

So how do you plan to do the same? How will you make an apples-to-oranges comparison—rising above the competition to become the obvious choice?

Tell me by sharing in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear what you came up with.

Now Marketing Wizards, did you like this video? Then do me a HUGE favor … please subscribe and share it with peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

And remember, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.

How To Sell Parity Products Or Services

Transcription:

Your success in business is directly related to standing out, not fitting in. So, you hunker down to determine how you’re gonna differentiate your brand and position your company for maximum impact … aaaand you’ve got nothin’. You’re drawing a blank.

Tom Wanek, here, and you’re watching Wizard Marketing TV, where business owners learn persuasive tools and techniques to spark miraculous growth.

Make this one simple change about how you think about your company and you’ll out-strategize your competition every time. I’ll see YOU on the inside, my friend.

If you’ve been watching WizardMarketingTV for any length of time, then you’ve heard me say that strategy comes before copywriting and advertising. See, strategy forms the foundation upon which every other marketing activity is built upon. Yes, strategy is that damn important.

Now, that’s all fine and dandy. But what’s your strategy going to be when you operate a commodity-based business … when you sell a parity product?

What’s your marketing strategy if you’re a retailer stocking the same brands as your competitors? Or a roofer installing the same shingles as your competitors … or a heating and cooling company installing the same furnace systems by technicians who are all trained at the same trade-school and who all carry the exact same certification as everybody else?

Ditto for any jeweler, hearing aid center or electrician.

The answer is pure and simple: Be more like-able than your competitors. In other words, be positively good.

The “Godfather” of modern advertising, David Ogilvy said, “When faced with selling ‘parity’ products, all you can hope to do is explain their virtues more persuasively than your competitors, and to differentiate them by the style of your advertising.

My partner Joel Ralphaelson has articulated a feeling which has been growing in my mind for some time:

‘In the past, just about every advertiser has assumed that in order to sell his goods he has to convince consumers that his product is superior to his competitor’s.

This may not be necessary. It may be sufficient to convince consumers that your product is positively good. If the consumer feels certain that your product is good and feels uncertain about your competitor’s, he will buy yours.

If you and your competitors all make excellent products, don’t try to imply that yours is better. Just say what’s good about your product—and do a clearer, more honest, more informative job of saying it.

If this theory is right, sales will swing to the marketer who does the best job creating confidence that his product is positively good.”

This approach to parity products does not insult the intelligence of consumers. Who can blame you for putting your best foot forward?”

Convince your customer that your product is positively good. You’re itching for an example. I can tell.

Southwest Airlines does a spectacular job of putting its best foot forward, which is genius move since flying is nearly intolerable these days. Crowded planes. Skinnier seats. Delays upon delays eventually leading to the dreaded flight cancellation.

Seriously. No one is happy to fly.

No one but Southwest, that is. See, the airline’s strategy—in a nutshell—is to make flying more enjoyable … to be more like-able than the other guys. And Southwest’s advertising does a brilliant job at communicating that its airline is positively good. Just look at some of the airline’s most recent billboards which shine a spotlight on the positive-side of traveling.

I absolutely love these ads. They’re fun and creative—but also relevant. Come to think about it, Southwest’s television commercials do a pretty darn good job, too—all without a whiff of hype, clichés, and unsubstantiated claims you hear so often during these marketing-averse times.

Let’s take a look:

Sure—Southwest’s television ads make a contrast between Southwest and the other airlines. But don’t be fooled, Southwest is still selling a parity product. The company flies the same model of planes that all the other airlines do by pilots who have all been trained at the same flight school as every other pilots.

When you sell a commodity or parity product … when the product you sell or the service you provide is fundamentally the identical to your competitor’s … your job is to be more like-able, and you do this by communicating that your product or service is positively good.

Capiche? Alright, then.

Now, I need a favor. Please subscribe below and share this video with your peeps all across the YouTubes and the Interwebs.

And let me hear from you. Send in your marketing and advertising questions. Hit me up at tom@tomwanek.com, and I’ll give you an answer right here.

As always, we’re in this together. I’ve got your back. I’ll see you real soon.