I ADMIRE PEOPLE WITH GENTLE MANNERS WHO TREAT OTHER PEOPLE AS HUMAN BEINGS – David Ogilvy
Have you ever run an ad that didn’t work?
One that attracted little response, or worse, no response at all?
It can happen, and it can happen for many reasons.
Given that the right people saw your message - which is a happy combination of targeting the right people with the right message, media selection and luck - one reason for failure could be that your target market doesn’t see a need for your product because your message has not followed some basic copywriter’s rules to:
If you like mnemonics, you can remember this action plan through the word IDEA, or
Sound easy? It is, and the good news is that the more often you write good advertising, the better you get at writing good advertising.
So let’s get started ….
It is up to you to know who you are writing to and to ensure that your audience notices your advertising and acts on it, and not that of your competitors. You need to stand out from the crowd.
Write a headline, not a heading.
You are telling a stimulating story about a product that excites you, not regurgitating the minutes of a committee.
A headline may be appropriate, witty or just intelligent, but it must not be boring. It has to capture the interest of your target audience and invite them to learn more.
You need to find out everything you can about the product you are writing about, then find out everything you can about the people who will use that product or service.
As a professional copywriter, you are like a door-to-door salesman without the benefit of being able to actually talk to your customer.
You need to know your product and your customer thoroughly, and be prepared to anticipate every question asked by your customer because you just don’t have the benefit of face-to-face communication.
When you know your product and your customer well, you are ready for the fun bit where you will need to answer some questions honestly.
In other words, what does your audience read, watch, notice, believe – and how can you best present your product to create a desire in this group to acquire your product.
You now need to generate enthusiasm in your audience as well as desire.
Desire sits back and dreams, while enthusiasm reaches for a wallet.
It is more difficult to generate enthusiasm for a high-ticket lifestyle choice like a new car than it is for a chocolate bar, but once you have an enthusiastic buyer you have the sale.
Once you create an enthusiastic buyer, iIt will take a very, very poor salesman at the point-of-sale to lose the business.
Just look at the number of committed Ford buyers who regularly argue the respective benefits of their cars with equally committed Holden, Toyota or Mitsubishi drivers. Yet today many of the car models argued over so enthusiastically start life in the same factory, on the same production line.
With some products, you will need to identify and create enthusiasm in two different decision-makers with different perspectives on your product, which will certainly make your task more challenging.
If you’d like to see a case history on a scenario like this, I’d recommend looking at the Royal Auto story.
When you have created an enthusiastic buyer, all you need to do is make it easy for them to take action.
You may have just written the greatest ad of all times – but forgotten to make it easy for your audience to act.
Think about the steps your audience needs to take to get your product.
Do give clients an easy point of contact. Don’t rely on a phone number if there is no-one there to take messages.
Generally speaking, your American market is far more trusting than the Australans who usually want to see and touch the product before making a purchasing decision, or at least speak to someone who can answer their questions especially if it is a large-ticket item.
Eliminate as many bottlenecks as you can by using your common sense and putting yourself in the place of your client. What would you expect, or even prefer?
Then do it –
Writing ads that work is a lot of fun, but it can also be a challenge. If you are too busy running your business to take the time to write the ad that works for you, just follow the basic rules of good management and hire a professional.
Like to know more?
Talk to Ideas unlimited about writing the ad that works …