Ads That Stands Out From the Crowd without being Boring

Have you ever been to a party and sat next to someone who spends the whole time talking about themselves?  It gets old really fast and (if you’re like me) you try to find the exit as soon as possible.

What if I told you that many small businesses make this same social mistake with their advertising?

Instead of speaking to the needs of a potential client, too many small business ads are focused more on letting people know how fantastic they are with the huge logo and laundry list of services.  They brag about their services and they are trying to bore people into buying.

Guess what… that approach doesn’t usually work very well.

Marketing by Ego is a Bad Approach

These businesses are hoping that on the very day that a potential customer opens up the magazine, read an ad all about the business owner. See their huge logo, services in a tiny font, a picture of the owner or their truck and think… man I’ve got to talk to this guy some more.  I can’t wait to hear them talk about themselves… I wonder if there is a free consultation.

You could call this approach, “Marketing by ego.”  The owner is hoping someone will hear them talking about themselves at the magazine advertising party and want to hear more….

Marketing by Ego Occasionally Works

Here’s the rub, It works sometimes…

Sometimes by bragging, a business will pull someone away from the crowd at the party and make a sale.  Then the owner is usually left wondering why that approach doesn’t work all the time and in the end, they often spend more money on these laundry list, self-promoting ads than they make in sales at the end of the month.

They don’t want to miss the occasional drip and dribble of business that results from the ads.

It’s like they are in an advertising casino.  Once in a while they’ll hit a jackpot, but it’s pretty inconsistent.  It seems like the house (the magazine) takes most of their money at the end of the day.

Vital Questions to Ask Before Taking Out an Advertisement

Before you take out your next ad, you need to ask 2 vital questions:

  1. What is the single purpose of your ad?
  2. What 1 thing does your ad focus on?

Determine 1 Objective

When most small business owners are asked about their objectives for any 1 given advertisement, they usually spout out a list like this… The ad is for

  • Branding and
  • Getting my name out there and
  • Letting people know about all my services and
  • Making sales and
  • getting people to call in for a quote and … and…. and… and…….

In the meantime, your audience is getting bored.  First let’s start about a misconception about branding…

Misconceptions About Small Business Branding

First of all, huge companies have huge budgets and they can afford to spend untold thousands of dollars on branding campaigns.  Most small businesses can’t fathom a marketing budget of this magnitude, so they just can’t market themselves like they are Nike or coke or even the local hospital.

A branding only strategy will bankrupt many small businesses Most small businesses need to stop focusing primarily on branding and start focusing primarily on sales.

In a small business style, many owners try to make the most out of every square inch of an ad in an attempt to get the biggest bang for their buck.  By trying to do it all, every time, in every ad, they accomplish not doing any of it and completely wasting their money.  They lose the sale.

One Ad Done Well: Small Businesses Should Focus on Sales not Branding

So here are a couple of rules of thumb for creating ads that stand out.

  1. Sell one thing at a time
  2. Have a clear call to action
  3. Take down every distraction from your message in the ad (even if that distraction is your logo, a picture of your owner, and a picture of your truck)

Advertising that Stands Out – Being the 1%

Unfortunately, you are in a crowded market and if everyone is shouting LOOK AT ME with their huge logo and laundry lists of services, then it all just becomes background noise.

By contrast, an ad that focusses on solving a single problem in a memorable and compelling fashion will stand out from 99% of the other advertainment in the publication.