Your marketing sucks. Then again, all marketing sucks, so don’t feel bad. It’s not your fault. It’s actually television’s fault. Here’s why…
Up until the mid to late 1950s, advertisements actually sold stuff. They used reason, logic, and persuasion to get people to buy.
But then TV came along and ruined advertising forever. All of the crappy, bloated, weak ads that exist today—in magazines, on TV, on the Internet and everywhere else—completely suck because of bad habits that formed in the early days of television.
I’m gonna walk you through the steps how this happened, and you’ll see exactly how marketing devolved from powerful, effective ads to the ridiculous images, slogans and taglines we see today.
Television gave businesses a way to sell their wares to the entire nation in an instant. It was absolutely revolutionary. Early adopters would get about two minutes for a commercial. That was plenty of time to broadcast a killer ad that would have viewers drooling over the product.
Then, other businesses caught on and wanted in on the action. There became a huge demand for advertising on TV, but few spots were available.
The networks realized there was an opportunity to get freaking rich, so they shaved commercial spots down to 30 seconds and jacked prices through the roof.
Almost overnight, it became so expensive to run an ad on TV that only the biggest ballers could afford it. That meant there was hardly any competition to worry about.
With little competition and puny 30-second time allotments, ads no longer had to sell. They simply had to exist. Humor and catchy jingles were all companies needed to get their products stamped into consumers’ minds.
Commercials became wacky, obnoxious and repetitive because all they had to do was get attention…they did not have to worry about selling.
Thus, a new advertising method was born: Create something memorable (using humor, slogans, jingles, etc.) and then repeat the crap out of it until it’s drilled into consumers’ minds forever.
Shaving Product Ad Before TV
This text-heavy ad is stuffed with classic, master-level selling techniques that are subtle, powerful, and brutally effective.
Shaving Product Ad After TV
This turd says nothing, means nothing, sells nothing. It totally and utterly blows.
Smaller companies noticed how the big boys were absolutely dominating on TV, and they wanted their piece of the pie. Obviously, if you see someone doing something that appears to be successful, you’ll try to copy it. And that’s exactly what every other company in existence started to do.
Mimicking the heavy hitters who had bought up all the commercial time on TV, pretty much every other business adopted the same Create and Repeat strategy.
Before long, stupid and ridiculous slogans, jingles, images and copy were appearing in all forms of advertising: radio, newspapers, magazines, catalogs and everywhere else.
After a few decades, business owners and executives became so conditioned to the Create and Repeat method, they began to believe that it was normal. They believed it was the correct way to advertise. They thought “Surely, the large companies who run commercials on TV know what they’re doing, right?”
Sadly, the Create and Repeat strategy only works for massive advertisers like Coke, GM, Procter & Gamble, etc. If you can’t afford to play in their arena (and hardly anybody can), you are wasting your time and money by copying their strategies.
And make no mistake, nearly every business in existence copies the Create and Repeat strategy in one way or another.
The result is embarrassing, weak, completely ineffective advertising that consumers largely ignore.
Do you think even one person has stopped what they were doing and run directly to the jewelry store because they saw this billboard of horse-faced Giselle fondling a horse’s face? This ad SUCKS!
All businesses, from small local outfits to international juggernauts, waste time and money on stupid ads that consumers don’t give one rip about. But it’s not really their fault. They’re simply trying to imitate what they see other successful businesses doing. Bad move, but unfortunately it’s the norm.
Thanks a lot, TV.
There Is Hope!
You should actually rejoice that most marketing sucks. That means your competitor’s marketing sucks too. So there’s probably an opportunity for you to become the dominant voice in your market. Here’s how…
First, you have to realize how your customers think. And no, your customers are no different or more sophisticated than anybody else. All humans respond to the same persuasion techniques, and I don’t care if they’re world-renowned heart surgeons or out-of-work plumbers.
I just want to get that out of the way, because most of my clients think they have a unique audience, but that’s simply not true. People are the same.
Here’s what you wanna do… Figure out what your customers love about your industry and the niche you serve, and what they hate about your industry and the niche you serve.
You can do this by brainstorming with friends and family, or ask some of your current customers. If you don’t have customers yet, run some online surveys to get your answers. If you don’t know how to do that, click here and figure it out.
For instance, let’s say you sell a new mop that goes longer without having to be rinsed out. You’ll want to discover what consumers love about other good mops and what they hate about crappy mops.
Take your discoveries and compare them to your product. You’ll have some powerful new intel you can use for your next ad. I’ll explain…
In your next ad, tell your audience how you meet or exceed the expectations they have for mops they already love. And tell them how you solve the things they hate.
So instead of a normal, absolutely horrendous ad like this (you’ll have to use your imagination here)…
Moms Love Turbo-Mop!
“It helps me clean my floors faster, so I can spend more time on the things that really matter!”
(Stupid picture of super-hot lady lying on her back on a tiled kitchen floor holding up a slobbering baby while they grin at each other like morons.)
…you can have an ad that offers exactly what consumers yearn for, AND gives them sweet relief from things they hate. Like this:
Who Else Wants a Mop That Works 72 Percent Longer Between Rinsing, Has a 3-Year Warranty, AND Doubles Your Money Back if You’re Not Happy?
- Wicks dirt away from the cleaning surface and stores it deep inside the revolutionary sponge…you rarely have to stop for rinsing.
- Does not smear dirt around like other mops…fast wicking action “sucks” dirt and bacteria deep inside where it’s stored until the next time you rinse—then it’s effortlessly flushed away for good.
- Will not fall apart after a few uses…our Iron Sponge compound was designed to last at least 3 years by a world-renowned Scandinavian chemist.
- Doubles your money back if you’re not happy or if your mop doesn’t last at least 3 years.
(Picture of Scandinavian chemist holding a Turbo-Mop and examining the Iron Sponge head. Another picture of a three-year-old, torture-tested Turbo-Mop that is still going strong.)
I’m not saying my version of the ad is a masterpiece because I wrote it in about three minutes. But you can see how effective it would be.
In my imaginary research, I figured consumers hate dirty mops that fall apart, smear dirt around, and have to be rinsed often.
So DUH!—use your advertising to instantly destroy those worries and objections, and give them something to salivate over (in this case, a mop that lasts at least three years, has a warranty, and will give customers double their money back if they’re not happy).
Of course, good marketing is somewhat more complicated than this. But I’ve given you some pro insight that you can use to play around with your own ads. Try to inject some market research into them so that you can dangle your prospects’ desires right in front of them.
If you pull it off, your sales will explode…and that’s a guarantee.
If you’d rather have someone else write your advertising for you, I can help you with that. Simply click here to contact me with the details of your project.
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PPS: If you liked this article and want a more in-depth study into advertising, get yourself a copy of Monopolize Your Marketplace by Rich Harshaw. Ignore the bad reviews it has on Amazon. Those were left by haters and losers.