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The FLUFF and the STUFF

By Rick Sherman

What makes an effective ad campaign? What catches your eye, or even more, entices you to buy? Psychologists, scientists, and expensive marketing "experts" have spent billions trying to decipher this code, and create a messaging formula that will stimulate our senses, and induce the desired response. Yet, when I turn on the T.V. or flip through a magazine…I'm still amazed at how much money is spent on horrendous advertising. Sure, some of it is definitely entertaining, but is that what the goal ultimately is?

I'm not a doctor, and have never studied the brain waves of rats to see what messages they respond to and how it correlates to human behavior, and I certainly wouldn't go and proclaim myself as a marketing expert…but I have learned a few things about effective messaging in my spins around the block. Through it all, there are essential building blocks that must create the foundation of a message. You can be creative, quirky, and loud…but the fluff without the stuff…well, it's just fluff!

The basic marketing formula for promoting a service or product can be summed up as D + W2 = S.M.M.

Description – What exactly is the business offering?
Why does the consumer need it?
Why does the consumer need it from "you"?
Successful Marketing Message.

What do you do? What are you producing? Is it clear to the consumer? Businesses often fail at this aspect unintentionally. We often assume that the consumer knows more about us then they actually do. In short, introduce yourself!

Why Does The Consumer Need "IT"?
Know your target audience. Profile them, study them, and completely understand them. What are their goals, desires, and driving forces? Remember a few basic truths about consumers…

  1. People move away from pain faster than they will move towards pleasure.
  2. People will buy on emotion first, and then justify their actions later using rational thinking.

Why Does The Consumer Need "IT" From "YOU"?
What is your service offering? Your value proposition? This is critical. There is competition, and the message needs to convince the consumer that your product or service is the BEST option for them. Maybe you are the low cost provider. Maybe your service, and warranty sets you apart. Regardless, the goal is twofold…distinguish yourself from the competition, and eventually make them irrelevant. If you achieve this…success is guaranteed!

There are thousands of books dedicated to this topic, and enough information to fill a million newsletters, but the message I want to convey is brief and simple. Whether you create your own campaigns, or pay thousands of dollars to have others create them for you…remember the basic fundamental aspects. The Fluff without the Stuff may be entertaining, but it won't make you any money!

Rick Sherman is a senior level business adviser and consultant for Forward Progress, Inc. and the President of New Essence Media, a marketing agency focused on developing strategies through "Intelligent Integration".  For Additional Information contact:  [email protected] or [email protected]